There cannot be many people who pass along the River Thames who haven’t seen the stone-carved inscription ‘Carolus Rex’ on the famous King Charles Court, now Trinity College of Music.
The director of the ensemble Carolus Rex, Sophia Vaughan, had always enjoyed choral work, in particular church music and rarely-sung modern music and wanted to find like-minded singers who would be happy to experiment and perform to a very high standard. She was soon joined by other vocalists with a wide range of musical experience.
In January 2003, rehearsals began and attracted some of the very best singers at Trinity College of Music. Since its foundation, this innovative ensemble has performed at numerous venues to great acclaim. Audiences at Covent Garden, St George’s, Southwark, Worth Abbey, St James’ Palace, Kensington Palace and the Turkish Embassy have delighted in their rich offering of music.
The group’s initial inspiration was The Sixteen and King’s College Cambridge, but the aim was to be different. Their developing repertoire is exciting, challenging and eclectic. They have performed the works of notable composers such as Purcell, Handel, Duruflé, Carl Rütti, Eric Whitacre and Joseph Gentry Stephens. Sea shanties for HRH Princess Anne’s dinner in the Painted Hall, carols in Trafalgar Square for GMTV and traditional church music. Carolus Rex has performed at St Martin in-the-Fields to a capacity audience.
The ensemble has developed a large following in the UK and has a fan-club in the United States, which prompted the release of ‘As Torrents In Summer’, the group’s first album.
Working together, the group constantly develops ideas to keep Carolus Rex moving forward. All in all, Carolus Rex is a lively and enthusiastic team, determined to spread the ‘choral message’, their success marked by the numerous times that they are invited back to perform.