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To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of two great French composers, Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924) and Théodore Dubois (1837–1924), the remarkable soprano Florie Valiquette and brilliant pianist David Jalbert share the stage with Nicolas Ellis to present all the nuances of a rich and seductive repertoire.
This concert will be followed by a talkback & snack session with the artists.
Conductors and soloists
Nicolas Ellis is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Orchestre de l’Agora and currently serves as Artistic Partner to the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He was recently named principal guest conductor of Les Violons du Roy.
Mr. Ellis has been invited as guest conductor with Les Violons du Roy, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Orchestre Métropolitain, Symphony Nova Scotia, the McGill Chamber Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and has had the opportunity to perform with artists such as cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, countertenor Anthony Roth Constanzo and pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin.
He completed his Master’s Degree at the McGill University in conducting with Alexis Hauser and was a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival where he studied with Robert Spano. During the summer of 2019, he was part of the Verbier Festival Academy where he acted as assistant conductor to Music Director Valery Gergiev on a production of Die Frau ohne Schatten.
In 2013, he founded the Orchestre de l’Agora, an orchestra whose mission is to position the classical musician as an agent of social change within the community. The ensemble has built collaborations with the music program of the Share the Warmth Foundation and Les Porteurs de musique, giving workshops to kids coming from underprivileged neighbourhoods and to people who don’t have access to music such as psychiatric centres, prisons and shelters for women. Their recent production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw in collaboration with the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal was recorded by ICI Musique and CBC Music and has been broadcasted nationally. During the 2019-2020 season, the orchestra underwent its first tour across Québec, presenting 16 concerts as a string ensemble. On April 22nd 2020, the Orchestre de l’Agora donated $138,000 to Earth Day Canada, the Sierra Club Canada and Nature Conservancy of Canada through the Gala de la Terre, an important fundraising event to protect the St-Laurent River’s estuary. In February 2020, the Orchestre de l’Agora was also the resident orchestra of the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal during a two week intensive clinic on Bel canto repertoire.
Nicolas Ellis is the recipient of the 2017 Bourse de carrière Fernand-Lindsay and the Heinz Unger Award 2015 delivered by the Ontario Arts Council and was recently named Revelation of the year 2018-2019 by Radio-Canada.
“Soprano imaginative and committed with ravishing treble” (La Libre Belgique), Florie Valiquette is a young Canadian opera singer on the rise.
Recently Valiquette sang Sophie (Werther) at the Opéra de Lyon, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and at the Opéra de Bordeaux, Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) in Luxembourg and Versailles and Gabrielle (La Vie Parisienne) in Rouen and at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Zerlina (Don Giovanni) in Québec.
During her 2019-2020 season, she debuted as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte in Avignon and Versailles under the baton of Hervé Niquet. She also sang Le Nozze di Figaro (Barbarina) at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées staged by James Gray and conducted by Jérémie Rhorer… She also performed in recitals at the Opéra Comique and the Opéra de Lille and in concert for Haydn Stabat Mater with Le Concert de la Loge.
She began the 2018-2019 season singing the title part of Coraline for the French creation at the Opéra de Lille of this opera composed by Mark-Anthony Turnage. Member of the troupe of the Opéra Comique, she has performed the part of Madeleine in Le Postillon de Lonjumeau. She has also made her debuts at the Opéra de Montpellier as Tytania (Midsummer Night’s dream) and at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse as Sophie (Werther).
In 2017-2018, Florie Valiquette joined the Ensemble of the Opernhaus Zürich, where she sang Die Zauberflöte (Papagena), Ronia Raübertochter (Birk), Parsifal (Flowermaiden), L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Fortuna and Damigella). She also did her debut in Werther (Sophie) at the Opéra de Vichy. In concert, she has performed Mozart Great Mass in C minor with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal.
In 2016-2017, she was part of the International Opera Studio, the prestigious training program for young singers of the Opernhaus Zürich. There, she sang Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, l’Amour in Médée by Charpentier, Madame Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor. In Luxemburg, she revived the opera Svadbain the role of Milica, created in Aix-en-Provence, which she sang again in Ljubljana.
