A CANADIAN FAURÉ TO NEW YORK
Conductor Lisette Canton Brings Choirs from
Toronto, Ottawa, and St. John’s to Carnegie Hall
NEW YORK, NY, April 3, 2019 – A northern light will shine through the performance of Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, May 25. Ontario-based conductor Lisette Canton will conduct the New England Symphonic Ensemble; vocal soloists Danielle Talamantes, soprano and Rob McGinness, baritone; and a choir, more than 165 voices strong, containing members of the following Canadian ensembles:
- Philharmonic Choir of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada (Stephen Candow, Director)
- York University Singers, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Lisette Canton, Director)
- Coro Vivo Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada (Antonio Llaca, Director)
- Grand Choeur du Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau, Ottawa, Canada (Antonio Llaca, Director)
The four Canadian groups will be joined by the Whippany Park High School Choir, Whippany Park, NJ (Craig Limey, Director); the Sparta High School Honors Choir, Sparta, NJ (Laura Lopez, Director); and the Lakeland Chorale and Chamber Singers of Wanaque, NJ (James Weber, Director). The performance, part of MidAmerica Productions’ 36th concert season, will start at 8 pm.
Ms. Canton says, “We recently performed in the Église de la Madeleine in Paris, where Fauré was organist and choirmaster, and where he composed the Requiem, so this appearance will be that much more special and personal for the singers. For many, it will be their first time ever performing in Carnegie Hall, and, with their own conductor leading them in that magnificent venue, it will make for an unforgettable experience.”
“The offer to perform Fauré’s Requiem with MidAmerica Productions at Carnegie Hall is exhilarating,” says Mr. Candow. “Our group is very excited to travel all the way to New York from our island in the far-east North Atlantic Ocean to participate in what promises to be a once in a lifetime experience!”
“I am most honoured to have been invited to prepare my choirs to perform a work so unique as Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem,” says Mr. Llaca. “The Requiem is a time-honored and most beloved piece, and it is a source of immense pride for me to bring my singers to share in this performance on the international stage, and particularly so at Carnegie Hall.”
The Fauré Requiem differs from settings by such composers as Mozart, Berlioz and Verdi, whose visions of death involved powerful, dramatic evocations of purgatory and damnation. To Fauré, death was a joyful deliverance to eternal rest: the soul at peace, in the eternal light of a forgiving God. While slow to catch on in the decades after its premiere, Fauré’s Requiem is now appreciated for its tranquility, clarity and delicacy, with arching melodies and exquisitely supple harmonies.
Sharing the Playbill
The May 25 concert will also include an unusual pairing of Morten Lauridsen’s contemporary choral classic Lux Aeterna with a new work designed to be performed with it, Prism, by William Menefield, in its New York premiere. Eva Floyd will conduct the Lauridsen, and KellyAnn Nelson the Menefield, accompanied by the New England Symphonic Ensemble. A choir of more than 140 voices will be drawn from the following ensembles, all making their Carnegie Hall debuts:
- Bishop England Chorale, Charleston, SC (Thomas Gerber, Director)
- The Seven Hills School Choir, Cincinnati, OH (Tina Kuhlman, Director)
- Denver Choir League, Wheat Ridge, CO (Katy Lushman, Director)
- Mariemont High School Choir, Cincinnati, OH (Elizabeth McGahey, Director)
- Young Professionals Choral Collective, Cincinnati, OH (KellyAnn Nelson, Director)
The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, Texas, under its Director, Melinda Imthurn, will perform a program of music by Jocelyn Hagen, Dessa, Linda Tutas Haugen, and Gwyneth Walker. They will be joined by the Saint Dominic Academy Glee Club of Jersey City, NJ, as well as the New England Symphonic Ensemble.
