Cantiques et Chansons
Andrea Ratuski, host
Sarah Jo Kirsch, soprano
Donna Laube, piano
Wes Elias, organ
Collège Jeanne-Sauvé choir
As part of the WSO’s 2016 Fall Festival, the Phil is offering an array of choral works by 20th century French composers including Debussy, Ravel, Duruflé and Fauré. The centrepiece of the Phil’s season-opener is Poulenc’s modern choral masterpiece, Gloria.
Andrea Ratuski, Host
Best known for her work as producer and host at CBC in Winnipeg, Andrea has most recently been a producer on Manitoba SCENE, CBC’s website on arts and culture, and CBC Music, the national music website. Prior to that, Andrea was CBC music producer on the program Canada Live as well as recording producer of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and other ensembles for In Concert, Tempo and Choral Concert. She was also host and producer of CBC Radio’s Northern Lights. These days Andrea can be heard on occasion gracing the airwaves of Classic 107 (www.classic107.com).
Sarah Jo Kirsch, Soprano
Sarah Jo Kirsch is a soprano/vocalist currently based in Winnipeg, Canada. She continues to make waves as a recitalist and soloist in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Winner of the 2014 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition, she has been described as “…one of the finest contemporary dramatic vocalists in Canada today…” (Calgary Herald) “…with the ability to get under the skin of everything she sings…” (Winnipeg Free Press).
From Baroque oratorio to electro-acoustic sound art, Sarah Jo surfs the gamut of musical evolution. The 2016-17 season brings recitals in Winnipeg and beyond, soloist appearances with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, the American University of Beirut, at the WSO’s Impressionist Festival and New Music Festival as well as Winnipeg’s Groundswell concert series. This season also brings premieres of new works for voice by Winnipeg based composers Jim Hiscott and Örjan Sandred, and Sarah’s Swedish debut. She is also a member of Winnipeg’s Polycoro chamber choir, half of experimental a/v duo The Gritty, and is guest lecturing at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music.
Donna Laube, piano
A native of Saskatchewan, Donna received her B. Music from Brandon University as a student of Dr. Joan Miller and subsequently her M. Music in Piano Accompaniment from McGill University under the tutelage of Dale Bartlett. She is also an alumnus of the Franz-Schubert-Institute in Austria (with a focus on German Lieder and poetry), and of Opera Nuova in Edmonton. She has been active for the past decade as a pianist for singers, instrumentalists and choirs performing at international competitions as well as for CBC Radio Two. Donna is currently Principal Pianist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and is performing as orchestral pianist with the WSO this season.
Wes Elias, Organist
Wes Elias is an active Winnipeg musician who works as a private music teacher, performer, RCM examiner and church musician. He has served as organist at St. Andrew’s River Heights United Church since 2009. Prior to this he was Music Director at Broadway-First Baptist Church for 17 years. Primary organ studies were with Douglas Bodle at the University of Toronto. Other organ teachers have included Winnifred Sim, Peter Letkemann and Lawrence Ritchey. He appeared previously with the Phil in a performance of Bruckner’s Requiem.