LSM Newswire

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Danielle de Niese celebrates the release of The Mozart Album

Rebecca Davis PR Presents: Danielle de NieseDanielle de Niese celebrates the release of
The Mozart Album
with appearances at
Vogueĺ─˘s Fashionĺ─˘s Night Out and (le) Poisson Rouge

"De Niese has a voice made for Mozart: bright, beautiful, agile and creamy." National Public Radio

New York, NY ĺ─ý On September 8th, 2009, Decca releases The Mozart Album, the hotly anticipated second solo recording from soprano Danielle de Niese. To celebrate the release, Danielle de Niese will be making two special appearances in New York City where she is in town to perform at the Metropolitan Opera as Susanna in Mozartĺ─˘s Le Nozze di Figaro from September 22nd-October 9th. On September 10th, Van Cleef & Arpels will welcome Danielle de Niese to perform in their showroom as part of Vogue magazineĺ─˘s Fashionĺ─˘s Night Out, a global celebration of fashion with special events happening at designer showrooms throughout the city. On October 6th, Danielle de Niese will make a rare appearance off the opera stage at (le) Poisson Rouge in New Yorkĺ─˘s Greenwich Village to perform selections from The Mozart Album together with pianist Cameron Stowe.

An Australianĺ─ýborn American soprano of Dutch and Sri Lankan heritage, the exotically beautiful de Niese has been captivating audiences since childhood, when she was a fixture of Los Angeles local television hosting a weekly arts showcase for teenagers, for which she won an Emmy Award. De Niese was just 18 when she was accepted as the youngest artist ever into the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program of the Metropolitan Opera. She made her Met debut as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, alongside Renłęe Fleming, Bryn Terfel, and Cecilia Bartoli and led by James Levine. On September 22nd of this year, de Niese returns to the Met to perform the leading role of Susanna in the same Jonathan Miller production of Le Nozze di Figaro in which she made her debut over a decade ago.

From the age of 19, when Danielle de Niese made that auspicious Metropolitan Opera debut it was clear that she was destined to be a major Mozart singer, given her extraordinary ability to communicate emotion through her beautiful crystalline voice, personal charisma, star quality and the irresistible force of her personality. So Mozart is a natural next step for de Niese in her recording career following up on her chart-topping debut album of Handel arias released in 2007. The selections on The Mozart Album reflect her career on stage, as well as her own favorite Mozart arias. De Niese was honored to work with Sir Charles Mackerras, a world authority on Mozart, who leads the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

In addition to her engagement with the Metropolitan Opera, the 2009-10 season sees Danielle de Niese performing as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Lyric Opera of Chicago under the direction of Edward Gardner. She also sings the title roles in both Lĺ─˘incoronazione di Poppea with the Teatro Real and Semele with Thłęłótre des Champs Elysłęes. Additionally, Ms. de Niese will tour Europe with the period instrument group Il giardino armonico with an all Handel program with performances in Amsterdam, Vienna, Berlin and Madrid.

Visit Danielle de Niese on her website at and join her more than 1000 friends at

Danielle de Niese at Vogueĺ─˘s Fashionĺ─˘s Night Out
WHEN: Thursday, September 10th at 7:45 pm
WHERE: Van Cleef & Arpels 744 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street
Open to the Public

Danielle de Niese performs at (le) Poisson Rouge
WHERE: Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street, between Thompson & Sullivan, NYC 10012
WHEN: Tuesday, October 6th at 7:30 pm
Phone: 212 505 FISH (3474)
Ticket Hotline: 866 55 TICKETS

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Soprano Measha Brueggergosman recovering well

Soprano Measha Brueggergosman recovering well and will return to performing in August

Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman underwent emergency open-heart surgery on Wednesday, June 10th, 2009.

After experiencing acute pressure in her throat, Ms. Brueggergosman was rushed by ambulance to a Toronto hospital where she was diagnosed with high blood pressure and hypertension and subsequently released. The following day she reported to her family doctor with continued pains in her chest. Her doctor sent her immediately back to the hospital.

Further tests revealed she had a dissection in her aorta and doctors immediately performed open-heart surgery to repair it. Currently, Ms. Brueggergosman is recovering well and is resting under doctorĺ─˘s orders.

As a result, Ms. Brueggergosman was forced to cancel her three appearances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, as well as performances as Bess in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess with Maestro Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Styriarte Festival in Graz, Austria.

Ms. Brueggergosman is expected to enjoy a full recovery and will return to performing on August 9, 2009 at the Shaw Festivalĺ─˘s presentation of An Enchanted Evening.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Laitman's Early Snow in Rising Soprano's Carnegie Debut June 18

Lori Laitman is one of America's most prolific and widely performed composers of art song. She has composed nearly 200 songs, setting the words of classical and contemporary poets. Her cycle, Early Snow, to three poems by Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver, will be presented as part of a program celebrating American song by rising American soprano Courtney Huffman in her solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall on June 18, 2009.

The cycle, commissioned by Dr. Adelaide Whitaker for soprano Jennifer Check, was completed by Laitman in 2003 and saw its premiere at the Juilliard School of Music in April 2003. It was released on Laitman's CD "Becoming a Redwood" in 2006 on the Albany Records label.

The poetry of Mary Oliver, in the words of Steve Brockman and John Campbell of Artsong Update online magazine "...has a psychological subtlety rarely found in romantic poets of the past. These poems... are about being fully alive in this moment and open to present experience." The poems in this cycle reflect on nature, and in speaking about these settings, Laitman says: "My goal in all settings is the primacy of the text. This means that meters shift constantly to follow the natural rhythms of the poem, melodies are structured to emphasize the most important words in a phrase, tempos are flexible and harmonies change to color the emotional content. In this way, every word in every poem is bound inextricably to the music."

