Acadian mezzo-soprano Christianne Bélanger is very pleased to return to Été musical de Barachois for the second time. This spring, she performs Gertrude Stein in the American opera Twenty-Seven at Opéra de Montréal. In German theaters, she has premiered an impressive sixteen roles in three years, notably Polina (Pique Dame - Tchaikovsky), Annio (La clemenza di Tito - Mozart) and Kuchtik/Second Nymph (Rusalka - Dvorak) at Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck. Other recent opera roles include Nicklausse (Les contes d’Hoffmann - Offenbach) at Staatstheater Augsburg, Carmen with the OSTR and Zobéide (Ali Baba) at Opéra-Comique de Paris.
Christianne also performs oratorio and art song as often as possible; such performances include Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s ninth symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah. This summer she collaborates with pianist Carl Philippe Gionet on the revival of An der Donau (Au bord de l’eau), a water-themed recital program. She sings regularly with the MSO (last performance in Mozart’s Mass in C minor) and the OSTR (recently in Verdi’s Messa di Requiem).
Described as “a wizard of the accordion", Michael Bridge is internationally renowned for his warm stage personality, and versatile virtuosity. Named one of CBC’s “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30”, he made his solo orchestral debut with the Boston Pops and gives over 100 concerts per year in Europe and the Americas. His debut solo album, “Overture”, bridged the gap between acoustic and digital concert accordions, “triumphing musically and technically in all styles.” (Whole Note Magazine)
More than a classical musician, Michael describes his repertoire as ‘concert music’ – encompassing baroque, classical, and contemporary works, plus many of his own concert arrangements of folk music. An advocate for new music, Michael has given over 50 world premieres. He performs solo or with orchestra, and with his two ensembles – Bridge+Wolak and Ladom Ensemble – and has toured across Europe and North and South America.
Michael is pursuing doctoral studies in accordion performance at the University of Toronto, with Joseph Macerollo. His first accordion was purchased at a garage sale for $5 when he was five, and two decades later, he is attempting to redefine the perception of his traditional instrument. Michael is grateful for the support of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Actor and puppeteer, Florence’s experience is mainly in television and film. She has appeared in television series, short films and features, some of which have been presented at the Cannes Festival, the Mobile Film Festival in France, and FICFA in Moncton. She has appeared in a number of productions at the Pays de la Sagouine, including a children’s theatre tour, dinner-theatre performances, and in the role of Crache à Pic on Ile aux Puces.
A recent Masters graduate from Rice University, Jaeyoung Chong is an establishing cellist and a profound musician passionate in many artistic medium such as improvisation, live performance, composition, audio technology and music production.
Born in South Korea, Jaeyoung began studying at the age of 8 and quickly reached an advanced level when he moved to Canada with his family in 2005. Under the direction of Shimon Walt, a renowned cello professor at Dalhousie University, Jaeyoung has continued to develop his musical abilities leading to many awards and distinctions from local, provincial, and national levels. Summer music camps and festivals, such as Domaine Forget, NAC Pre-college program, Orford and National Youth Orchestra of Canada, are normal occurrences for young Jaeyoung and has managed to work with renowned cellists like Steve Doane, Matt Haimovitz, Blair Lofgren, Richard Aaron, Phillipe Muller, Laurence Lesser, Collin Carr.
Jaeyoung received his Bachelor in Music Performance from the University of Ottawa in 2017 under the direction of Paul Marleyn. Jaeyoung was heavily involved in the Ottawa music scene throughout his undergraduate years. He was a member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, was a featured soloist with the University of Ottawa Orchestra, won over $10,000 worth of scholarships, bursaries and competitions which lead him to more performance opportunities such performing in many solo recitals and being a featured soloist with the National Arts Center Orchestra.
Renowned for his vivid soundscapes and inventive texts, pianist and writer Pierre-André Doucet is a leading voice among Canada’s newest generation of artists.
He has been hailed for “the emotion of his playing and his impeccable control” (Audiophilia), and named by CBC Radio 2 as being one of the best Canadian classical musicians under 30. Recently, he has performed extensively in Canada, Austria, France, Germany, Spain, South Africa, and the United States, as well as across Asia, Europe and the South Pacific as one of the inaugural Lincoln Center Stage artists aboard Holland America Line ships. Several of his performances have been broadcast on Radio-Canada, CBC Radio and NPR.
