Les Ambassadeurs' next recording will happen thanks to you! Purcell's genius music, a mixture of strong emotions, fire and gracefulness...


The project

Katherine Watson joins Alexis Kossenko and les Ambassadeurs for an exciting programme mixing Songs, Overtures and Dances !



Purcell's contribution to the stage is far greater than what people usually think : in the last years of his life, few plays, comedies or dramas, were performed in the London theaters without some overture, song, tune, specially composed by the “celebrated Purcell” : Bonduca, The Double Dealer, The Indian Queen, Abdelazer, The rival sisters, Aureng-Zebe, A Fool’s preferment, Amphitryon, Don Quixote, Distressed Innocence, Regulus… most of these names are now forgotten, as they fell into the shadow of the great master-pieces such as Dido and Eneas or King Arthur… despite the fact that Purcell's art is at its zenith! All pieces are scattered jewels, which Les Ambassadeurs have selected, assembled and organized in suites -  with the intention to preserve the theatrical essence of the music.





Les Ambassadeurs have investigated sources and evidences in order to bring back this repertoire its original sound and taste, with an instrumentarium as close as possible to what Purcell was dealing with.

Around the soprano, the continuo including a gamba, a harpsichord and 2 theorbos will be opposed to a true violin band in charge of overtures, hornpipes, jigs, slow ayres, boreas, scotch tunes, and chacones.

The low pitch (equal to the one used at the French Court) at A=392 , violin cosort equally distributed (3 first violins, 3 second violins, 3 tenor violins, 3 bass violins in Bflat), short consort bows and pure gut strings : all this will contribute to bring back a sound surprisingly intense, compact, dense, very rich in harmonics, a neat articulation, and will enhance Purcell's fabulous counterpoint ; in short it will provide exacerbated expression, sound and rythm for a truly new musical experience.



Katherine Watson : soprano

LES AMBASSADEURS, dir. Alexis Kossenko

     - The Violin Band : 3 violins I, 3 violins II, 3 violas, 3 bass violins

     - The Oboe Band : 2 oboes, tenor oboes, bassoon (all doubling on recorder)

     - The Continuo : harpsichord, bass viol, 2 theorbos








Katherine Watson studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Trinity College, Cambridge where she was a choral scholar. She was awarded a place on the young artist programme of William Christie’s Les Arts Florissants and has since performed regularly with Christie and Les Arts Florissants throughout Europe and further afield. She has worked with a number of eminent conductors including Paul Agnew, Harry Bickett, Harry Christophers, Stephen Cleobury, Jonathan Cohen, Emmanuelle Haïm, Nicholas Kraemer, Stephen Layton, Sir Roger Norrington and Christophe Rousset.


Katherine made her operatic debut at Glyndebourne as Fairy/Nymph The Fairy Queen (Cummings) and returned as Diana Hippolyte et Aricie (Christie). Other operatic roles have included Italienne/Phantome Médée (Haïm), Virtù/Damigella L’Incoronazione di Poppea at the Teatro Real, Madrid, Cassandra La Didone in Caen, Luxembourg and Paris (Christie), Phani Les Incas du Pérou, Dardanus with Ensemble Pygmalion at Opera National de Bordeaux and at the Chapelle Royale, Château de Versailles and Iphis Jephta at the Beaune Festival.


Concert highlights include Iphis Jephtha in Paris, Moscow and Vienna, Diana Actéon and 2nd Woman Dido and Aeneas in New York (Christie), a programme of Cleopatra’s arias from Giulio Cesare in Lille, a programme of Rameau arias in Frankfurt and a Monteverdi Gala at the Festspielhaus, Baden Baden (Haïm). Further notable concert engagements include Bach’s Jauchzet Gott and Handel arias with the English Concert and trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth at the Cheltenham Festival, as well as a concert performance of Handel’s Apollo e Dafne with J. Cohen at Carnegie Hall, New York and more recently with Arcangelo at Zanker Hall, New York. Katherine’s oratorio work includes Messiah in Seville with the Hallé Orchestra, and with Polyphony at St John’s Smith Square, Christmas Oratorio with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Academy of Ancient Music for BBC Radio 3, St John Passion, Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Requiem (Layton), B Minor Mass in Winchester Cathedral, Dixit Dominus in Lincoln Cathedral, and Mozart Exsultate Jubilate in Westminster Abbey. Katherine has also performed Scarlatti’s Christmas Cantata (Norrington), Solomon (McCreesh), Nelson Mass with the Britten Sinfonia at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and Samson with the Irish Baroque Orchestra at the National Concert Hall, Dublin.


