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 choir, which he founded in 1985. He has toured Europe and the Americas as the head of both ensembles, performing with them at some of the world’s greatest concert halls and festivals: Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Barbican in London, the Berlin Philharmonie, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and the Salzburg, Bergen, Rheingau, and Schleswig Holstein festivals. In the spring of 2018 he leads Les Violons du Roy on a U.S., Mexico, and Colombia tour featuring violinist Isabelle Faust and soprano Julia Lezhneva.
In 2017 Bernard Labadie was named principal conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York, beginning with the 2018–2019 season. As such, he will conduct the orchestra’s annual concert series at Carnegie Hall. In great demand as a guest conductor, Maestro Labadie makes frequent appearances with major North American and European orchestras. In the 2017–2018 season alone, his engagements include the Cleveland and Minnesota orchestras; the Pittsburgh, Saint-Louis, Baltimore, and Toronto symphony orchestras; the radio orchestras of Frankfurt, Finland (Helsinki), and Berlin; the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, Lyon National Orchestra, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Since the start of his international career in the late 1990s, he has also made appearances with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, and Atlanta orchestras, the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami Beach, and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.
Bernard Labadie is very active in the world of period orchestras. He made his conducting début with Berlin’s Akademie für alte Musik in November 2017 and has also led the Academy of Ancient Music, The English Concert, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Collegium Vocale Gent, the Handel and Haydn Society orchestra in Boston, and Montreal’s Ensemble Arion.
At the opera, Bernard Labadie 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, Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and at Glimmerglass.
Bernard Labadie has recorded some twenty albums for Virgin Classics (Erato), EMI, Dorian, ATMA, Hyperion, and Naïve, both as a guest conductor and with Les Violons du Roy. Two new releases, with the SWR Freiburg Symphony Orchestra and with Berlin’s Akademie für Alte Musik, are due out in 2018.
A tireless ambassador for music in his hometown of Québec City, Bernard Labadie was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005 and a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec in 2006. In 2008 he received the Banff Centre’s National Arts Award for his contribution to the development of the arts in Canada and an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Université Laval. In 2016 Bernard Labadie received the Samuel de Champlain award in Paris and was made a Compagnon des arts et des lettres du Québec for his contribution to the arts in Quebec society. He received an honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and the Medal of the National Assembly of Quebec in 2018.
Tilman Lichdi has established himself as one of the most prominent concert and Lied interpreter of our time. He receives especial praise as ‘Evangelist’ in Bach’s oratorios and passions. For his American debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the St. John Passion, 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 US, Australia, South America and Asia and performed under conductors such as Ton Koopman, Thomas Hengelbrock, Martin Haselböck, Peter Dijkstra, Frieder Bernius, Christoph Perick, Bernard Labadie, Marcus Bosch, Hervé Niquet, Hartmut Haenchen, Kent Nagano, Christoph Poppen, Claus Peter Flor, Michail Pletnev, Michel Corboz, Hans-Christoph Rademann , Teodor Currentzis, and Herbert Blomstedt, to name a few.
Recordings: Tilman Lichdi can be heard as Evangelist and interpreter of the Arias in a CD production of the St. Matthew Passion by Bach, with the Musikpodium Stuttgart, placed under the direction of Frieder Bernius as well as of a DVD/CD production of the St. John’s Passion with the Choir and Orchestra of Radio Bavaria under the direction of Pewter Dijkstra. Tilman Lichdi also took part in the recording of the ambitious recording of Buxtehude’s complete work, under the direction of Ton Koopman. His first lied recording..Die Schoene Muellerin by Schubert in 2017, will be followed by the recording of Schubert’s Winterreise in a new version for tenor and guitar, published by LichdiRecords.
Tilman Lichdi was, between 2005 and 2013, a permanent member of the Staatstheater Nurnberg, where he performed, among others, David in Wagner’s Mastersingers, the Steersman in Wagner’s Flying Dutchman, Tamino in Mozart’s Magic Flute, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Belmonte in the Abduction, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Count Belfiore in La Finta Giardiniera and Count Almaviva in the Barber of Sevil. Tilman Lichdi was awarded the Bavarian Arts Sponsorship Award 2012 in the category of Performing Arts.
Tilman Lichdi grew up near Heilbronn, Germany, and began his first singing lessons at the age of 18 with Alois Treml of the Staatstheater Stuttgart. He first studied the trumpet for four years in Mannheim with Prof. Günther Beetz and then switched to voice studies with Prof. Charlotte Lehmann in 1999 in Würzburg where he graduated with distinction.
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 2019/20 season include Ännchen Der Freischütz for the Opernhaus Zurich, Eurydice in Gluck’s Orfeo with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Laurence Cummings, Caliste in Telemann’s Pastorelle en musique with Ensemble 1700, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie/Guillermo García Calvo, Mozart’s Requiem in the Wiener Konzerthaus with the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich/Heinz Ferlesch and Fauré’s Requiem with the Los Angeles Philharmonic/Bernard Labadie.
