Christ Church Cathedral | Map
Ellen Hargis, soprano; Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, baroque dance; Christopher Bagan, harpsichord/organ; Michael Jarvis, harpsichord/organ; Lucas Harris, baroque lute
Vocal and keyboard selections from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach, along with works of the Bach family and circle of friends.
Supported by Zelie and Vincent Tan
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Overture: The Wedding of Anna Magdalena and Johann Sebastian Bach
Willst du dein Herz mir schenken (Aria di Giovannini), BWV 518 (Bach, Johann Sebastian 1685-1750)
Recit: Der Welt wird wieder neu (Bach, J.S.)
Aria: Phoebus eilt mit schnellen Pferden
From Cantata: Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten, BWV 202
Sinfonia (Bach, J.S.)
From Cantata: Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet, BWV 212
Act I: ‘French’ Suites
French Suite No. 2 in C minor, BWV 813 (Bach, J.S.)
Intermezzo: Anna Magdalena Bach the Singer
Songs from the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook
Wie wohl ist mir, o Freund der Seelen, BWV 517 (Bach, J.S.)
Gedenke doch mein Geist, Zurücke, BWV 509 (Bach, C.Ph.E.)
Dir, dir Jehova, will ich singen, BWV 299 (Bach, J.S.)
Act II: Guest Suites
Lute Sonata No. 15 in B-flat major (Weiss, Sylvius Leopold 1687-1750)
Intermezzo: The AMB Notebook – Social Media in the 18th Century
Polonaise No. 3 in D major, F 12.3 (Bach, Wilhelm Friedmann 1710-1784)
Rondo in A major, Wq. 58/1 (Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel 1714-1788)
Act III: ‘Italian’ Suites
Partita No. 3 in A minor, BWV 827 (Bach, J.S.)
Tombeau: Anna and Sebastian in Later Life and Death
Recit: Ich habe genung! (Bach, J.S.)
Aria: Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen
From Cantata: Ich habe genung, BWV 82a
Bist du bei mir, BWV 508 (Stölzel, Gottfried Heinrich 1690-1749)
Beginning with the occasion of their wedding, celebrated at home on December 3, 1721, the centrality of domestic music-making in the home of Anna Magdalena and Johann Sebastian Bach is established immediately. Two partially-filled notebooks of keyboard and vocal music, gifted by Johann Sebastian to his new bride, function at once as leisure activity, family album, guest-book and pedagogical tool. In addition, a perpetual flow of musicians, singers, composers and dancers (including returning musical sons) contribute to the constant stream – translated into German as ‘Bach’ – of music in their home. Find a seat among the dozens of children and guests and join us for an evening of musical entertainment around the hearth as we take it in turns to perform, accompany and listen to one another!
– Christopher Bagan
Ellen Hargis, soprano
Ellen Hargis is one of America’s premier early music singers, specialising in repertoire ranging from ballads to opera and oratorio. She has performed with many of the foremost period music conductors of the world including Andrew Parrott, Gustav Leonhardt, Paul Goodwin, Monica Huggett, Jane Glover, Simon Preston, Daniel Harding, Paul Hillier, Harry Bickett, Craig Smith and Jeffrey Thomas.
She has performed with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Washington Choral Arts Society, Long Beach Opera, CBC Radio Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Teatro Lirico, Tragicommedia, New York Collegium, The Mozartean Players, Fretwork, Emmanuel Music and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has been regular performer with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, the American Bach Soloists, Seattle Baroque and the Portland Baroque Orchestra. She has appeared at many of the world’s leading festivals including the Adelaide Festival (Australia), Utrecht Festival (Holland), Resonanzen Festival (Vienna), and Festival Vancouver, Tanglewood, the Berkeley Festival and New Music America Festival. She has been featured in successive seasons of the Boston Early Music Festival where she has sung Aeglé in Lully’s Thésée, the title role in Luigi Rossi’s L’Orfeo, Queen Pasiphae in Conradi’s Ariadne and Irina in Johann Mattheson’s 1710 opera, Boris Goudenow. Lully’s Thésée and Conradi’s Ariadne were recorded for CPO and were nominated respectively for 2007 and 2006 Grammys.
Recent engagements include a performance and recording of Música Celestial, music from a 17th c. Mexico City convent, which Ms. Hargis researched and directed as well as sang in with the Newberry Consort. On tour with The Newberry Consort, she performed the Cantigas de Santa Maria in New York, Boston, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. She returned to The Chicago Chorale to sing Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and performed Monteverdi’s Vespers under the direction of Paul O’Dette.
Ms. Hargis is also a stage director, and worked for three seasons with the Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago, where she directed Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers, and Actéon, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and two chamber operas by Handel. As Assistant Director at the 2015 Boston Early Music Festival, she oversaw the revival of Gilbert Blin’s 2009 production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea.
Ellen Hargis has a longstanding musical partnership with the great lutenist Paul O’Dette with whom she records and tours regularly. They have performed together throughout the United States, Canada, Austria, France Spain, Russia and Asia. Two recordings on the Noyse Productions label: The Power Of Love and A Christmas Album, have been met with critical acclaim. She is also featured on a dozen Harmonia Mundi recordings including a widely-acclaimed solo recital disc of music by Jacopo Peri, and in Arvo Pärt’s Berlin Mass with Theatre of Voices. She appears on a recording of Handel solo cantatas with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra on Wild Boar, the premiere recording of the Bonporti motets for soprano on Dorian, and several recordings for BMG Classics, Vanguard Classics, Virgin Classics, Erato, Dorian Classics and Berlin Classics. Her recording of Tristan et Iseult with The Boston Camerata was winner of the Grand Prix du Disque.
