Michel Laplénie founded Sagittarius in 1986, with a view to exploring new repertoire and sharing his musical enthusiasms. High artistic standards have brought the ensemble international renown and made it one of the foremost vocal groups in Baroque performance.
With their unquenchable curiosity, Sagittarius have taken part in several high profile opera productions (Georg Frideric Handel's Alcina, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, 1990 - Lully's Phaëton, for the reopening of the Lyons opera house, 1993 - Campra's L'Europe Galante, Aix-en-Provence Festival, 1993 - Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, directed by Marc Minkowski, 1995, etc.). The ensemble has performed in Europe's most famous concerts halls as well as prestigious international festivals, often resurrecting forgotten musical treasures.
Sagittarius is an ensemble of soloists, and features 5 to 20 professional singers and instrumentalists, all of them established performers of the early repertoire. The focus is on European vocal music of the Baroque era, more specifically from 17th and 18th-century France and Germany, with a particular fondness for Heinrich Schütz, whose Latinized name Sagittarius it adopted. This wide repetoire has led to a large number of recordings, which have won acclaim for the sincerity and depth of their performances.
Sagittarius has been appointed Resident Ensemble at Blaye, near Bordeaux, and is supported by the Regional Department for Cultural Affairs, the Aquitaine Region, the Département of Gironde, the cities of Blaye and Bordeaux, as well as the Caisse des Dépôts for its school programmes.