Since launching her career in 1991, Laitman's music has been performed frequently in the U.S. and abroad. Some recent US venues include The Frye Art Music and Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA; The Kennedy Center and The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC; Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Hall in New York, NY; and The USC Fisher Art Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. Her discography also continues to grow, with releases on Albany Records, Naxos, Channel Classics and other labels, showcasing the talents of some of today's top musicians.

Laitman recently completed her first full-length opera, "The Scarlet Letter," to poet David Mason's new libretto, based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's literary masterpiece. The opera was commissioned by The University of Central Arkansas and premiered on November 6, 2008 to critical acclaim. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote of the opera: "Composer Lori Laitman has written gorgeous music that works hand-in-glove with the words of librettist David Mason and underpins the very essence of this psychological-social drama...the few arias are at key moments and are stunningly effective."

Early Snow will be performed by soprano Courtney Huffman, the 2008 NATS Artist Award winner, in a program of works by American composers Dominick Argento, Irving Berlin, Tom Cipullo, George Gershwin, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lee Hoiby, Charles Ives, Lori Laitman and Libby Larsen. A consummate vocalist, Huffman made her professional operatic debut to critical acclaim in June 2008 with the Intimate Opera Company of Pasadena, California, as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata. She reprised the role with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra in February 2009 and tackled the demanding role of Teutile in Vivaldi's Motezuma with the Long Beach Opera in 2009 to rave reviews. The soprano made her international debut in Shanghai and Hong-Kong in 2006, followed by a performance of Dalbavie's Sextine Cyclus at the Aspen Music Festival. Her repertoire includes Betty in Lowell Liebermann's Miss Lonelyhearts, Frasquita in Carmen, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, Drusilla in L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Johanna in Sweeney Todd. She has appeared with the Aspen Opera Theater Center, USC Thornton School of Music Opera, and the Illinois Opera Theatre, among others. Courtney Huffman is scheduled to perform a winner's recital at the NATS National Convention in Salt Lake City, UT in July 2010.

Courtney Huffman's Carnegie Hall Debut Solo Recital, with pianist Tali Tadmor.

Date: Thursday, June 18 at 8:00 PM

Place: Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall)

Address: 154 W. 57th Street, New York, NY 10019

Tickets: (212) 247-7800 or order online at:

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Les Idłęes heureuses - Concert annuel de la Passion - Vendredi saint

Concert annuel de la Passion : le Vendredi saint 10 avril 2009 łŢ 17 h łŢ l'łÔglise du Gesł╝

avec la soprano Suzie LeBlanc

Montrłęal, le 19 mars 2009 ĺ─ţ ł─ l'occasion de la semaine sainte qui commłęmore la Passion du Christ, Les Idłęes heureuses prłęsente un concert le Vendredi saint 10 avril łŢ 17 h łŢ l'łÔglise du Gesł╝. Suzie LeBlanc, la cłęlł«bre soprano canadienne, est l'une des interprł«tes vedettes de ce programme de musique religieuse baroque. Matthew Jennejonh, hautbois d'amour, se joint comme soliste aux musiciens de l'ensemble des Idłęes heureuses dans plusieurs pił«ces de ce programme. Depuis 2005, Les Idłęes heureuses souhaite łętablir une tradition au centre-ville de Montrłęal en prłęsentant dans sa słęrie rłęgulił«re les Vendredis saints aprł«s-midis, un concert dont les pił«ces se rłęfł«rent au Carłüme et łŢ la Passion.

Suzie LeBlanc

Partageant son temps entre le concert, la scł«ne lyrique, l'enregistrement, l'enseignement et la recherche, Suzie LeBlanc a explorłę et enregistrłę nombre de rłępertoires inłędits, notamment une collection d'airs romains du 17e sił«cle, Amor Roma (ATMA Classique) et Lagrime Amare (Teldec). Sa discographie rłęcente comprend des lieders de Mozart avec Yannick Nezet-Seguin (ATMA), Die ZauberflłĆte (Pamina) avec La Petite Bande (BAYER) et Membra Jesu Nostri de Buxtehude (ATMA) avec Les Voix Baroques sous la direction d'Alexander Weimann, gagnant du Prix Opus pour la musique ancienne, ainsi que Chants de terre et de ciel (Olivier Messiaen), disponible en octobre 2008 sur ATMA Classique. Elle assure la direction artistique de l'ensemble Le Nouvel Opłęra en rłęsidence au Conservatoire de musique de Montrłęal et enseigne le chant baroque łŢ la Facultłę de Musique de l'Universitłę de Montrłęal. Le rłęcent film de Rodrigue Jean, Lost Song, dans lequel Suzie LeBlanc joue le rłąle titre fłęminin a remportłę le Prix du meilleur long młętrage canadien du Festival international du film de Toronto (FIFT) et le Prix de la meilleure ëýuvre acadienne moyen ou long młętrage au Festival international de cinłęma francophone en Acadie.


Cette annłęe, le programme fait place łŢ trois compositeurs baroques allemands majeurs et contemporains : J.S. BACH (1685 ĺ─ý 1750), C. GRAUPNER (1683 ĺ─ý 1760) et G.P. TELEMANN (1681 ĺ─ý 1767). Il met l'emphase sur le hautbois d'amour (un hautbois en la, c'est-łŢ-dire łŢ la tierce mineure infłęrieure par rapport au hautbois) dont la sonoritłę sombre et chaleureuse, douce et envoł¬tante, convient particulił«rement au temps liturgique de la Passion. Son qualificatif "d'amour" provient de sa tendresse un peu młęlancolique qui se marie si bien avec la musique łŢ caractł«re pastoral. Son łępanouissement se fait surtout en Allemagne dans la premił«re moitiłę du XVIIIe sił«cle et sa premił«re utilisation rłęfłęrencłęe avec son nom est dans une cantate Graupner composłęe en 1717 (un an avant la cantate au programme).

