Classical Music Consort Present Handelfest 2011 - Art Life and Stilettos
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Classical Music Consort Present Handelfest 2011

Classical Music Consort Present Handelfest 2011

What’s not to like about a group of twenty-somethings performing the music of a twenty-something, for their fellow twenty-somethings? The Classical Music Consort got Toronto audiences buzzing last summer with its Underground /Opera production of Orlando Lunaire, and will be once again delivering the goods with its 2011 Second Annual Springtime Handel Festival.Alongside the Toronto premiere of 22-year-old Handel’s first oratorio will be a national singing competition for young Handelians under the age of 30. Six young singers have been carefully selected to take part in the festival’s final concert, competing for a $2,000 cash prize in front of an illustrious panel and a discerning audience.

Handel MemeYou are invited to attend the competition tonight, Sunday May 8, at 8pm, Trinity College Chapel, University of Toronto. This should be a very exciting competition and performance, especially if the singers offer up some infrequently performed Handelian jewels. The competition will be adjudicated by a distinguished panel of Canadian artists, professors and artistic directors that includes Dr. Darryl Edwards Head of Vocal Studies, University of Toronto; Shannon Mercer Soprano; Stephen Ralls Artistic Director, Aldeburgh Connection; Wayne Strongman Managing Artistic Director, Tapestry New Opera; Ivars Taurins Director Tafelmusik Chamber Choir; Ashiq Aziz, conductor, Classical Music Consort.

Now for the singers, the six finalists represent Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, and are quite varied in their musical specialization and experience. Some are early music artists, concert singers, and opera singers. Most have received scholarships and endowments in the past. The six finalists include soprano Johane Ansell (ON); soprano Dawn Bailey (ON); Lesley Bouza (ON); soprano Hélène Brunet (QC); soprano Megan Chartrand(AB); baritone Keith Lam (ON). Follow this link to listen to a recent interview Ashiq Aziz, Conductor and Artistic Director of Classical Music Consort and Underground/Opera gave on CBC Radio 2’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera with Bill Richardson about the CMC Handel Festival.

Baritone
 Keith
 Lam’s
 most
 recent
 engagements
 include
 the
 production
 of
 Mozart’s
 La 
Clemenza
 di
 Tito
 with
 Opera
 Atelier
 and
 Beethoven’s
 Symphony
 No.9
 with
 Tafelmusik
 Baroque
 Orchestra
 &
 Chamber
 Choir.
 
 Last
 summer,
 he
 appeared
 in
 the
 role
 of
 Schaunard
 (La
 Bohème)
 at
 Highlands
 Opera
 Studio.
 
 Among
 his
 other
 operatic
 roles,
 highlights
 have
 included
 the 
title
 role 
of 
John
 Blow’s
 Venus
 and
 Adonis,
 Dr.
 Falke
 (Die
 Fledermaus),
 Nireno
 (Giulio
 Cesare),
 Der
 Lautsprecher
 (Der
 Kaiser
 von
 Atlantis),
 and
 Dr.
 Dulcamara
 (L’Elisir
 d’Amore).
 
 As
 a
 concert
 soloist,
 he
 had
 appeared
 in
 Mozart’s
 Mass
 in
 C
 minor,
 Faure’s
 Requiem, 
and 
Vaughan
 Williams’ 
Five 
Mystical
 Songs.
 

Mr.
 Lam
 makes
 frequent
 appearances
 with
 the
 Opera
 Atelier,
 Aradia
 Ensemble,
 Opera
 in
 Concert,
 and
 Toronto
 Operetta
 Theatre.
 
 Also
 an
 active
 performer
 of
 Canadian
 music,
 his
 repertoire
 includes
 Blanchet
 in
 Charles
 Wilson’s
 Kamouraska,
 Phillip
 in
 the
 recent
 revival
 of
 Telgmann’s
 Leo,
 the
 Royal
 Cadet
 and
 John
 Estacio’s
 Frobisher.
 
