Music for lovers,
Oscar Peterson concert hall
The Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra (MWSO), under the conductorship of Joseph Milo, is pleased to present their latest concert, Romantic Arias- Music for Lovers – an evening of opera, operetta and Broadway, at the beautiful Oscar Peterson Concert Hall on Concordia University’s Loyola Campus on Sunday, February 27 at 2pm.The concert features soloists Sharon Azrieli, soprano; Jessica Bowes, mezzo; Hugues Saint-Gelais, tenor and Charles Prévost-Linton, baritone. Jordan Gasparik from the opera collective Liederwolfe is the emcee for the evening. The uplifting program, highlighting arias, duets and quartets in different styles, appeals to a broad audience.
This program of love and music will present famous arias from well-known operas like Carmen, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Fledemaus and La Traviata, as well as endearing operettas such as Tales of Hoffman and The Countess Maritza. There will also be timeless melodies from Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess, various popular Broadway song selections from Richard Rodgers, as well as from favourite musicals including Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats.
The Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra begins their sixth year by celebrating love musically, in the form of opera and musical theatre. According to Maestro Joseph Milo, there is often a lack of creativity in celebrating love, “Opera and musical theatre is the stage expression of what we all feel- there is nothing like going to a concert where the content addresses those sentiments in an artistic form.”
Milo founded the MWSO to offer a platform for immigrant professional musicians in Montreal. Made up of over 50 musicians from all over the world, it is the first of its kind in Canada. For Milo, an important element of the orchestra is the actual concept of ‘musicians of the world’. He adds, “The versatility of our programming enhances our uniqueness as we often feature music from different ethnic cultures, as well as diverse styles including musicals, jazz and some pop too, while never abandoning classical music.” The orchestra continues to offer a welcoming, creative environment; this is their 30th concert.
Sharon Azrieli- soprano
Montreal soprano Sharon Azrieli Perez has been hailed as a “mistress of merry inflection and piquant words” by Andrew Porter of the New Yorker Magazine. She has just returned from New York, where she sang Madame Lidoine in les Dialogues des Carmelites by Poulenc with the One World Symphony. Next she will sing her first Aida with the New Jersey Verismo Opera Company in April. Sharon has sung two concerts this year with the Israel Chamber Orchestra as well as with the Festivale Sepharade in Montreal, amongst others. Next year she will sing one of her favourite roles in all opera, Mimi in La Boheme, with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York and holds a M.M. from the University of Montreal.
Charles Prévost-Linton- baritone
Charles Prévost-Linton has without a doubt followed one of the most unusual career paths of any Quebec singer. Part of a famous local rock group, The Sinners, when he was only fifteen, he later pursued a solo career in pop music before going over to the classical field. After completing his formal music studies, he sang numerous roles at the Montreal Opera House and abroad, and has given many recitals and concerts with the best local orchestras under prestigious conductors. Able to sing both in baritone and tenor registers, Prévost continues to thrill audiences with his brilliant voice and great scenic ease, in the classical field as well as in pop music, from rock to big band swing.
Hugues Saint-Gelais- tenor
Hugues Saint-Gelais earned his Master’s degree in voice from Laval University in Quebec, before going on for further training in the performance of baroque music in the United States and in the Lieder repertoire in Germany. For several years he has been attracting notice as soloist both in Canada and abroad, performing with numerous orchestras in the oratorio repertoire, opera and contemporary music as well as in solo recitals. In concert he has been heard with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, l’Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, Les Violons du Roy and musicians of the Montreal Symphony directed by Maestro Charles Dutoit. In the opera house Hugues has distinguished himself in over 40 productions, notably with the Opera companies of Edmonton, Hamilton, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.
Jessica Bowes- mezzo
Jessica Bowes is gaining attention as one of Canada’s most promising young singers. Currently studying with Marie Daveluy, she has also received training under the tutelage of Heather Thomson-Price in UBC’s Opera Program, and at the Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival under musical direction of Agnes Grossmann. She has performed overseas in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Handel’s Xerxes, and has taken on ‘new works’ such as Tobin Stoke’s The Vinedressers. Other performances include roles with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and work with well-known Canadian conductors such as Les Dala and Bramwell Tovey. Recently, Jessica made her debut with Opéra Théâtre de Rimouski, playing the personnage of Marilyn Horne in their Hommages aux Divines. “Her singing was beautifully realized, shimmering and sparkling, clear and agile, and…capable of generating heart-break”- Toronto Star