Greek conductor George Petrou enjoyed a successful career as a concert pianist before gradually turning to conducting. He now has a flourishing international career and is currently considered as one of the world’s leading Handel specialists. From 2022, he will be the Artistic Director of the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen. He regularly collaborates with renowned orchestras in a very wide repertoire, ranging from baroque to contemporary music. He is the Artistic Director of the renowned Athens-based orchestra Armonia Atenea, which tours and records extensively, performing on both period and modern instruments. This evening’s concert marks his debut leading the NAC Orchestra.
George Petrou is a very active opera conductor with an emphasis on historically informed practices, not only in baroque music but also in later repertoire. He is a regular guest of major opera houses and has lately developed an interest in staging, having signed several successful productions of musical theatre and opera.
George Petrou has released many recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and MDG labels. His recording of Handel’s Tamerlano for MDG received the prestigious ECHO Klassik award in 2008, and Handel’s Ottone, released by Decca, was nominated for a GRAMMY®. The French government awarded him the title of “Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres.”
Recognized for her unique artistic curiosity in world-class performances spanning the music of Monteverdi and Hasse through to György Ligeti and George Benjamin, Lauren Snouffer is celebrated as one of the most versatile and respected sopranos on the international stage.
Concert highlights this season include Bernstein’s Candide with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, a program of Haydn and Mozart with Bernard Labadie and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, Messiah with the Cleveland Orchestra and New York Philharmonic, and the present debut with the NAC Orchestra. Lauren Snouffer’s schedule has yielded marvelous collaborations with many of the world’s most distinguished conductors and orchestras including performances with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra, Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic, Cristian Măcelaru and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Krzysztof Urbański and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Markus Stenz and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Marin Alsop and the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo.
An impactful discography includes Hasse’s Siroe and Handel’s Ottone with George Petrou for Decca, Gottschalk’s Requiem for the Living with Vladimir Lande on Novona Records, Grantham’s La canción desesperada conducted by Craig Hella Johnson on Harmonia Mundi, and Feldman’s The Rothko Chapel with Steven Schick for ECM.
Canadian-Korean countertenor David DQ Lee is fast establishing an enviable reputation among countertenors of his generation. He has won prizes at many international music competitions including the Francisco Viñas Competition in Spain, George London Competition in New York City, Musica Sacra International Competition in Italy, Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium and Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
With repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary and jazz to New Age, David DQ Lee has performed at La Scala in Milan, Komische Oper Berlin, Theater an der Wien, Teatro Real in Madrid, Liceu Opera in Barcelona, Chicago Opera, Semperoper in Dresden, Zurich Opera House and more. He has appeared at the Ravinia and Aspen music festivals, as well as the Beaune Baroque Opera Festival in France, to name just a few.
Having made his NAC debut in 2015 with the world premiere of Ana Sokolović’s Golden slumbers kiss your eyes…, David DQ Lee continues to sing this work with the NAC Orchestra. He can be heard performing it with the Orchestra on their New Worlds recording released by Analekta in 2018, as well as concerts in the UK as part of their European tour next spring.Read full NAC bio ›
On the international stages of opera, concert and recital, Canadian John Tessier garners praise and attention for the beauty and honesty of his voice, for a refined style and creative versatility, and for his handsome presence in the lyric tenor repertoire.
In the 2018–2019 operatic season, John Tessier returns to New Zealand Opera to reprise his internationally acclaimed portrayal of Conte Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia; North American operatic engagements include The Merry Widow at Vancouver Opera and Rossini’s comic masterpiece Le comte Ory with Edmonton Opera. On the concert stage, the tenor is heard in performances of Mozart’s Requiem with Hervé Niquet leading the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and in these present performances of Handel’s Messiah.
Operatic performances in Ottawa have included The Mikado, The Magic Flute and Don Pasquale with Opera Lyra Ottawa; and concert appearances with the NAC Orchestra with Pinchas Zukerman and Alexander Shelley, as well as with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie.
Concert highlights of the past include Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Iván Fischer and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust with the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.
Lauded as “flat out brilliant” by Opera News, Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch is a leading interpreter of Mozart roles, most notably Don Giovanni, Almaviva and Figaro, which he has performed at New York City Opera, Teatro Colón and Vancouver Opera, to name just a few. He has also excelled in creating leading roles in contemporary opera, including the roles of Ennis del Mar in Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain at Teatro Real in Madrid, and Willy Wonka in Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket at Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Atlanta Opera.
This season, Daniel Okulitch returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Nico Muhly’s Marnie and performs the title role in Handel’s Saul with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. In concert, he has been heard with the Israel Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony orchestras, as well as in Chicago’s Grant Park Festival. He makes his NAC debut with this evening’s concert.
Daniel Okulitch can be heard on the original cast recording of Baz Luhrmann’s production of La bohème and David DiChiera’s Cyrano de Bergerac. His first solo recording, The New American Art Song, which features the songs of Ricky Ian Gordon, Jake Heggie, Lowell Liebermann and Glen Roven, was released on GPR Records in 2011.
