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 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.
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.
A native of Jupiter, Florida, Avery Amereau studied at Mannes College of Music and The Juilliard School, where she was the proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship and the Shoshana Foundation 2017 Richard F. Gold Career Grant. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2016 as the Madrigal Singer in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. The New York Times praised her performance as “captivating…. [Amereau] stood out for the unusually rich, saturated auburn timbre of her voice.”
She has since made her house and role debut for the Hannover Staatsoper (Alcina/Bradamante) and appeared at Glyndebourne Festival (Dryad/Ariadne), Santa Fe Opera (Olga/Eugene Onegin), Seattle Opera (Ursula/Beatrice et Benedict), Opera Columbus (Carmen), Grand Théâtre de Genève (Cherubino/Nozze di Figaro), the Salzburg Festival (Page/Salome), as well as her house and role debut as Eduige/Rodelinda at Opera de Lille, reprising the role for Opera de Lyon.
Exceptional in baroque repertoire, whilst at Juilliard she performed with the school’s historical performance department under such conductors as William Christie and Maasaki Suzuki, and sang at Bachfest Leipzig and the Boston Early Music Festival.
Recent concerts include the world premiere of The Listeners by Caroline Shaw on a U.S. concert tour 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’s Requiem with the Rhode Island Philharmonic under Bramwell Tovey, and Bach’s St. John Passion and Duruflé’s Requiem with the Voices of Ascension, New York. Among her many Messiah performances, she has sung with the Phoenix Symphony, Nashville Symphony, University Musical Society of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Saint Thomas Church Choir. Elsewhere, she has sung Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été and Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody with the American Classical Orchestra under Thomas Crawford, and concerts of Handel and Vivaldi with Santa Fe Pro Musica.
Canadian tenor Andrew Haji is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after voices on both the operatic and concert stages. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 50th International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and the Montreal International Music Competition’s Oratorio Prize, Haji recently performed Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with Pinnock and the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Messiah for the Toronto Symphony.
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.
The Salzburg Festival featured Haji in its production of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, his festival debut. For the Wexford Festival he starred as Hélios in Félicien David’s Herculanum, and for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème.
Andrew Haji holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, where he performed in productions of Les mamelles de Tirésias, Don Giovanni, Candide, Il mondo della luna and Rob Ford: The Opera, among others. He was invited to participate in young artist programs at the Salzburg Festival Young Singers Project, the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, the Music Academy of the West, and Accademia Europea dell’Opera, where he was influenced by some of the world’s finest musicians. A native-born Ontarian, he has received awards from the Marilyn Horne Song Competition in Santa Barbara and the COC’s annual Ensemble Studio Competition.
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.
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.