C. Graupner

De C. Graupner, Les Idłęes heureuses interprłętera une cantate composłęe en 1718 pour le quatrił«me dimanche du Carłüme, pour soprano solo, cordes et hautbois d'amour obligłę. Le poł«me de Conrad Lichtenberg est basłę sur le psaume 102. Il s'agit de la 26e cantate de Graupner du rłępertoire de l'ensemble depuis 2002. On entendra aussi des extraits de la cantate pour le Vendredi saint composłęe la młüme annłęe pour la młüme formation. Compositeur prolixe de musique d'łęglise (mille quatre cent vingt-trois cantates), Graupner joue sur une grande intłęrioritłę, oł╝ l'łęcriture młüle austłęritłę et accents intimes.

G.P. Telemann

G. P. Telemann a łęcrit au fil de sa vie 46 Passions sur les textes des łęvangłęlistes Marc, Matthieu et Luc. Un air avec flł¬te łŢ bec obligłę et soprano de sa Passion selon saint-Luc de 1737 est au programme.

J.S. Bach

La suite en do mineur pour clavecin de J.S. BACH peut sembler hors-propos, mais ses diffłęrents mouvements (prłęlude ĺ─ý fugue ĺ─ý sarabande ĺ─ý gigue et double), intercalłęs entre les pił«ces vocales se rłęvł«leront łütre de vłęritables moments de młęditation. Selon la brillante thł«se du musicologue qułębłęcois Guy Marchand[1], la fugue de cette suite serait en fait un microcosme de la Passion selon saint-Matthieu et le cëýur emblłęmatique de la pensłęe musico-religieuse de Bach. Le Č┤ complexe thłęmatique Ȭ de cette fugue illustre l'interprłętation luthłęrienne de la Passion. Le thł«me de la sarabande s'avł«re par ailleurs une paraphrase du dernier chëýur de la Passion selon Saint-Matthieu.

łÔglise du Gesł╝

L'łęglise du Gesł╝ (Jłęsus en italien), oł╝ Les Idłęes heureuses se produit pour la premił«re fois, est la seule łęglise entił«rement de style baroque łŢ Montrłęal. Elle a łętłę construite en 1865. Ce cadre magnifique, dans le centre-ville de Montrłęal, convient parfaitement au moment de recueillement musical proposłę en ce jour de commłęmoration de la mort du Christ.

Les Idłęes heureuses

Fondłę en 1987, Les Idłęes heureuses a produit plus de 100 concerts dans dans sa słęrie rłęgulił«re au centre-ville de Montrłęal. Une centaine d'autres concerts ont łętłę diffusłęs dans les maisons de la culture de l'łĂle de Montrłęal, aux łÔtats-Unis, ainsi que, depuis 2004, dans les plus importants festivals de musique baroques europłęens (Bruges, Bruxelles, Ambronay, Pontoise, Picardie, Modena, etc.). Placłę sous la direction artistique et musicale de Genevił«ve Soly, Les Idłęes heureuses se distingue par sa recherche de rłępertoire baroque inłędit, interprłętłę devant un public słęduit par la redłęcouverte et par ses concerts commentłęs.

C. GRAUPNER : Choral Jesus dein Kreutz will ich halten et Air Ans Kreutz zum Todt pour soprano, hautbois d'amour et continuo, extraits de la cantate Christus hat uns erlłĆset - pour le Vendredi saint (Darmstadt, 1718) ; Herr, hłĆre mein Gebet, cantate pour soprano, hautbois d'amour, 2 violons, alto et continuo pour le dimanche Laetare (1718) ;

J.S. BACH: Suite en do mineur (BWV 997) ;

G.P. TELEMANN : Aria Bringe mich zu deinen Herden pour soprano, flł¬te łŢ bec soprano, cordes et continuo, extrait de la Passion selon Saint-Luc (Hamburg, 1737).

Suzie LeBlanc, soprano, Hłęlł«ne Plouffe et Olivier Brault, violons - Jacques-Andrłę Houle, alto - Isabelle Bozzini, violoncelle - Nicolas Lessard, contrebasse - Natalie Michaud, flute łŢ bec - Matthew Jennejohn, hautbois d'amour - Genevił«ve Soly, orgue continuo, clavecin solo et direction musicale.

łÔglise du Gesł╝, 1202 rue de Bleury, młętro Place-des-arts

Billets : rłęgulier : 30 $ - ałĂnłę (65 ans et plus) : 25 $ - łętudiant : 10 $

INFORMATION : 514 843 5881 -

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Edith Wiens Voice Masterclasses

Order of Canada soprano presents masterclasses at Faculty of Music

TORONTO ĺ─ý The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto presents renowned soprano Edith Wiens in masterclasses with students of voice and opera. On Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24, the soprano will coach students singing opera, oratorio, and Lieder repertoire. Other stops on Wiens' 2009 teaching tour include masterclasses at Juilliard and the Royal College of Music in London.

*Edith Wiens was born in Saskatoon and educated at Oberlin, making her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1981. As a soprano in the concert field, Wiens has performed with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Sir Neville Marriner, and Sir Georg Solti, and appeared at many major music festivals. She has sung with many major London and North American orchestras, as well as the Israeli Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Dresden State Orchestra. In Canada Wiens has sung with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights of Wiens' busy recording career include Bach cantatas and the St. Matthew Passion with conductor Helmuth Rilling, multiple recordings of Mozart's Mass in C Minor, numerous discs of German song, and the album Ae Fond Kiss with CBC Records.

