Performance Sunday, April 12, 2015 | 2 PM

Les Violons du Roy
La Chapelle de Québec

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas tells the tragic story of the Queen of Carthage and her love for the flawed Trojan hero. Purcell spices the tale with a chorus of witches and a lively sailors’ hornpipe. Dido’s lament, “When I am laid in earth,” is the heart-wrenching climax of the opera and one of the most famous vocal works of all time.


  • Les Violons du Roy
  • La Chapelle de Québec
    Richard Egarr, Conductor
  • Dorothea Röschmann, Soprano (Dido)
  • Henk Neven, Baritone (Aeneas)
  • Hélène Guilmette, Soprano (Belinda)
  • Stefanie True, Soprano (Second Woman)
  • Vicki St. Pierre, Mezzo-Soprano (Sorceress)
  • Lesley Emma Bouza, Soprano (First Witch)
  • Sheila Dietrich, Soprano (Second Witch)
  • Daniel Cabena, Countertenor (Spirit)
  • Bud Roach, Tenor (Sailor)
  • Jacques-Olivier Chartier, Tenor
  • Stephen Hegedus, Bass-Baritone


  • from The Fairy Queen
    ·· Air
    ·· Rondeau
    ·· Scene of the Drunken Poet
    ·· Air (instrumental)
    ·· Prelude to "If Love's a Sweet Passion"
  • from King Arthur
    ·· Hornpipe
    ·· "How happy the lover"
  • from The Fairy Queen
    ·· Dance for the Fairies
    ·· Monkeys' Dance
    ·· "O let me weep"
    ·· Prelude
    ·· Chaconne
  • Dido and Aeneas


  • Les Violons du Roy 

    The chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy borrows its name from the renowned string orchestra of the court of the French kings. The group, which has a core membership of 15 players, was brought together in 1984 by founding conductor Bernard Labadie and specializes in the vast repertoire of music for chamber orchestra. Although Les Violons du Roy plays on modern instruments, its approach to the works of the Baroque and Classical periods has been strongly influenced by current research into performance practice in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the ensemble uses copies of period bows when playing this repertoire.The orchestra also delves into the repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries on a regular basis and has recorded works by Piazzolla, Bartók, and Britten.

    Les Violons du Roy is at the heart of the music scene in Quebec City, and it has also been an important part of Montreal's cultural scene. The orchestra is well known throughout North America, thanks to the numerous concerts and recordings broadcast by Radio-Canada, the CBC, and NPR in the US. It has performed dozens of concerts in Europe at such legendary venues as Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and Berlin's Philharmonie with internationally renowned soloists, including Magdalena Kožená, David Daniels, Vivica Genaux, and Alexandre Tharaud. The orchestra also performs regularly in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles with artists such as Emmanuel Pahud and Stephanie Blythe.

    Les Violons du Roy has made 29 recordings and has won three Juno Awards and one Félix Award. Dorian has released 12 of the orchestra's recordings, including Mozart's Requiem, and ATMA has released eight recordings, including Water Music and Piazzolla. The ensemble has also recorded three albums on Virgin Classics with soloistsTruls Mørk, Mr. Tharaud, and Ms. Genaux, and it has released additional recordings with Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Marc-André Hamelin, and Diane Dufresne. 

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  • Richard Egarr  

    Richard Egarr brings a joyful sense of adventure and a keen, enquiring mind to all his music making. He is renowned for directing from the keyboard, conducting, playing concertos (on the organ, harpsichord, fortepiano, or modern piano), and giving solo recitals at the world's leading venues.

    Since 2006, Mr. Egarr has been Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music, with whom current plans include a three-year Monteverdi opera cycle at the Barbican in London, where the orchestra is Associate Ensemble. In 2006, Mr. Egarr established the Choir of the AAM, and opera and oratorio lie at the heart of his repertoire.

    Mr. Egarr regularly appears as guest director with other leading ensembles, ranging from Boston's Handel and Haydn Society to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra. He is currently principal guest conductor of the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague and Associate Artist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He holds teaching positions at The Juilliard School and at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

    During the 2014-2015 season, Mr. Egarr's plans in North America include an eight-concert tour with the Academy of Ancient Music, with appearances at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, his debut with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, a return to the Handel and Haydn Society, and a harpsichord recital at Carnegie Hall in February.

