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A musical and spiritual monument, the St. John Passion continues to resonate profoundly with audiences and artists today. Bach’s genius shines through in all its dramatic splendor in his depiction of Christ’s suffering. Bernard Labadie brings together six acclaimed soloists to convey the intimacy and expressive power of this masterpiece.
Conductors and soloists
Bernard Labadie, an internationally recognized specialist in 17th-, 18th-, and early 19th-century repertoire, is the founding conductor of Les Violons du Roy. He was the ensemble’s music director from 1984 to 2014 and remains the music director of La Chapelle de Québec, which he founded in 1985.
As head of both ensembles, he has toured Europe and North America performing at some of the most illustrious concert halls and festivals: Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center (New York), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Kennedy Center (Washington), the Barbican (London), Berlin Philharmonie, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (Paris), Brussels’ Centre for Fine Arts, and the Salzburg, Bergen, Rheingau, and Schleswig-Holstein festivals.
In 2017, Bernard Labadie was named principal conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York. He conducts the orchestra’s annual concert series at Carnegie Hall.
A much sought-after guest conductor in North America, he makes frequent appearances with major American and Canadian orchestras: Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Houston, New World Symphony, Montréal, Toronto and Ottawa. In Europe, he has conducted the orchestras of Lyon, Bordeaux-Aquitaine, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. He has also headed several radio orchestras, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the radio orchestras in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Hanover, and Helsinki.
Bernard Labadie regularly collaborates with some of the most prestigious period-instrument early music ensembles: Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the Academy of Ancient Music, The English Concert, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Handel and Haydn Society, and Ensemble Arion.
At the opera, he served as artistic director of Opéra de Québec from 1994 to 2003 and as artistic director of Opéra de Montréal from 2002 to 2006. He has also appeared as guest conductor with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, and the Santa Fe and Cincinnati operas. In 2021, he made his debut appearance at the Glyndebourne Festival.
Both as a guest conductor and with Les Violons du Roy, Bernard Labadie has recorded some twenty albums for Virgin Classics (now Erato), EMI, Pentatone, Dorian, ATMA, Hyperion, and Naïve.
A tireless ambassador for music in his hometown of Québec City, Bernard Labadie was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec, and Compagnon des arts et des lettres du Québec. He is also a recipient of the Medal of Honour of the National Assembly of Québec, the Banff Centre’s National Arts Award, the Samuel de Champlain Award, and honorary doctorates from Université Laval (Alma Mater) and the Manhattan School of Music.
Tilman Lichdi has established himself as one of the most prominent concert and lied interpreters of our time. He receives especial praise as the Evangelist in Bach’s oratorios and passions. For his American debut of the St. John Passion with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a critic in Chicago wrote: “One can go a lifetime without hearing the Evangelist sung as well as by Tilman Lichdi, and I’m not forgetting Peter Schreier.” Lichdi has given concerts across Europe, the U.S., Australia, South America, and Asia and performed under conductors such as Ton Koopman, Thomas Hengelbrock, Martin Haselböck, Peter Dijkstra, Frieder Bernius, Christof Perick, Bernard Labadie, Marcus Bosch, Hervé Niquet, Hartmut Haenchen, Kent Nagano, Christoph Poppen, Claus Peter Flor, Mikhail Pletnev, Michel Corboz, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Teodor Currentzis, and Herbert Blomstedt, to name a few.
Tilman Lichdi can be heard as the Evangelist and interpreter of the arias in an audio recording of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Musik Podium Stuttgart under the direction of Frieder Bernius, as well as in an audio and video recording of the St. John Passion with the Choir and Orchestra of Radio Bavaria under the direction of Pewter Dijkstra. Tilman Lichdi also took part in the ambitious recording of Buxtehude’s complete works under the direction of Ton Koopman. His first lied recording, of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, was released in 2017 and will be followed by a recording of Schubert’s Winterreise in a new version for tenor and guitar for Lichdi Records.
Tilman Lichdi was a permanent member of the Staatstheater Nurnberg from 2005 to 2013, where he sang the roles of David in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger vom Nürnberg, the Steersman in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Count Belfiore in La Finta Giardiniera, and Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville. Tilman Lichdi was awarded the 2012 Bavarian Arts Sponsorship Award in the performing arts category.
French Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly has gained international recognition for his “beautiful, blooming tone and magnetic stage presence” (San Francisco Chronicle). He was the first prize winner of the prestigious Concours Musical International de Montréal and a grand prize winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, singing the varied repertoire of Mozart, Bach, Handel, Stravinsky, and Wagner.
In the 2018–2019 season, Philippe Sly returned to the Paris Opera for his first performances of Leporello in a new production of Don Giovanni conducted by Philippe Jordan. He was heard in Handel’s Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and with the Handel & Haydn Society conducted by Bernard Labadie. Additional concert engagements have included Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Requiem with Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Labadie, as well as Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. In recital he performed Winterreise with pianist Michael McMahon in Montreal, Vancouver, San Francisco, and other venues. He has also been seen in special performances with Le Chimera Project of Schubert’s Winterreise arranged for the Klezmer quartet.