In recital, Wiens favoured works by Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, and Strauss, but her repertoire extended to Gershwin, Stephen Foster, and North American folksongs. She made her Toronto recital debut in 1994, a year in which she also gave masterclasses at the University of Toronto. She was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2000.

Monday, March 23, 12:10 pm, Walter Hall, and
Tuesday, March 24, 12:10 - 2:30pm, Geiger Torel Room

Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queens Park. Free admission.

*with materials from and the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Jeri Brown, soprano & Roddy Ellias, guitar

Jeri Brown, soprano & Roddy Ellias, guitar

The Concordia University Department of Music isČŢproud to present Improvised Musical Journeys Čé A Concert for Voice andČŢGuitar, with Jeri Brown & Roddy Ellias. The concert will take place at theČŢOscar Peterson Concert Hall (7141 Sherbrooke Street West) on March 11, 2009ČŢat 8:00 p.m.

Internationally acclaimed jazz vocal artist Jeri Brown teams up with poeticČŢguitarist Roddy Ellias for the first time in a long overdue collaboration ofČŢimprovised musical journeys. Repertoire will be drawn from compositions ofČŢcontemporary composers, songs from the great American songbook as well asČŢoriginal compositions. Sound designer Mark Corwin will record the concertČŢfor future CD release.

Tickets for Improvised Musical Journeys Čé A Concert for Voice and Guitar are
available on the Admission network (514-790-1245 ĺăĘ and atČŢthe concert hall box office: $15 regular, $10 for University staff, $5 forČŢseniors and non-Concordia students, and free for Concordia students with IDČŢ(service charges applicable). For more information, call 514-848-4848.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shannon Mercer & Skye Consort - Chansons galloises - AN2 9965

Montrłęal, le 24 fłęvrier 2009 ĺ─´ Shannon Mercer, l'une des łętoiles montantes les plus brillantes de l'univers lyrique canadien, qu'on retrouve notamment sur l'enregistrement Analekta Bach et l'annłęe liturgique, en nomination pour un Juno 2009, nous propose ici une incursion dans la musique folklorique galloise en compagnie du Skye Consort.

Pour ceux qui connaissent Shannon Mercer comme chanteuse classique, ce choix peut sembler łętrange. Pourtant, cette culture a modelłę sa vie. Č┤ Cette musique, cette culture et ce patrimoine gallois sont justement les raisons pour lesquelles je suis devenue chanteuse, explique-t-elle. Mon pł«re avait toujours dłęmontrłę sa passion et son amour de la musique. Il dłęcouvrit l'Ottawa Welsh Society et commenł▀a łŢ chanter avec les Gwalia Singers. Petite fille, j'ai pu poursuivre cette tradition et, łŢ l'łóge de 15 ans, j'ai voyagłę jusqu'łŢ Llangollen, au Pays de Galles pour participer au Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Ȭ

Les chants choisis pour cet enregistrement datent du dłębut du XIXe sił«cle et se veulent un młęlange de pages familił«res et moins connues. Ils transcendent les łępoques et les genres, mais surtout racontent le płęriple d'un peuple passionnłę, łŢ travers des thł«mes de jeunesse innocente et d'amour, de joie et de peine, de naissance et de mort. Ils abordent aussi bien les multiples visages de l'amour ĺ─ý comme dans Y Deryn Pur, Fenyw Fwyn ou la cłęlł«bre berceuse galloise Suo Głón ĺ─ý que l'importance des souvenirs dans le folklore gallois ĺ─ý comme le dłęmontrent Y GëÁydd, dans lequel une vieille femme łęvoque ses łępreuves que dans le lancinant Dafydd y Gareg Wen. Les arrangements de ces airs, certains conł▀us pour łütre chantłęs et d'autres dansłęs, ont łętłę travaillłęs par Seł░n Dagher afin de redłęfinir harmonie, contrechant et rythme.

Encensłęe par la critique internationale pour son łętonnant talent, Shannon Mercer a łętłę salułęe comme Č┤ l'une des plus prometteuses jeunes sopranos au Canada Ȭ et l'une des Č┤ Leaders du futur Ȭ (Maclean's). On a dłęcrit sa voix comme chatoyante, lumineuse et scintillante ainsi que soulignłę la finesse, l'esprit et le piquant de son jeu. Au cours de la saison 2008-2009, Shannon a participłę łŢ plusieurs productions de La Flł¬te enchantłęe łŢ Hamilton, Toronto, Victoria et London (Ontario) mais a aussi chantłę avec le Vancouver Chamber Choir, Symphony Nova Scotia, Les Violons du Roy ainsi qu'en concert lors de la OffCentre Series de Toronto.

Fondłę en 1999, Skye Consort se produit en tournłęe, participe łŢ des festivals de musique de chambre et łŢ des słęries de concerts dans l'est du Canada et aux łÔtats-Unis. L'ensemble s'est fixłę pour but d'insuffler l'esthłętique et l'intłęrłüt de la musique savante łŢ des musiques du monde de diverses traditions.

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Shannon Mercer & Skye Consort - Wales, The Land of Song - AN2 9965

Montreal, February 24, 2009 ĺ─´ Shannon Mercer, one of Canada's most promising brilliant rising stars, featured recently on the Analekta recording Bach and the Liturgical Year, nominated for a Juno, invites us to discover the Welsh folksong repertoire with the Skye Consort.

To those who know the singer as a classical vocalist, this album may seem odd but this is the culture that shaped her path in life. "This music, this Welsh culture and heritage is the reason I became a singer," she explains. "My father always showed a passion and love for music. He discovered the Ottawa Welsh Society and began to sing with the Gwalia Singers. As a girl, I was able to carry on this inherited tradition when, at the age of 15, I travelled to Llangollen, Wales to sing in the prestigious Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod."

