Singer Adopted from Haiti grateful for voice


A Montreal soprano born in Haiti setting out on a voyage to sunny climes and top ensembles with London-tied performers are part of this week’s classical music mix, James Reaney reports in this article for London’s Free Press.

Marie-Josee Lord plays a Jeffery Concerts series Friday at the LPL’s Wolf Performance Hall.

“I was born in Haiti, I was adopted by Quebecers and, believe it or not, I’ve never set foot in hot countries,” Lord once told QMI Agency while vowing to make that trip.

Perhaps Friday’s concert, titled Latin Journey, takes its inspiration from that vow.

“Join me in this Latin Journey and I promise we’ll be dreaming in Technicolor,” she said in media material about the concert with guitarist David Jacques and bassist Ian Simpson. Jacques arranged and adapted the material. It ranges from the standardBesame Mucho to works by Hector Villa-Lobos and Joaquin Rodrigo.

Lord told QMI Agency her adoption by Quebecers as a “little being in bad shape” at age six has left her grateful.

“I must say thank you to life because it was very good for me,” Lord said. “My voice is a gift. It forces me to be humble, because it is the only instrument that we can not choose. I must submit to it.”

In other Jeffery Concerts news, Canada’s Afiara Quartet and William Preucil, violin, and series’ artistic director Arthur Rowe, piano, will play the Feb. 6 concert at the Wolf hall. “Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Linden String Quartet will be unable to perform (on that date),” the series said on its website.

Meanwhile, Western Don Wright music faculty grad Charlotte Nediger is among the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra members who join Western’s Early Music Studio Bande Friday at von Kuster hall. The baroque chamber music event in the Fridays at 12:30 series is free.

The Ensemble Made In Canada — EMIC to fans — began its Wright residency in the fall. After returning this month to the Wright faculty, EMIC performs in concert Saturday. The quartet comprises London-born pianist and Saunders secondary school grad Angela Park, now of Toronto; Wright faculty professor Sharon Wei of London and Toronto-tied violinist Elissa Lee and cellist Rachel Mercer.

Works by Robert Schumann, Gabriel Faure and Johannes Brahms are on the program.

Park and Wei were Wright faculty students in the 1990s and were co-founders of EMIC in the 2000s.

Saturday’s concert caps a week of residency events by EMIC including open rehearsals and master classes.

The Musicians of Orchestra London play a concert Wednesday at Metropolitan United Church. Tickets for any 2015 Orchestra London concerts, cancelled amid the organization’s financial crisis, will be honoured.

For the original report go to

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