The Cappella Mediterranea ensemble was founded in 2005 by the Swiss-Argentinian conductor Leonardo García Alarcón. As the name suggests, the ensemble initially focused on music from the Mediterranean Basin, and wanted to offer a different approach to Ibero-American Baroque music. With time, the repertoire of Cappella Mediterranea has become much more diverse and expansive – with 45 concerts annually, the ensemble plays madrigals, polyphonic motets and operatic works. This mixture of genres resulted in a unique style, which is characterised by an unusual understanding between the conductor and the musicians.
In just a few years, the ensemble has gained recognition thanks to their rediscoveries of previously unreleased works such as Michelangelo Falvetti’s Il diluvio universale and Nabucco, as well as new interpretations of works which became a staple of repertoires, including Claudio Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine and L’Orfeo, as well as Bach's Mass in B minor.
The ensemble's success with Cavalli’s Elena at the 2013 Festival d'Aix-en-Provence resulted in invitations to the most prestigious stages worldwide, including the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Opéra national de Paris, the Amsterdam Opera and the Royal Opera of Versailles.
The decision to take up residency at the Opéra de Dijon in 2018 has enabled the ensemble to produce a series of previously unpublished works such as Antonio Draghi's El Prometeo, Francesco Sacrati's La finta pazza (2019) and Luigi Rossi's Le palazzo incantato (2020).
The ensemble also showcased Jean-Philippe Rameau's Les Indes galantes at the Opéra Bastille to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the building’s erection and 350 years of Académie Royale de Musique – the production was dubbed the best production of 2019 by the Forum Opéra online magazine and the New York Times.
Starting in 2020, Cappella Mediterranea has been adapting its repertoire to the circumstances at hand, supporting virtual festivals organised by its partners: Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opéra de Dijon, Festival de Namur, Festival d'Ambronay, Royal Opera of Versailles – all in hopes to return to public concerts soon.
Cappella Mediterranea’s discography comprises more than 30 critically acclaimed albums recorded for a number of prestigious labels, including Ambronay Editions, Naïve, Ricercar and Alpha Classics. In early March 2020, the ensemble released an album featuring Draghi's El Prometeo, and in 2021 the musicians plan on releasing four more albums.
The ensemble Cappella Mediterranea receives support from the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication- DRAC Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, the Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, the city of Geneva, a private foundation in Geneva, as well as a circle of friends and supporting business partners such as Quinten, Synapsys, Chatillon Architectes, and 400 others.