The folksongs presented on this recording, a mix of familiar and not-so-familiar, date back to the 1800s. They transcend time and gender, melding themes of innocent youth and love, joy and sadness, birth and death and tell the journey of an honest and passionate people. Love is a common theme ĺ─ý as in Y Deryn Pur, Fenyw Fwyn or the famous Welsh lullaby Suo Głónĺ─ýas memory, as in the old maid who is tediously weaving on the loom as she recalls her hardships in Y GëÁydd or the tragic and haunting Dafydd y Gareg Wen. Many of these songs, whether song melodies or dance tunes, are very well-known and Seł░n Dagher spent a great deal of time deciding which elements of previous arrangements (harmony, counter-melody, even rhythm) to keep and which to set aside.

Critically acclaimed by the international press for her musical artistry, Shannon Mercer has been hailed as "one of Canada's most promising young sopranos" and a "Leader of Tomorrow" (Maclean's). The 2008-2009 season features Shannon in multiple productions of The Magic Flute including performances in Hamilton, Toronto, Victoria, and London (Ontario). Season highlights include concerts with the OffCentre Series in Toronto, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Symphony Nova Scotia, and Les Violons du Roy.

Skye Consort was formed in 1999 and since then has toured and participated in music festivals and concert series across eastern Canada and the United States. The group's goal is to bring art-music aesthetic and interest to the music of different world traditions.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cecilia Bartoli: 2nd Show Added

Roy Thomson Hallĺ─˘s 08-09 International Vocal Recitals

1st show SOLD OUT; 2nd performance added

Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano

With Orchestra La Scintilla of Zł║rich Opera

On Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 7 PM / Roy Thomson Hall

(Sunday, March 1 at 2 PM is sold out)

Tickets on sale to FriendsFirst members Friday December 12 at 10 AM

To the Public on Monday, December 15 at 10 AM

$195 - $75 - Call 416-872-4255 or online at

Or visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office

Due to the very high demand for tickets to Cecilia Bartoli's concert on March 1 at 2:00 pm, Roy Thomson Hall is pleased to announce that Ms. Bartoli has agreed to perform a 2nd concert the same day at 7:00 PM. Tickets go on sale to the public on Monday, December 15 at 10 AM.

Cecilia Bartoli is one of the worldĺ─˘s most cherished and celebrated classical artists and undisputedly the most famous mezzo-soprano of her generation. Her two upcoming recitals, 2 PM and 7 PM, at Roy Thomson Hall on March 1, 2009 celebrate the life and roles of 19th century opera diva Maria Malibran (1808-1836), a superstar of her era and muse for such composers as Rossini and Donizetti.

Ms. Bartoli is joined by the 25-member Orchestra La Scintilla of Zł║rich Opera, a distinguished period instrument ensemble, for a program drawn from Ms. Bartoliĺ─˘s award-winning album Maria, and includes works by Garcia, Persiani, Mendelssohn, Rossini, Donizetti, Balfe, Beriot and Malibran. The orchestra will be led by concertmaster Ada Pesch.

The 2 PM performance is sponsored by RBC

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Contemporary soprano artist Sarena Paton releases her latest CD, La Carissima

Contemporary soprano artist Sarena Paton releases her latest CD, La Carissima, bringing a new genre of classical-crossover to Canada.

Toronto ĺ─ý December 09, 2008

Contemporary soprano artist Sarena Paton releases her latest CD La Carissima, bringing a fresh and compelling genre of classical-crossover to Canada. After the success of her two albums Remember and Almost Like Love, La Carissima offers a mix of classical and cosmopolitan flair, available at iTunes this February 2009.

This March/April 2009, Sarena embarks on her Southern/Central Ontario tour, followed by her maritime tour, slated for this July/August. In addition, Sarena is collaborating with international EMI recording artist, counter-tenor Fernando Lima (who is currently touring with Sarah Brightman), as well as Welsh-born West End musical ČéČéČétheatre star Peter Karrie (Phantom of the Opera, Man of La Mancha and Les Misłęrables).

Trained as a classical soprano, Sarena Paton developed a fascination for foreign languages and repertoire. La Carissima is a collaboration with Nashville producer/writer Terry Sawchuk (who also produced the albums of Matt Dusk), uniting her classical background with a more contemporary vibe.

La Carissima, features classical arias in Italian and Latin and breathtaking crossover compositions in Italian, Spanish and English, penned by Paton and top Canadian and American songwriters in the classical-crossover genre. Recorded with the rich bold, sound of a Russian orchestra, La Carissima appeals to classical and pop lovers alike.

This December 23, 2008, Sarena will sing the national anthem at the World Junior Hockey Championships at Copps Coliseum, Hamilton. For the second year, she joined tenor John McDermott and Cape Breton songstress Rita MacNeil on their annual Christmas tours. Sarena recently appeared in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and performed throughout southern Ontario, including an engagement at Queenĺ─˘s Park (Toronto), as part of Remembrance Day ceremonies.

With a long-standing interest and involvement with the WWII Veterans, Sarena released her previous album Remember, produced by J. Richard Hutt, in honour of the veterans and peacekeepers of the past and present, especially those serving in Afghanistan. Aside from producing her own concerts, Sarena is one of the founding team members of the Remembrance Day concert tradition, which takes place at the Ronald V. Joyce Centre (Hamilton Place) every year.

Sarenaĺ─˘s commitment to the veterans attracted the attention of Veterans Affairs Canada and she was invited to perform at the prestigious Senate Ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa during Veterans Week in 2006. Sarena has been honoured to sing one of her singles Honor Thy Fallen, written for fallen soldiers, firefighters, O.P.P. officers and RCMP, at a number of memorial services.