A native of Montreal, Sly frequently appears with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. He has been heard with the OSM in Debussy’s Pelléas et Melisande as Golaud, Honegger’s L’Aiglon (recorded for commercial release), Bach’s St John Passion, Méphistophélès in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, and Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3, as well as songs by Rachmaninoff, Grieg, and Sibelius. As a soloist with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, he has sung performances of Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Bach’s St Matthew Passion, both with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Bach’s St Matthew Passion again with Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal. He is featured as Antonio in a recording of Le Nozze di Figaro with Nézet-Séguin at the Baden-Baden Festival on Deutsche Grammophon.
Philippe performed Panthée in Berlioz’s Les Troyens with Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, which won a Grammy Award (Warner/Erato). He made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in Fauré’s Requiem, his Minnesota Orchestra debut in Fauré’s Requiem conducted by Bernard Labadie, and his Dallas Symphony debut in Bach’s St Matthew Passion. Additional concert engagements have included Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and at the National Arts Centre; Handel’s Solomon with Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy; concerts of Fauré, Handel, and Haydn with Orchestre symphonique de Québec; and Mozart’s Requiem with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Labadie.
Lydia Teuscher was born in Freiburg, Germany and studied at the Welsh College of Music and Drama and at the Hochschule für Musik in Mannheim.
Highlights in her 2021/22 season include Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale under Richard Egarr and his Johannes-Passion with Les Violons du Roy with Bernard Labadie, Mozart and Mendelssohn concert arias with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Giovanni Antonini, Mahler's Symphony no. 2 with the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya and Kazushi Ono and further performances Telemann’s Pastorelle en Musique at the Magdeburg Telemann Festival.
In opera, Lydia has sung Pamina Die Zauberflöte at the Salzburg Mozartwoche, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Bolshoi, the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich and Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin; Susanna Le nozze di Figaro at the Glyndebourne Festival, Dresdner Semperoper, Staatstheater Karlsruhe, at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center in Japan; Hero Béatrice et Bénédict at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan; Zerlina Don Giovanni for the Bolshoi and Gretel Hänsel und Gretel for the Glyndebourne Festival, Dresdner Semperoper and Saito Kinen Festival.
She collaborates regularly with conductors such as René Jacobs, Jonathan Cohen, Emmanuelle Haïm, Sir Roger Norrington, Helmuth Rilling, Markus Stenz and Bernard Labadie and recent highlights have included Schönberg's Pierrot Lunaire with the Ensemble of the Bayerische Staatsoper; Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the London Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding; Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Sylvain Cambreling and Handel’s Messiah with the Orchestre National de Lille and Jan Willem de Vriend.
A native of Jupiter, Florida, Avery Amereau made her professional debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2016 as the Madrigal Singer in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, praised by the New York Times as “captivating…. [Amereau] stood out for the unusually rich, saturated auburn timbre of her voice.”
Recent operatic engagements have included Olga/Eugene Onegin for Santa Fe Opera, Bradamante/Alcina for Hannover Staatsoper, Eduige/Rodelinda at Opera de Lille and Opera de Lyon, Serena Joy/The Handmaid’s Tale for English National Opera, Dryad/Ariadne for Glyndebourne, Cherubino/Nozze di Figaro for Grand Théâtre de Genève, Ursula/Beatrice et Benedict for Seattle Opera as well as Page/Salome for the Salzburg Festival.
On the concert platform, Avery’s plans this season include her debut Marguerite/Damnation de Faust with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra cond. Federico Cortese, concert performances of Bradamante/Alcina cond. Jonathan Cohen in Quebec and Montreal and Bach Cantatas cond. Bernard Labadie with Les Violons du Roy, the Mozart Requiem in professional debuts for the Cleveland Orchestra cond. Franz Welser-Möst and for the Barcelona Symphony cond. Trevor Pinnock, the Messiah for the Handel & Haydn Society in Boston cond. Václav Luks and for St Paul Chamber Orchestra cond. Paul McCreesh, as well as a recording of Sorceress/Dido & Aeneas with La Nuova Musica for the Pentatone label.
Recent concerts include the world premiere of The Listeners by Caroline Shaw on a US concert tour & Christmas Oratorio cond. Richard Egarr, both with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Messiah with Bernard Labadie and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, her debut with the Early Opera Company in Dido and Aeneas at Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Vivaldi arias with the Orchestra of St Luke’s in New York, Mozart Requiem with the Rhode Island Philharmonic under Bramwell Tovey, Bach’s St John Passion and Duruflé’s Requiem with the Voices of Ascension, New York, Berlioz Les Nuits D’été and Brahms Alto Rhapsody with the American Classical Orchestra under Thomas Crawford and concerts of Handel and Vivaldi with the Santa Fe Pro Musica.
Thomas Hobbs is “one of the most interesting and significant Bach tenors” of his generation, and is in demand by many leading baroque and early music ensembles.
