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.
The concert will be preceded by a talk about the evening’s musical program, including what to listen for. The talk will take place onstage starting at 6:40 p.m.
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, the Freiburger Barockorchester, the Gesualdo Consort and Tafelmusik, he now focuses on his activities as Artistic Director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver, and as music director of Les Voix Baroques, Le Nouvel Opéra and Tempo Rubato.
Recently, he has conducted the Montreal-based baroque orchestra Ensemble Arion, Les Violons du Roy, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra; both the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra have regularly featured him as a featured soloist. In the last years, he has repeatedly conducted the Victoria Symphony and Symphony Nova Scotia, most recently with Handel’s “Messiah”.
Alexander 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 his 2001 release of Handel’s Gloria (ATMA Classique). Volume 1 of his recordings of the complete keyboard works by Alessandro Scarlatti appeared in May 2005. Critics around the world unanimously praised it, and in the following year it was nominated for an Opus Prize as the best Canadian early music recording. Recently, he has also released an Opus Award-winning CD of Handel oratorio arias with superstar soprano Karina Gauvin and his new Montreal-based ensemble Tempo Rubato, a recording of Bach’s St. John’s Passion, various albums with Les Voix Baroques of Buxtehude, Carissimi and Purcell, all with rave reviews. His latest album with Karina Gauvin and Arion Baroque Orchestra (Prima Donna) won a Juno Award in 2013, and a complete recording of Handel’s Orlando was released in the fall of 2013, with an exciting group of international star soloists and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra performing.
Alexander Weimann was born in 1965 in Munich, where he studied the organ, church music, musicology (with a summa cum laude thesis on Bach’s secco recitatives), theatre, medieval Latin, and jazz piano, supported by a variety of federal scholarships for the highly talented. In addition to his studies, he has attended numerous master classes in harpsichord and historical performance. To ground himself further in the roots of western music, he became intensely involved over the course of several years with Gregorian chant.
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. As well, critics 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 Paris’ Le Monde writes: “Nathalie Pauiln was impeccable in diction, musicality and style.” Ms. Paulin 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 which 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 she curated a programme for Montréal’s Arion at Bourgie Hall. Further 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 D.C. and New York. Other credits in the USA and Canada include Messiah for Portland Baroque, the Naples Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony and Orchestre symhonique de Trois-Rivières; Fauré’s Requiem for the Vancouver Symphony; Carmina Burana for Festival de Lanaudière; Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 for the Kingston and Ottawa symphonies; Bach Cantatas for Stratford Summer Music; the title role in Theodora for Vancouver Early Music; the Countess in Le Nozze de Figaro for Opera Lyra Ottawa; and Beethoven’s Mass In C with Tafelmusik.
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, Glyndebourne Festival, San Francisco Opera, Boston Symphony, Canadian Opera Company, Dresden Philharmonic, and Théâtre capitole du Toulouse. Adam Fischer, Seiji Ozawa, Jeremy Rohrer, Kent Nagano, Emmanuelle Haim, Bernard Labadie, Ludovic Morlot, Carlos Calmar, and Jesus Lopez Cobos are among the conductors with whom she has collaborated for performances of works such as L’enfant et les sortileges, La clemenza di Tito, Das Rheingold, Dream of Gerontius, and Messiah.
Recent opera highlights include appearances in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia in St. Gallen, Switzerland, Roberto Devereux for the Canadian Opera Company, Amadis de Gaule at the Opéra Comique, Handel’s Alcina with Opera Atelier, Madama Butterfly with both Opéra de Montréal and Vancouver Opera, Handel’s Hercules with Toronto’s Tafelmusik, and the role of Sister Helen in Opera de Montréal’s Dead Man Walking.
Allyson’s discography features the Juno-nominated Orlando by George Frideric Handel with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Alexander Weimann (ATMA). Other CDs include the Juno- and ADISQ-nominated recording of Caldara’s La conversione di Coldoveo, 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 music by composer Mykola Lysenko in a six-disc collection on the Musica Leopolis label.
American-Canadian Zach Finkelstein has quickly established himself as a leading tenor soloist in North America and abroad, from Seattle’s Benaroya Hall to New York’s Lincoln Center to London’s Sadler’s Wells to the National Arts Center in Beijing, China.