At the age of sixteen, Sarena made her first appearance as a soprano soloist with the Boris Brott National Academy Orchestra. The following year, she presented her debut recital with songs in 6 languages. She appeared at the 8th International Mozart Festival in Salzburg, Austria; she took the stage alongside Jim Witter in Memories of a Winterĺ─˘s Eve; and she performed the role of Christine Daae in the Canadian Phantom Unmasked tour with Peter Karrie.

Sarena Paton has performed as a part of a backup ensemble for international music icons such as Susan Aglukark, Paul Anka, Sarah Brightman, Reba McEntire, Frank Mills, The Nylons, Roch Voisine and Michelle Wright.

Sarena toured France, Switzerland and Germany with a 20-piece band, playing the Montreux Jazz Festival, ZMF Festival and the Juno Beach Memorial. Last year, she was the soloist at the 2007 World Synchronized Skating Championships and the 2007 Canadian International Military Tattoo.

Sarena Paton is also a recognized actress who recently completed filming Sons of Eden, a short independent film by writer/director Izabela Ciesinska. In summer 2009, Sarena begins shooting the feature film Bounce, with director/writer/producer Kenneth Olsen. In her youth, Sarena played the recurring role of Velma Bugle on the Canadian classic television series Road to Avonlea. In addition to her 5-year spot on the renowned CBC childrenĺ─˘s series Mr. Dress-Up, she also appeared in Ready or Not, Katts and Dog and the feature film Fly Away Home.

For more information, visit and

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Friday, December 5, 2008

The late Birgit Nilsson donates biggest Prize in classical music history

The late Birgit Nilsson donates biggest Prize in classical music history

Stockholm, December 5th, 2008 ĺ─ý The Birgit Nilsson Foundation announces today the establishment of the Birgit Nilsson Prize as the biggest prize in classical music history. It was the wish of the legendary Swedish dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson to award outstanding achievements in the international field of opera and concert with a prize in the amount of one million dollars. The first Prize winner will be announced in 2009.

In the early eighties, towards the end of her long and distinguished career, the legendary Swedish dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson decided to establish a foundation for a Prize to be awarded every second or third year in the amount of one million dollars for outstanding achievements by:

ĺ─ý A singer in the field of opera and/or concert and/or oratorio

ĺ─ý A conductor in the classical field of opera and/or concert

ĺ─ý A specific production by an opera company, as long as this production is outstandingly cast and conducted and, most importantly, staged in the spirit of the composer.

The name of the first prize winner, chosen by Birgit Nilsson herself, is being kept in a sealed envelope until the official announcement to be made in early 2009.

According to the provisions of the Birgit Nilsson Foundation, its Council shall appoint a jury consisting of prominent figures in the classical music field for a three-year term. The jury shall give its recommendation to the Foundation Council, which will make the final decision. In keeping with Ms Nilsson's wishes, the Prize may be given to two designees, in which case the Prize is split in half. Also, the Prize may never be awarded to the same person twice.

Birgit Nilsson (1918ĺ─ý2005) was the world's leading dramatic soprano of her time, excelling in the operas of Wagner (ĺ─˙The Ring Cycleĺ─¨, ĺ─˙Tristan und Isoldeĺ─¨ ĺ─˙Tannhłžuserĺ─¨ and ĺ─˙Lohengrinĺ─¨), Strauss (ĺ─˙Salomeĺ─¨, ĺ─˙Elektraĺ─¨ and ĺ─˙Die Frau ohne Schattenĺ─¨), Puccini (ĺ─˙Toscaĺ─¨ and ĺ─˙Turandotĺ─¨), Verdi (ĺ─˙Aidaĺ─¨, ĺ─˙Un Ballo in Mascheraĺ─¨ and ĺ─˙Macbethĺ─¨) as well as many other operas.

During her legendary career, she performed regularly at major opera houses like

Stockholm, Bayreuth, Vienna, Milan, London, Paris, Munich, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Buenos Aires and others.

Following her debut at the Stockholm Opera in 1946, her international career began in the early fifties with debuts in Glyndebourne, Bayreuth, Vienna and Munich, to be followed by debuts in North and South America in the mid-fifties. Her opening of La Scala season 1958 as Turandot, her 1959 New York debut as Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera and her performances as Isolde and Brunhilde in Wieland Wagner's productions in Bayreuth were considered milestones in her career.

Ms. Nilsson took her farewell from the operatic stage in the role of Elektra in 1982.

Further information on the Birgit Nilsson Prize and pictures of Birgit Nilsson on

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Aria from Lori Laitman's 'The Scarlet Letter' to Premiere in London England

Aria from Lori Laitman's 'The Scarlet Letter' to Premiere in London England

British Mezzo-soprano Katherine Marriott will perform the "Witch's Dance" aria from Lori Laitman's new opera, 'The Scarlet Letter'. The opera saw its world premiere at The University of Central Arkansas a mere month ago, and has already been hailed as a significant and exciting new work. "This great story seems be on its way to becoming great opera...." said Ellis Widner of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette following the opera's world premiere in November.

