This production is a collaboration with the Vancouver Chamber Choir
Please note: Handel’s Messiah is excluded from our subscription ticket offer.
Artists: The Vancouver Chamber Choir & The Pacific Baroque Orchestra with soprano Sherezade Panthaki, alto Allyson McHardy, tenor Nicholas Scott, and bass Jonathon Adams, conducted by Alexander Weimann
In this Messiah production, shepherded by Alexander Weimann, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the outstanding soloists and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra embark on an inspired spiritual and artistic journey toward a new, vibrant way of unlocking Handel’s most masterful work.
“Even after having conducted this piece a few dozen times, and having played it some hundred times earlier, I am still puzzled how conclusive and coherent it comes to live in performance. It does not have a narrative as we would find in other oratorios, at least not at the surface, and the form is quite unusual. It feels like a novel whose protagonist we never directly meet, but carefully and gently approach through a sequence of portrayals and depictions of their birth, life, suffering, death and legacy, and what all that means to us. In my years of knowing the piece, I have found the Messiah a sacred, but not exclusively religious subject, rather the account of a universal and inclusive human quest.” (Alexander Weimann, March 2023)
This concert is generously sponsored by Dr Katherine Paton, Eric Wyness & The Drance Family
Sherezade Panthaki, soprano
Soprano Sherezade Panthaki enjoys ongoing international collaborations with many of the world’s leading conductors including Mark Morris and Nicholas Kraemer to name two. Celebrated for her “full, luxuriously toned upper range” (The Los Angeles Times), and “astonishing coloratura with radiant top notes” (Calgary Herald) particularly in the music of Bach and Handel, recent seasons have included performances with many of the world’s leading orchestras the New York Philharmonic, Bach Collegium Japan, Wiener Akademie (Austria), NDR Hannover Radiophilharmonie (Germany), the Boston Early Music Festival and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Canada) amongst others.
Ms. Panthaki is no stranger to classical and modern concert repertoire; she is in high demand for her interpretations of Mozart, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Poulenc, and Orff, as well as numerous new music premieres. Born and raised in India, Ms. Panthaki holds graduate degrees with top honors from the Yale School of Music and the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor’s from West Virginia Wesleyan College. She is a founding member and artistic advisor of the newly-debuted Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble – a vocal octet celebrating racial and ethnic diversity in performances and educational programs of early and new music and she currently heads the Vocal Program at Mount Holyoke College.
Allyson McHardy, alto
A unique vocal colour and commanding stage presence are the hallmarks of performances by mezzo‐soprano Allyson McHardy. Hailed by Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle as “a singer of enormous imagination and versatility,” Ms. McHardy has appeared with the Paris Opera, Festival d’Aix‐en‐Provence, Chicago Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Glyndebourne Festival, San Francisco Opera, Boston Symphony, Canadian Opera Company, Warsaw Philharmonic and Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse. Adam Fischer, Seiji Ozawa, Jeremy Rohrer, Kent Nagano, Emmanuelle Haim, Bernard Labadie, Ludovic Morlot, Carlos Kalmar and Jesus Lopez Cobos are among the conductors with whom she has collaborated for performances of works such as L’enfant et les sortileges, La clemenza di Tito, Das Rheingold, Dream of Gerontius and Messiah.
Nicholas Scott, tenor
With extensive experience in the field of early music, British tenor Nicholas Scott enjoys a busy international schedule. His 2022/2023 season included his Italian debut as Don Carlos in a concert version of Les Indes Galates with Filarmonica Toscanini, followed by concerts and recording of Rigel’s works with Arion Baroque in a return to Canada, and a performance at Chateau de Versailles with Les Ombres. Mr. Scott rejoined Les Arts Florissants for two tours (December 2022 and April 2023) performing in venues such as the Barbican Centre, Philharmonie de Paris, and Carnegie Hall, among others.
Other highlights included his debut at the Berlin Philharmonie conducted by Vincent Dumestre, a reprise of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with Cappella Mediterranea touring in France and Canada, as well as performances and a recording of the world-premiere of Philippe d’Orléans La Jérusalem délivrée at Opéra Royal de Versailles under the baton of Leonardo García Alarcon. Upcoming engagements include a new international tour with the ensemble I Gemelli, the tenor solo in Handel’s Messiah with Les Arts Florissants in 2023 and a tour of Saint Matthew Passion with Le Banquet Céleste.
Jonathon Adams, bass
EMV’s 2021 Artist-in-Residence, Jonathan Adams was born in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, Canada). Jonathan is a Two-Spirit, nêhiyaw michif (Cree-Métis) baritone and performance artist. In concert, they have appeared as a soloist with Philippe Herreweghe, Sigiswald Kuijken, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Václav Luks, Ensemble BachPlus, Vox Luminis, il Gardellino, and B’Rock Orchestra at Opera-Ballet Flanders. Jonathon is a featured soloist in the film MESSIAH / COMPLEX produced by Against the Grain Theatre and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (2020). Jonathon was a fellow of the Netherland Bach Society in 2020 and performs regularly with Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir. Future solo engagements include recording and concerts with il Gardellino, concerts with Servir Antico, Les Voix Humaines, Ensemble Caprice, L’Orchestre Baroque Arion, Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, L’Harmonie des Saisons, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra amongst others.
