Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur des Mélomanes presents

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

Experience Beethoven’s thrilling symphonic choral masterpiece with its climactic Ode to Joy in a stunning performance by the L’Orchestre Philharmonique et Chœur des Mélomanes. This transcendent piece has brought humanity together for over 200 years with its majestic music and poetry, delivering the powerful message of freedom!

This concert will also feature Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade for orchestra Op.33 as well as one of Brahms’ finest choral works, Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny).

For the occasion, soprano Sydney Baedke, mezzo-soprano Simona Genga, tenor John Mac Master, and baritone Brett Polegato will unite their voices with 100 choristers, accompanied by 60 musicians on stage, conducted by Francis Choiniere.

Francis Choinière, conductor
Sydney Baedke, soprano

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). She began her vocal training at age five in her native Alberta and has since made emerging artist appearances across Canada, the United States, and Europe. At once praised for her “shimmering coloratura” (Opera News) and her vocal “roundness & warmth” (Le Devoir), she is making a name for herself as an artist of versatility in a wide breadth of repertoire.

The 2023/24 season sees Sydney perform with organizations including the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as the soprano soloist in Bruckner’s Te Deum, Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur des Mélomanes for her return to Maison Symphonique as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, The Brott Music Festival & Orchestre Classique de Montréal for their respective Messiah’s, and Pacific Opera Victoria for her role & company debut as Contessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro.

Simona Genga, Mezzo

Italian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Simona Genga possesses an “exceptional and rare voice” known for its “vocal plushness, amplitude and range” (Ludwig van Toronto/Opera Canada).

The upcoming 23/24 season sees Simona make debuts on the concert stage with the Victoria Symphony (Handel’s Messiah) and Orchestre Philharmonique et Chœurs des Mélomanes (Beethoven’s Ninth), as well as a return to the Canadian Opera Company for a cover assignment in Cherubini’s Medea.

Genga was a 22/23 Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition National Semi-Finalist after winning both the Great Lakes Region and Buffalo-Toronto District rounds. The season also included her debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa) and joining San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Program, appearing as Bianca in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and in recital for Metamorphosis: Recovery, Renewal, and Rebirth.

John Mac Master, tenor

Since his astonishing portrayal of Canio in Pagliacci at Glimmerglass Opera, John Mac Master has enjoyed a career at the highest international level performing dramatic tenor repertoire. Performances and recording projects include Florestan in Fidelio with Sir Colin Davis in London, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Sir Bernard Haitink (both with the London Symphony Orchestra) and Dresden’s Semper Oper as Calaf in Turandot conducted by Fabio Luisi. Mr. Mac Master’s acclaimed Metropolitan Opera début came as Canio in Pagliacci in performances that included the Saturday Afternoon ‘Live from the Met’ radio broadcast. Of particular note was his assumption of the role of Tristan in Tristan und Isolde for Welsh National Opera conducted by Mark Wigglesworth and a subsequent outing at the Met in this demanding role, with Levine in the pit. His schedule has also included performances of Verdi’s Requiem at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa with Zukerman, Aegisth in Elektra for the Canadian Opera Company, Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with William Eddins and the Edmonton Symphony plus Pagliacci and Ariadne auf Naxos (both for Vancouver Opera).

Mr. Mac Master has repeated a number of his signature roles including Florestan in Fidelio for Edmonton Opera, and Herodes in Salome with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New Orleans Opera. On the concert stage he was featured in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Toronto Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for the Seattle Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Colorado Symphony and the Victoria Symphony. He was heard in Verdi’s Requiem for the Vail Valley Festival in Colorado (Philadelphia Orchestra and Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain (both conducted by Nezet-Seguin) and the Laval Symphony, the title role in Otello for Calgary Opera, Dead Man Walking and Aegisth in Elektra for l’Opéra de Montréal.

Brett Polegato, baritone

Brett Polegato’s artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics: “his is a serious and seductive voice” says The Globe and Mail, and The New York Times has praised him for his “burnished, well-focused voice” which he uses with “considerable intelligence and nuance.” The Italian-Canadian baritone appears regularly on the world’s most distinguished stages including those of Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Concertgebouw, the Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, the Teatro Real, Roy Thomson Hall, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall, and has collaborated with conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Daniele Gatti, Andris Nelsons, Bernard Haitink, Seiji Ozawa, Jeffrey Tate, Marc Minkowski, and Martyn Brabbins. He can be heard as soloist in the Grammy Awards’ Best Classical Recording of 2003 – Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (Telarc) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano.

Mr. Polegato begins his 2023/2024 season with a return to Lithuania in September to reprise the title role in a performance of Szymanowski’s Król Roger, this time with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra. His season continues in November when he travels to Montréal to sing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Orchestre Philharmonique des Mélomanes, before heading on to Halifax where he will perform Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder for the first time with Symphony Nova Scotia. After time with friends and family for the holidays, Brett travels to Vienna in the New Year to make his debut as Capulet in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with the Theater an der Wein. March finds the Toronto-based baritone at home where he will collaborate with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir on a new arrangement of Schubert’s Die Winterreise for baritone and chorus. Brett closes his busy season with another role debut: that of Germont père in Verdi’s La traviata, when he returns to Ireland to sing with Irish National Opera.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Ballade for orchestra Op.33
Johannes Brahms, Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), Op. 54
Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No 9

Maison symphonique
Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 7:30pm

To purchase your tickets visit: www.placedesarts.com