A Choral Odyssey

Join us on a voyage of choral discovery, exploring some of the UK’s most fascinating buildings and the unique stories that bind them to our choral heritage.

‘Rather than just do straight performances in churches we can’t get into, The Sixteen have blended music and documentary in their new Choral Odyssey. And it’s rather lovely.’ The Times****

‘I have watched all [three] episodes and they are absolutely brilliant in every way. I have never enjoyed a series so much.’ Helly Langley, Audience Member

Welcome to our brand-new, five-part series of programmes, A Choral Odyssey. Presented by actor Sir Simon Russell Beale, this special series, produced by The Sixteen, explores choral music and the history behind it from across the ages in iconic, relevant surroundings – from Byrd in Elizabeth I’s childhood home of Hatfield House, to Purcell in the reconstructed 17th-century theatre of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. A mix of conversation, music demonstration and performance, these programmes reunite Harry Christophers and Simon Russell Beale – a partnership which proved so successful in the popular BBC Sacred Music series – and feature performers from The Sixteen. The series culminates in an ‘as live’ relay of our special Christmas concert from Cadogan Hall featuring Simon Callow CBE, which will weave together six centuries of festive choral masterpieces. We are thrilled to share this new endeavour with you and hope you will be intrigued by the mix of music, history and interesting architecture that the programmes offer.

We would like to thank you for supporting this project. In doing so you will be directly helping The Sixteen and its fantastic freelance musicians who have been so fundamentally hit by the Covid crisis. This project provides us with an opportunity to raise funds that will help us plan next year’s artistic season with confidence and ensure that we’re able to come back strong with all our concert and outreach activity, both for our loyal audience and performers. Please help us spread the word!

All episodes are now available to watch on demand until 1 April 2021.


£50 – Series ticket (all five programmes plus the ‘as live’ Christmas concert from Cadogan Hall)
£45 – Series ticket (all five programmes)
£10 – Single episode ticket
Only one ticket is required per household.

Buy A Choral Odyssey as a Gift

If you would like to purchase a gift ticket for the whole series or for an individual episode you can book online by clicking here.

Listen to our Choral Odyssey Apple Music Playlist


A Choral Odyssey illustration © Tonwen Jones (www.tonwenjones.co.uk) and Tilly (aka runningforcrayons)

Ticket holders: Click here to watch programmes

Series Ticket (five programmes plus the Cadogan Christmas concert)

Purchasing a series ticket will give you access to all five episodes of 'A Choral Odyssey' plus our recent 'as live' Christmas concert at Cadogan Hall. All content will be available to watch on demand until 1 April 2021.

Buy Now

Series Ticket ( five programmes)

Purchasing a series ticket will give you access to all five episodes of 'A Choral Odyssey'. All content will be available to watch on demand until 1 April 2021.


Sheppard & Davy: Magdalen College, Oxford - now available to watch until 1 April

The first programme in our series focusses on two towering works by Renaissance composers John Sheppard and Richard Davy, performed in the surroundings of Magdalen College Chapel, Oxford where both were resident and wrote their music. Programme length - 57 minutes

Buy Now

Trailer: Episode 1

Episode 1 teaser trailer from Magdalen College, Oxford


Francisco Guerrero: Our Lady of the Assumption, London - now available to watch until 1 April

There are surely few composers who can boast a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, let alone one who survived kidnap by pirates on his return journey home! This programme explores one of Spain's finest Renaissance composers, Francisco Guerrero. Programme length - 50 minutes

Buy Now

Trailer: Episode 2

Episode 2 teaser trailer from Our Lady of the Assumption, London

Watch Now

Henry Purcell: The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare's Globe, London - now available to watch until 1 April

Purcell wrote for court, church, tavern and the place he loved most, the theatre. This programme is set in the Sam Wanamaker Theatre at Shakespeare's Globe, an amazingly atmospheric candlelit playhouse that slightly predates Purcell but feels like the perfect place to revisit his music. Programme length - 54 mins

Buy Now

Trailer: Episode 3

Episode teaser trailer from the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe.

Watch now

Byrd & Pärt: Hatfield House, Hertfordshire - - now available to watch until 1 April

Set in Elizabeth I's childhood home of Hatfield House, the music of William Byrd and Arvo Pärt make for a perfect match. Both spent many years facing adversity and persecution and both sought solace through their sacred music.

Buy Now

Trailer: Episode 4

Episode 4 teaser trailer from Hatfield House

Watch now

The Origins of the Carol: Penshurst Place, Kent - now available to watch until 1 April

Mediaeval carols were for everyone from festivities in the town square or village green to celebrations in church. This programme demonstrates the way these carols have influenced musicians of more recent times, in the historic mediaevel setting of Kent's Penshurst Place.

Buy Now

Trailer: Episode 5

Episode 5 teaser trailer from Penshurst Place

Watch now

The Sixteen at Christmas: Cadogan Hall, London - now available to watch until 1 April

We round off the year with a special Christmas concert broadcast from Cadogan Hall in London. With narrations by much-loved actor Simon Callow, this programme weaves six centuries of choral favourites by composers including Byrd, Palestrina, Will Todd and Cecilia MacDowall, into a stunning celebration of music written for the voice.

Buy Now

How to Watch

The programmes are viewed on the same website you bought your ticket. To watch a particular programme, visit this website – https://page.inplayer.com/thesixteen/ – and having logged in using your previously created account details, click on the programme you want to watch.

If you are having issues logging in, making payment, or have not received your receipt, please visit https://support.inplayer.com/. Our video partner will be able to provide you with assistance.

A Choral Odyssey