Orchestre symphonique de Montréal presents

Voices of Women: an Ode to Life

Throughout this concert’s musical and poetic journey under the direction of Dina Gilbert, we listen to the multiple, timeless, and unusual voices of women artists, performed by an entirely female roster. Canadian composers Ana Sokolović, Alexina Louie, and Barbara Croall are featured alongside French composer Lili Boulanger and English composer Elizabeth Maconchy in a selection of works anchored in diversity, featuring throat singing, violin, flute, and orchestra. Weaving a narrative swathed in the colours of the tundra, Innu poet Joséphine Bacon gives a reading of her poetry on the themes of night, the seasons, and the cycle of life. With sensitivity, wisdom and creativity, this event creates a valuable space for dialogue between cultures, eras, and languages.

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
Dina Gilbert, conductor

Conductor Dina Gilbert attracts critical acclaim for her energy, precision and versatility. Currently Music Director of the Kamloops Symphony (British-Columbia) and of the Orchestre symphonique de l’Estuaire (Québec), she is known for her contagious dynamism and her audacious programming. As Principal Conductor of the Grands Ballets Canadiens she has led the company in premieres by choreographers Garreth Smith, Cathy Marston and Edward Clug in Canada and in Europe. Dina is frequently invited to conduct the leading Canadian orchestras, including the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre métropolitain, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Québec. Overseas, Dina has conducted the Orquestra Simfonica del Gran Teatre Del Liceu, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre national de Lyon and a series of concerts in Japan with the Sinfonia Varsovia. Passionate about expanding classical audiences and with an innate curiosity towards non-classical musical genres, Dina has conducted several Hip-Hop Symphonic programmes collaborating with renowned Hip hop artists such as I AM, MC Solaar, Youssoupha, Arsenik and Bigflo & Oli. Committed to music education, she has reached thousands of children in Canada with her interactive Conducting 101 workshops. From 2013 to 2016, Dina was assistant conductor of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Maestro Kent Nagano, also assisting guest conductors including Zubin Mehta and Sir Roger Norrington.

Evie Mark and Akinisie Sivuarapik, performers of traditional Inuit throat singing

Inuit throat singer Evie Mark began throat singing at age 11, and at 18 embarked on her career as a performer. She has toured the world, performing alongside orchestras and with other traditional artists. She also designs and produces modern traditional garments. Raised in Ivujivik, a small community located at the northernmost point of Nunavik (Quebec), she worked hard to learn her ancestral ways and to help to preserve the heritage of her people. Today, she is renowned for her remarkable abilities in traditional throat singing and storytelling, skills that brought her to share her culture on the international stage. Another one of Evie’s passions has been film production: her works and television appearances have aired on APTN and CBC. She took part in the OSM and National Arts Centre Orchestra tours to Nunavik, respectively in 2008 and 2012, as well as appearing at the Arctic Winter Games in 2000. Currently, Evie teaches Inuktitut and Arts at Nunavik Sivunitsavut, a post-secondary program aimed at developing knowledge, work and leadership skills rooted in Inuit culture. She has also taught throat singing, storytelling, and traditional clothing design to high school youth, and led presentations and workshops in most schools in Nunavik and British Columbia.

Inuit throat singer Akinisie Sivuarapik was born and raised in Puvirnituq, Nunavik (Northern Quebec). She is a well known performing artist specializing in throat singing and drum dancing. Growing up in her community, she always had a very special bond with her grandmother, Mary Sivuarapik, deepened by learning the cultural values of throat singing with her. “In my family there are more girls than boys, so throat singing was our way of getting together and having fun with my grandmother. I love throat singing because my grandmother made it so special for me.” Akinisie has travelled all over the world to share her special gift: Germany, Norway, France, Greenland, Belgium, Austria, Mexico, and many other places across Canada. Today, she continues to perform while teaching the younger Inuit generation the important tradition of throat singing, or Katadjak.

