LSM Newswire

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bernard Labadie Conducts the Classic Landmark Masters featuring Soprano Allyson McHardy- May 3 (8PM) & 4 (2PM)

Edmonton, AB ’Ķ A weekend of classical elegance and melody awaits, as Bernard Labadie makes a welcome return on the ESO podium. Hailed for his "full-bodied" and "strongly dramatic" interpretations that manage "to preserve a sense of transparency" (Toronto Star), Bernard Labadie has established himself as one of the leading conductors of the Baroque and Classical repertoire.

He leads the ESO in two great symphonies, Schubert's Fifth and Haydn's "Military," as well as some treasured Mozart vocal works, sung by rising Canadian mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy, who has been called "a singer of enormous imagination and versatility," by the San Francisco Chronicle. The performance also includes concert and opera arias and features Edmonton pianist Michael Massey for Mozart's Ch'io mi scorid di te?... Non temer, amato bene.

Ticket prices for this performance range from $36 to $53 (agency fees apply). Tickets are available through the Winspear Centre Box Office. Saturday evening's 7:15pm Symphony Prelude features Edmonton Mezzo-Soprano Michelle Milenkovic.


The next performance of The Masters takes place on May 23rd and 24th with Conductor David Atherton and Pianist Anton Kuerti.

Saturday, May 3rd is generously sponsored by Classic Landmarks Master Builder

Media Sponsors: CKUA Radio Network and the Edmonton Journal

Hotel Sponsor: The Westin Hotel Edmonton

Winspear Centre Box Office:

(780)428-1414 or 1-800-563-5081

#4 Winston Churchill Square


Bernard Labadie completed most of his musical training in his native Quˆ©bec City at the School of Music of Laval University as well as the conservatories of Quebec and Montreal.

Much of Labadie's unique reputation is the result of his work with Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Quˆ©bec, which he founded in 1984 and 1985, respectively, and continues to lead as music director to this day. With the two ensembles he regularly tours Canada, the U.S., and Europe. Passionate about opera, Bernard Labadie was Artistic Director of L'Opˆ©ra de Montrˆ©al through the end of the 2005/06 season. Between 1994 and 2003, Labadie was also Artistic and Music Director of L'Opˆ©ra de Quˆ©bec. He embraces the entire Baroque, Classical and Romantic opera repertoire.

Equally at home on the concert stage, Labadie has become a sought-after guest conductor with the major orchestras. Ever since his triumphant debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1999, he has conducted the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as symphonies including the symphonies of San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver. 2007-08 is another season full of noteworthy appearances with such top orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, and the Houston Symphony. His extensive discography includes many recordings on the Dorian label. Other recordings feature his own arrangements of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations and The Art of Fugue, among others. He also appears regularly on radio and television broadcasts on the CBC/Radio-Canada network.

For his achievements, the Canadian government honored him with the appointment as "Officer of the Order of Canada" in 2005 and Quebec made him a "Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Quˆ©bec" in 2006.

Striking mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy made her debut with New York City Opera as Marquise Melibea in Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims. Recent concert engagements have included Messiah for the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Elijah in Montrˆ©al, Les nuits d'ˆ©tˆ© in Bielefeld, Germany and Alexander Nevsky for Orchestra London. Ms. McHardy will appear with the Toronto Symphony in Messiah. In Toulouse, she appears as Phˆ®dre in a rare staging of Hippolyte et Aricie. Minnesota Opera patrons hear her in May of 2009 as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and she returns to Vancouver Opera for a reprise of Olga in Eugene Onegin.

Born in Oshawa, Ontario, she studied voice at Wilfrid Laurier University, earning an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance and an Opera Diploma. She is an alumna of the Merola Programme at the San Francisco Opera the Ensemble Studio of the Canadian Opera Company. This is Ms. McHardy's official debut with the ESO, however she has sung several roles for Edmonton Opera, with the ESO performing, most recently as Mallika in Lakmˆ© in October 2004.

Michael Massey was born in England and emigrated to Canada in 1957. Studies at the University of Alberta earned him a Bachelor of Music degree and the gold medal in piano performance of the Western Board of Music. Following his graduation he spent two years studying at the Geneva Conservatory where he was unanimously awarded the "Premier Prix de Virtuositˆ©." Mr. Massey has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Canada, England and Scotland. He has been the orchestral pianist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for over 25 years. Since 1977, he has been Music Director of the Edmonton Youth Orchestra program. In 1988 and 1996 Mr. Massey wrote and published The Canadian Repertoire Manual, a source book and analysis of Canadian music suitable for youth orchestras. In 2002, for his contribution to the cultural life of the city, Mr. Massey was inducted into the Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame as an Artist’ÄìBuilder and also received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.

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