In 2015-2016, Florie Valiquette sang Elisetta in Il Matrimonio segreto by Cimarosa with the Dutch National Opera in Hengelo, Deventer, Amsterdam and Maastricht, Milica (Svadba) in Angers and Nantes, Frasquita (Carmen) at the Verbier Festival. In the beginning this season, Florie Valiquette made her debuts at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in the roles of Frasquita (Carmen) and Yniold (Pelléas et Mélisande) under the baton of maestro Kent Nagano.
In July 2015, she returned to sing at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in the lead role of Milica for the new production of the opera Svadba-Wedding by Ana Sokolovic, after a remarkable passage in Bahrain in the roles of La Princesse and La Chauve-souris (L’Enfant et les sortilèges).
In concert, she has appeared with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec under maestro Steven Fox in the Harmoniemesse by Haydn, with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor under the baton of Andrew Megill and with Les Violons du Roy under maestro Mathieu Lussier in the title role of Zémire et Azor, staged by oscar winning film director Denys Arcand. She also sang Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and Handel’s Dixit Domonius for the Moments Lyriques in Chartres.
Florie Valiquette made her Montreal Opera debut in 2013 in the roles of Javotte (Manon), Miss Ellen(Lakmé), and covered the role of Nanetta (Falstaff) in 2014. Other credits include Teutile (Motezuma), Arsena (Der Zigeunerbaron) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni). Artist in residence at the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal from 2012 to 2015, she held the roles of the Sandman and the Dew Fairy (Hänsel und Gretel), Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief) and Galatea (Acis and Galatea).
« Equally at home in mainstream and Baroque opera, as well as in recital and oratorio » (Opera Canada), Florie Valiquette excels in a variety of repertoire from early music to contemporary, forking musical theatre.
She was invited as a soloist by several baroque ensembles such as Les Violons du Roy, Le Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Caprice Ensemble, Montreal Baroque, the Lamèque international baroque music Festival and les Talens lyriques.
In contemporary music, in addition to Svadba‐Wedding, composer Denis Gougeon recommended her for singing his composition, Voix‐Venus, with pianist Louise-Andrée Baril, in a tribute concert of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, broadcasted on Espace Musique, the then‐named French music radio of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Florie Valiquette was revealed to the public in 2010 when interpreting Maria Von Trapp (The Sound of Music) in a Just for Laughs production staged by Denise Filiatrault. Critically acclaimed, the production was attended by more than 100,000 spectators in Montreal and received a nomination for the Show of the Year ‐ Acting at the Québec Association for the Recording, Concert and Video Industries Gala in 2011.
She collaborated numerous times with Cirque Éloize in corporate events, as well as with the National Circus School for the Atelier Lyrique’s 30th anniversary production Hänsel und Gretel.
In chamber music, Florie Valiquette has been working with pianist Martin Dubé since 2009. They performed hailed recitals in Canada, Belgium and in the United States. She also appeared at the Orford Festival and at the Lachine Festival with pianist Olivier Godin, and in Helsinki, with pianist Ilmo Ranta, in a recital broadcasted on the Finnish national television Yle Klassinen.
Among her recent and future projects, Armide at the Opéra Comique, Dialogues des Carmélites in Glyndebourne, La Flûte enchantée and L’Enlèvement au sérail in Versailles and Lucio Silla in Krakow and concerts with Les Talens lyriques, the Orchestre de l’Opéra royal de Versailles, Le Concert de la Loge, La Chapelle harmonique and l’Orchestre symphonique Région Centre Val de Loire.
Florie Valiquette is supported by the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Canadian Opera Singers and has distinguished herself in several competitions such as the Mirjam Helin Competition, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition, the International Stepping Stone of the Canadian Music Competition and the Prix d’Europe.
She holds a Master in Music performance from the University of Montreal and pursues her vocal training under the guidance Marlena Malas in New York.
