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Ensemble-in-Residence, Bergen National Opera


Barokksolistene, founded and led by Norwegian violinist and Artistic Director Bjarte Eike, is a baroque ensemble that “brings the raw rhythms of Scandinavian folk music to… the high baroque” (- Financial Times). They draw on their native influences and traditions to produce unique projects and programmes that range from performances of Handel’s operas to their unique, branded Alehouse Sessions. They are currently the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Bergen National Opera.

Recent highlights have included a critically acclaimed production of Handel’s Alcina with the Norwegian National Opera, a series of performances in Norway of a reconstruction of Bach’s St Mark Passion and a European tour of Alehouse Sessions to mark their 10th anniversary in 2015. Upcoming performances include appearances at many of Europe’s leading venues and festivals, including the Musikverein in Vienna, Norwegian National Opera, Den Ny Opera in Esbjerg, Utrecht Early Music Festival, Klagenfurt Festival, the Rheingau Festival and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

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“These “Alehouse Sessions,” in both recorded and live form, are exemplary in their ability to melt the cages of censorship into tenderer weapons of humanity … a piece of history unearthed and mantled for new ears”


“Uproariously talented Barokksolistene.”

Alexandra Coghlan

The Arts Desk

“…The impressive nine-strong ensemble delivered sensational music-making with each person adept at singing, dancing, acting and playing an instrument, often simultaneously.”

Opera Now

‘’Eike manages to get the crowd chanting a call-and-response number – this is not very classical, certainly not very British. But it is exhilarating […] Performers like this are unlocking the joy in this music, and that might be the most valuable authenticity of all’’

Erica Jeal

The Guardian

‘’The variety of tone and texture was astonishing […] The whole joyous evening was a liberation’’

Ivan Hewett

The Telegraph

More Reviews

“…a fabulously unrestrained set combining folksy vigour and classical virtuosity.”

The Guardian 

“…any group that can have a festival audience performing an Icelandic football chant has to be doing something right.”

The Guardian 

“Old but ageless music on another level.”

York Press, Claire McGinn 

“They dismantled stale concert-going conventions in a joyously irreverent hoedown, with vibrant story telling, body percussion, ad-lib improvised vocal solos, and irresistibly theatrical interpretations of Purcell’s recitatives. ”

York Press, Claire McGinn 

“A masterful, madcap musical journey and an absolute riot of an evening”

What’s On Lichfield 

“…a marvellous spectacle.”

Seen and Heard International 

“Resistant to begin with, I was totally won over by then end, thanks to their charm, exuberance and (not least) virtuosity).”

The Catholic Herald, Michael White

“…brilliantly executed and very funny.'”

Opera Now 

“Bjarte Eike’s adrenaline-pumping…Barokksolistene”

Opera Now 

“Only in King’s Singers concert have I ever seen such a polished product seem so effortless.”

The Arts Desk, Alexandra Coghlan 

“Barokksolistene are an irresistible and totally organic fusion of styles – their eclecticism underpinned by skill and a spirit of inquisitive, joyous music-making that could make sense of any amount of fusion. We’re still a few months off those best-of-the-year roundups, but Eike and his ensemble have just shot to the top of my list. ”

The Arts Desk, Alexandra Coghlan 

“…the body and the soul certainly swayed…”

The Arts Desk, David Nice 

“The instrumental sheen created equal magic in the wood-resonant surrounds of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse last night.”

The Arts Desk, David Nice 

“Inevitably, it’s already sold out. [On the Alehouse Sessions]”

The Arts Desk, David Nice 

“Barokksolistene’s sound is intimate, poignant and gently graded in distinct timbres”

Classical Source, Nick Breckenfield 

“The opening concerts by Bjarte Eike’s nine-strong Scandinavian/British early music ensemble, Barokksolistene are superb.”

The Scotsman 

“Imagine an Irish folk band ranging in time back to the taverns of Purcell’s era and geographically across Europe, then delivering the pot pourri in a storm of stamping, dancing and raucous humour. Irresistible.”

The Times, Richard Morrison 

“Unmissable [On ‘ The Image of Melancholy’]”

The Arts Desk 

“This is Handel with a Scandinavian accent, and it is absolutely worth the journey”

Financial Times 

“This fleet young original instrument ensemble brings the raw rhythms of Scandinavian folk music to its take on the high baroque, and couples that with the slick refinement of a generation that takes virtuosity on early instruments for granted.”

Financial Times 

“The orchestra…performs with ensemble precision and interpretive nuance.”

New York Times