Archipels choir, the amateur vocal ensemble of les éléments, brings together students, music teachers and experienced amateurs under the lead of Joël Suhubiette in order to discover and improve the challenging practice of choral singing.
Recognized for his work with the professional vocal ensemble les éléments, Joël Suhubiette has been committed for years to a more educational way of conducting. For this project, he is assisted by Claire Suhubiette, a choral singing teacher at the University of Toulouse. In addition to amateur singers, who have been following Joël for many years, new comers – such as musicology and conservatory students – are attracted every season by the choir’s diversity in programming. In this way, they can experiment with the practice of ensemble music as a major part of their academic training.
Archipels is divided into several “islands”, which allow them to work multiple musical forms: from a symphonic repertoire to oratorio choir, including piano or a cappella works in choral ensembles.
Over the last ten years, Archipels has performed – under the direction of Joël Suhubiette – a large number of a cappella programmes of English, Germanic, American, Central and Northern European music, and toured in the Midi-Pyrénées region and beyond. In May 2014, the choir was invited to the International Fair for Literature and the Arts in Tangier (Morocco) to perform a new programme dedicated to European poetry and drama, which has been performed again during the 2014-2015 season. Under Claire’s direction, Archipels has explored new horizons by taking part in the “Nuit de Nougaro” at the Odyssud-Blagnac Theatre in 2014.
Directed by Joël Suhubiette, Archipels sang oratorios such as Mendelssohn’s cantatas, the Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s masses, Haendel’s Messiah and Anthems, Purcell’s King Arthur, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Dixit Dominus, Lotti’s mass and Credo… in collaboration with les Passions-Orchestre Baroque de Montauban or the Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse. Jean Marc Andrieu directed the choir for their performances of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in 2011 and of Fauré’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah, both included in the 2014-2015 season.
With regard to the symphonic repertoire, Archipels choir chose to expand in order to be able to perform two major works. First in 2012 with Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé at la Halle aux Grains de Toulouse in collaboration with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the Quebecois Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Later on in 2014 they performed the Stabat Mater by Francis Poulenc at the Halle aux Grains Theatre in Toulouse with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the chamber choir les éléments, directed by the Catalan conductor Josep Pons.
Over the last 7 years, the Archipels’ Summer master classes programme has been implemented as part of the “Musique des Lumières” festival, which takes place at the Abbaye-école de Sorèze.