 This
 coming
 summer,
 Mr.
 Lam
 is
 returning
 to
 the
 Banff
 Summer
 Arts
 Festival
to
perform 
the
 role 
of
 Sergei 
in 
Estacio’s 
newly 
written
 opera
 Lillian
 Alling.
 

A
 graduate 
of
 the 
University
 of
 Western 
Ontario,
Mr.
 Lam 
continues 
his 
vocal 
study
 with
 renounced
 Canadian
 baritone
 John
 Fanning.
 
 He
 is
 an
 alumnus
 of
 The
 Banff
 Centre’s
 Opera
 as
 Theatre
 program,
 Opera
 NUOVA,
 and
 Tafelmusik
 Baroque
 Summer
Institute.

A
 native
 of
 Edmonton,
 Alberta,
 soprano
 Dawn
 Bailey currently
 resides
 in
 Montreal.
 She
 has
 appeared
 with
 many
 of
 Canada’s
 leading
 early
 music
 ensembles,
 including
 Tafelmusik,
 the
 Toronto
 Consort,
 Les
 Violons
 du
 Roy,
 the
 Theatre
 of
 Early
 Music,
 and
 le
 Studio
 de
 Musique
 Ancienne
 de
 Montreal.
 Last
 summer,
 she
 was
 the
 winner
 of
 the
 Prix
 de
 Publique
 at
 the
 Lameque
 International
 Baroque
 Music
 Festival
 competition
 in
 New
 Brunswick.
 Equally
 at
 ease
 on
 the
 concert
 and
 the
 operatic
 stage,
 Dawn’s
 recent
 roles
 have
 included
 Venere
 in
 Cavalli’s
 Doriclea
 and
 Elizabeth
 in
 Andrew
 Ager’s
 Frankenstein.
 Some
 highlights
 from
 the
 past
 season’s
 concert
 engagements
 include
 the
 Praetorius
 Christmas
 Vespers
 and
 the
 Monteverdi
 1610
 Vespers
 with
 the
 Toronto 
Consort,
 Buxtehude’s 
Membra
 Jesu 
Nostri
 with 
the 
Toronto
 Chamber
 Choir,
 and
 Handel’s 
cantata 
Il 
Delirio
 Amoroso
 with
 the
 Classical
 Music
 Consort.
 When
 she
 is
 not
 singing, 
Dawn 
teaches
 yoga
 and 
meditation.

Soprano
 Hélène
 Brunet has
 just
 completed
 a
 masters
 degree
 in
 early
 music
 at
 the
 University
 of
 Montreal,
 under
 the
 supervision
 of
 Suzie
 Leblanc,
 Alexander
 Weimann
 and
 Catherine
 Sévigny.
 She
 is
 currently
 studying
 with
 Daniel
 Taylor
 at
 the
 Music
 Conservatory 
of 
Montreal.
 Over 
the 
past
 few 
years,
 she
 has
 had
 the
 opportunity
 to
 study
 with
 highly
 reputed
 musicians
 on
 the
 early
 music
 scene,
 most
 notably
 with
 Luc
 Beauséjour,
 Charles
 Daniels,
 Emma
 Kirkby,
 Margaret
 Little
 and
 Max
 Van 
Egmond.
 In
 July
 2010, 
she 
performed 
the 
role
 of
 Maddalena 
in 
Handel’s 
La
 Resurrezione
 conducted
 by
 American
 Bach
 Soloists’
 Jeffrey
 Thomas
 in
 San
 Francisco.
 Last
 fall,
 she
 joined
 Montreal’s
 early
 music
 ensembles
 SMAM
 (Christopher
 Jackson)
 in
 Biber’s
 Vespers
 and
 Les
 Voix
 Baroques
 (Alexander
 Weimann)
in
Oratorios
by
Carissimi.
Hélène
sang
in
Mahler’s
Fourth
Symphony
with
 the
 Montreal
 Music
 Conservatory
 Orchestra,
 conducted
 by
 Maestro
 Raffi
 Armenian,
 and
 was
 also
 heard
 last
 March
 in
 Bach’s
 Easter
 Oratorio,
 conducted
 by
 Louis
 Lavigueur.
 In
 April,
 she
 was
 invited
 to
 sing
 Bach’s
 St.
 Matthew
 Passion
 at
 Paul
 Halley’s
 Kings
 at
 the
 Cathedral
 concert
 series
 in
 Nova
 Scotia.
 Hélène
 will
 also
 have
 the
 pleasure
 to
 perform
 Mozart’s
 Exsultate
 Jubilate
 with
 Orchestre
 de
 la
 Francophonie 
at
 Palais
 Montcalm 
in
 Quebec
 city 
next
 July.