Katherine Marriott selected the aria for inclusion for her upcoming recital titled 'Seduction and the Dark Arts' to be performed on December 5th at The Red Hedgehog in Highgate, London, England. Upon receiving the aria from the composer, she reflected: "The aria is fabulous to sing, a real tour-de-force. The witch is gloriously, not simply, a catalyst. It's easy to find a strong personality in there, and the writing lends itself to finding many different colours in the toneĺ─Â And David Mason is wonderful as the librettist - strikes exactly the right balance or lyricism and "speaking" tone, so it sounds neither dated nor banal! "

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Recital celebrates 50th anniversary of Lois Marshall in Russia


TORONTO - Lois Marshall was one of the best known Canadian sopranos of her generation. She has sung in the worldĺ─˘s finest performance halls under such conductors as Toscanini, Sargent, Beecham, MacMillan, Stokowski, and Barbirolli. In October 1958, Marshall became the first North American singer ever to tour the Soviet Union exclusively as a recitalist, and her route took her from Moscow to Riga, Leningrad, Kiev, and back to Moscow. On Friday, November 14, the University of Toronto is proud to present Russian Nights, a voice recital celebrating the 50th anniversary of that historic event. Featuring faculty soprano Lorna MacDonald and pianist Che Anne Loewen, the program is a compilation of Marshallĺ─˘s Russian tours between 1958 and 1977, including lieder by Schubert, Britten and Richard Strauss; arias by Handel and Puccini, as well as folksong arrangements.

The recital takes place at 7:30 pm in Walter Hall in the Edward Johnson Building at 80 Queenĺ─˘s Park. Tickets ($25 adults and $15 seniors/students) can be purchased at the box office in person or by calling 416-978-3744.

Professor of Voice and Voice Pedagogy at the University of Toronto, soprano Lorna MacDonald holds the Lois Marshall Chair in Voice Studies and is head of Voice Studies at the Faculty of Music. She enjoys a career of distinction as a lyric-coloratura soprano and voice teacher, and has sung across Canada and the US, in Wales, Taiwan, France, Ireland, the UK, Germany, and Bermuda. Her acclaimed performances have been broadcast on CBC, PBS and NPR. The Halifax Chronicle-Herald has praised her performances of Mozart and Buxtehude as having ĺ─˙freshness of toneĺ─Âclarity of style and dictionĺ─Âbeautifully expressive musicianshipĺ─Âserved by a perfection of technical mastery.ĺ─¨ As a teacher, Lorna initiated many successful and innovative additions to the voice studies curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her record has been recognized with Ontarioĺ─˘s prestigious OCUFA Award for ĺ─˙teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to university teachingĺ─¨.

Che Anne Loewen, originally from Steinbach, Manitoba, is a collaborative pianist of breadth and authority. She has performed throughout Canada and in Europe with many singers and instrumentalists, including Jean Stilwell, Catherine Robbin, Gary Relyea, and Measha Brueggergosman. She has been heard many times over the CBC and has been praised in the press for ĺ─˙her brilliant supportĺ─¨ (The Globe and Mail), ĺ─˙truly exquisite articulationĺ─¨ (Fredericton Daily Gleaner) and ĺ─˙her subtlety and nuanceĺ─¨ (Halifax Chronicle-Herald).

Featuring music faculty members, the Faculty Artist Series has a long tradition of presenting some of Canadaĺ─˘s most celebrated artists and is considered one of the finest recital series in Toronto. For more information on this or other Faculty of Music concert series, please visit our website at or contact the Box Office at 416-978-3744.


Ticket sales and general inquiries:
Faculty of Music Box Office
Hours: 1 ĺ─ý 7 pm, Monday to Friday, with extended hours on performance nights.
Phone: 416-978-3744
Address: Lobby level, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queenĺ─˘s Park, Toronto ON M5S 2C5

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Monday, November 3, 2008

L'Orchestre Internazionale d'Italia łŢ Montrłęal !

Directement dĺ─˘Italie et
pour la premił«re fois au Canada

Lĺ─˘Orchestra Internazionale dĺ─˘Italia
Avec artistes invitłęs :
Francesca Ruospo, soprano
Claudio Marcotulli, guitare

10 novembre 2008, 20 h
łÔglise St.James United
460, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montrłęal
Młętro Place-des-Arts

Billets : 25 $ rłęgulier / 20 $ łÔtudiant-AłĂnłę
Billetterie et renseignements : 514.848.9696

Montrłęal, 3 octobre 2008 ĺ─ý De la grande visite sĺ─˘amł«ne łŢ Montrłęal le 10 novembre prochain ! En effet, pour cłęlłębrer le 150e anniversaire de naissance du cłęlł«bre compositeur Giacomo Puccini, le rłęputłę Orchestra Internazionale dĺ─˘Italia, dirigłę par le chef dĺ─˘orchestre canadien Kerry Stratton prłęsentera un concert łŢ lĺ─˘łÔglise Unie Saint-James dans le cadre de la toute premił«re tournłęe canadienne de lĺ─˘orchestre.

Se joigneront łŢ lĺ─˘orchestre le talentueux guitariste italien Claudio Marcotulli ainsi que la soprano Francesca Ruospo, prłęsentłęe avec la permission de lĺ─˘Accademia Teatro Alla Scala.

Au programme, quelques-uns des plus cłęlł«bres airs de Puccini, Rossini et Rodrigo, ainsi que deux ëýuvres prłęsentłęes en grande premił«re canadienne de deux compositeurs italiens, commandes de RAI trade. Une soirłęe magique aux effluves dĺ─˘Italie łŢ ne pas rater !