    Mr. Egarr's extensive recording output, mainly for Harmonia Mundi, includes solo works by Gibbons, Couperin, Purcell, Mozart, and J. S. Bach; an inspired collaboration with violinist Andrew Manze; and numerous discs with the AAM, including J. S. Bach's harpsichord concertos, "Brandenburg" concertos, and a MIDEM, Edison, and Gramophone award-winning series of Handel discs. His latest releases are of J. S. Bach's St. John Passion and orchestral suites with AAM on their own label, AAM Records, as well as Handel's harpsichord suites for Harmonia Mundi.

    Mr. Egarr trained as a choirboy at York Minster and Chetham's School of Music, and as an organ scholar at Clare College in Cambridge and with Gustav and Marie Leonhardt, who formed the inspiration for his work in historical performance.

    La Chapelle de Québec  

    Founded by Bernard Labadie in 1985, La Chapelle de Québec is a chamber choir of professional singers recruited mainly in Quebec City, but also throughout Canada. It assembles for two or three concerts each season to join Les Violons du Roy in major works from the repertory for choir and orchestra, especially from the 18th century. Its performances of cantatas, oratorios, and masses by Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Haydn have been acclaimed throughout Canada and the United States, in particular thanks to the numerous broadcasts by Radio-Canada, the CBC, and NPR in the US.

    La Chapelle de Québec has performed regularly on tour with Les Violons du Roy, in particular in Handel's Messiah and Bach's St. Matthew Passion in Toronto, in an all-Vivaldi program in France, and in Mozart's Requiem in Toronto and the US. The choir is often asked to appear with Bernard Labadie in the concerts he conducts with US orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with which it performed Handel's Messiah in 2004 and Bach's Magnificat in 2006.

    La Chapelle de Québec won a Juno Award for its recording of Mozart's Requiem, released in 2002.

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  • Dorothea Röschmann 

    Born in Flensburg, Germany, Dorothea Röschmann is one of the most highly respected singers of her generation. She gained international recognition in 1995 singing the role of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Salzburg Festival. Ms. Röschmann returns regularly to Salzburg, where her roles have included Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Ilia (Idomeneo), Nannetta (Falstaff), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), and Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito), under conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding, Charles Mackerras, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In 2012, Ms. Röschmann made her debut atTeatro alla Scalain Milan as Countess Almaviva, and she is a regular guest at the Berlin State Opera, Vienna State Opera, Munich's Bavarian State Opera, and London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

    Ms. Röschmann has recently appeared in concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by SirSimon RattleandBernard Haitink; the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with Mr.Harnoncourt, Daniel Barenboim, andPierre Boulez; the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Mr. Barenboim; the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra withJames Levine; The Cleveland Orchestra with Franz Welser-Möst; the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Mr. Harding; the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra withMr.Nézet-Séguin; and the New York Philharmonic with Alan Gilbert.

    A prestigious recitalist, Ms. Röschmann has given acclaimed performances at venues such as Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, as well as the
    Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Edinburgh, and Munich festivals; with Mr. Barenboim at the Berlin State Opera; and with Mitsuko Uchida at the Lucerne Festival.

    Ms. Röschmann's 2013-2014 season included performances as Donna Elvira and Countess Almaviva at the Berlin State Opera with Mr. Barenboim; Countess Almaviva on tour with the Vienna State Opera in Oman; and concerts with Mr. Harding and the Berliner Philharmoniker, Mr. Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin, and
    Zubin Mehtaand theOrquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana.

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  • Henk Neven 

    Following studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Henk Neven trained with Sarah Walker, Graham Johnson, Graham Clark, Hartmut Höll, and Roger Vignoles. Mr. Neven is the recipient of a Fortis MeesPierson Award and a Dutch Music Prize, and he is a BBC New Generation Artist.

    Mr. Neven has been celebrated for his work in highly diverse repertoire. His Baroque and Classical opera performances include Desmarets'sVénus et Adonis, Dido and Aeneas, Les Indes galantes, Castor et Pollux, and Iphigénie en Tauride, as well as Mozartian roles such as Leporello in Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, delivered with equal facility in German, Italian, French, or English. His later repertoire includes Manfred, Die sieben Todsünden, Ariadne auf Naxos, Königskinder, Der Vampyr, Capriccio, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Andrea Chénier, Madama Butterfly, La bohème, Billy Budd, Carmen, Roméo et Juliette, L'enfant et les sortilèges, andSaint François d'Assise.