In addition to her work in baroque repertoire, Katherine has performed Mahler’s 4th Symphony, Lutosławsky’s Chantesfleurs et Chantesfables and Barber’s Knoxville – Summer of 1915 at St John’s Smith Square with the Kensington Symphony Orchestra, Symphonia Antarctica (Layton) with the City of London Sinfonia and Britten Les Illuminations. As a keen recitalist, Katherine’s lieder/chanson repertoire includes songs by Mozart, Schubert, Mahler, Strauss, Poulenc and Messiaen.

Her discography includes Bach Christmas Oratorio (Layton/OAE/Trinity College Choir), Caterina Oratorio di Santa Caterina (Headley), and a Hyperion recording in 2014 of Monteverdi madrigals with Cohen and Arcangelo. DVD recordings include Cassandra La Didone (Opus Arte), Virtù/Damigella Poppea (EMI) and Un Songe/l’Amour/une Phrygienne Dardanus (Harmonia Mundi).

Recent highlights include the title role Theodora in Paris, New York, and Amsterdam (Christie), Telaire Castor et Pollux (Wigmore Hall, Curnyn), performances of Messiah with Le Concert Spirituel, Polyphony, and La Risonanza throughout Europe, the title role Isbé at the Palace of Arts, Budapest (CD to be released), Mérope Persée (Metz and Paris), Cleopatra Alexander Balus at the London Handel Festival with Laurence Cummings, three appearances at the Beaune Festival as Nitocris Belshazzar, Armelite Zoroastre, and Galatea Acis and Galatea, a tour of B Minor Mass (Barcelona, Leipzig and London) with Les Arts Florissants, and two appearances at the BBC Proms with Arcangelo and Les Arts Florissants.

Next season Katherine will return to Bordeaux to sing extracts from Massenet’s Don Quichotte (Pichon), and will also return to Théâtre des Champs Elysées as Giunone in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulysee in Patria (Haïm). Other future engagements include Belinda Dido and Aeneas with Opera de Rouen, a European tour of Messiah with Les Arts Florissants, Le Temple de la Gloire with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, and her début with Komische Oper Berlin to sing Armélite Zoroastre. Katherine will also give recitals at Lille Opera with Simon Lepper and at the Oxford Lieder festival with Sholto Kynoch.





« Alexis Kossenko is a multi-skilled young genius whose career will take him where he wills. (...) Few conductors are so compelling to watch, whether by his players or we listeners, but there is no 'showing off' to impress an audience. » (Musical Pointers)


Born in Nice, Alexis Kossenko performs as a soloist with Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Concerto Copenhagen, Ensemble Matheus, Philharmonie der Nationen, La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy, Stradivaria, Barokksolistene, B'Rock, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, La Chambre Philharmonique, Modo Antiquo, Le Concert Lorrain, Holland Baroque Society, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, in a repertoire ranging from Vivaldi to Khachaturian including Mozart concertos on tour with Emmanuel  Krivine. He therefore recently performed in Berlin Philharmonie,  Stockholm Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall and Royal Albert Hall in London, Mozarteum Salzburg,  Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Opéra Royal and Chapelle Royale in Versailles, Ton-Halle in Zürich, Bruges and Amsterdam Concertgebouw.


Fine connaisseur of all the historical forms of his instrument, Alexis Kossenko plays as well on the modern flute (he was awarded from Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris in the class of Alain Marion) as on baroque flute, classical and romantic flutes, or recorder.




He was many years first flautist of La Chambre Philharmonique (dir. Emmanuel Krivine), Concert d'Astrée (Emmanuelle Haïm), Le Cercle de l'Harmonie (Jérémie Rhorer), Ensemble Matheus (dir . Jean-Christophe Spinosi), and is currently solo flautist of Orchestre des Champs-Elysées (dir. Philippe Herreweghe), Gli Angeli Genève (Stephan MacLeod), Le Concert Spirituel (Hervé Niquet).


He recorded flute concertos by Nielsen, Telemann, Haydn, Touchemoulin, and specially, for French label Alpha, the complete concertos by CPE Bach, Vivaldi concertos (Editor's Choice de Gramophone) and Charpentier leçons de ténèbres with baryton Stephan MacLeod. As a conductor, Alexis Kossenko was invited by European Union Baroque Orchestra, B'Rock, Le Concert d'Astrée, Holland Baroque Society, Arte dei Suonatori, Sinfonia Juventus ; But it is at the head of Les Ambassadeurs that he undertakes his most significant projects.


In 2015-2016, he directed 24 triumphal performances of Le Nozze di Figaro Figaro de Mozart. After a first invitation at the Warsaw Philharmonie to direct and perform a Mendelssohn / Reinecke programme, he was invited again in 2017 again to conduct Brahms' 4th symphony and violin concerto.







Les Ambassadeurs et Alexis Kossenko concrétisent le rêve d’un orchestre européen réconciliant le jeu des instruments historiques avec un vaste répertoire jusqu’alors morcelé par les spécialisations. A la fois messagers sincères, interprètes passionnés et créateurs inspirés, ils ont pour mission un partage non élitiste de l’infinie palette d’émotions portée par l’expérience de la musique.