Cantata Singers of Ottawa (CSO) is known across Canada as a versatile and skilled choral ensemble. The choir has performed at the NAC every year since the opening in 1969. It performed Golden slumbers kiss your eyes… on the recent NAC Orchestra recording New Worlds.
Now in its 55th season, the choir presents an annual concert series with repertoire ranging from classical to contemporary, from Canada and around the world. CSO presents Bach Cantatas by Candlelight on March 9, 2019 accompanied by the orchestra of the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal performing on period instruments. The CSO season concludes on May 26 with Bruckner’s Mass in E minor.
The choir’s next guest appearance with the NAC Orchestra will be January 16–17, singing Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.
Andrew McAnerney, Artistic Director of CSO, is also Director of the Men and Boys Choir at Christ Church Cathedral, and Artistic Director of the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal. A music graduate of Oxford University, he recently made his conducting debut with the NAC Orchestra in a performance of the Monteverdi Vespers with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. He has conducted such groups as Ensemble Caprice, Elora Festival Singers and La Rose des Vents.
The Capital Chamber Choir was formed in 2009 with a focus on contemporary and Canadian choral music. The choir consists of 35 members and attracts a diverse and dedicated audience. The ensemble has been praised for its skill, energy, vocal blend, and commitment to performing new and challenging music.
The Capital Chamber Choir released its debut album, The Delight of Paradise, in April 2017. In July 2018, they completed a tour to St. John’s, Newfoundland, where they performed at PODIUM, the national convention of Choral Canada. The choir’s 2018–2019 season began with A Baltic Celebration in October and will conclude in June with a performance of Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles. Throughout the season, the choir collaborates with the NAC Orchestra, singing next in performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in January.
Jamie Loback became the Capital Chamber Choir’s Artistic Director in 2012. A graduate of the University of Ottawa’s School of Music, he has served as Music Director at St. Joseph’s Parish since 2005 and conducts several choirs in Ottawa, including the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir and the Ottawa Children’s Choir (Chamber and Boys’ Choirs).
The Ewashko Singers have developed into one of the most flexible vocal ensembles in the National Capital Region. From Beethoven, Mahler and Verdi to Richard Rodgers and Howard Shore, they skillfully perform music across a wide range of genres and languages under the direction of Laurence Ewashko.
Formed in 1992 for a live broadcast marking 50 years of Radio Canada International, the Ewashko Singers – in addition to their own concert series – regularly combine their vocal talent with other choirs for performances with the NAC Orchestra. When performing their own concert series, the Ewashko Singers make a point of promoting Canada’s artistic culture by performing choral pieces by Canadian composers. They are passionate about these glorious pieces of music. With their sense of community and gorgeous harmonies, the Ewashko Singers have become one of Ottawa’s premier chamber choirs. Along with their Artistic Director. Laurence Ewashko, the Ewashko Singers are helping to keep the vibrant choral tradition alive in the city.
This season includes performances with the NAC Orchestra in their Pops series, as well as Britten’s War Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and a concert version of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in June.Read full NAC bio ›
Former conductor of the Vienna Boys’ Choir, Laurence Ewashko celebrates his 30th season of choral activity in the National Capital Region. As a choral clinician, vocal coach and adjudicator, he makes a significant contribution to the quality and appreciation of vocal music in Canada and abroad.
Ewashko has prepared choruses for many prestigious conductors, including Sir Colin Davis, Trevor Pinnock, Mario Bernardi, Gabriel Chmura, Jane Glover, Jack Everly, Pinchas Zukerman and Alexander Shelley. He regularly prepares choruses for performances at the NAC. Recent highlights include his work as chorus master for two exciting projects involving Canadian composers and the NAC Orchestra: a live recording of Ana Sokolović’s Golden slumbers kiss your eyes..., and the revival of Harry Somers’ opera Louis Riel as part of Canada 150 celebrations.
Recently appointed Full Professor of Choral Studies at the University of Ottawa, Laurence Ewashko conducts the School of Music’s two choirs. He has been chorus master and vocal coach for the Banff Centre's summer programs and was the music director of the Cantata Singers for 17 years. He also conducted Opera Lyra Ottawa’s chorus from 1988 to 2015. He is a recipient of the prestigious Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting.
Tobi Hunt McCoy is enjoying another year as Season Stage Manager with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In past seasons, McCoy stage managed the Lord of the Rings Symphony, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Christopher Plummer in 2001 and Colm Feore in 2014, and much of the Orchestra’s educational and Pops programming. In 2014, she co-produced the Pops show On the Air with Jack Everly for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, a show they produced in 2007 for the NAC Orchestra.
Additional professional duties have included cheering on Luke and Princess Leia with Charlie Ross, Émilie Fournier and Erik Ochsner during the Star Wars Pops concert; dressing up in 1980’s finery for All Night Long – Music of the 80s; bracing the backstage doors against the almighty power of Richard Strauss, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the air conditioning system at Montreal’s La Maison Symphonique; providing air-guitar support during the Led Zeppelin tribute concert; and duck wrangling for the Mysterioso Pops concert.
She is excited to be back teaching English and Drama at Lisgar Collegiate.Read full NAC bio ›