Conductor Alexander Weimann is well known for his deep understanding of sacred music. Join him as he leads the orchestra and four distinguished soloists in an intimate and spiritual performance of four sublime Bach cantatas.
Conductors and soloists
Alexander Weimann is one of the most sought-after ensemble directors, soloists, and chamber music partners of his generation. After traveling the world with ensembles like Tragicomedia, Cantus Cölln, Freiburger Barock Orchester, Gesualdo Consort, and Tafelmusik, he now focuses on his activities as Music Director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver and the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and as a guest conductor.
More recently, he has worked with Holland Baroque, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony, and Symphony Nova Scotia. Both Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal have regularly featured him as a guest soloist. In the past couple of seasons, memorable projects include the Brandenburg Concertos and Orchestral Suites at the Oregon Bach Festival, solo recitals for organ at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, organ concertos with Portland Baroque, a recording of Vivaldi concertos for recorder with Vincent Lauzer and the Arion Baroque Orchestra, his latest US/Canadian tour, and the release of Karina Gauvin’s album Nuits Blanches.
Weimann can be heard on some 100 CDs. He made his North American recording debut with the ensemble Tragicomedia on the CD Capritio (Harmonia Mundi USA) and won worldwide acclaim from both the public and critics for one of the earliest releases of Handel’s Gloria (ATMA Classique). His recordings of the complete keyboard works of Alessandro Scarlatti, the first volume of which came out in May 2005, earned unanimous praise from critics around the world and a nomination for an Opus Prize as best Canadian early music recording the following year. Since then, he has also released an Opus Award-winning CD of Handel oratorio arias with superstar soprano Karina Gauvin and his Montreal-based ensemble Tempo Rubato, a recording of Bach’s St. John’s Passion, Handel’s complete Orlando, and several albums featuring works by Buxtehude, Carissimi, and Purcell with Les Voix Baroques , all to rave reviews. He has also won a number of awards, including a Juno for Prima Donna with Karina Gauvin and Arion Baroque orchestra. He just finished a 3-volume project with CBC’s In concert on the topic of improvisation on organ, harpsichord, and piano in the spring of 2020.
Soprano Nathalie Paulin has established herself in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Far East as an interpretive artist of the very first rank. Winner of a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Opera Performance, she has collaborated with internationally renowned conductors including Harry Christophers, Jane Glover, Michael Christie, Robert Spano, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Antony Walker, Bernard Labadie, Sir Roger Norrington, Andrew Parrott, David Agler, Jacques Lacombe, Graeme Jenkins, and Andrew Litton on both the concert platform and in opera. Critics as well have been lavish in their praise. Reviewing from Chicago, John van Rhein noted that “Paulin in particular is a real find; her rich, agile voice possesses great depth and allure, her manner radiates sensuous charm,” and for the New York Times, Steve Smith noted that "Paulin [sings] with rich tone and compelling emotion," while Renaud Machart from Le Monde writes: “Nathalie Pauiln was impeccable in diction, musicality and style.” Nathalie debuted for L’Opéra de Montréal as Mélisande in Pélléas et Mélisande and for Chicago Opera Theater as Galatea in Acis and Galatea. She was re-engaged by Chicago Opera Theater for the title role in Semele and for Mary in La Resurrezione, both by Handel. She has also been heard as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro for Cincinnati Opera, and the Dallas Opera featured her in Carmen and Cunning Little Vixen.
The New Brunswick native’s recent and upcoming seasons include Dear Life and Vivier’s Lonely Child for the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and the extensive European tour that followed; the title role in Beethoven’s Leonore (1805) for Opera Lafayette (D.C); the role of Despina in Cosi fan tutte for Vancouver Opera; Vivier’s Lonely Child and Mozart’s Requiem for the Vancouver Symphony; Handel’s Messiah for the Vancouver Chamber Choir; and curation of a program for Montréal’s Arion at Bourgie Hall. Other engagements have included Blow’s Venus and Adonis for Clavecin en Concert, Lonely Child for Symphony Nova Scotia, Goercki’s Symphony No. 3 for the Winnipeg Symphony, and Cherubini’s Stabat Mater for Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings. Of special interest were performances of scenes from late eighteenth century French operas by Sacchini, Cherubini, and Martini, conducted by Ryan Brown for Opera Lafayette in Washington, D.C. and New York.
A unique vocal colour and commanding stage presence are the hallmarks of performances by mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy. Hailed by Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle as “a singer of enormous imagination and versatility,” she has appeared with the Paris Opera, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Chicago Symphony, Toronto Symphony, St. Louis Orchestra, Glyndebourne Festival, San Francisco Opera, Boston Symphony, Canadian Opera Company, Les Violons du Roy, Warsaw Philharmonic, and Théâtre capitole du Toulouse. Adam Fischer, Seiji Ozawa, Jeremy Rohrer, Kent Nagano, Emmanuelle Haim, Bernard Labadie, Trevor Pinnock, Ludovic Morlot, Carlos Kalmar, and Johannes Debus are among the conductors with whom she has collaborated for performances of works such as La clemenza di Tito, L'enfant et les sortilèges, Hippolyte et Aricie, Mozart’s C minor Mass, Matthäus Passion, Das Rheingold, The Dream of Gerontius and Messiah. Ms. McHardy is a Prix Opus winner for Opéra de Montréal’s Dead Man Walking and Opéra de Québec’s Der Fliegende Holländer, and she was nominated for a Juno Award for the Canadian Art Song Project’s disc, Summer Night, featuring the music of Healey Willan.