Winner of the Knigge Music Competition, as well as the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (with soprano Alexandra Smither), Mr. Doucet has also been awarded top prizes for his performances of contemporary works, namely at the Prix d’Europe, and the Ibiza International Piano Competition. Mr. Doucet is also a prize-winning author; he published his first collection of poetry and short stories, Sorta comme si on était déjà là, in 2012, and his debut novel is slated for publication in late 2019.
Mr. Doucet holds a doctoral degree from l’Université de Montréal, where he studied with Maneli Pirzadeh, and where he has also been a visiting professor. Further, he has benefited from masterclasses at the Franz-Schubert-Institut, the Gijón International Piano Festival, Songfest, the Music Academy of the West, and the Tanglewood Music Center with such luminaries as Elly Ameling, Julius Drake, Margo Garrett, Marilyn Horne, Graham Johnson, Warren Jones, Kiri Te Kanawa, Martin Katz, Robert MacDonald, Dawn Upshaw and Roger Vignoles. Alongside pianist Julien LeBlanc, he has been Co-Artistic Director of Barachois Summer Music since 2012.
Canadian violinist Isabelle Fournier keeps very busy as Orchestral Musician, Chamber Musician, Soloist, Teacher, Adjudicator, and more recently, as Music Director. She has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Her performances are frequently heard on CBC Radio and Radio- Canada. Chamber music is her passion. She has been a Guest Artist at many Music Festivals, including: the Aldeburgh Music Festival, UK; the Cambridge University International Chamber Music Series, UK; the prestigious music seminars held at Prussia Cove,Cornwall, UK; the Aspen Music Festival, USA; the Banff Centre for the Arts; Scotia Festival; Indian River Music Festival; New Brunswick Music Festival; and as Artist in Residence at the Music Room, in Halifax. Isabelle also enjoys a very successful orchestral career. She has worked with world famous orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra; The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields; the City of London Sinfonia; the Britten Sinfonia; the Northern Sinfonia; the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra; the McGill Chamber Orchestra; the Festival de Lanaudiere Orchestra; and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. She is currently Principal Second Violin with Symphony Nova Scotia.
One of Canada’s acclaimed singers, Lebanese-Canadian soprano Miriam Khalil is lauded as a “skilled, versatile artist” whose “signature warm lyrical voice” makes “her fine soprano express every emotion with exactness and feeling.” An alumna of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, she won first place in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Great Lakes Region) and subsequently appeared in the 2007 documentary The Audition. Her performance credits include Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Minnesota Opera, Opera Tampa, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Opera Hamilton, Against the Grain Theatre (AtG), Edmonton Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Lyra Ottawa, and prominent orchestras across Canada, in roles such as Mimì (La bohème), Mélisande (Pelléas et Mélisande), Governess (The Turn of the Screw), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Almirena (Rinaldo), and the title role in Alcina. Ms. Khalil’s was recently nominated for a Juno Award for her album Ayre Live (by Osvaldo Golijov) with AtG Records, for Classical Album of the Year (vocal or Choral). She has performed Ayre to great acclaim in numerous cities in Canada, Unites States and Argentina, making this song cycle a signature piece.
A virtuoso whose enthusiasm is genuinely contagious, Canadian pianist Julien LeBlanc is renowned for his great musical sensibility and his talent as a communicator. Based in Montreal, Julien is a well sought-after soloist, chamber player and accompanist. In 2015, he launched his first solo album “Mélancolies” which is dedicated a program of works by Dutilleux, Franck and Poulenc. The album was really well received: “LeBlanc proved a more than able interpreter, playing with warmth, clarity and flowing lyricism, all with a natural rhythmic sense. » (Ruthland Herald) . « He handles every twist and turn with brio, his phrasing is analytical, and his brilliant technique puts him in a class of his own….His interpretation is always true, played with care, and packed with warmth. » (La Scena Musicale) He has also recorded two albums as a member of Trio Arkaède.
Since 2012, Julien has been acting as co-artistic director of the summer concert series Barachois Summer Music in New-Brunswick. He has taken part in many concert tours across Canada with violinist Marc Djokic as well as soprano Miriam Khalil and Mezzo Lauren Segal for Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and Debut Atlantic. He is a part-time teacher at the University of Ottawa and works as a vocal coach and accompanist both at McGill University and Université de Montréal. He has given master classes in several universities across Canada and his frequently asked to sit on juries for music competitions. Julien LeBlanc is presently acting as Chair of the Board of Directors for Debut Atlantic.
