St. James Community Square
NOTE: Admission to this event is by donation, tickets are not required
Artists: Next Generation artists Ai Horton, soprano & Elana Cooper, violin, with Stéphanie Brochard, baroque dance and the Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme, directed by Chloe Meyers
By the age of five, harpsichord prodigy Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre could enthrall the court of Louis XIV with her performances; she went on to become one of the greatest composers and music educators of the “Grand Siècle.” In this concert, EMV Next Generation artists and members of the Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme explore the music of this brilliant and precocious artist. The programme features excerpts from Céphale et Procris—Elizabeth Jacquet’s only opera and the first to be written by a woman in France—and the dramatic cantata Semele, along with her violin sonata in D minor. On stage, choreographer and dancer Stephanie Brochard brings this music to life.
Ai Horton, soprano
Originally from Victoria, BC, Japanese-Canadian soprano Ai Horton’s interest in historically informed performance practice led her to move to the Netherlands, where she is currently based. Her varied concert repertoire spans several centuries and includes English and Italian madrigals, music of the French-baroque, the works of J.S. Bach, and German Lieder. Ai regularly performs contemporary works and was a vocalist for the 2022 Young Composer’s Meeting in Apeldoorn (NL). Professional highlights include Handel’s Messiah with Bach on the Rock under the direction of the late Michael Jarvis (CAN), Rameau’s Quam Dilecta Tabernacula broadcast on Radio West (NL), Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien (NL), and a concert of Telemann’s solo cantatas with violinist Marc Destrubé, viola da gamba player Natalie Mackie, and organist Christina Hutten at Victoria’s Christ Church Cathedral (CAN).
An avid supporter of civic engagement initiatives, Ai aims to create community and belonging through shared musical experience as both a performer and an educator. Ai was a featured artist in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Opera Etc. Programs, performing in numerous “Pop-up Operas” (short performances in outdoor public spaces) and recording several virtual concerts that were distributed to senior care facilities. Ai also worked with Pacific Opera to produce “Tenebris”, a video presentation that used Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater to tell a personal story of struggles with mental health. Her current project, Laments for a Modern World, comprises a set of four songs she composed with influence from 17th-century Laments, featuring newly-commissioned texts that amplify modern-day stories of race relations, miscarriage, struggles with mental health, and displacement from one’s homeland.
Ai holds a Bachelor of Music in Secondary Music Education from the University of Victoria and is currently completing a Master of Music in Early Music Vocal Studies as an Excellence Scholar at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. Ai has been awarded numerous scholarships for her excellence in music, including several BC Arts Council scholarships and the Johann Strauss Foundation Scholarship, which enabled a period of advanced vocal study in Salzburg at the Universität Mozarteum’s Summer Academy.
Elana Cooper, violin
Currently based in The Netherlands, Elana Cooper performs on baroque violin, baroque viola, and modern violin. She has performed with ensembles in Europe (Holland Baroque, Dutch Baroque Orchestra, MA Academy in Bruges, Saintes Jeunes Orchestre de l’Abbaye in France), Canada (Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Vancouver Opera Orchestra), and the US (Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, Oregon Bach Festival Period Orchestra).
Elana holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of British Columbia, where she studied with David Gillham. She also studied baroque violin with Chloe Meyers and Marc Destrubé in Vancouver as a recipient of the Early Music Vancouver Scholarship Programme. Elana studied baroque violin as a Master’s student at the Historical Performance Institute at Indiana University with Stanley Ritchie. In June 2023, Elana will complete her Masters degree in baroque violin at Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague as a student of Kati Debretzeni. Elana is looking forward to joining the Theresia Classical Orchestra and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Academy in 2023.
Stéphanie Brochard, dancer
Stéphanie Brochard’s many talents have been displayed in various platforms including dance theatre, contemporary dance, the art of clown and baroque dance. As a baroque dance specialist, she can be seen on the national and international stage, and has worked with festivals and ensembles, such as the Montréal Baroque Festival, the Early Music Festival Alberta, the Toronto Masque Theatre, Les Boréades de Montréal, Clavecin en Concert and the Boston Early Music Festival. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Les Jardins Chorégraphiques, a dance company specialising in early dance. In 2015 Stephanie started choreographing her first contemporary work, Me Squared. In 2017 she created her first solo work, Compromis Improbable, which stemmed from a desire to explore a new choreographic vocabulary by fusing baroque and contemporary dance, marking a turning point in Stéphanie's choreographic journey and developing this vocabulary in each of her creations.
Baroque Mentorship Orchestra
About five years ago a new and exciting educational initiative took root in Vancouver, a Baroque Mentorship Orchestra in which the seasoned professionals of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra rehearse and perform side-by-side with students and aspiring young artists from the community. The programme is made possible by the collaboration of Early Music Vancouver, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and the University of British Columbia, and thanks to the generosity of Vic and Joan Baker. The mentorship orchestra is directed by Alexander Weimann. Chloe Meyers and Natalie Mackie serve as regular mentors, aided by many other specialist coaches for strings, woodwinds, and brasses. The orchestra has offered an ambitious variety of music from the 17th and 18th centuries: highlights have included Telemann’s Don Quixote Suite, Handel’s Fireworks Music at the Chan Centre, a spicy programme of Mediterranean music entitled Fandango!, excerpts from Handel’s magnificent early opera Agrippina, and a festival of Telemann concertos and suites.
Chloe Meyers, music director
Violinist Chloe Meyers is a regular guest leader and orchestra member of baroque ensembles all over North America. She has worked with ensembles including Les Violons du Roy, Tafelmusik, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Les Boréades, the Theatre of Early Music, Les Idées Heureuses and Les Voix Baroques. She recently joined the Pacific Baroque Orchestra as concertmaster and will continue to play principal second with Arion Baroque Orchestra in Montreal. Most recently she played first violin on a Juno Award winning recording of Handel arias featuring Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin on the Atma Classique label.