Suzie LeBlanc, Elinor Frey, & Friends
Friday, June 14, 7:30 PM
Glick Indiana History Center
Frank and Katrina Basile Theater
450 West Ohio Street
FIORÈ centres on a recently surfaced collection of music featuring the cello, held in a small archive in Como, Italy. The manuscript contains music that ranks among the first works that feature including cello sonatas likely written by the Milanese cellist Angelo Maria Fiorè. Using this manuscript as a point of departure, we perform various brilliant and lyrical Baroque Italian cello sonatas alongside soprano arias found in operas by Ballarotti, Ziani, Gabrielli, Caldara and Magni. These arias weave expressive cello lines with beautiful sung texts, each musing on longing, torment, sorrow, and idealized love. The program draws upon the passion for research and commitment to exploration of Elinor Frey and Suzie LeBlanc and they are joined by Joanna Blendulf (cello and viola da gamba) and Nigel North (theorbo).
Fascinated by the cello’s origins and the creative process of new music, Elinor Frey plays both period and modern instruments. Her recent release on the Belgian label Passacaille, Berlin Sonatas with Lorenzo Ghielmi on fortepiano, was nominated for a Juno award won the 2015 Québec Opus Prize for Early Music CD of the year. In Summer 2017, she released Fiorè, the world premiere recording of the sonatas of Angelo Maria Fiorè and various unknown Italian arias with Canadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc. She has performed dozens of new works including recent commissions for the Baroque cello by Scott Godin, Linda Catlin Smith, Ken Ueno, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Lisa Streich, and Maxime McKinley. Last season she performed Lutoslawski’s cello concerto and a new concerto by Colin Labadie with the Laurier Symphony and next season she will premiere a new concerto by Keiko Devaux with Ensemble Arkea, Dina Gilbert conducting. In recent years she has performed with Les Idées heureuses, Il Gardellino, Ensemble Caprice, Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, Arion, Clavecin en concert, and Theatre of Early Music, as well as with her quartet, Pallade Musica. Frey holds degrees from McGill, Mannes, and Juilliard.
Grammy winning-soprano Suzie LeBlanc began her singing career by replacing Emma Kirkby in the Consort of Musicke and from there, continued to specialize in baroque repertoire researching and recording a substantial amount of unpublished material while resident in Europe. Her thirst and curiosity for new vistas led her toward the repertoire of French mélodies, lieder, contemporary music and traditional music of her native Acadia. Suzie has recorded for ATMA, Hyperion, Chandos, Harmonia Mundi, Teldec, Analekta, Pasacaille and Das Alte Werk. Her recordings have received prestigious awards, notably an Opus award for best World Music recording for "Tempi con Variazioni", best contemporary music CD for her Messiaen “Chants de Terre et de Ciel” and ECMA’s Best Classical Album in 2014 for her album “I am in need of music” on poems by Elizabeth Bishop. This CD was also a finalist for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Award. In 2016/17, Suzie LeBlanc performs her new Elizabeth Bishop programme entitled “A pocket of Time” for Music Toronto and Cecilia Concerts, a Shakespeare programme with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and concerts with the Alcan String Quartet and the Blue Engine String Quartet. She tours in North America and Europe with ensembles Constantinople, Fretwork and L’Art de passage. A departure from her usual repertoire includes singing the lead role in “Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame” by Massenet (a tenor role which was also done by the great soprano Mary Garden). Suzie LeBlanc is also active as an actress and featured in the film « Lost Song, » directed by Rodrigue Jean, which won the Best Canadian Feature Award at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Recently appointed to the Order of Canada, she has also earned four honorary doctorates and a career grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (2010). Suzie is the founder and co-artistic director with Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière of Le Nouvel Opéra, an organisation who produce baroque opera in Montreal. For more information, please visit her website at www.suzieleblanc.com.