Thanks to a long term ‘Creating, Knowing and Sharing’ grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, 2021 witnessed the world premiere of Adams’ performance piece nipahimiw / the plaint with collaborators Christi Belcourt, Reneltta Arluk, Evan Ducharme, Susie Napper and Catalina Vicens. nipahimiw / the plaint is slate for presentation at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver’s UBC First Nations Longhouse, Montreal’s McCord Museum, Quamajuq Inuit Art Museum (Winnipeg) and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
Vancouver Chamber Choir
Artistic Director Kari Turunen began leading the Vancouver Chamber Choir (VCC), one of Canada’s premier professional choral ensembles, in September 2019. Founded by Jon Washburn in 1971 the VCC has enjoyed amazing success -, ranking with the handful of North America’s best professional choruses and noted for its diverse repertoire and performing excellence. In addition to concerts at home in Vancouver and across Canada, international excursions have taken them to the USA, Mexico, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Finland, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.
VCC has performed countless concerts and broadcasts, released 36 recordings and received numerous awards including the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence by Chorus America. Foremost supporters of Canadian music, they are responsible for commissions and premieres of nearly 400 choral works by 150 composers and arrangers, most of whom are Canadian. Over the years the choir has sung over 4,000 performances of works by Canadian composers, in addition to their extensive international repertoire. The choir’s award-winning educational programs include the Conductors’ Symposium for advanced choral conductors, Interplay interactive workshops for choral composers, Focus professional development program for student singers, OnSite visitations for school choirs, the biennial Young Composers’ Competition, and many on-tour workshops and residencies.
Pacific Baroque Orchestra
The ‘house band’ of Early Music Vancouver, The Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO) is recognized as one of Canada’s most exciting and innovative ensembles performing “early music for modern ears.” Formed in 1990, the orchestra quickly established itself as a force in Vancouver’s burgeoning music scene with the ongoing support of Early Music Vancouver. In 2009, PBO welcomed Alexander Weimann as Director. His imaginative programming, creativity and engaging musicianship have carved out a unique and vital place in the cultural landscape of Vancouver.
PBO regularly joins forces with internationally-celebrated Canadian guest artists, providing performance opportunities for Canadian musicians while exposing West Coast audiences to a spectacular variety of talent. The Orchestra has also toured throughout BC, the northern United States, and across Canada. Their 2019 East Coast Canadian tour with Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin culminated in a critically acclaimed album, Nuit Blanches, released by Atma Classique.
Kari Turunen, Artistic Director of Vancouver Chamber Choir
Artistic Director of the Vancouver Chamber Choir since 2019, Kari Turunen is a versatile performer and continues to play an important role in the choral music scene in his native Finland as an artistic director, educator and administrator. He has toured extensively across Europe and Asia as a conductor, performer, clinician and adjudicator and is the recipient of numerous international prizes with the choral ensembles he has directed including the professional early music ensembles Ensemble Petraloysio and I Dodici, with which he continues to work.
He was a founding member of Lumen Valo. In 2008, he was named Finnish Choral Conductor of the Year and is the recipient of numerous grants from Finnish and Finnish-Swedish Cultural Foundations. In addition to his artistic activities, Dr. Turunen has been active in festival administration. He was the Artistic Director of the 2022 Finnish-Swedish Song Celebration and of the Aurore Renaissance Festival in Helsinki from 2015-2020. He was also Chair of the Finnish Choral Directors’ Association (FCDA) from 1997-2018. This year he takes on the Artistic Directorship of the 2023 Tampere Vocal Music Festival. Kari Turunen holds a doctorate in early music performance practice from the University of the Arts, Helsinki, and an MA in choral conducting from the Sibelius Academy.
Alexander Weimann, Artistic Director of Pacific Baroque Orchestra
Alexander Weimann is one of the most sought-after ensemble directors, soloists, and chamber music partners of his generation. After travelling the world with ensembles such as Tragicomedia, Cantus Cölln, the Freiburger Barockorchester, Gesualdo Consort and Tafelmusik, he now focuses on his activities as Music Director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver, Music Director of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and regular guest conductor of ensembles including the Victoria Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Arion Baroque Orchestra in Montreal and the Portland Baroque Orchestra.
Alex was born in Munich, where he studied the organ, church music, musicology (with a summa con laude thesis on Bach’s secco recitatives), theatre, mediæval Latin, and jazz piano, supported by a variety of federal scholarships. From 1990 to 1995, he taught music theory, improvisation, and Jazz at the Munich Musikhochschule. Since 1998, he has been giving master classes in harpsichord and historical performance practice at institutions such as Lunds University in Malmö, the Bremen Musikhochschule, the University of California (Berkeley), Dartmouth College (New Hampshire), McGill University, Université de Montréal, and Mount Allison (New Brunswick). He now teaches at the University of British Columbia and directs the Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme there. He has received several JUNO and GRAMMY Award nominations – most recently, for the album Nuit Blanches with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Karina Gauvin.