The Chanticleer Singers was formed in 1980 by Richard Cock and is regarded as South Africa’s leading chamber choir. Over the years their reputation and renown have grown as they have become known through radio and television broadcasts as well as public performances.
Though based in Johannesburg, the Choir has appeared at other venues throughout South Africa, including the Grahamstown National Festival of the Arts, the Cape Town International Organ Festival, the Knysna Nederberg Arts Festival, the Sowetan’s “Nation Building” Massed Choir Festival, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Pietersburg, Upington and many smaller towns, as well as in Botswana, Swaziland the United Kingdom, Namibia, the USA and Israel. Their tour of the UK was the subject of an hour-long TV-documentary, “Lands End and Beyond”.
Their repertoire is wide and extremely varied, and includes both serious and light music ranging from Renaissance to contemporary.
Although generally concentrating on “a capella” music, the Choir has also appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Transvaal Chamber Orchestra, the CAPAB Orchestra and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra. A number of South African composers have written works specifically for them and for their 10th anniversary they commissioned works from leading South African composers. In 1989 they gave the first ever live TV music broadcast in South Africa: Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, performed on Good Friday. Before and since then, they have been involved in many other TV productions and more recently in a programme for Radio Netherland and with the French Choir Musicatreize when they performed the 40-part motet by Thomas Tallis.
Since then they have had a number of very successful concerts including Duruflé’s Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle as part of the Rossini Festival as well as Messiah to a packed house at the Linder Auditorium all of which were recorded for broadcast on SAfm. Recently they have worked with leading SA saxophonist Shannon Mowday.
For over 30 years the Chanticleer Singers have delighted audiences throughout Southern Africa and further afield with their varied and unusual programmes.
The Chanticleer Singers pride themselves on the quality of their work and on their commitment to the music scene in South Africa.