    His concert repertoire encompasses Charpentier's Pastorale de Noël; Bach's Christmas Oratorio, St. John Passion, and St. Matthew Passion; the requiems of Mozart, Fauré, and Duruflé; Haydn's The Creation and L'isola disabitata; Berlioz's L'enfance du Christ; Debussy's La chute de la maison Usher; Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death; and Webern's cantatas. Mr. Neven has worked with Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, Le Concert Spirituel, Les Talens Lyriques, Netherlands Bach Society, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

    His international career has taken him to Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Dutch National Opera, Theater an der Wien, La Monnaie in Brussels, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Beethovenhalle Bonn, Berlin State Opera, London's Wigmore Hall, Opéra de Paris, and Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Mr. Neven has also appeared at the Amsterdam Music Festival, Festival de Radio France à Montpellier, Utrecht Early Music Festival, and the BBC Proms. His recording of Loewe and Schumann lieder was nominated for a Gramophone Award.

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  • Hélène Guilmette 

    Soprano Hélène Guilmettehas pursued an international career since receiving second prize in the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in 2004.She has performed the roles of Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) in Brussels; Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro)  in Lille, Montreal, Montpellier, and at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris; Sophie (Werther) in Brussels and atOpéra de Paris; Thérèse (Les mamelles de Tirésias) in Lyon, atOpéraComique in Paris, and with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Constance (Dialogues des Carmélites) in Munich, Nice, and with Toronto's Canadian Opera Company; Hébé, Phani, and Fatime (Les Indes galantes) in Toulouse; Laoula (L'étoile) in Amsterdam;  andEurydice(Orphée et Eurydice)at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

    Ms. Guilmette has also performed at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw,Teatro Colónin Buenos Aires, Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Istanbul Music Festival, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, and City Recital Hall Angel Place in Sydney. She has performed works that include Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with Andreas Scholl, Poulenc's Gloria and Stabat Mater, Mozart's Requiemand Mass in C Minor, Handel's Messiah, Haydn's The Creation,and Mahler's Symphony No. 4. She has sung under the direction of Alain Altinoglu, Ottavio Dantone, Stéphane Denève, Paul Goodwin,Sigiswald Kuijken, Bernard Labadie, Jacques Lacombe, Ludovic Morlot, Kent Nagano, Michel Plasson, Christophe Rousset, Marcello Viotti, and Masaaki Suzuki.

    Her recordings include Airs Chantés (Poulenc, Hahn, and Daunais) on Ambroisie; Il duello amoroso with Accademia Bizantina and Mr. Scholl, as well as Dixit Dominus and Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne with Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin on Harmonia Mundi; Poulenc's complete works for voice and piano on ATMA; and Les Amants trahis (Rameau cantatas) with Philippe Sly and Luc Beauséjour, as well as L'heure rose, songs by 19th- and 20th-century French female composers with pianist Martin Dubé on Analekta.

    Ms. Guilmette's upcoming projects include Chabrier's L'étoile (Laoula) at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Béatrice et Bénédict (Héro) at the Glyndebourne Festival; Pelléas et Mélisande (Mélisande) in Lyon and with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal; Carmen (Frasquita) at the Orange Warsaw Festival; Castor et Pollux (Télaïre) in Toulouse; and Don Giovanni (Zerlina) with Opéra de Montréal.

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"When I am laid in earth" from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas
Tatiana Troyanos, Mezzo-Soprano | English Chamber Orchestra | Sir Charles Mackerras, Conductor
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

Henry Purcell, known as the “British Orpheus,” spent most of his short life in the shadow of Westminster Abbey. Early in his career, he wrote a wide range of vocal and instrumental music to be performed there and at the court of the Stuart monarchs Charles II and James II; his first known work is an ode for the king’s birthday composed in 1670, when he was just 11. In his late 20s, however, he turned his extraordinary talents toward music for the public theater and produced a series of remarkable works—including the three represented on this afternoon’s program—that laid the foundation for a distinctively English school of opera.

Purcell had always been a musical magpie, borrowing from French and Italian composers as well as his English predecessors. A writer in the Gentleman’s Journal praised him for joining “to the delicacy and beauty of the Italian way the graces and gaiety of the French.” In his opera Dido and Aeneas and his semi-operas The Fairy Queen and King Arthur, he combined elements of all these styles. Although he died at age 36, Purcell achieved mastery in virtually every genre of composition, both sacred and secular. A tablet near his tomb at Westminster Abbey informs passersby that the composer “is gone to that blessed place where only his harmony can be exceeded.”
Program Notes


An Introduction to Before Bach

Before Bach

Part of