In the concert world, Zach is known for his “refined” and “elegant” (Vancouver Observer) interpretation of the works of Bach, Handel, Haydn, and Mozart among others. In the spring of 2018, Zach stepped in on an afternoon’s notice for the soloist in Carmina Burana with the Seattle Symphony and was heard again in the role in 2019 with the Kamloops Symphony and the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s staged 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 Philarmonic, and the Winnipeg Symphony. Zach also regularly tours as Bach Evangelist in both the Johannespassion and Matthäuspassion across North America- two upcoming engagements include Canada’s Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Florida Symphony- as well as the Bach tenor solos 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. Finkelstein has sung the role of Damon “with sensitivity and grace” (Boston Classical Review) in Acis and Galatea, performances conducted by Nicholas McGegan leading Philharmonia Baroque in Berkeley, CA as well as with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, MA. He made his haute-contre debut as Orphee in back-to-back productions of Gluck’s Orphee et Eurydice with Brava! Opera Theatre (English) and Opera Grand Rapids (French).
Mr. Finkelstein is also an evangelist for new and contemporary classical works, an oeuvre he discovered as a two-time Vocal Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival. The Spanish new music opera Comala by Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon has become a signature piece for Zach, performed in Guadalajara, Mexico, as well as a four-city tour in the US of the University of Notre Dame, Cleveland, Oberlin College, and Chicago in 2018-2019. Zach has also premiered and recorded two new music pieces for tenor and orchestra written specifically for him, Threshold by Prix-de-Rome winner Jesse Jones and Hold Back Thy Hours by John Liberatore. The New York Times’ James Oestrich commended Zach’s “excellent performance” of Threshold with the Argento Ensemble: “Zach Finkelstein negotiated Mr. Jones’s high tenor flights with aplomb”.
First opera prize at the Canari International Singing Competition in Corsica (chaired by Gabriel Bacquier) and winner of the audience's prize at the Marmande International Singing Competition in France, baritone Dominique Côté is hailed by the public and critics for his warm voice and his moving interpretations. The New York Times called his recent performances in Une Éducation Manquée by Chabrier and Léonore de Gavaux in New York and Washington a "fine vocal performance". His portrayal of the Countess in the opera Les Feluettes by Michel Marc Bouchard and Kevin March at the Edmonton Opera has been described as "virtuoso" by the press.
Also trained as an actor, Dominique has played several roles on the small screen, including Étienne Bernard in Emma on TVA and Renaud in Virginie on the CBC. Very popular in musical works with dialogues, we have heard it in Strauss's Die Fledermaus at the Geneva, Montreal and Quebec Opera houses, Hérold's Le Pré aux Clercs at the Wexford Opera Festival, Offenbach's La Belle Hélène at the Marseille Opera, Carmen by Bizet at the Pacific Opera Victoria and at the Opéra de Montréal, Le Roi Carotte by Offenbach at the Opéra de Lille…
In concert, he sings under the direction of conductor such as Jacques Lacombe, Kent Nagano, Theodor Guschlbauer, Christophe Rousset, Dina Gilbert, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Martin Dagenais, Timothy Vernon and John Keenan various works like Carmina Burana de Orff, Te Deum by Lully, Requiems by Fauré, Mozart, Brahms and Duruflé, Messiah by Handel, as well as several extracts from operas.
His discography includes several world premieres: La Société Anonyme des Messieurs Prudents by Louis Beydts with the Avignon-Provence Orchestra conducted by Samuel Jean, Nicandro e Fileno by Paolo Lorenzani with Les Boréades conducted by Francis Colpron, L'affaire Tailleferre by Germaine Tailleferre with the Opéra de Limoges conducted by Christophe Rousset, Léonore de Gavaux conducted by Ryan Brown with Opéra Lafayette and Gagnon's Nelligan with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal conducted by Jacques Lacombe.
Most recently, he sang Berlioz's Lélio conducted by Maestro Nagano with OSM and he was the solo baritone in Carmina Burana with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens under the direction of Dina Gilbert, in Edward Clug's brand new choreography. He was extremely successful in the title role of Nelligan at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, directed by Normand Chouinard. A full audio recording of this production will soon be available on the ATMA Classique label.
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