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Acclaimed by critics for his “great virtuosity” and “vocal radiance”, Canadian countertenor Michael Taylor began singing as a treble with St. Michael’s Choir in Toronto, where he also studied the violin and piano at the Royal Conservatory. After graduating with a degree in physics and neuroscience from McGill University, he took up further vocal studies in Germany, working with numerous opera and baroque specialists from across Europe. He has won prizes at several international singing competitions and is a grant holder of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Canadian Opera Singers.
Highlights of Michael Taylor’s extensive operatic and concert appearances include Corindo at the Hamburg State Opera, Liscione with L’Arte del Mondo, Adriano and Demetrio with Opera Settecento in London, Argone at the Handel Festival in Halle, Ariel with Montreal Baroque, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Berlin and Osaka, and his debut at the Lincoln Center in New York as a soloist in Handel’s “Messiah” with the Grammy-Nominated Trinity Choir.
As founder and co-director of the baroque ensemble “The Dansant”, he recently released “To Die, To Sleep”, a solo album of opera arias by Handel, Vivaldi and Graun accompanied on period instruments; the album is now available worldwide.
Esteban La Rotta
Esteban La Rotta is one of Canada’s leading lutenists. In demand as both a soloist and continuo player, he studied at the Civica Scuola di Musica di Milano, and at McGill University in Montreal, where he received his doctorate in performance degree in 2008. In 2012 he studied at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, focusing on the solo lute repertoire of the late Middle Ages under the guidance of Crawford Young, and the renaissance guitar with Hopkinson Smith. A regular participant at Festival Montréal Baroque, Esteban La Rotta has also performed with the Copenhagen Soloists, Ensemble Gilles Binchois, Les Violons du Roy, Les Voix Humaines, Les idées heureuses, La Nef, the SMAM, and Ensemble Caprice, among others. He has appeared in numerous festivals including Musique Royale, Boston Early Music Festival, Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), Lamèque Early Music Festival, the Stratford Festival, and the Orford Music Festival. He can be heard on the Atma Classique, Ricercare, and Passacaille labels.
Vanessa Chartrand-Rodrige discovered the viola da gamba at McGill University, having played the cello from an early age and then developed an interest in Early Music while studying voice performance. Following numerous performances with the McGill Viol Consort, Vanessa pursued graduate studies on the viol at University of Montreal with Margaret Little of the renowned duo Les Voix Humaines. In Montreal she played with many talented ensembles, performing under the direction of musicians such as Alexander Weimann, Olivier Brault and Julian Wachner, and participated in masterclasses with Jay Bernfeld, Jaap Ter Linden and Skip Sempe. After moving to Germany for further studies in opera performance, Vanessa continued performing a wide range of repertoire on the viol: as a soloist in Bach’s St. John Passion, Renaissance music with the Michaelis Consort in Leipzig and also several cross-disciplinary projects. Vanessa has composed numerous pieces for the viol, including a collaboration with the theatre group kainkollektiv, and was commissioned by Martha Perl to write a solo piece for viol that Perl premiered in Germany in 2016. Vanessa is co-founder of the Baroque ensemble The Dansant, and is featured on the album “To Die, To Sleep”, which is now available worldwide.
July 9, 2017Music
Chaconnes and Passacaglias by Purcell, Merula and Vivaldi, performed by the spectacular countertenor Michael Taylor with The Dansant Baroque Ensemble: Vanessa Chartrand-Rodrigue (viola da gamba), and Esteban La Rotta (theorbo, baroque guitar)