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.
Avery Amereau made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2016 as the Madrigal Singer in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and has since sung at the Glyndebourne Festival (Dryad/Ariadne); Seattle Opera (Ursula/Beatrice et Benedict); Opera Columbus (Carmen) and at the Grand Théâtre de Genève (Cherubino/Nozze di Figaro). This season, Avery will sing Alcina/Bradamante, at Glyndebourne and in her house and role debut for the Hannover Staatsoper, as well as Irene/Bajazet for Portland Opera. On the concert platform Avery will open the season with the world premiere of ‘The Listeners’ by Caroline Shaw on a US concert tour with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Avery will also sing Messiah with Bernard Labadie and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, perform Mahler 2 at Salisbury Cathedral and record her debut solo album, also with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.
Recent concerts include Dido and Aeneas at the Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam with Early Opera Company, Vivaldi arias with the Orchestra of St Luke’s in New York; Mozart’s Requiem with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and 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, and concerts of Handel and Vivaldi with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan. Exceptional in baroque repertoire, she has worked with William Christie, Helmuth Rilling and Maasaki Suzuki, and at the Bachfest Leipzig and the Boston Early Music Festival.
Thomas Hobbs is “one of the most interesting and significant Bach tenors” of his generation and is in high demand with many leading baroque and early music ensembles.
Highlights of his 2021/22 season include numerous performances of Bach Cantatas with Gli Angeli Geneva, Le Banquet Céleste, Alia Mens, Netherlands Bach Society and Les Arts Florissants. He will also perform Bach Christmas Oratorio with Concerto Copenhagen, and Bach St Matthew Passion with Il Gardellino and Bach Collegium, Japan.
Recent highlights include Handels’ 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 Gli Angeli Geneve under Stephan McLeod, Bach B minor mass on a European tour and at the Salzburg Festival with Collegium Vocale Gent and Herreweghe, Haydn Creation with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the CBSO, Schumann Requiem with Richard Egarr and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Evangelist in Bach St Matthew Passion on tour with the Netherlands Bach Society, and Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican. He also sang Bach cantatas with Les Violons du Roy, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and travelled to Australia to sing Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Choir of London and Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Hobbs performed Bach, Britten and Haydn with the Israel Camerata, sang Handel Alexander’s Feast with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, as well as Bach programmes with Gli Angeli Geneve, La Chapelle Harmonique, Dunedin Consort at Wigmore Hall, and with the Milan Symphony Orchestra.
On the opera stage Hobbs performed a critically acclaimed Telemachus The Return of Ulysses in a new production for English National Opera conducted by Jonathan Cohen, Apollo and Shepherd in Monteverdi Orfeo in semi-staged performances with Richard Egarr and the AAM and the title role in Albert Herring and Ferrando Così fan tutte.
Hobbs’ ever-expanding discography includes Bach B minor Mass with both CVG and Dunedin Consort, Bach Motets, Leipzig cantatas and Christmas Oratorio with CVG, Christmas Oratorio with Dunedin Consort, Bach Weimar Cantatas with Alia Mens, Handel Acis et Galatea and Esther with Dunedin Consort and Beethoven Mass in C
with Stuttgart Kammerchor. His recent recordings of Handel Chandos Anthems with Stephen Layton and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Mozart 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 has appeared as a soloist throughout Europe, Australia, North and South America, and the Far East. His operatic roles include Polyphemus (Acis and Galatea), Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), Papageno (The Magic Flute), Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Ned Keene (Peter Grimes), Vicar (Albert Herring), Noye (Noye's Fludde), John Bunyan and Lord Hategood in Vaughan Williams’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Melchior in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Young Sam in the British premiere of Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, Jupiter in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux in Paris with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Stárek and Mayor (Jenůfa), Antenor and Calkas in Walton’s Troilus and Cressida with the Philharmonia and Hickox for the BBC, Zuniga in Carmen at the Opéra Comique in Paris with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Argenio (Imeneo) at the Göttingen International Handel Festival, and Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
Recent and future highlights include Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Dido and Aeneas with the Handel and Haydn Society, Bach’s St John Passion with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Haydn’s Creation with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Magnificat and Brahms’ Triumphlied with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Il Rè di Scozia (Ariodante) with the Staatstheater Stuttgart and on tour with the English Concert, Bach’s B Minor Mass at the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut and with Les Violons du Roy in Quebec, Fauré’s Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, a tour of Bach cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner and with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging and Early Music Vancouver, a tour of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and with Gli Angeli Genève, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time at Festival de Saint Denis, and the roles of Herod and Father in Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis.
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