Lesley
 Bouza is
 a
 graduate
 of
 The
 University
 of
 Guelph
 where
 she
 earned
 her
 Bachelor
 of
 Arts
 in
 music
 as
 a
 saxophone
 major.
 During
 her
 time
 at
 Guelph
 Lesley
 discovered
 an
 interest
 in
 singing
 and
 chose
 to
 pursue
 her
 post‐graduate
 studies
 in
 voice
 at
 the
 Royal
 Welsh
 College
 of
 Music
 and
 Drama
 in
 Cardiff,
 Wales,
 where
 she
 earned
 her
 Artist 
Diploma.

 
 
Lesley
 is
 a
 versatile
 singer
 who
 is
 equally
 comfortable
 performing
 jazz,
 classical
 and
 opera.
 
 In
 the
 past
 few
 years
 her
 engagements
 have
 included
 touring
 Taiwan
 with
 the
 Swingle
 Singers,
 participating
 in
 Summer
 programs
 such
 as
 the
Welsh
 National 
Opera’s 
youth
 production,
 Summer
 Opera
 Lyric
 Theatre
 in
 Toronto
 and
 the
 Tafelmusik
 Summer
 Baroque
 Institute.
 In
 January
 2011
 Lesley
 performed
 in
 the
 Canadian
 Premiere
 of
 Haydn’s
 opera,
 La
 fedeltà
 premiata,
with
Opera
in
Concert.

 
She
 has
 appeared
 as
 a
 soloist
 with
 The
 Nathanial
 Dett
 Chorale,
 The
 Elora
 Festival
 Singers,
The
 Grand
 River
Chorus,
The
 University 
of 
Guelph
 Choirs
 and 
Arcady.

