Lucas Harris, music co-director, theorbo/lute/Baroque guitar
Borys Medicky, music co-director, harpsichord/chamber organ
Guillaume Bernardi, stage direction, text analysis, diction
Luke Arnason, French language coach, French theatre, staging and gesture
See biographies below:
Lucas Harris is pleased to have moved the base for his freelance lute activities to Toronto early in 2004.
Lucas began his musical life as a jazz guitarist in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ, and began to experiment with lutes during his liberal arts studies at Pomona College (Claremont, CA), where he graduated summa cum laude in 1996. He received his early music training during two years in Europe, first in Italy at the Civica Scuola di Musica di Milano as one of the first scholars of the Marco Fodella Foundation, then in Germany at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen. Since returning to North America in 1998, Lucas has quickly become one of the foremost continuo lutenists in the U.S. and Canada: he has been engaged for concerts and recordings by many ensembles such as The Harp Consort, Apollo's Fire, New York Collegium, The Toronto Consort, Seattle Baroque and the Smithsonian Chamber Players. Lucas is now a regular lutenist with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and many other ensembles in Toronto.
Lucas’s passion for baroque theater has animated opera productions by the Juilliard Opera Center, the Utrecht and Connecticut Early Music Festivals, Monadnock Music, Opera Atelier, and the Boston Early Music Festival. He has also played in Baroque projects with several modern-instrument orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Metropolitan Opera, Orcheste Symphonique de Montréal, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Les violons du roi, and Via Salzburg (with whom he was a featured concerto soloist).
In addition to private teaching, Lucas is on faculty at Oberlin Conservatory's Baroque Performance Institute as well as the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute. He has also taught for the New York Continuo Collective, the Amherst Early Music Festival and the Longy International Baroque Institute.
Beyond continuo work, other recent projects include a lute concerto program for CBC’s 'Music Around Us,' a solo recital for the Minnesota Guitar Society (see newsletter interview here), and outreach tours of Nunavut and Western Ontario with soprano Ann Monoyios (with Piano Plus). In addition to his ongoing directing work with with the Toronto Continuo Collective, Lucas was an invited guest director with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in 2008, and was also music director for a staged production of Cavalli’s La Calisto at Ohio State University.
Lucas has released a solo Baroque lute CD as well as a duo CD with Wen Zhao, a virtuoso of the pipa (traditional Chinese lute). Other recent ensemble CD releases include French Baroque chamber music with Les Delices as well as the 3-volume Ariosti project with viola d'amore expert Thomas Georgi (and featuring Emma Kirkby). Soon-to-be-released recordings include an English lute song program with soprano Gabrielle McLaughlin and BWV 1025 (the ‘Bach/Weiss’ sonata) with violinist Geneviève Gilardeau, with whom he co-directs the Beaches Baroque chamber music series.
Upcoming projects include tours to Columbia (with Les Voix Baroques) and Malaysia/China (Tafelmusik), as well the debut performance of Vesuvius Ensemble, a new group dedicated to the performance of traditional music from southern Italy.
Borys Medicky has appeared as solo harpsichordist and continuo player in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Currently residing in Toronto, he is active as a freelance performer, having appeared with major ensembles in Toronto and beyond such as Tafelmusik, The Toronto Consort, Opera Atelier, Aradia, Baroque Music Beside the Grange, Via Salzburg, the Grand River Baroque Ensemble, the Elora Festival Chamber Players, Orchestra London and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. He is the artistic director of Kitchener-based Nota Bene Baroque, with whom he performs as a soloist and continuo player, and serves as organist of the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist in Toronto.
Borys studied harpsichord with Michael Jarvis in Canada and with Arthur Haas at the Eastman School of Music and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, as well as Baroque performance practice with lutenist Paul O'Dette. Upon the completion of his doctoral degree at Stony Brook he was awarded the Samuel Baron Prize, given to an outstanding graduate. He is known for his strong interest in historical dance and its influence on instrumental music. In addition he carries out harpsichord maintenance duties for institutions and private owners in the Toronto area. Visit his web site for more information.
Guillaume Bernardi is a Toronto-based stage director and teacher. His directing work covers a wide range of genres, from theatre and opera to movement pieces. An artist of great depth and versatility, Bernardi has collaborated with many leading figures in the world of music, theatre and dance, including conductors René Jacobs; singers Suzie LeBlanc and Andreas Scholl; and choreographers Peter Chin, Heidi Strauss and New York-based Trisha Brown.
Recent directorial projects include productions of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro for Frankfurt Oper and for the Canadian Opera Company, Molière’s George Dandin for Théâtre Français de Toronto; a commission from Marie-Josée Chartier to choreograph Bas-Reliefs, Caldara’s staged oratorio La conversione di Clodoveo, (co-production by Montréal’s Les Voix Baroques and Berlin’s I Confidenti, performed at Montréal Baroque Festival and Vancouver Early Music Festival); Haydn’s L’isola disabitata for Frankfurt Oper); Handel’s Belshazzar for Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels; a semi-staged version of Handel’s Saul with Andreas Scholl for Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (both with conductor René Jacobs); and Dal Male il bene, a 17th-century “Commedia in Musica” at the Innsbruck Early Music Festival.
Since 2004, he teaches at Glendon College, the bilingual faculty of York University in Toronto, where he is the Coordinator of the Drama Studies Programme.
With a background as a professional chorister and harpsichordist, Luke Arnason now works as a professor of French and theatre studies and has taught in universities throughout Ontario (Ottawa, Trent, Guelph, York). He obtained his doctorate from the Université Paris-Sorbonne under the direction of Georges Forestier. His publications deal mostly with the literary and dramatic study of 17th and 18th century French opera, but also on performance practice of the conventional theatre during the same period, including the structure of the performance and the place of musical and poetic ornaments such as prologues and intermèdes.
His current research deals with the rifts between dramatic theory and practice in the early 17th century, and on the production and reception of early French drama (especially Moliere) in North America. He has also produced a critical edition of the libretto to Lully's opera Psyché (1678) and is working on an anthology and critical dramatic/literary history of French opera before C. W. Gluck's "reform" in the late 18th century.
For a full research profile and links to most publications, visit www.socar.ca/archives/47