This coming season, Allyson McHardy looks forward to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Handel’s The Resurrection with Opera Atelier, Messiah with Nicholas Kramer for Music of the Baroque in Chicago, and Riders to the Sea in a co-production with BOP and Opéra de Montréal. In 2019–2020 her schedule included performances of Bach cantatas for Music of the Baroque, Messiah with the Florida Orchestra and Newfoundland Symphony, and Flight for Pacific Opera Victoria.
Allyson McHardy’s discography includes the Juno-nominated Summer Night-Healey Willan with the Canadian Art Song Project (Centrediscs). Other CDs include the Juno-nominated Orlando by George Frideric Handel with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Alexander Weimann (ATMA), the Juno- and ADISQ-nominated recording of Caldara’s La Conversione di Clodoveo, Re di Francia (ATMA), Bellini’s Norma with the Warsaw Philharmonic (Philharmonia Narodowa), two works by Harry Somers—Serinette and A Midwinter Night’s Dream (Centrediscs)—and Ukrainian art songs by composer Mykola Lysenko in a six-disc collection on the Musica Leopolis label.
American-Canadian Zach Finkelstein has rapidly established himself as a leading tenor soloist in North America and abroad, from Seattle’s Benaroya Hall and New York’s Lincoln Center to London’s Sadler’s Wells and the National Arts Center in Beijing, China.
In the concert world, Zach is known for his “refined” and “elegant” (Vancouver Observer) interpretations of the works of Bach, Handel, Haydn, and Mozart among others. In the spring of 2018, Zach stepped in on an afternoon’s notice to replace the soloist in Carmina Burana with the Seattle Symphony and was heard again in the role in 2019 with the Kamloops Symphony and in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s stage production. In the past five years, Zach has sung 32 performances of Handel’s Messiah with 14 presenting organizations, including the Virginia Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, and the Winnipeg Symphony. Zach also regularly tours as Bach Evangelist in both the Johannespassion and Matthäuspassion across North America (upcoming engagements include the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Florida Symphony) as well as a tenor soloist for all the composer’s major works.
Hailed by Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times as a “compelling tenor,” he made his New York City Opera debut as Mambre in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto. sang the role of Damon “with sensitivity and grace” (Boston Classical Review) in Acis and Galatea, and appeared under conductor Nicholas McGegan leading Philharmonia Baroque in Berkeley, California, and the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. He made his haute-contre debut as Orphée in back-to-back productions of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice with Brava! Opera Theatre (English) and Opera Grand Rapids (French).
Québec baritone Dominique Côté maintains a flourishing career in North America and in France. Praised for his warm tone, stage presence, and skill as an actor, he has won several first prizes including top finishes at Concours International de chant de Canari and for operetta at Concours International de chant de Marmande. He also received the first prize and grand prize at the McGill University voice festival. Trained as an actor at École de théâtre de St-Hyacinthe, he completed his vocal training at Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal.
Of particular note for his 2020–2021 season were Le maréchal ferrant and Bonsoir Voisin, projects for Opéra de Lafayette which took him to Colorado, Washington, D.C. and New York City. He also looks forward to projects with Théâtre du Rideau Vert and an international tour with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. His 2019–2020 season featured Carmina Burana for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the title role in Nelligan for Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, and Messiah for Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur des Mélomanes. A production of Die Fledermaus for Opéra de Québec went into hiatus due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Pre-pandemic, he was at Opéra de Lille for Offenbach’s rarely heard Le roi Carotte and with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) in Berlioz’s Lelio conducted by Kent Nagano. He also sang Dancairo in Carmen for Opéra de Montréal, performed in Footloose in Québec City, and made wildly-applauded appearances at Maison Symphonique with the OSM and Les Cowboys Fringant. Further credits include Opera de Lafayette’s Leonore Project in Washington, D.C., Edmonton Opera’s Les Feluettes, Nicandro e Fileno with le Nouvel Opéra de Montréal and Les Boréades, Ireland’s Wexford Festival in Le pre aux clercs, and Le chauve souris for Grand Théâtre de Genève. Cote has been nominated for three Prix Opus awards: Berlioz’s Lélio with OSM for best concert in the classical (Romantic) category, Bal des Enfants by OSM in the best production for kids category; and Nicandro e Fileno in the best recording (Baroque) category.
Cantata Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV5
Cantata O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV20
Cantata Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben, BWV77
Cantata Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister, BWV181