Recent highlights include Handel’s Messiah with Early Music Vancouver, Sinfonietta Riga, Tafelmusik Toronto, RIAS Kammerchor, and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, various projects with Collegium Vocale Ghent under the baton of Philippe Herreweghe and with Gli Angeli Genève under Stephan McLeod, Bach’s B Minor Mass on a European tour and at the Salzburg Festival with Collegium Vocale Gent and Herreweghe, Haydn’s Creation with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the CBSO, Schumann’s Requiem with Richard Egarr and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Evangelist in Bach’s St Matthew Passion on tour with the Netherlands Bach Society, and Handel’s Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican. He has also sung Bach cantatas with Les Violons du Roy and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and has travelled to Australia to sing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Choir of London and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Hobbs has performed Bach, Britten, and Haydn with the Israel Camerata, sung Handel’s Alexander’s Feast with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and performed Bach programs with Gli Angeli Genève, La Chapelle Harmonique, Dunedin Consort at Wigmore Hall, and the Milan Symphony Orchestra.
Thomas’s operatic roles include a critically acclaimed Telemachus in The Return of Ulysses in a new production for English National Opera conducted by Jonathan Cohen, Apollo and Shepherd in Monteverdi’s Orfeo in semi-staged performances with Richard Egarr and the AAM, the title role in Albert Herring, and Ferrando in Così fan tutte.
Thomas’s ever-expanding discography includes Bach’s B minor Mass with both CVG and the Dunedin Consort, Bach’s motets, Leipzig cantatas, and Christmas Oratorio with CVG, Christmas Oratorio with the Dunedin Consort, Handel’s Acis et Galatea and Esther with the Dunedin Consort and Beethoven’s Mass in C with Stuttgart Kammerchor. His recent recordings of Handel’s Chandos Anthems with Stephen Layton and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Mozart’s Requiem with John Butt and the Dunedin Consort have been universally praised, with the latter receiving the 2014 Gramophone Award for Best Choral Recording.
Matthew Brook leapt to fame with his 2007 Gramophone Award-winning recording of Handel's Messiah with the Dunedin Consort, followed by equally critically acclaimed recordings of Acis and Galatea and St. Matthew Passion. He has appeared as a soloist throughout Europe, Australia, North and South America and the Far East, and has worked with many of the world's leading conductors. He has developed a worldwide reputation for his interpretation of the music of J.S. Bach and Handel but his musical tastes stretch far beyond this. Other concert repertoire he performs regularly include pieces such as Beethoven Ninth Symphony and Missa Solemnis, Berlioz L'Enfance du Christ, Brahms' Requiem, Elgar Dream of Gerontius, Haydn Die Schopfung and Die Jahreszeiten, Mendelssohn Elijah, Tippett A Child of Our Time and Walton's Belshazzar's Feast.
Matthew Brook has enjoyed long collaborations with conductors including Sir Andrew Davies, Harry Bicket, Bernard Labadie, Christophe Rousset, John Nelson, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, John Bult, Harry Christophers, Paul McCreesh, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Roger Norrington and Richard Hickox. He has also collaborated with Richard Tognetti, Sir Mark Elder, Emmanuelle Haïm, Laurence Equilbey, Maxim Emelyanchev, Mirga Grazinytê-Tyla and Christian Curnyn.
On the opera stage, Matthew has performed roles at Staatstheater Stuttgart, Opera Comique, Gôttingen International Handel Festival, The Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg and at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Some of Matthew's roles have included Polyphemus Acis and Galatea, Æneas Dido and Æneas, Papageno Die Zauberflote, Figaro Le nozze di Figaro, Leporello Don Giovanni, Kouno Der Freischütz, Garibaldo Rodelinda, Ned Keene Peter Grimes, Vicar Albert Herring, Noye Noye's Fludde, Melchior in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, Jupiter in Rameau's Castor et Pollux, Starek and Mayor Jenufa, Antenor and Calkas in Walton's Troilus and Cressida, Zuniga Carmen, Argenio Imeneo and Seneca in L'incoronazione di Poppea. He assumed the roles of Don Alfonso and Bartolo under Sir John Eliot Gardiner as part of a big European tour including at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Salle Pleyel, Paris, Teatro Real, Madrid and Giuseppe Verdi Opera House, Pisa.
La Chapelle de QuébecChamber choir
Created in 1985 by founding conductor and music director Bernard Labadie, La Chapelle de Québec is one of North America’s premiere voice ensembles. The group is made up exclusively of professional singers who are hand picked from all over Canada. This unique chamber choir specializes in the choral/orchestral repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries. The choir performs regularly with its other half, chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy, and as a guest choir with some of the finest orchestras in North America. Its interpretations of the oratorios, requiems, masses, and cantatas of Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Haydn, as well as Fauré and Duruflé, are frequently hailed in the Canadian and international press.
La Chapelle de Québec is heard regularly at Palais Montcalm in Quebec City and Maison symphonique in Montreal, as well as at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, at Carnegie Hall with Les Violons du Roy and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and in Ottawa with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. The choir’s concerts are often broadcast by the CBC and Radio-Canada in Canada and by National Public Radio in the United States.
La Chapelle de Québec is also known for its role in Chemin de Noël, an annual event that brings music lovers from throughout the Québec City region together every December.
St. John Passion, BWV245