Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal & Arion Baroque Orchestra present

Handel’s Messiah

Generous inspiration, melodic breadth, powerful choruses, and a variety of moods are what characterize Messiah, originally composed for Holy Week but since also a Christmas favourite. Handel’s grand oratorio retracing Christ’s passage on Earth did not, however, please London audiences at first, shocked at its having been performed in a theatre. But since the composer often had it performed in support of the Foundling Hospital for abandoned children, the English soon raised it up to its immense and enduring popularity.

Andrew McAnerney, conductor
Susan Elizabeth Brown, soprano

Susan Elizabeth Brown has appeared in opera and concert throughout Canada with various ensembles, recently including Primera Sola Niña (Ainadamar, Golijov) and covering Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart) with Opéra de Montréal, and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni, Mozart) and Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti) with Festival d’opéra de Québec and Jeunesses Musicales Canada. Other notable roles include Adina (Elisir d’amore) Gilda (Rigoletto), Frasquita (Carmen) Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) La Princesse (L’enfant et les sortilèges) Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Belinda (Dido and Aeneas) and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi). Highlights of her concert repertoire include Messiah (Handel), the Requiems of Brahms, Fauré, and Mozart, Carmina Burana (Orff), and Stabat Mater (Pergolesi). She is an alumna of the National Arts Centre Young Artists Program, has a diploma in music theatre from St. Lawrence college, and has studied classical singing exclusively in private studios. Originally from Kingston, Ontario, she is now based in Montreal.

Nicholas Burns, alto

From Vancouver, Canada, countertenor Nicholas Burns has been described as possessing a “thrilling voice” and past performances have been described as a “revelation” (Opera Canada, le Devoir). As an artist at the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, Nicholas performed Bach cantatas under Philippe Herreweghe. He has also appeared with the American Bach Soloists, Tafelmusik, Early Music Vancouver, Arion Baroque Orchestra, The Theatre of Early Music, le Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, L’Harmonie des saisons, and l’Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil. On the opera stage, Nicholas has performed in numerous Handel operas including Cesare in Giulio Cesare, Bertarido in Rodelinda, Polinesso in Ariodante, and Lichas in Hercules. He also gave the world premiere of the opera L’Orangeraie by French composer Zad Moultaka. Upcoming performances include engagements with the BachFest Leipzig, Tafelmusik, Toronto Bach Festival, Corona del Mar Baroque Music Festival, Oberlin Conservatory, and Early Music Vancouver. Aside from singing, Nicholas is an accomplished bagpiper, having won the World Pipe Band Championships in 2012.

Haitham Haidar, tenor

Haitham Haidar is a Lebanese-Palestinian Canadian tenor based in Montreal. He is a proud graduate of Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music, McGill’s Schulich School of Music, and the University of British Columbia. Praised for his ‘ductile,’ ‘bright,’ and ‘robust’ tenor, Haitham enjoys performing oratorio, opera, and chamber music across North America, Europe, and Asia. Haitham is also a proud member of Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble (KVE), whose mission aims to present vocal music with the highest artistic excellence, while celebrating racial, ethnic, and gender diversity.

Haitham has been seen as a tenor soloist on a US and European tour with Apollo’s Fire (Exile: Music of Resilience) and at the Winnipeg Baroque Festival under the direction of Kathleen Allan (Bach’s St. John Passion: Evangelist). He has also been a recent soloist and ensemble member with KVE and Folger Consort, TENET Vocal Artists, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Conspirare.

Geoffroy Salvas, baritone

Baritone Geoffroy Salvas has been recognized as First Prize winner of the Concours International de Chant de Marseille 2017 in the Operetta category, New England Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council 2019, Laureate of the French melody competition Classica 2019 and recipient of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation Grant for Young Singers. He studied with Gabrielle Lavigne and Aline Kutan at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal before joining the Atelier Lyrique at the Opera of Montreal for 2 seasons. In 2018, he premiered the role of Mantoo, for the opening season concert of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kent Nagano, as one of the two main characters in Chaakapesh, an opera by Matthew Rickets. In 2019, he made his debut at Opera de Toulon (France) in the rôle of Mathieu (Andrea Chénier). In 2021, he was reinvited by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Otto Tausk for Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été. His performed repertoire includes Valentin (Faust), Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), Morales (Carmen), Mercutio (Roméo et Juliette), Nero (Nero and the fall of Lehman Brothers), Ein deutsches Requiem (Brahms), Requiem (Fauré), Messiah (Handel), Matthäus-Passion (Bach), Winterreise (Schubert).Highlights among his future and recent engagements include Germont in La Traviata at the Seine Musicale in Paris, Masetto in Don Giovanni for Opéra de Québec, Morales in Carmen at Pacific Opera Victoria, Vater in Hänsel und Gretel for the Music Conservatory of Montreal and Poulenc’s Le bal masque with Camerata-RCO – members of the Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal
Arion Baroque Orchestra

Friday, November 17, 2023 – 7:30pm
Saturday, November 18, 2023 – 4:00pm
Sunday, November 19, 2023 – 2:30pm

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