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  • BERNARD LABADIE LEADS LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC IN SPECIAL HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES OF HANDEL'S "MESSIAH"
  • Dec. 16, 2004
  • La Chapelle de Québec Joins Philharmonic and Vocal Soloists Karina Gauvin,
    Andreas Scholl, John Tessier, and Nathan Berg

    THURSDAY - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16 - 19

    AT WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

    Ring in the Christmas season with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as it performs Handel's beloved oratorio, Messiah, at Walt Disney Concert Hall in four performances: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, December 16, 17, and 18 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 19, at 2 p.m. Conductor Bernard Labadie leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chapelle de Quebec -the choir which he founded - and soprano Karina Gauvin, countertenor Andreas Scholl, tenor John Tessier, and bass-baritone Nathan Berg.

    Last performed by the Philharmonic at holiday time more than thirty years ago, Handel's Messiah is one of the best-known and -loved oratorios in the repertoire. Written in the early 1740s, Messiah was composed in less than a month - a mere 24 days - as an instant success and continues to be the composer's most popular work.

    BERNARD LABADIE is widely considered to be one of the most versatile and dynamic conductors of his generation. A specialist of the Baroque and Classical eras, he is best known in his native Canada and abroad for his work with two groups, the chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy (1984) and the chamber choir La Chapelle de Québec (1985), which he founded and with which he has toured extensively. He led both groups in performances of Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart's Requiem at Lincoln Center in New York in September 2001, and in Handel's Messiah at Massey Hall in Toronto in December 2001. During the spring of 2003, he took Les Violons du Roy on a major European tour with American counter-tenor David Daniels, giving concerts in Bergen, London, Paris, and Salzburg. Labadie is also passionately interested in opera, and since July 1994 has been the artistic and music director of L'Opéra de Québec, where he has conducted fifteen different operas by Mozart, Puccini, Rossini, Verdi, Bellini, Donizetti, Bizet, Thomas, and Humperdinck. He was appointed Artistic Director of l'Opéra de Montréal, in April 2002. He has also conducted at Opera Lyra in Ottawa and the Opera Festival of New Jersey. He appeared for the first time with the Glimmerglass Opera in the summer of 2003. Bernard Labadie won the 2001-2002 Opus Award from listeners of Radio-Canada's Chaîne culturelle.

    KARINA GAUVIN's vast repertoire covers music from Johann Sebastian Bach to Benjamin Britten and Luciano Berio. She has performed in the major concert halls of North America and Europe with such orchestras as the Montreal Symphony, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the Toronto Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, and Les Violons du Roy with conductors as diverse as Charles Dutoit, Christopher Hogwood, Helmuth Rilling, Bruno Weil, Bernard Labadie, and Andrew Parrot. Recent engagements include a European tour with Musica Antiqua Köln, the title role in Handel's Opera Alcina with Les Violons du Roy, her debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in Handel's Messiah, and Mozart's C minor Mass with Toronto's Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

    Countertenor ANDREAS SCHOLL has performed with major orchestras throughout the U.S. and Europe. His operatic debut with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Bertarido in Handel's Rodelinda was greeted with unprecedented critial acclaim, and in the 2001/2002 season he took the title role in a new production of Giulio Cesare for Royal Danish Opera. A committed recital artist, Scholl has performed at Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Cologne Philharmonie, Concertgebouw, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Chatelet, Tonhalle Zurich, and Orange County, and at the Sydney, Brighton, Lufthansa, Schwetzinger, Schleswig-Holstein, Beaune, Schubertiade, Bath, and Salzburg Festivals. Born in Germany, Scholl studied with Richard Levitt and René Jacobs at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where he was awarded a Diploma of Ancient Music. He was a winner of the ECHO Award, Prix de l'Union de la Presse Musicale Belge, and a 2002 Edison Award for his recording of A Musicall Banquet.

    Tenor JOHN TESSIER has gained attention and praise for his refined style and artistic versatility on the opera stage, as soloist, and in recital. He regularly works with the most notable conductors today, including Martin Haselböck, Bernard Labadie, Nicholas McGegan, John Nelson, and Robert Spano. During the 2004/2005 season Tessier's operatic roles include Gerald in Lakmé for the operas of Calgary and Edmonton and Ferrando in Così fan tutte at Vancouver and Glimmerglass Opera. His concert schedule includes performances of The Creation with Chicago's Music of the Baroque, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra; Messiah with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Mozart Requiem with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; and performances and a recording of Carmina Burana with Pro Coro Canada. Tessier has appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Handel & Haydn Society, San Francisco Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Born in Saskatchewan, Canada, bass-baritone NATHAN BERG began his vocal studies in the U.S.. He continued his studies in Paris, and finally at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he began to study with Vera Rozsa. Winner of the Gold Medal for Singers at the Guildhall, he has also won prizes in the Royal Over-Seas League, Peter Pears, Kathleen Ferrier, and Walther Gruner Lieder competitions. Berg's discography includes Handel's Messiah (Harmonia Mundi), Dvorák's Stabat mater with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony, songs by Othmar Schoeck with the English Chamber Orchestra (Novalis) and with Julius Drake (Jecklin), and a recording of Mendelssohn songs and duets with Sophie Daneman and Eugene Asti (Hyperion).

    The mixed-voice chamber choir LA CHAPELLE DE QUÉBEC was founded by Bernard Labadie in 1985. From that time it has worked closely with Labadie's chamber orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, appearing in major works for choir and orchestra, especially from the 18th century. These have included Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Easter Oratorio, Ascension Oratorio, B-Minor Mass, Magnificat, St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion and Lutheran Mass, in addition to Bach's motets and various cantatas, Handel's Messiah, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert's G Major Mass, the Requiem masses by Mozart and Fauré, and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and King Arthur, as well as several sacred works by Vivaldi. The choir has also given concerts of a cappella works, and pieces with piano accompaniment by Schubert and Brahms.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, AT 8 PM

    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 17, AT 8 PM

    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18, AT 8 PM

    SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, AT 2 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC

    Bernard Labadie, conductor

    Karina Gauvin, soprano

    Andreas Scholl, countertenor

    John Tessier, tenor

    Nathan Berg, bass-baritone

    La Chapelle de Québec

    HANDEL Messiah

    Tickets ($15 - $125) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at LAPhil.com, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($15), will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • contact:

    Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310; photos: 213.972.3034