Ellen Hargis is a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music, and will teach residencies at the Oberlin Conservatory, The Julliard School, and the University of Wisconsin during the 2015-2016 academic year. She is an Artist-in-Residence with the Newberry Consort at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University and directs at Early Music Vancouver’s annual Vancouver Baroque Vocal Programme.
Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, baroque dance
A recipient of grants from the Canada and Quebec Arts Council, Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière has a multidisciplinary background in music, acting (specialising in commedia dell’arte) and dancing. She is an associate partner with Toronto Masque Theatre and with Le Nouvel Opéra (Montreal), and she is the artistic director of Les Jardins chorégraphiques in Montreal.
For over 20 years she directed, choreographed or danced with many groups in Canada, the United States and Europe. She was invited in many festivals: the Festival of ideas (Edmonton), Orford Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, (Lully’s Psyché), the Vancouver Early Music Festival, the New Zealand Chamber Music Festival, the Festival de Lanvellec in France, the Festival Musicale Estense in Modena (Italy), and at The International Baroque Festival in Lamèque. For the past six years she has directed and choreographed the finale of the Festival Montréal Baroque.
She has choreographed all of Purcell stage works for the Toronto Masque Theatre, and has created Mozart a Milano (2006) and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen (2009) which were both nominated for the Opus Prize best performance of the year.
She has also gained a reputation as a stage director for many opera productions: Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann for Youth and Music Canada; Bizet’s Carmen for the Opera-Theatre in Rimouski; Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for Appolo’s Fire in Cleveland; Rossini et ses muses, le Grand Dîner, Visibilia (Monteverdi), and La Belle Danse for L’opéra de Montréal; and Rameau’s Pygmalion for Le Nouvel Opéra and the Vancouver Early Music Festival.
At the University of Montreal opera division she has directed Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Strauss’ Zigeunerbaron and Fledermaus, Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, and Campra’s Les fêtes vévitiennes and L’Europe Galante. For McGill University she has directed Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ullisse in Patria and Lully-Molière’s Les jeux de l’Amour, and choreographed Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes.
Ms Lacoursière is a Professor of gesture and baroque dance at the University of Montreal, and also taught at Université du Québec à Montréal, Stanford University in California, Indiana University, the University of Alberta and the University of Sackville in New Brunswick. She created Lully’s Le Ballet de l’Impatience which premiered at the Festival Montréal Baroque in June 2011.
Christopher Bagan, harpsichord/organ
Christopher Bagan is a versatile artist, equally at home on modern and historical keyboard instruments. He is in high demand as a collaborator, chamber musician and basso continuo specialist. He has performed with many of the leading baroque singers, instrumentalists and conductors in North America and abroad with recent engagements including appearances with I Furiosi, Apollo’s Fire, Les Dèlices, Catacoustic Consort, Daniel Taylor and Ellen Hargis.
He is a regular performer in the Early Music Vancouver main series and Summer Festival as well as Vancouver’s Music on Main concert series. In 2015-16 Christopher was the Early Keyboard instructor at Case Western Reserve University and the head of Harpsichord at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is harpsichordist for the Canadian Opera Company and Opera Atelier and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of British Columbia with a specialization in the piano music of Arnold Schönberg.
Michael Jarvis, harpsichord/organ
Michael Jarvis is one of Canada’s finest harpsichordists, fortepianists and continuo players and is in demand as a collaborative artist. In addition to performing across Canada, he has performed as soloist and continuo player throughout the USA, England, Italy and Bermuda.
Michael Jarvis may be heard on the Marquis Classics, Hungaroton, ATMA, Naxos, Solitudes and Avalon CD labels, and has often broadcast nationally and regionally for the CBC, as well as nationally across the US on NPR. He and violinist Paul Luchkow’s CD of Hummel’s op. 5 violin sonatas was chosen as a finalist as best classical album of the year in the Western Canadian Music Awards 2013. His most recent CD with Paul, Michel Corrette’s Sonatas for Harpsichord and Violin, Op. 25 (on mythological themes), was released to excellent reviews on the Marquis CD label in Spring 2017.
Michael was featured on two national Canadian television specials for Bravo: “A Baroque Christmas” and “A Baroque Easter”. He was also co-host and star of the 13-part television series “Come into the Parlour” for Bravo-TV. He was recently appointed conductor of the Bach on the Rock chamber choir and orchestra on Salt Spring Island.
He has taught harpsichord and continuo and lectured many times at the University of Toronto. He has taught harpsichord performance at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and at Havergal College, Toronto, and taught fortepiano at UBC.
When he is not playing early music, Michael is an avid collector of early jazz and early opera 78 rpm recordings and is an early phonograph restorer. Michael lives in Victoria, BC.
Note: Michael Jarvis tragically passed away on December 25, 2020. His obituary can be found here.
Lucas Harris, baroque lute
Toronto-based Lucas Harris discovered the lute during his undergraduate studies at Pomona College, and went on to study the lute and early music at the Civica scuola di musica di Milano and at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen. He is a founding member of the Toronto Continuo Collective, the Vesuvius Ensemble and the Lute Legends Collective (an association of specialists in ancient plucked-string traditions from diverse cultures) and is the regular lutenist for Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Lucas plays with many other ensembles in Canada and the USA and has worked with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Atalante, and Jordi Savall / Le Concert des Nations amongst others.
He teaches at the Tafelmusik Summer and Winter Baroque Institutes, Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute, and the Canadian Renaissance Music Summer School, and is a regular guest artist with Early Music Vancouver. Lucas is also the Artistic Director of the Toronto Chamber Choir, for which he has created and conducted more than twenty themed concert programs. One of Mr. Harris’ many pandemic projects was the reconstruction of 12 solo voice motets by the Italian nun Chiara Margarita Cozzolani.