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  • WDCH
  • Dec. 14, 2006
  • Labadie's Chorus La Chapelle de Québec Joins Orchestra for

    Three Bach Masterworks





    Labadie's performances supported by the Fairchild-Martindale Guest Conductor's Fund.

    December 16 concert is sponsored by Acura. Media support provided by KCET.

    Bernard Labadie, a recognized specialist in Baroque and Classical music, returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall with La Chapelle de Québec to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic in an all-Bach program on Thursday, December 14 at 8 p.m., Friday, December 15 at 11 a.m., Saturday, December 16 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 17 at 2 p.m. The concerts feature three masterpieces from Bach's Leipzig period: the motet Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227; the cantata Gloria in excelsis Deo, BWV 191; and the Magnificat, BWV 243a. Mezzo-soprano Marie-Nicole Lemieux, tenor James Taylor, and baritone Brett Polegato make their Philharmonic debuts and are joined by soprano Mary Wilson for the performance of the Magnificat.

    Bach's Magnificat is one of the four monumental choral works of his Leipzig period. He composed it in 1723 for Christmas, and this original version featured four extra movements based on traditional Lutheran hymns for the Christmas season. In the more frequently performed revised version of the work, Bach dropped the four Christmas interpolations, which Labadie will restore for these Los Angeles Philharmonic performances. The program opens with the motet Jesu, meine Freude, a choral masterpiece in eleven contrasting sections, and the cantata Gloria in excelsis Deo, whose three movements Bach later included in his Mass in B minor.

    Upbeat Live
    pre-concert events take place in BP Hall one hour prior to each concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and are free to all ticket holders. Russell Steinberg, composer and conductor of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, is speaker. On Friday, Upbeat Live takes place in the main auditorium at 9:45 a.m.

    BERNARD LABADIE was born in Québec, Canada, in 1966. He is one of Québec's most active musicians. He studied recorder and voice before devoting himself to choral and orchestral conducting. Labadie is a graduate of the School of Music of Laval University in Québec City, where he conducted his first concerts, including Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, which he directed at the age of nineteen. He also directed the Québec premiere of Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea in 1984. He took honors in harmony and counterpoint at the Québec and Montréal Conservatoires, and was recipient of bursaries from the Ministry of Culture of Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. He has studied Gregorian Chant with the renowned Dom Jean Claire at the Abbaye Saint-Pierrede Solesmes, and conducting with Simon Streatfeild, Pierre Dervaux and John Eliot Gardiner. He is particularly renowned in Canada and Europe for his work with two ensembles he founded: Les Violons du Roy (1984) and the professional choir La Chapelle de Québec (1985). In May 2003, Labadie left L'Opéra de Québec, where he had been Artistic Director since July 1994, to take up a new position at L'Opéra de Montréal, where he was appointed in April 2002. Labadie has released twelve CDs on the Dorian label, two of which have won Juno Awards. He now records for Virgin Classics and ATMA.

    In 2000, at the age of 24, contralto MARIE-NICOLE LEMIEUX became the first Canadian to win the 1st Prize as well as the Special Prize for Lieder at the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition of Belgium. Winning this prestigious award opened the door to an immediate international career, allowing her to perform in recital and in concert with many great orchestras and conductors world-wide. She has an exclusive contract with the NAÏVE label and her first recital CD (L'Heure exquise) of French melodies with piano was hailed by the critics and the public alike. Upcoming projects in 2006-2007 include her U.S. solo debut (recital in Kansas and as a guest soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic), more recording projects with Naïve and a Canada tour with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, under Kent Nagano. On stage, she will perform Giulio Cesare in Handel's masterpiece at Opéra de Nancy, France, Polinesso in Handel's Ariodante, marking her debut at Opéra de Genève in Switzerland; and Genevieve in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, under Bernard Haitink.

    Canadian baritone BRETT POLEGATO was born in Niagara Falls, Canada. He won the prestigious 1995 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, a win which followed similar acclaim from Japan's Pacific Music Festival and Finland's Mirjam Helin International Competition. He has also received the distinguished William Matheus Sullivan Foundation Grant for Opera and a Canadian Council Career Development Grant. The powerful combination of musical artistry and dramatic invention has placed Brett Polegato in the top ranks of today's young baritones. He has appeared on many of the world's distinguished stages in 19 countries, including those of Lincoln Center, Milan's La Scala, Royal Albert Hall, Concertgebouw, Royal Court Theatre of Versailles, Roy Thomson Hall, Carnegie Hall, Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and Palau de la Musica. In the 2003-2004 season, he made his New York City Opera debut to critical acclaim as the Count in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, shortly before returning to Carnegie Hall with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to reprise their Grammy Award winning performance of A Sea Symphony. He has worked with such esteemed conductors as Yves Abel, Richard Bonynge, Sir Andrew Davis, Nicholas McGegan, Marc Minkowski, Seiji Ozawa and Carlo Rizzi.

