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Thu, May 09



"Nos Voix"

Join us for music as fragrant as the spring season and its blossoms.

"Nos Voix"
"Nos Voix"

Time & Location

May 09, 2024, 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver, 823 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC V6B 3L4, Canada

About the event

Nos Voix/Our voices is a collaborative effort between le Centre culturel francophone de Vancouver and Muzewest to promote the talent of Canadian Francophone and Francophile Indigenous artists. Two new works have been commissioned and will be played in a world premiere on Thursday, May 9th, at the Annex in Vancouver. The first world premiere is a sonata for cello and piano written by one of Canada's most famous composers, Vancouver’s Thomas Patrick Carrabré. This piece will showcase melodies of Métis fiddle dances and is inspired by Carrabré's heritage, with both himself and his son Ariel being members of the Red River Métis Nation (Manitoba). They will be joined by Métis soprano Melody Courage from Victoria. The second world premiere will be a piece for cello, voice, and piano composed by Jesse Plessis, born in British-Columbia who now resides in Montreal. Jesse Plessis will perform on the piano, accompanied by cellist Ariel Carrabré, who also resides in Montréal, and Victoria’s soprano Melogy Courage. The text presented is by Tahitian writer Flora Aurima Devatine. Other works on the program include music by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and the late Jocelyn Morlock, who passed away in 2023. The music will have a decidedly contemporary flavor but will be rooted in the magnificent harmonies and colors of impressionism.

Melody Courage (BC)

Métis soprano Melody Courage gained national attention as The Native Girl “...played with ethereal grace...” in the 2017 world premiere of Marie Clements and Brian Current’s opera “Missing”, coproduced by City Opera Vancouver and Pacific Opera Victoria. “Missing” gives voice, in English and Gitxsan, to the story of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women. Melody debuted with Anchorage Opera in the US premiere of “Missing” in 2023.

Highlights for Melody in 2023/24 season are First Lady in “The Magic Flute” with Vancouver Opera, and performing opera hits with the newly created ensemble Indigidivas, with conductor Janna Sailor and Calgary Philharmonic. Melody also joins mezzo-soprano Marion Newman for “Wreckonciliation”, approaching opera repertoire through an Indigenous lens, with Opera Kelowna. In May, Melody is a guest artist with Vancouver’s Muzewest, performing the world premiere of works by Jesse Plessis and Thomas Patrick Carrabré.

Recent performances for Melody include Chrisann in Calgary Opera’s production of “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs”, Messiah with Vancouver Bach Choir, and a recital with Marion Newman, Evan Korbut, and pianist Gordon Gerrard with Toronto’s Music in the Afternoon.

In Toronto, Melody starred in “Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin/Gállábártnit”, presented by Soundstreams Canada and Signal Theatre, directed by Michael Greyeyes/ Cole Alvis, composed by Melissa Hui and Britta Byström. These two operas, sung in Cree and Sàmi, are rooted in traditional tales from Canada and Nordic countries.

During the pandemic, Melody performed Ian Cusson’s “In Winter” with the Canadian Opera Company in their digital concert series.

Jesse Plessis (BC/Quebec)

Canadian pianist and composer Jesse Plessis grew up in Sparwood, British Columbia, and has been described as a "force of nature" with "a skilled hand at crafting textures that pulse with life," (Winnipeg Free Press). He has regularly appeared in concert series and music festivals across Canada, England, and continental Europe, performs as a guest artist with several orchestras and ensembles in Canada, and has garnered numerous awards in both piano and composition. As a composer, his works have been called “ardent and incredibly well-structured” (Arlan Schultz) and have been performed by many musicians and groups in Canada including the Land’s End Ensemble and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. In 2013 he founded the Centric Festival, a classical music festival that continues annually in Lethbridge, Alberta. Plessis obtained a Master of Music degree from Brandon University where he studied piano with Megumi Masaki and composition with Thomas Patrick Carrabre. His Bachelor of Music degree is from the University of Lethbridge where he studied piano with Deanna Oye and composition with Arlan Schultz, and he currently resides in Montréal where he just finished a doctorate in piano with Paul Stewart. He is currently working on a doctorate in composition at McGill University with Denys Bouliane.

Ariel Carrabré (Manitoba/Quebec)

Originally from Brandon, Manitoba, Ariel Carrabré earned his Bachelor’s degree in Cello performance at McGill University in Montréal, studying under Yegor Dyachkov. In 2007 he was the winner of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Concerto Competition, which gave him the opportunity to perform eight times as a soloist on the Up Close and Orchestral series. In 2008 Ariel represented Manitoba in the national finals of both the CMC and the National Festival. In the summer of 2009, he was selected to take part in the prestigious Morningside Music Bridge program for the second time, which took place in Gdansk, Poland. In the summers of 2011 and 2012, he was selected to take part in the Toronto Summer Music Chamber Institute. Ariel is also a two-time recipient of scholarships from the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg. In 2013, he completed a Master’s degree in music theory at the University of Ottawa. Ariel has now returned to performance and earned a second Master’s degree, this time in cello performance, under the tutelage of Paul Marleyn at the University of Ottawa. Ariel is a founding member of the Horizon String Quartet, that for the past six summers—thanks to the generous support of Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Council, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and the Canada Council for the Arts—have given extensive tours of Saskatchewan and Manitoba schools in order to bring classical music to children who otherwise may never attend a live concert of chamber music. Most recently, he was a finalist prize winner in the prestigious Eckhardt-Grammaté National Music Competition in the spring of 2018. Ariel is currently pursuing doctoral studies in cello performance at the University of Montreal, studying with Yegor Dyachkov once again.

Thomas Patrick Carrabré (British-Columbia)

Patrick Carrabré is a Métis composer living in Vancouver. Construction of identity and community engagement are long-term themes in his compositions, artistic programming, and administrative activities. His best known works include “Inuit Games”, for katajjak (throat singers) and orchestra, which was a recommended work at the International Rostrum of Composers (2003), Sonata No. 1, “The Penitent”, for violin and piano, and “From the Dark Reaches”, which were nominated for JUNO awards. In 2021 he was recognized with a second Western Canadian Music Award (Classical Composer of the Year) for the album “100,000 Lakes”. Other recent work includes Métis Songs, commissioned by Harbourfront for Rebecca Cuddy and the Wood and Wire String Quartet and “Snewíyalh tl’a Stakw” (Teachings of the Water), written in collaboration with the Elektra Women’s Choir. Orpheus (1), written in collaboration with pianist Megumi Masaki – was released on the Centredisc label in March 2023 and and “EP of Métis Songs” was released in September 2024 on Winter Wind Records.
This piece will feature melodies from Métis fiddle tunes and is inspired by Carrabré's heritage as he and his son, Ariel, are members of the Red River Métis Nation. The final world premiere will be a piece for cello, voice, and piano by Jesse Plessis. The text featured is by Tahitian writer, Flora Aurima Devatine. Other pieces on the program include music by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and the late Jocelyn Morlock who just left us in 2023. The music will have a distinctly contemporary flavour but be rooted in the beautiful harmonies and colours of Impressionism.

Bon concert!

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