A virtuoso with a warm, elegant style and a wide-ranging repertoire, pianist David Jalbert has established himself among the elite of his generation of classical musicians, and was named by the CBC among the 15 best Canadian pianists of all time. With his personal style, incomparable stage presence, and refined ear, he has wowed audiences and critics everywhere: “Playing that oozes hedonistic charm” (Gramophone); “In an age of knucle-busting keyboard technicians fixated on a single era, composer or concerto, it is a great pleasure to encounter an artist of Jalbert’s stature for whom the piano is simply a transcendent means of human expression” (WholeNote); “A virtuoso in the best sense of the word” (La Presse); “Wide-ranging musical imagination, phenomenal technique, and an unerring lightness of being” (The Toronto Star).
His first solo disc, dedicated to the works of Corigliano and Rzewski (in preparation for which he worked with both composers), was launched to great applause on Endeavor in 2004 and was followed in 2006 by a recording of Fauré’s complete Nocturnes (a winning selection on La Tribune des Critiques de Disques, France-Culture). His first release on the ATMA Classique label, Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues opus 87, drew rave reviews, won an Opus Award, and was nominated for a Juno Award. He followed it up with an album dedicated to works by minimalist greats John Adams and Philip Glass (2010), and his 2012 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was met with unanimous praise. He returned to his beloved early 20th-century repertoire for Le Comble de la distinction (Poulenc and Satie, 2015) and Stravinsky-Prokofiev Ballet Transcriptions in 2017, another Juno-nominated outing. He recorded the keyboard version of Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ in 2019 and is now at work on an ambitious 3-disc set of the complete Prokofiev Piano Sonatas.
An accomplished chamber musician in both the hall and the studio, he has collaborated with Pentaèdre on recordings of Poulenc and Hindemith’s music for woodwinds and piano, and with his long-standing musical partner Denise Djokic on many projects, among which the Chopin and Rachmaninov Cello Sonatas. His piano trio, Triple Forte, with Ms. Djokic and violinist Jasper Wood, has toured extensively and won the 2014 Prix Opus (Album of the Year). Jalbert has also collaborated with violinists Nicola Benedetti and Rachel Barton Pine, the Cecilia and Alcan string quartets, double-bassist Joel Quarrington (on another Opus-winning collaboration, the album Brothers in Brahms) as well as with pianists Anton Kuerti, Wonny Song and Jean-Philippe Collard.
As guest soloist, Jalbert has appeared with many orchestras, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Orchestre Métropolitain, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra, Bielefelder Philharmoniker, National Symphony of Ireland, Les Violons du Roy and others. He has collaborated with conductors Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Skitch Henderson, Jacques Lacombe, Bramwell Tovey, Mario Bernardi, Peter Kuhn, David Currie, Christoph Campestrini, Dinuk Wijeratne, Tania Miller and others and has performed in Canada, the United States, Mexico, South Africa and Europe. Jalbert’s repertoire is expansive, and he plays Bach, Brahms, Stravinsky or Ligeti with equal pleasure. He has been heard regularly on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada broadcasts, not only as a pianist, but also as a guest host or commentator for special events.
A national and international prize-winner, David Jalbert was the 2007 winner of the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize of the Canada Council for the Arts, has been awarded six Prix Opus by the Conseil Québécois de la Musique, was nominated for four Juno Awards, and is now Full Professor and Head of Piano at the University of Ottawa and on faculty at the Orford Music Academy. He holds two Artist Diplomas from the Juilliard School in New York and from the Glenn Gould School in Toronto. He received his Masters Degree from Université de Montréal at age 21, winning the Governor General’s Gold Medal (awarded yearly to the top graduate student of the University). His main teachers have been Jerome Lowenthal, Marc Durand, André Laplante, and Pauline Charron. He has also worked with Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Claude Frank, Gilbert Kalish, and Marylin Engle.
Suite for Piano and Strings in F Minor
La Bonne Chanson, op. 61 (Excerpts)
Quartet in F Major (Version for String Orchestra)
Other performances of the concert
Prices and tickets
Single tickets will be on sale from Friday, May 12, 2023 at noon.