Xavier Lord-Giroux was born in Dieppe. He obtained a diploma in drama and is currently a Masters candidate in Literary Studies at Moncton University. He has been interim president of the Société Nationale de l'Acadie (SNA) and has a career in drama. He lives in Yellowknife, in the North-West Territories.
Benjamin holds the position of section cellist in Symphony Nova Scotia in Halifax, NS. A born-and-raised Maritimer of Grand Bay-Westfield, NB, he cherishes the opportunity to leave the ‘big city’ to share music throughout the Eastern provinces, performing as a soloist or chamber musician.
Benjamin began cello lessons at age seven with Sonja Adams in Saint John, where he performed with Symphony New Brunswick as a substitute, with the Early Music Studio, and also with provincial and national youth orchestras. Over the years, he has received instruction from acclaimed cellists such as Lynn Harrell, Philippe Muller, Hans Jørgen Jensen, Denise Djokic, Paul Marleyn, Blair Lofgren, and Thomas Wiebe. However, his most cherished mentorship has come from Shimon Walt, under whom Benjamin completed his Bachelor of Music at Dalhousie University.
Apart from classical music, Benjamin has taken part in a variety of musical ventures, such as taking to the stage with Natalie MacMaster and her band at the 2013 ECMAs, as well as performing and recording with various local artists, such as guitarist Maxim Cormier, winner of a 2013 NS Music Award, and the popular singer-songwriter Mo Kenney. He has played on film soundtracks by local composers Blain Morris and Josh Cruddas, as well as in a short film by Halifax director Dillon Garland.
Hailed as “sensitive and precise” and “hauntingly beautiful” (New Classic LA), tenor JAMES ONSTAD is a versatile performer, equally at home on the recital, concert, and operatic stage. James has soloed with many leading ensembles and houses, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Repertory Theater, the Chicago Lyric Opera, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Recent highlights include Don Basilio in Ragnar Kjartansson’s BLISS with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the tenor soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s MASS with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
James performs regularly with the Los Angeles experimental opera company, The Industry, portraying the Ghost of Orfeo in Hopscotch—a mobile, immersive operatic experience, which Alex Ross of the New Yorker called “awe inspiring.” Most recently, James portrayed five different characters in John Cage’s operatic masterpiece Europeras—a co-production between the LA Phil and The Industry.
A passionate interpreter of art song, James studied under the masters of our time, including Margo Garrett, Martin Katz, Graham Johnson, and Sir Thomas Allan. In his 2019 season, James will present four separate solo recitals with chamber music series across the United States and Canada.
James holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology with a minor in French from Harvard University, as well as master’s degree in vocal performance from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). In addition to singing, James is producing a feature film about the life of a young opera singer entitled In the Mouth of the Wolf.
Originally from Mont-Tremblant, QC, Frédéric began his musical journey with piano studies when he was 8 years old. At age 12, he started the music program at Polyvalente Curé-Mercure and decided to make the transition to trumpet. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with his instrument.
After graduating high school, Frédéric entered the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec a Montréal in the class of Manon Lafrance. During the 9 years he spent at the Conservatoire, he had the chance to perform in brass quintets, with the Brass Ensemble, the Contemporary Ensemble, and the Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra. Frédéric graduated from the Conservatoire with his “Prix avec grande distinction et à l’unanimité.” In 2007 he had the chance to play the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto with the Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra.
In 2009-2010, Frédéric spent a year at the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK, in the class of Professor James Watson. During that time he started playing Baroque trumpet with Robert Farley. After his return to Canada, Frédéric played with the Laval Symphony, Drummondville Symphony, Sherbrooke Symphony, Trois-Rivières Symphony, Longueuil Symphony , Grand Ballets Canadiens Orchestra as a free-lancer, and played for a season with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in 2012-2013. Since September 2014, Frédéric is the Assistant Principal Trumpet with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He has been fortunate to be invited as a soloist with many ensembles in Alberta both on modern and baroque Trumpet.
