La Bohème

Embark on a musical journey from tragedy to hope, from death to life, from loneliness to love in La Bohème. The Orchestre Philharmonique et Chœur des Mélomanes (OPCM) will present a concert version of Puccini’s masterpiece featuring Andrew Haji (Rodolfo) and Myriam Leblanc (Mimi), in an unforgettable tragedy of love accompanied by 60 musicians and 120 choristers from the OPCM and the Petits Chanteurs de Mont-Royal under the direction of Francis Choinière.

Francis Choinière, conductor
Orchestre Philharmonique
Choeur des Mélomanes
Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal, children’s choir
Andrew Gray, choir conductor
Andrew Haji, Rodolfo

Canadian tenor Andrew Haji is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after voices on both the operatic and concert stages. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 50th International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and the Montreal International Music Competition’s Oratorio Prize, Haji recently performed Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with Pinnock and the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Messiah for the Toronto Symphony – Debus conducting.

Myriam Leblanc, Mimi

The young coloratura soprano Myriam Leblanc is the recipient of several prizes: first prize and Audience Choice Award at the Trois-Rivières Symphony Orchestra Competition, Young Lyric Ambassador 2014 (Québec Bavaria prize), winner of an Audience Choice Award in the Center Stage competition of the Canadian Opera Company, third prize in the Auditions Nouvelles Découvertes competition of the Ottawa Choral Society, winner of the excellence grant awarded annually by the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and the first prize at the Mathieu Duguay Early Music Competition at the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival in 2017. Myriam Leblanc is a versatile artist who works as much in the classical world as in the bel canto, as in the baroque. She is recognized for her timbre of great purity, for her supple and warm voice and her great mastery in both technical and musical expressiveness.

Christian Wagner, Marcello

The German baritone, Christian Martin Benjamin Wagner, studied the cello, modern languages, philosophy, pedagogy and others, before he came to find out he had a good singing voice. Training at the conservatory/university (“Hochschule”) of Mainz city with Professor Claudia Eder.

Sydney Baedke, Musetta

Noted as a “rising star to watch” by Opera Canada, soprano Sydney Baedke has been described as possessing a voice of “exquisite lyricism” (The Guardian) and “impressive richness” (London Unattached). Her 2022/23 season began with her debut at London’s Royal Opera House in Oliver Mears’ critically acclaimed production of The Rape of Lucretia co-produced with Britten Pears Arts, for which she was praised for her “passionate & hauntingly sad” and “unmistakeably moving” portrayal of the Female Chorus (Plays to See, Opera Today). In 2023 she also makes her debut as Musetta in La bohème in concert at Montreal’s Place des Arts with Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur des Mélomanes.

Justin Welsh, Schaunard

British Columbia baritone Justin Welsh’s career highlights include appearances as Crown in Porgy and Bess with Kent Nagano conducting l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Queegueg in the Canadian premiere of Moby Dick for Calgary Opera, in which he garnered praise from the Calgary Herald’s Kenneth Delong, who noted “Justin Welsh brings a finely drawn vocal technique to the part, his voice beautiful throughout the register. Dramatically, too, Welsh’s role was exceptionally well-realized, a major accomplishment as a singing actor.” Justin has also sung Marcello in La bohème for l’Opéra de Montréal and Papageno in The Magic Flute and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro for Pacific Opera Victoria. In the realm of newer opera, he has made notable appearances in Vivier’s Musik für das Ende produced by Soundstreams, Flight for Pacific Opera Victoria, and Against the Grain Theatre’s on-going project, Bound.  

Alex Halliday, Colline

Hailing from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Alex Halliday completed his Master of Music in Opera Performance at the University of Toronto. Halliday was a member of the Opera Roadshow for three years, concluding with his role as the Fisherman in Dean Burry’s La Nez de la Sorcière. In 2019, he performed the role of Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème with COSÌ Connection and the Father in Paola Prestini and Royce Vavrek’s Silent Light at the BANFF Centre. He has also been a member of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir.

Tom Goerz, Benoît / Alcindoro

Thomas Goerz, bass-baritone, is an outstanding singing-actor who excels in both opera and musical theatre. With clarity of voice and character, he has shone in such roles as Dr. Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro with Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria; Owen Hart in Dead Man Walking in Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver; and Titurel in Parsifal at Quebec’s Festival Lanaudière conducted by Yannick Nezet-Sequin. 

Maison symphonique
Friday, January 20, 2023 at 7:30pm

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