Traçant leur voie à l’écart des dogmes, des modes et des écoles, Les Ambassadeurs poursuivent un idéal d’éloquence – où la grammaire des instruments d’époque, l’art rhétorique et l’instinct musical ne s’excluent pas l’un l’autre.



Parmi leurs différents projets, qui incluent un travail en profondeur sur Rameau, Purcell, Mozart et Rossini, Les Ambassadeurs accordent une place toute particulière à la redécouverte de la Hofkapelle de Dresde au temps de Bach ; qualifié alors de « plus bel orchestre du monde » pour sa discipline exemplaire, la virtuosité de ses instrumentistes, ses couleurs chatoyantes qui en font le premier orchestre « moderne », il était aussi un extraordinaire symbole européen où se côtoyaient des musiciens de toutes origines, et où furent cultivés les styles italiens, français et allemand qui donnèrent naissances aux « Goûts Réunis ».  Les Ambassadeurs et Alexis Kossenko se produisent dans toute l'Europe, à l'invitation de salles de concert et festivals prestigieux : Salle Gaveau, Opéra Royal de Versailles, Concertgebouw de Bruges, Vredenburg d'Utrecht, Biennale de Weimar, Mozartfest de Würzburg, Festivals de Beaune, de Pontoise, de Regensburg, de Paradyz, de Poznan, de Sofia, etc... Ils collaborent régulièrement avec des chanteurs de premier plan tels que Sabine Devieilhe, Anders Dahlin, Reinoud Van Mechelen, Francisco Fernandez Rueda, Blandine Staskiewicz ou encore Delphine Galou.



* VIVALDI : "per l'orchestra di Dresda, vol.1" (Alpha)

* RAMEAU : "Le Grand théâtre de l'Amour" avec Sabine Devieilhe, soprano (Erato)

     (Diapason d'Or de l'Année 2014, Diamant d'Opéra Magazine, Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros...)

* CPE BACH : Sonates en trio (Alpha)

* TEMPESTA : Airs d'opéra de Vivaldi & Haendel avec Blandine Staskiewicz, mezzo (Glossa)

* TELEMANN : Ouvertures et Concertos (Alpha)

     (Choc de Classica)

* CANTUS : Bach, Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Allegri, Fauré, Barber, Tavener, avec Christian-Pierre La Marca, violoncelle (Sony).


Recent and upcoming activity

En 2015-2016, Les Ambassadeurs ont effectué une tournée Rossini avec Sabine Devieilhe, plusieurs concerts avec Blandine Staskiewicz et le projet “Tempesta”, et surtout une tournée triomphale de 24 représentations des Noces de Figaro (mise en scène de Galin Stoev).

En 2016-2017, Les Ambassadeurs font leurs débuts au prestigieux Wigmore Hall à Londres, et se produisent aux Festivals de Saint-Riquier, Pontoise, Moulins / Allier (ClassicaMoulins), Midsommer Barock (Danemark), Feldkirchen (Autriche), Esterhaza (Hongrie) ; ils font l’ouverture des festivals de Potsdam et de Weimar (Allemagne) ; en outre ils seront en résidence à Paris (concerts salle Gaveau, salle Cortot, Théâtre Grévin, Oratoire du Louvre).





Nicolas Bartholomée, director



Why fund it?

The recording will be the first of a new collaboration with label APARTE (Nicolas Bartholomée).

Release date : end of 2017.


It will be made in 2 steps :


- End of october 2016 : Recording of the songs with Katherine Watson and continuo

- February 2017 : reocrding of orchestral pieces




* Rent of the recording location : 4000€ (2 days in October, 2 days in February : 4 days in total)

* Musicians' fee and travel costs for the October recording session (6 musicians) : 7000€

* Musicians' fee and travel costs for the February recording session (16 musicians) : 15000€

* Costs for promotional video : 2000€

* Rent and tuning of harpsichord : 2000€


TOTAL : 30000€


KissKissBankBank : 9000€ or 12000€

expected subventions : 13000€

personal participation : 8000€


If we reach the 9000€ of fundraising, we can make an excellent recording with the string band and the continuo.


If we manage to raise 12000€, we will happily add a oboe band, which will add character and brilliancy to some of the most beautiful pieces !








Les Ambassadeurs et Alexis Kossenko se veulent à la fois messagers sincères, interprètes passionnés et créateurs inspirés ; ils ont pour mission un partage non élitiste de l’infinie palette d’émotions portée par l’expérience de la musique. Traçant leur voie à l’écart des dogmes, des modes et des écoles, Les Ambassadeurs poursuivent un idéal... See more

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Tous mes encouragements et tous mes souhaits de réussite, bien cordialement, Christine Beltran