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.


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 from across the ages in iconic, pertinent 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. These programmes, featuring performers from The Sixteen, reunite Harry Christophers and Simon Russell Beale, a partnership which proved so successful in the popular BBC Sacred Music series. The series culminates in an ‘as live’ relay of our special Christmas concert from Cadogan Hall, 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!

Episodes will be released every Wednesday from 18 November – 23 December 2020, with all episodes then available to watch on demand until 31 January 2021.


£50 – Series ticket (all five programmes plus the ‘as live’ performance from Cadogan Hall)
£10 – Single episode ticket
Only one ticket is required per household.
* Please note, you will need to create a NEW account in order to buy tickets for A Choral Odyssey. Please do not use your existing Sixteen account (if you have one) or an account that was previously used to buy tickets for Voces8’s Live From London series. 

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

Series Ticket

Purchasing a series ticket will give you access to all episodes of 'A Choral Odyssey' plus the 'as live' Christmas performance at Cadogan Hall. All content will be available to watch on demand until 31 January 2021.

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Sheppard & Davy: Magdalen College, Oxford - 18 November, 7.30pm(GMT)

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.

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Francisco Guerrero: Our Lady of the Assumption, London - 25 November, 7.30pm(GMT)

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.

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Henry Purcell: The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare's Globe, London - 2 December, 7.30pm(GMT)

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.

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Byrd & Pärt: Hatfield House, Hertfordshire - 9 December, 7.30pm(GMT)

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.

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The Origins of the Carol: Penshurst Place, Kent - 16 December, 7.30pm(GMT)

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 medievel setting of Kent's Penshurst Place.

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The Sixteen at Christmas: Cadogan Hall, London - 23 December, 7.30pm(GMT)

We round off the year with a special Christmas concert broadcast from Cadogan Hall in London, weaving six centuries of choral masterpieces into a stunning celebration of music written for the voice.

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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