Serhiy Salov is recognized as an outstanding pianist, whose playing is both energetic and imbued with sensitivity. He is known for his remarkable technique and exacting rigour and virtuosity, qualities that unwaveringly serve the poetry inherent in the music. Public enthusiasm and critical acclaim have amply confirmed his prominent status on the international music scene as a soloist and chamber musician. In addition, Serhiy Salov has achieved distinction for his piano transcriptions of symphonic works such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Debussy’s Nocturnes, Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bald Mountain, and many others.
After initially learning music in Ukraine, Salov pursued his studies in London, obtaining a Master’s degree from the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, followed by a Doctor of Music degree from the Université de Montréal. His gifts extend far beyond the mastery of piano technique: the disciplines of improvisation, musicology, and the study of languages complement his training and enable him to deploy a highly expressive individual approach.
A superlative concert performer, Serhiy Salov has collaborated with renowned conductors and numerous orchestras around the world. He is regularly featured at the foremost international music festivals, and has been awarded many prizes in competitions worldwide.
Susan Sayle received her musical training in her hometown of Victoria and at McGill University where she studied with Steven Kondaks and earned a Bachelor of Music degree (with honours) in performance. A violist in Symphony Nova Scotia since 1986, Susan was appointed Principal Viola in 1994. During her time in Halifax, Susan has made her mark as a performer playing with the Dalhousie Chamber Players, Artemis (Toronto), St.Cecilia Concert Series, Indian River Festival, Concerts aux Îles du Bic (Rimouski), Barachois Summer Music, New Brunswick Summer Music Festival, Connexions Culturelles (France) and many times as soloist with SNS. Susan has taught at Dalhousie University and has been an adjucator for the Charlottetown and Kings county music festivals. Over the years Susan has been frequently broadcast on CBC Radio and can also be heard on many recordings and film scores. She spends her summers in Charlottetown PEI playing with the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra.
Marina Thibeault holds numerous honours and distinctions, including prizes from the Père-Lindsay Foundation (2017), "Révélation Radio-Canada" (2016-2017), CBC’s “30 hot classical musicians under 30” (2016), and the Sylva Gelber Foundation (2016). She won first prize in the string category of Prix d’Europe (2015), the McGill Concerto Competition (2015), the Radio-Canada “Young Artist” prize (2007) as well a special prize at the Beethoven Hradec International Viola Competition (2008).
Marina's first album, Toquade, was released in April 2017 on the ATMA label, and was nominated by the ADISQ and Prix Opus for “album of the year”. Her critically acclaimed second album, ELLES, was released on March 8th 2018, and honors women pioneers in composition, pedagogy, and performance from Clara Schumann to today.
Marina has appeared internationally as a soloist with the North Czech Philharmonic, the Mariánské Lázně Symphony Orchestra, the Santiago Chamber Orchestra, as well as in recital at the Verbier festival and in Québec with the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Appassionata Chamber Orchestra, and the Drummondville Symphony, to mention a few.
An avid chamber musician, Marina has collaborated with members of the Guarneri Quartet, the Cleveland Quartet, Charles-Richard Hamelin, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, and Johannes Moser, amongst other renowned chamber musicians. Her interest in new music has led her to work with composers such as John Corigliano, Joan Tower, and Krzysztof Penderecki.
At 9 years old, she was the youngest violin student to enter the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec where she studied with Claude Létourneau, Catherine Dallaire, and François Paradis. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with professors Michael Tree and Roberto Diaz. In order to deepen her studies, she attended the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana under the tutelage of Bruno Giuranna, with the help of the Canada Council of the Arts and the Eskas Scholarship. Marina holds a Master’s degree from McGill University, where she studied with André Roy. She is currently completing her doctoral studies at McGill, where she also served as viola and chamber music instructor. Since the summer of 2018, Marina has coordinated the chamber music program at Domaine Forget, QC, where she will also begin teaching viola in the summer of 2019.
This summer, Marina will be the soloist in residence of the Orchestre de la Francophonie, with conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay. You can hear her in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Kerson Leong and in Gilles Tremblay’s En Partage at the Domaine Forget and at the National Arts Center. 2019-2020 highlights include Harold in Italy with the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a tour of the Vasks Concerto with the Agora Chamber Orchestra and Nicolas Ellis, a Prairie Debut tour with the Trio Saint-Laurent and her inaugural year as Professor of viola at the UBC School of Music.
Marina plays on an 1767 Carlo Ferdinand Landolfi, with a W.E Hill Sons bow, generously loaned by Canimex.