Orchestra Internazionale dĺ─˘Italia
Fondłę en 1986, lĺ─˘Orchestre international dĺ─˘Italie (Orchestra Internazionale dĺ─˘Italia) est une łęmanation de lĺ─˘Orchestre mondial des Jeunesses Musicales. Il sĺ─˘est produit un peu partout en Europe, en Amłęrique latine et an Asie, tant dans des festivals que dans les salles les plus prestigieuses. Il a donnłę łŢ ce jour plus de 900 concerts et participłę łŢ de nombreuses productions lyriques. Il a łętłę dirigłę par plusieurs chefs rłęputłęs et accompagnłę des solistes qui comptent parmi les plus cłęlł«bres de notre łępoque. En 1997, il a reł▀u le Prix europłęen de la culture pour les orchestres. Son port dĺ─˘attache est lĺ─˘antique et magnifique citłę de Fermo situłęe dans les Marches au cëýur de lĺ─˘Italie, tout prł«s de lĺ─˘Adriatique. Depuis 2003, il est lĺ─˘orchestre en rłęsidence du Teatro Venditio Basso łŢ Ascoli Piceno. Lĺ─˘orchestre nous arrive tout droit dĺ─˘Italie oł╝ il a donnłę des concerts sous la direction de Maestro Stratton les 24, 25 et 26 octobre.

Francesca Ruospo
Laurłęate de nombreux prix, la soprano Francesca Ruospo sĺ─˘est formłęe łŢ lĺ─˘Acadłęmie de la Scala de Milan. Elle a chantłę dans plusieurs villes italiennes, ainsi quĺ─˘łŢ Londres, Chicago, Abou Dhabi, Płękin et au Parlement europłęen. Elle fait ses dłębuts au Canada peu de temps aprł«s avoir tenu le rłąle de La Comtesse dans une production des Noces de Figaro prłęsentłęe łŢ la Scala.

Claudio Marcotulli
Le guitariste italien Claudio Marcotulli, est considłęrłę comme lĺ─˘un des guitaristes les plus exceptionnels de sa głęnłęration pour la qualitłę de ses exłęcutions et de son captivant choix de rłępertoire. En 1984, il fut laurłęat du concours Renłę Bartoli ainsi que le premier prix łŢ la compłętition F. Tarrega d'Espagne. Claudio Marcotulli participłę łŢ plusieurs tournłęes mondiales et compte plusieurs albums łŢ son actif sous łętiquette Tres. Il a notamment donnłę plusieurs concerts avec lĺ─˘Orchestra Internazionale dĺ─˘Italia et le grand tłęnor italien Luciano Pavarotti.


Orchestra Internazionale dĺ─˘Italia
Tournłęe canadienne :

2 novembre: Port Hope, Ontario
3 novembre: Toronto, Ontario
4 novembre: Welland, Ontario
5 novembre: Orillia, Ontario
6 novembre: Markham, Ontario
7 novembre: Milton, Ontario
8 novembre: Barrie, Ontario
9 novembre: Richmond Hill, Ontario
10 novembre: Montrłęal, Qułębec

La tournłęe canadienne de lĺ─˘Orchestra Internazionale dĺ─˘Italie est prłęsentłęe par International Touring Productions et le International Resource Centre for Performing Arts.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Giorgia Fumanti en concerts au Qułębec pour le temps des Fłütes

Aprł«s avoir fait un malheur aux Jeux olympiques de Beijing

Giorgia Fumanti

nous revient pour une

słęrie de concerts du temps des Fłütes!

Montrłęal, le 30 octobre 2008 ĺ─ý De retour łŢ la maison aprł«s avoir łęlectrisłę des millions de Chinois łŢ lĺ─˘occasion de młęmorables prestations livrłęes aux Jeux olympiques de Płękin et au Nanning International Folk Song Art Festival, voilłŢ que lĺ─˘envoł¬tante soprano qułębłęcoise dĺ─˘origine italienne Giorgia Fumanti est łŢ mettre au point les derniers prłęparatifs en vue dĺ─˘une mini-tournłęe de concerts aux couleurs du temps des Fłütes, quĺ─˘elle sĺ─˘apprłüte łŢ effectuer dans quelques salles et łęglises de la Belle province. Une occasion en or (etĺ─ en art!) de voir et, surtout, dĺ─˘entendre de prł«s celle qui a dłęsormais lĺ─˘habitude de briller devant plusieurs milliers de spectateurs, sur les scł«nes comptant parmi les plus prestigieuses au monde.

Si elle est des plus fił«res dĺ─˘offrir prochainement aux Qułębłęcois un tout premier album de langue franł▀aise (Je Suis, en magasin le 18 novembre), reste que son ultime plaisir rłęside dans ce partage dĺ─˘łęmotions quĺ─˘elle vit avec son premier public, le public dĺ─˘ici, lorsquĺ─˘elle ne fait quĺ─˘un avec la scł«ne. Pour lĺ─˘heure, les dates et les endroits suivants de cette Č┤ rentrłęe Ȭ qułębłęcoise ont łętłę confirmłęs :

Le samedi 29 novembre | 20 h ĺ─ý łÔglise de la Purification

445, rue Notre-Dame, łŢ Repentigny
Infos : Isba Music, łÔdith Provost 450.669.4088

Le dimanche 30 novembre | 15 h ĺ─ý łÔglise Saint-Joseph-de-Chambly

164, rue Martel , łŢ Chambly
Infos : 450.658.1568 ou 819.679.0313

Le samedi 6 dłęcembre | 20 h ĺ─ý Chapelle Saint-łÔdouard

364, Chemin Knowlton, au Lac Brome
Infos : 450.242.2870 ĺ─ý Sans frais : 1.877.242.2870

Le dimanche 7 dłęcembre | 15 h 30 ĺ─ý łÔglise de Val-Morin

6149 rue Morin, łŢ Val-Morin

Infos : Isba Music, łÔdith Provost 450.669.4088

Le dimanche 21 dłęcembre | 19 h ĺ─ý Thłęłótre du Vieux-Terrebonne

866, rue Saint-Pierre, łŢ Terrebonne

Billets en vente : ł─ la billetterie du Thłęłótre du Vieux-Terrebonne
450.492.4777 ĺ─ý Sans frais : 1.866.404.4777

Par internet :, ou au 514.790.1245

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