One
 of
 Canada’s
 most
 exciting
 young
 sopranos,
 Johane
 Ansell is
 quickly
 establishing
 herself
 as
 a
 versatile
 performer
 of
 both
 opera
 and
 concert
 repertoire.
 This
 season
 Johane
 looks
 forward
 to
 appearing
 with
 the
 Choeur
 Polyphonique
 de
 Charlevoix,
 Québec
 as
 the 
solois t
in
 their
 presentation
 of
 Die
 Schöpfung 
by
 Haydn.
 She
 will 
also 
be
 the
 feature
 soloist
 in
 the
 Canadian
 premiere
 of
 two
 magnificent
 works:
 Ēriks
 Ešenvalds’
 contemporary
 oratorio
 Passion
 and
 Resurrection
 and
 Howard
 Goodall’s
 Eternal
 Light:
 a
 Requiem,
 both
 of
 which
 she
 will
 perform
 with 
the 
Orpheus
 Choir
 of
Toronto,
 under 
the
 direction
 of
 Robert
 Cooper.
 This
 summer
 Ms.
 Ansell
 has
 been
 invited
 to
 join
 the
 Highlands
 Opera
 Studio
 Young
 Artist
 Program
 in
 Haliburton,
 Ontario
 where
 she
 will
 work
 with
 an
 exciting
 faculty
 including
 Valerie
 Kuinka
 and
 Richard
 Margison.
 With
 Highlands
 Opera
 she
 will
 be
 performing
 the
 role
 of
 Mrs
 Gobineau
 in
 Menotti’s
 opera
 The
 Medium
 as
 well
 as
 covering
 the 
role 
of 
Nanetta 
in 
Verdi’s 
Falstaff. Recent
 opera
 credits
 include
 the
 role
 of
 Miss
 Wordsworth
 in
 Albert
 Herring,
 by
 Benjamin
 Britten,
 under
 the
 direction
 of
 Robert
 Herriot
 and
 Judith
 Yan
 at
 Opera
 on
 the
 Avalon,
 the
 title
 role
 in
 Handel’s
 Alcina
 with
 the
 Halifax
 Summer
 Opera
 Workshop,
 and 
Cleopatra
 in
 Handel’s
 Giulio
 Cesare,
 which
 she
 covered
 for 
Orchestra
 London
 with
 Timothy
 Nelson
 and
 Timothy
 Vernon.
 Other
 opera
 credits
 include
 Clorinda
 in
 Rossini’s
 Cenerentola,
 with
 Saskatoon
 Opera’s
 school
 tour,
 Nanetta
 in
 Verdi’s
 Falstaff
 with
 Summer
 Opera
 Lyric
 Theatre
 in
 Toronto,
 Laurie
 in
 Aaron
 Copland’s
 The
 Tender
 Land
 at
 Opera
 NUOVA,
 and
 Erste
 Knabe
 in
 Mozart’s
 Die
 Zauberflöte 
with 
Kitchener 
Opera. 

Originally
 from
 Moose
 Jaw,
 Saskatchewan,
 Ms.
 Ansell
 completed
 a
 Master’s
 Degree
 in
 Vocal
 Performance
 from
 the
 University
 of
 Toronto
 as
 well
 as
 a
 Bachelor’s
 degree
 in
 Music
 from
 the
 University
 of
 Saskatchewan.
 She
 recently
 won
 the
 Ann
 Owen
 (Nancy)
 Goodfellow
 Scholarship
 Competition
 and
 was
 awarded
 the
 Art
 Vogt
 Memorial
 Scholarship.
 Ms.
 Ansell
 also
 received
 the
 Richard
 Bradshaw
 Graduate
 Fellowship
 in
 Opera,
 Eleanor
 and
 Gerald
 Copeland
 graduate
 Fellowship,
 the
 Sister
 Boyle
 Award
 to
 the
 most
 outstanding
 competitor
 of
 the
 provincial
 festival,
 SK,
 and
 multiple
 grants
 from
 the
 Saskatchewan
 Arts
 Council.
 Currently
 she
 resides
 in
 Toronto 
where
 she
 studies
 with
 John
 Fanning.

Albertan 
soprano,
 Megan 
Chartrand’s
 love 
and
 enthusiasm
 for
 early 
music
 continues 
to 
grow
 with 
every 
passing
 year. 
As 
a
 soloist,
 she
 has
 sung
 with
 the
 Edmonton
 Symphony
 Orchestra,
 the
 Alberta
 Baroque
 Ensemble,
 Pro
 Coro
 Canada,
 VoiceScapes
 and
 the
 U
 of
 A
 Madrigal
 Singers.
 She
 has
 participated
 in
 the
 Tafelmusik
 Baroque
 Summer
 Institute,
 the
 Victoria
 Conservatory
 Vocal
 Oratory
 Program,
 the
 Norfolk
 Chamber
 Music
 Festival
 and
 most
 recently,
 the
 Early
 Music
 Vancouver
 Baroque
 Vocal
 Programme.
 She
 graduated
 from
 the
 University
 of
 Alberta
 with
 a
 Bachelor
 of
 Music
 in
 vocal
 performance
 in
 2010,
 studying
 with
 Jolaine
 Kerley
 and
 in
 September
 she
 will
 begin
 a
 Masters
 of
 Music
 at
 the 
Yale
 Institute
 of 
Sacred
 Music.

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