In the world of early music, Romeo & Julia Kören has carved out its own niche creating dramatized concerts as much for the eyes as for the ears. Drama, music and choreography are fused into an expressive, playful, genre-transcending experience.
The members of the ensemble are all accomplished performers in their own right. Musicians, actors, singers and dancers, their joint talents blend to create unique concerts filled with spectacular music, drama, romance and comedy. Romeo & Julia Kören’s contemporary approach speaks directly to the audience, the ensemble members are skilled improvisers that take pride in meeting the audience eye to eye in a warm and personal way. Sharing their joy and love for music and theatre, Romeo & Julia Kören’s aim is to captivate and entertain.
Romeo & Julia Kören’s significant way of performing has been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike all around the world for almost thirty years. Tours have brought the ensemble to more than 35 countries including China, USA, Chile, Russia, Croatia, Italy, Japan, France, Kosovo, Russia, Iceland, Tibet, Mexico, Kurdistan and Germany. Among the vast number of spectacular venues visited are the NCPA in Beijing, Teatro del Lago in Frutillar, Rector’s Palace in Dubrovnik, and Sanssouci in Potsdam. The ensemble has frequently performed at celebrations for the Swedish Royal Family, and at the Nobel Prize Banquet.
“… full of talent, creativity and charm.”
Las Últimas Noticias (Chile)
The sizable repertoire span from Italian, Spanish, English, and French Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces to Slavic songs and fiery Swedish folk tunes, songs that feature tender tales of lova as well as burlesque comedy. With arrangements specifically written for the ensemble, they dare to challenge the traditional way of performing this music, revitalizing it and making it appealing and relevant to an audience of today.
“… An ingenious way to revive to large parts forgotten music.”
The Washington Post (USA)
” They make renaissance music feel modern, fun and incredibly groovy”
Smålandsposten ( Sweden)
Romeo & Julia Kören was founded by artistic director Benoît Malmberg in 1991 during the production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. Benoît’s initiative to have the ensemble sing was a success and after the run of the play the ensemble continued to perform music on their own. From then on Benoît has dedicated his heart and soul to creating theatrical concerts based on music from the renaissance and baroque era. He has made it his life’s mission to revive and reshape this old music and is constantly developing Romeo & Julia Kören’s artistic expression to reach out to, amuse and touch the hearts of his audience. His knowledge of and love for art and history is apparent in the magnificent images he creates, which together with his interpretations of the music truly creates a complete visual, sensual and musical experience. His sure instincts and generosity has spellbound audiences of all ages and cultures through the years, and has also inspires dedicated fans start the organisation “Friends of Romeo & Julia Kören” which celebrates 20 years in 2019.
The ensemble was honored with Ingmar Bergman’s personal award in 1999 and in 2012 Benoît was granted the King’s medal for his outstanding artistic work with Romeo & Julia Kören.
Most productions are adaptable to any venue be it a castle, garden, concert hall, or street corner. No venue is too big or too small. Artistic director Benoit Malmberg knows no boundaries in using whatever at hand and with his artistry creating musical magic anywhere at any time. The ensemble performs in various constellations ranging in size from 15 singers and musicians down to a quartet or a soloist, accompanied by renaissance lute, percussions, double bass and guitar depending on the choice of repertoire.
Romeo & Julia Kören is happy to take any opportunity to use their music for charity and have cooperated with Unicef, Refugees Welcome Sweden and Balkan Sunflowers, among other organisations and makes an effort to visit orphanages, schools or homes for elderly both in Sweden and when visiting other countries.