– The ensemble thélème specializes in the performance of early music. thélème, founded in 2013 by Artistic Director, Jean-Christophe Groffe, is...Read Biography
The ensemble thélème specializes in the performance of early music. thélème, founded in 2013 by Artistic Director, Jean-Christophe Groffe, is largely made up of musicians who graduated from the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.
The name of the ensemble refers to the utopia described by François Rabelais at the end of his novel Gargantua. Thélème is a hexagonal five-story Renaissance chateau built with precious materials. At Thélème, there is no outer wall, no clock. What is the point of worrying what time it is when we are not dependent on time, when we decide ourselves when we will get up, eat, work, or dedicate ourselves to the pleasure of conversation? The name alone says it all: the Greek “thelo” means “I want”, so thélème can be translated as “free will”.
thélème collaborates with singers, instrumentalists, composers, authors, dancers, choreographers, comedians, directors, scholars, and creators of all types who identify with the Rabelaisian maxim: “Do what you will”.
thélème has been invited to numerous renowned festivals: Festtage Alte Musik Basel, St. Galler Festspiele, Schubertiade von Espace 2, Festival Rümlingen, Forum Alte Musik Zürich, Top Klassik Züricher Oberland, etc.
thélème also works with other reputed ensembles and artists, for example the ensembles Musica Fiorita and SoloVoices, the saxophone quartet XASAX, the Tanzkompanie du Théâtre de St. Gall, the pianist Rani Orenstein, the organist Olivier Wyrwas, and the mezzo-soprano Solenn’ Lavanant-Linke. The ensemble's recordings are produced by Coviello Classics and Aparté.