    American tenor JAMES TAYLOR was born in Dallas, Texas. He studied singing with Arden Hopkin at Texas Christian University and graduated in 1991. A Fulbright Scholarship enabled his attendance at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich with Adalbert Kraus and Daphne Evangelatos, culminating in his graduation with a master class diploma. Since 1995 he has been associated with the Stuttgart Opera. He is one of the most sought after Evangelists in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. During the 2005/06 season Taylor made his Chicago Symphony debut in the Bach Magnificat and Mozart Requiem with Helmuth Rilling, and repeated his highly acclaimed portrayal of the Evangelist in the St. Matthew Passion for his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra. In May of 2005, The Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale School of Music announced the appointment of James Taylor to the voice faculty in the Program in Early Music, Song, and Chamber Ensemble, as Associate Professor of Voice.

    Originally from Rosemount, Minnesota, soprano MARY WILSON is acknowledged as one of today's most exciting young artists. She received her BM in Vocal Performance with Departmental Distinction from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. She studied voice with Dan Dressen and sang in the world-famous St. Olaf Choir. She pursued additional study at the New England Conservatory of Music with Susan Clickner. She received her MM in Vocal Performance at Washington University in May 1999 and is a student of John Stewart. Cultivating a wide-ranging career singing chamber music, oratorio, and operatic repertoire, Wilson was named a 2004 "Emerging Artist" by Symphony magazine, the first-ever compilation of recommended soloists and conductors by the American Symphony Orchestra League. She recently created the role of Grand Duchess Christina in world premiere performances of Philip Glass' Galileo Galilei in Chicago and New York. She sang the Missouri premiere of the Handel Gloria with the Bach Society of St. Louis, Carmina Burana with the Pennsylvania Ballet and Mozart's Mass in C Minor with the Jacksonville Symphony.

    The mixed-voice chamber choir LA CHAPELLE DE QUÉBEC was founded by Bernard Labadie in 1985. From that time it has worked closely with 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 and Ascension Oratorio, B Minor Mass, Magnificat, St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion and Lutheran Mass, in addition to the 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, besides several sacred works by Vivaldi. The choir has also given concerts of a cappella works, and pieces with piano accompaniment by Schubert and Brahms. La Chapelle de Québec has featured frequently in CBC and Radio-Canada broadcasts, and has completed several tours, mostly with Les Violons du Roy. A North America Tour (Toronto, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver) was completed in October 2004 with the Mozart Requiem, and the Messiah with Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Bernard Labadie at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in December 2004. In 1998, Bernard Labadie restructured the choir to give it a national focus. It now recruits high-caliber professional singers from across Québec and Canada. Its regular concerts in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa and Québec City - especially in Handel's famous Messiah, which it has now performed several dozen times - are always greeted with public and critical enthusiasm. La Chapelle de Québec won a Juno Award for the recording of Mozart's Requiem released in 2002 on the Dorian label.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music - Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association's involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.






    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    BERNARD LABADIE, conductor

    MARY WILSON, soprano

    MARIE-NICOLE LEMIEUX, mezzo-soprano

    JAMES TAYLOR, tenor

    BRETT POLEGATO, baritone


    J.S. BACH Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227

    J.S. BACH Gloria in excelsis Deo, BWV 191

    J.S. BACH Magnificat, BWV 243a

    Upbeat Live
    pre-concert events take in BP Hall place one hour prior to each concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and are free to all ticket holders. Russell Steinberg, composer and conductor of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, is speaker. On Friday, Upbeat Live takes place in the main auditorium at 9:45 a.m.

    Labadie's performances supported by the Fairchild-Martindale Guest Conductor's Fund.

    Saturday's concert is sponsored by Acura. Media support provided by KCET.

    Complimentary parking is being offered to all Acura vehicles entering Walt Disney Concert Hall for the Saturday, December 16 concert. Also, all members of the audience are welcome to enjoy desserts and coffee immediately after the concert, courtesy of Acura.

    Tickets ($15-135) are on sale now online at, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, 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:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3408; Rachelle Roe 213.972.7310; Photos: 213.972.3034