Mozart’s rarely heard Sparrow Mass and Haydn’s popular Te Deum will also be performed. Leslie Dala will conduct the Mozart, which will feature vocal soloists Danielle Talamantes, soprano; Anne Marie Stanley, mezzo-soprano; Thomas Masey, tenor; and Rob McGinness, baritone; and Scott Glysson will conduct the Haydn. The New England Symphonic Ensemble will accompany both performances, which will be sung by the following participating choruses:
- Wilton High School Symphonic Chorus, Wilton, CT (Kevin Cotellese, Director)
- Vancouver Bach Choir, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Leslie Dala, Director)
- Cal Poly Choirs, San Luis Obispo, CA (Scott Glysson, Director)
Concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage are $150, $100, and $50. Tickets may be obtained by contacting CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, visiting the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 57th Street and 7th Avenue in New York, NY, or by going online to www.carnegiehall.org). For more information, contact [email protected]
Lisette Canton, Conductor
Lisette Canton is a choral and orchestral conductor, vocal coach, guest conductor, adjudicator and early music specialist. She is the Founder/Artistic Director of the internationally acclaimed Ottawa Bach Choir, and Associate Professor/Head of Choral Music at York University in Toronto, where she conducts three ensembles and directs the graduate program in choral music.
Dr. Canton has been a guest conductor at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, and taken the Ottawa Bach Choir on four European tours, including an invitation as the first Canadian choir in Bachfest Leipzig 2014, with an invitation to return in 2020. She has conducted across Canada and Europe, China, Mexico, the USA, and prepared choirs for Franz-Paul Decker, Pinchas Zukerman, Helmuth Rilling and John Rutter. She is also Artistic Director of the Canada International Choral Festival.
Dr. Canton has degrees from the University of Illinois, Eastman School of Music and McGill University.
About York University Singers – Lisette Canton, Director
The York University Singers is comprised of the highest caliber choral ensemble at York University, in Toronto, along with professional singers from the Ottawa Bach Choir, under the direction of Dr. Lisette Canton. The ensemble presents a varied repertoire, including a cappella works from all musical periods, as well as major choral works with orchestra. The choir has performed several concerts in Canada, as well as the United States, Europe and China, to local and international acclaim.
About Philharmonic Choir of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra – Stephen Candow, Director
The Philharmonic Choir of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra (PCNSO) is a 100-voice community choir, based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Founded in 1987 as an oratorio choir specifically to perform Handel’s Messiah, the PCNSO has broadened its repertoire substantially and now performs four concerts annually, with a wide variety of music. The singers range in age from 20 to 80 and come from diverse backgrounds: some are present or former professional musicians and music educators, but many are working professionals and retired persons. Stephen Candow became the PCNSO’s conductor in April, 2017.
About Coro Vivo Ottawa and Grand Choeur du Conservatoire – Antonio Llaca, Director
Under the baton of Antonio Llaca, Coro Vivo Ottawa (CVO) and the Grand Choeur du Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau (GCdC) are two major vocal ensembles in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Both ensembles perform a variety of repertoire spanning from Renaissance to contemporary choral music and both CVO and the GCdC are comprised of dedicated, talented amateur singers, professional musicians and music students.
About MidAmerica Productions
Maestro Peter Tiboris created and conducted his first concert in New York on January 7, 1984, at Lincoln Center, featuring The American Symphony Orchestra, soloists, and three choruses, the Louisiana Chorale of Acadiana, Camerata Singers of Baton Rouge, and Collegiate Chorale of New York. Although he didn’t realize it at the time, Mr. Tiboris had just started his own successful production company, MidAmerica Productions, which would become the foremost independent producer of choral concerts in Carnegie Hall.
During its 36 years, MidAmerica Productions has brought together conductors, soloists, and choral and instrumental ensembles from the U.S. and abroad to appear at New York’s top venues, including Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Weill Recital Hall, and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall; and Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall (now David Geffen Hall) at Lincoln Center. In addition to presenting instrumental and classic choral works, MidAmerica Productions has championed the works of contemporary composers with approximately 92 World Premieres, 21 United States Premieres and 100 New York Premieres.
Additionally, MidAmerica Productions has presented concerts in numerous U.S. cities and in countries throughout the world, including Greece, England, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Italy, France and Russia.