Take us Bach
On March 12, the rehearsal room at Knox Presbyterian Church was filled with a flurry of excitement before showtime. With COVID-19 restrictions lifted, the Ottawa Bach choir was finally able to host in-person concerts again. Before, the Juno Award winning Ottawa Bach choir had to settle for virtual shows and pre-recorded events.
“We are overjoyed to be back,” said Lisette Canton, the founder, artistic director, and conductor of the choir.
“There is no other way to perform music… This is the art of live music and live performance.”
Contrary to its name, the Ottawa Bach Choir does not just perform in the Ottawa region but
is internationally renowned. They have toured in the United States, Germany, China, and several other countries. One of their highest achievements is performing at the Bachfest Leipzig in Germany, the home of the famous baroque composer.
“It’s an honour because we’ve been asked to tour and perform in some festivals in Bachfest
Leipzig. We are the only Canadian group to ever go, and we are going back for a second time in June this year. It’s wonderful, it’s exhilarating but it’s also a lot of work,” said choral singer Kathleen Radke.
“To be singing in the choir [at the church] where Johann Bach is actually buried. It’s a great honour and it means a lot to us. It’s a very moving experience.”
The lights dimmed and the angelic singing began. The choir sang a medley of French baroque classics. Though named the Bach choir, the group performs works of other classic and even contemporary composers.
My favourite piece in the set was the credo, sung beautifully in Latin. During the intermission, multiple attendees remarked on the transcendent feel of the performance. The musical talents of the guest organist, Matthew Larkin, paired wonderfully with the choir.
The Ottawa Bach Choir will be representing Canada at the Bachfest Leipzig again this June.
Learn more about the Ottawa Bach Choir on their website.