On the eve of the holiday season, three of Johann Sebastian Bach’s most sublime cantatas, carefully chosen by Bernard Labadie, including the most famous chorale “Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desiring” from Cantata BWV 147. This concert, featuring La Chapelle de Québec and four outstanding soloists beloved by Les Violons du Roy audiences, is sure to warm hearts.
Conductors and soloists
Bernard Labadie, an internationally recognized specialist in the baroque and classical repertoires, 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, often with La Chapelle de Québec.
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 Mozarteum of Salzburg and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, 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 English Concert, Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Handel and Haydn Society (Boston).
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, Cincinnati, and Glimmerglass 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.
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.
Canadian tenor Andrew Haji is one of the most sought-after voices on both the operatic and concert stages across North America and Europe. Recent highlights include his debut at the Edinburgh International Festival as Jonathan in Handel’s Saul, Beethoven’s Ninth with the Milwaukee Symphony, and a program of Bach Cantatas with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and Boston’s prestigious Handel + Haydn Society.
Other recent engagements include Mozart’s Requiem for Orchestra St. Luke’s, Les Violons du Roy, and National Arts Centre Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with the Houston Symphony and the National Arts Centre; La bohème with Edmonton Opera, La traviata with Calgary Opera; Beethoven’s Ninth with the Victoria Symphony; Bach’s B Minor Mass with the Elora Festival.
Andrew’s 20/21 season pivoted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and saw him star in various digital and streaming productions. This included starring as Satyavan in Against the Grain’s acclaimed production of Holst’s Sāvitri. Haji also performed as the tenor soloist in the digital Mozart’s Requiem for the Canadian Opera Company, and appeared as Rinuccio in the company’s streamed production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. When live performances returned, he took to the stage for Opéra de Québec’s Barber of Seville, reprising the role of Count Almaviva.
Haji’s 2019/20 season began with Alfredo in La traviata for Vancouver Opera, followed by Messiah for the Edmonton Symphony, Pollione in Norma for Calgary Opera, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for the Victoria Symphony. Appearances during the 2018/2019 season included Rodolfo in La bohème and Cassio in Otello for the Canadian Opera Company (COC), Bach’s Mass in B minor for the Amadeus Choir and Alfredo in Die Fledermaus for Saskatoon Opera.
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.
• Cantata Ich glaube, lieber Herr, BWV 109
• Cantata Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140
• Cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147