Winnipeg's Canzona Choir making stop in Gretna

Artistic Director Kathleen Allan conducting. (supplied photo)

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Winnipeg’s celebrated Baroque choir, Canzona, is touring the province for the first time from December 4-9 with stops in Gretna, Steinbach, Winnipeg and Brandon as the group is set to perform one of Bach’s most beloved works and the ensemble is joined by four internationally renowned soloists, and JUNO-nominated, Vancouver-based, Pacific Baroque Orchestra.

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto are ready to make their way across Manitoba for the first time like it has never been heard before. The soloists include Winnipeg native, star soprano soloist Tracy Dahl, who has sung lead roles in opera houses all over the world including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala in Milan and the San Francisco Opera, alto Vicki St. Pierre who is a regular guest of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Opera Atelier as well as most of the major Canadian symphony orchestras.

Tenor Dann Coakwell who has been described by the New York Times as a “clear-voiced and eloquent… a vivid storyteller,” and Canadian baritone Tyler Duncan who is a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera as well as with many of North America’s top symphonies and opera companies.

“This is the kind of opportunity that doesn’t come around very often – for our singers, the orchestra and our audiences. The Christmas Oratorio is one of the pillars of Bach’s output, and to perform it with such a dream team is very exciting,” said Kathleen Allan, Canzona’s Artistic Director. “This will be the first time the work has been performed with a period instrument orchestra in Manitoba. These historical instruments lend highly expressive colours to the music and combined with the incredible roster of soloists, this is going to be a not-to-miss show for audiences across the province.”

Canzona and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra will be touring four performances in Southern Manitoba, December 4 – 9:

Dec. 4 – Brandon – Knox United Church, 8 p.m.

Dec. 7 – Winnipeg – Westminster United Church, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 8 – Gretna – Buhler Hall, 7:30  p.m.

Dec. 9 – Steinbach, Mennonite Heritage Village Auditorium, 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.canzona.ca.

About Canzona

Rooted in a love of Baroque music, Canzona’s mission is to transform audiences through exceptional choral performance. Founded in 1989 by conductor Henry Engbrecht, Canzona is now entering its 30th season and has become one of Manitoba’s premiere choral ensembles. Under Artistic Director, Kathleen Allan, the choir continues to delve into the Baroque masterworks while staying committed to introducing Manitoba audiences to lesser-known composers and providing context for the works of the past in the contemporary world. Canzona’s mandate is to bring exceptional choral music to Manitoba audiences and to provide high-level professional opportunities for Manitoba singers.

Canzona’s music has reached audiences around the world, and the major success of the three-volume German Hymns project brought Canzona’s recordings to the homes of thousands of North American families. The choir has collaborated with leading organizations such as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Groundswell, Camerata Nova, and MusickBarock. In addition to the Christmas Oratorio tour, this year’s 30th anniversary season includes the premiere of a new commission by composer Peter Hannan and a collaboration with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in Handel’s Israel in Egypt.

About Pacific Baroque Orchestra (pacificbaroque.com)

The Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO) was formed in 1990 by a group of dedicated musicians who shared a passion for performing Baroque and early Classical music. The Orchestra quickly established itself as a force in Vancouver’s music scene, and soon developed close relationships with related arts organizations such as Early Music Vancouver (EMV). In 1996, the PBO began its own annual Vancouver-based concert series of engaging programs, innovative collaborations, and international soloists that have become hallmarks of PBO concerts.

In addition to continuing its own annual Vancouver-based series, the orchestra is doing an increasing amount of touring and recording. 2019 will see the orchestra play all over North America. Highlights included invitations to play at Koerner Hall in Toronto, Salle Bourgie in Montreal, Jordan Hall in Boston for the Boston Early Music Festival, Town Hall for Early Music Seattle and as part of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society’s annual series.

In 2014, PBO was honoured to have its recording of Handel’s ORLANDO nominated for a JUNO Award. The orchestra is looking forward to its next recording on the Atma label featuring Canadian soprano, Karina Gauvin in the fall of 2019.

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