Rihab Chaieb, mezzo-soprano

Since graduating from the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program, Tunisian-born Rihab Chaieb has made a number of important debuts and positioned herself as an artist of note of the lyric mezzo-soprano repertoire.   Her versatility was particularly evident in recent seasons, with a debut at the Dutch National Opera as Lola (Cavalleria rusticana), and in the roles of Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Cincinnati Opera, the title role in Offenbach’s Fantasio at Opéra et Orchestre National de Montpellier, Zerlina (Don Giovanni), at the Met, in addition to receiving unanimous acclaim for her debut as Carmen at Oper Köln. The 2020–2021 season will feature her first Charlotte (Werther) at Opera Vlaanderen, and she returns to The Met as Nefertiti (Akhnaten).   Recently, Chaieb has performed debuts with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Otto Tausk, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Carlos Miguel Prieto, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Kent Nagano, and at the Toronto Summer Music Festival. She also joined Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin for Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 and Bach’s Mass in B minor. Concert appearances in the 2020–2021 season include Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Handel’s Messiah with the Orchestre Classique de Montréal.

Marie-Hélène Breault, flute

Marie-Hélène Breault stands out for her versatility, her creativity and the excellence of her work as a flutist, composer-arranger, artistic director, pedagogue and cultural manager. As a flutist, she has distinguished herself through her participation in the premiere performances of several works by Canadian composers, and her collaborations with theatre and dance artists. She frequently performs with the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ). She was also a member of the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+) for several years. The winner of numerous awards, she frequently receives grants for her creation and performance projects from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ). Marie-Hélène Breault teaches flute at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

Marianne Dugal, violin

Marianne Dugal played in the first-violin section of the OSM for over a decade before being named Second Associate Concertmaster in 2008. She was also a soloist with the Orchestra, under Charles Dutoit and Kent Nagano. In 2008, she participated in a historic tour of Nunavik with six of her colleagues and Maestro Nagano; she was also on the tour in 2018. She is very active as a chamber player throughout Quebec, Canada and the United States. She studied under Sergiu Schwartz at the Harid Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida, where she won First Prize in the National Society of Arts and Letters’ Violin Competition. Marianne Dugal has the great privilege of playing a violin made by Stradivarius in 1716 with a Sartory bow, both generously on loan from Canimex.

Joséphine Bacon, poet

Joséphine Bacon is an Innu poet born in Pessamit, Quebec, in 1947. A filmmaker and lyricist, she is acclaimed as a leading author in Quebec. After her first collection of poetry Bâtons à message/Tshissinuatshitakana [Message Sticks/Tshissinuatshitakana] (2009) was published by Mémoire d’encrier, in 2010, she was awarded the reader’s prize at the Marché de la poésie de Montréal for her poem “Dessine-moi l’arbre” [Draw Me a Tree]. Subsequent Mémoire d’encrier publications include Nous sommes tous des sauvages [We Are All Uncivilized] (2011), a collaboration with José Acquelin and Un thé dans la toundra/Nipishapui nete mushuat [A Tea in the Tundra/Nipishapui Nete Mushuat] (2013, Finalist for the Governor General’s Award and the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal). Her most recent collection, Uiesh • Quelque part [Uiesh • Somewhere] (2018) earned her the 2019 Prix des libraires. Joséphine Bacon has taught the Innu-aimun language for more than 40 years and gives numerous writing workshops and talks in universities, CÉGEPs and in several Indigenous communities. She has also penned numerous translations from Innu-aimun to French.   In film, Joséphine Bacon has worked as a translator and voice-off for several documentaries and short films, including by filmmaker Arthur Lamothe. She directed Tshishe Mishtikuashisht—Le petit grand européen (Johan Beetz, 1997) and Ameshkuatan—Les sorties du castor (1978).

Boulanger, D’un soir triste (11 min.)
Elizabeth Maconchy, Serenata Concertante, excerpt (5 min.)
Barbara Croall, Zasakwaa [There is a Heavy Frost] (10 min.)
Alexina Louie, Take the Dog Sled (21 min.)
Ana Sokolović, Love Songs, for female voice: “Ma mère” (3 min.)
Boulanger, D’un matin de printemps (5 min.)

Free Webcast
Tuesday, June 15, 2021 – 7:00pm until June 22, 2021

To reserve your ticket visit: www.osm.ca