Oct 25, 2013
Purcell & Carissimi: Tafelmusik Chamber Choir performs first concerts in newly-revitalized Trinity-St. Paul’s, Jeanne Lamon Hall
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“It is the aural equivalent of seeing a video screen in colour after having spent several hours watching something in black-and-white.” — Musical Toronto
From November 6 to 10, the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir gives its first performances in its newly-revitalized home of Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall. Choir Director Ivars Taurins conducts Purcell & Carissimi: Music from London and Rome, a programme featuring the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir and guest soloists, soprano Suzie LeBlanc and tenor Charles Daniels.
During rehearsals in the acoustically-enhanced Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall, Ivars Taurins said, "It has been many years of discussing, dreaming, and hoping for Tafelmusik's home at Trinity St. Paul's to be revitalized not only as a place of worship and community, but also as a state-of-the-art concert venue for Tafelmusik and our Toronto audience. It is truly remarkable that these aspirations have been accomplished in a mere matter of months, creating a space of stunning visual and aural beauty. At Tafelmusik Chamber Choir's first rehearsal this season — as we sang our first notes in the warm, vibrant acoustics — our faces beamed with delight! We look forward to sharing with our audience, through our reinvigorated music-making, our collective joy and excitement about our "new" home.”
Purcell & Carissimi: Music from London and Rome pairs the music of two masters of the seventeenth century, the leading composers of their respective cities. The selection of airs and choruses assembled by Ivars Taurins for the first half of the programme are drawn from one of Purcell’s most famous theatrical works—The Fairy Queen—and from the many odes composed by Purcell for royal and public occasions.
The programme is bookended by two works by Giacomo Carissimi, with the composer’s setting of the psalm Beatus vir scored for two choirs and continuo opening the concerts. Carissimi's magnificent biblical oratorio Jepthe, featuring Charles Daniels in the title role and Suzie LeBlanc in the tragic role of his daughter Filia, closes the programme.
Born in Acadia, the charismatic soprano Suzie LeBlanc provides convincing evidence for the popularity of early music while exploring French mélodies, Lieder, Acadian songs, contemporary music, and the art of improvisation. Ms. LeBlanc has commissioned Canadian composers to write settings of Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry, and these songs were recently released on Centrediscs under the title I Am in Need of Music. Her upcoming performances include recitals with Les Voix Humaines for the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto, Montreal Bach Festival, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and Toronto Masque Theatre.
Charles Daniels is known for his magnificently nuanced and sophisticated musicianship, and his singing and “transcendent vocal virtuosity” (The Guardian) has enthused audiences around the world. His repertoire extends 1150 years from the ninth century to the present day. Born in Salisbury, Daniels received his musical training at King’s College, Cambridge, and the Royal College of Music in London. His more than ninety recordings include Messiah (Gabrieli Consort), The Beggar’s Opera, Schütz Christmas Story, Bach Easter Oratorio (Taverner Consort), and over twenty discs of Purcell’s music.
As part of Tafelmusik’s Baroque Mentors series, public Guest Artist Masterclasses will be offered with Suzie LeBlanc and Charles Daniels on Saturday November 9 from 11 AM to 3 PM. Participants have the opportunity to work with these mentors in public masterclasses and to see them in performance. Tickets for auditors are only $10 and are available at the door. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Tafelmusik’s Baroque Mentors programme is generously supported by the RBC Foundation.
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Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, founded in 1979 and led by Music Director Jeanne Lamon since 1981, is one of the world’s leading period performance ensembles. The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, under the direction of Ivars Taurins, was formed in 1981 to complement the Orchestra. The orchestra performs more than 50 concerts each year at home in Toronto, and travels extensively around the world to such places as this season's tour destinations: Japan and South Korea, Carnegie Hall in New York City, BachFest Leipzig in Germany, and cities across Ontario. The choir and orchestra’s multi-platform recording label Tafelmusik Media was launched in January 2012, along with the Watch and Listen site, Tafelmusik‘s digital concert hall. Tafelmusik has a rich discography of more than 80 CDs recorded on the Sony Classical, CBC Records, Analekta and Tafelmusik Media labels. Since 1991, Tafelmusik has received ten JUNO Awards and a Grammy Award nomination. Tafelmusik is the Baroque Orchestra-in-Residence at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and operates its annual artist training programmes, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and Tafelmusik Winter Institute.