SEASON 2021-2022

winnipeg baroque festival

An unprecedented collaboration between three Winnipeg choirs who are passionate about Baroque music: Canzona, Dead of Winter and Polycoro. Each choir will produce its own concert (April 8, 9 and 10, 2022) focusing on early music from a different region: Canzona – England; Polycoro – Italy; and Dead of Winter – Germany. The festival will culminate on April 15, 2022 with a three-choir performance of J.S. Bach’s St John Passion with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, masterful Baroque soloists, and a combined force of powerful Manitoba choristers.

The Winnipeg Baroque Festival is a collaboration between three Winnipeg choirs who are passionate about Baroque music: Canzona, Dead of Winter and Polycoro. This unprecedented collaboration celebrates the return of choral singing after the lengthy restrictions due to COVID-19. We will lift our voices together in music that has resonated with listeners for centuries – music that has stood the test of time and now serves to restore our souls once again.

Each choir will produce its own concert (April 8, 9 and 10, 2022) focusing on early music from a different region: Canzona – England; Dead of Winter – Germany; and Polycoro – Italy. [N.B. Each choir is responsible for the production and artistic costs of its own concert.] The following week will include workshops, masterclasses, panel discussions and lecture-recitals that illuminate different facets of early music and historically informed performance. The festival will culminate on April 15, 2022 with a performance of J.S. Bach’s St John Passion with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Baroque soloists Jane Fingler, Marion Newman, Haitham Haidar and Jonathon Adams, and a combined force of the most powerful Manitoba choristers. We believe this will be the first-ever performance of this monumental piece on historical instruments in Manitoba. 

The inclusion of period instruments is integral to our vision of this festival. The Pacific Baroque Orchestra visited Manitoba for the first time in 2018 to great acclaim. These musicians are world-class experts in “historically informed performance” (HIP), an approach that uses instruments and techniques as close as possible to those used in Bach’s time. With the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, we propose to transport the audience back in time to Leipzig, Germany to hear this Passion performed the way Bach would have heard it at its première on Good Friday in 1724 – just as glorious, visceral and relevant today as then. 

Canzona, Dead of Winter and Polycoro are excited to be partnering in this way for the first time. We believe that strengthening the ties between our organizations will benefit the larger choral community. We hope to draw national and international attention to the significant choral talent in Manitoba and establish the Winnipeg Baroque Festival as a nexus of world-class early music performance.

Individual Events within the Baroque Festival

Music for Sister Queens with Canzona

DATE: Friday, April 8, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. 

VENUE:
Crescent Fort Rouge United Church
525 Wardlaw Ave, Winnipeg

CURATOR/CONDUCTOR: Kathleen Allan

Music of the Sister Queens celebrates two of the most powerful women of the Baroque period with two great English works: Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary and Handel’s Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne. Purcell’s famous anthem, Hear My Prayer, O Lord, will be performed alongside a world premiere re-interpretation by Canadian composer Dorothy Chang.

Polycoro: Elevation

DATE: Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

VENUE:
Crescent Fort Rouge United Church
525 Wardlaw Ave, Winnipeg

CURATOR/CONDUCTOR: John Wiens

Polycoro will perform music above and around the audience with digital projections by Jason Fung. Early Italian baroque works include pieces by Pitoni, Benevoli, Marenzio, and Ugolini.

He(inrich) Schütz, He Scores with Dead of Winter

DATE: Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. 

VENUE:
Crescent Fort Rouge United Church
525 Wardlaw Ave, Winnipeg

CURATOR/CONDUCTOR: David Fallis

He(inrich) Schütz, He Scores will be a showcase of the secular music of Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672), featuring Musiklische Exequien (Funeral Music) Op. 7, SWV 279–28, considered a masterpiece of the Baroque period, as well as his famed madrigals and music from contemporaries such as Samuel Scheidt and Johann Herman Schein.

We are honoured to have early music specialist and music history scholar David Fallis conducting this concert. Over his stellar career, David was music director of the renowned Opera Atelier, Toronto Consort and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, performing, touring and recording extensively. In recent times, David has been a major advocate for the music of Dead of Winter’s artistic director and composer, Andrew Balfour.

St. John Passion with Canzona, Dead of Winter, and Polycoro

DATE: Friday, April 15, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. 

VENUE:
Crescent Fort Rouge United Church
525 Wardlaw Ave, Winnipeg

CURATOR/CONDUCTOR: Kathleen Allan

Dead of Winter will join forces with Canzona and Polycoro for J. S. Bach’s St John Passion. This performance will mark the first collaboration between the three choirs and the first time the work has been played on period instruments in Manitoba. The epic choral work will feature the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, masterful Baroque soloists, and a combined force of powerful Manitoba choristers.. St John Passion will mark the beginning of a collaborative choral tradition intended to continue for years to come.

Share