Eric Paetkau, music director
Danika Lorèn, soprano
Lisa Hornung, alto
Spencer McKnight, tenor
Adam Harris, bass
Saskatoon Symphony Chorus
Saskatoon’s longest-running holiday tradition continues. Handel’s glorious Messiah is lifted up by the Eric Paetkau and the musicians of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.
We are thrilled to be joined by a remarkable quartet of soloists who will showcase the beautiful melodies and the virtuosic lines of this deeply emotional music.
Feel the text brought to life by the Saskatoon Symphony Chorus, now in their 6th season.
Recent graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, Danika Lorèn is known for her dramatic sensitivity and instinctive musicality. Having made her Canadian Opera Company debut as Woglinde in Götterdämmerung, Danika has also appeared in The Nightingale and Other Fables, and will be back next season as Musetta in La Bohème. Ever versatile, Danika’s past roles include: Zdenka (Arabella), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Dalinda (Ariodante), Coloratura (Kopernikus), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Monica (The Medium), Lady with a Hand Mirror (Postcard from Morocco), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) and Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro).
Ms. Lorèn made her orchestral debut in her hometown with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra performing Faure’s Requiem with acclaimed baritone Nathan Berg and conductor Eric Paetkau. After winning the University of Toronto Concerto Competition in 2014/15, Danika performed Richard Strauss’ Op. 27, Vier Lieder with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Uri Mayer. In 2016, Danika made her debut at the Indian River Festival singing Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. This year, Danika performed her first Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with Toronto’s Pax Christi Chorale. In November, Ms. Loren will be performing Mozart’s Requiem with the Regina Symphony Orchestra. Danika’s finesse with song repertoire has afforded her opportunities to share the stage with internationally recognized singers such as Stephanie Blythe, Barbara Hannigan and Catherine Wyn-Rogers. This past summer Danika was also awarded a test recording with Deutsche Grammophon in the Stella Maris vocal competition. Having premiered the first of her own compositions with the Canadian Art Song Project in 2016, she has since had her works performed in the Canadian Opera Company’s noon concert series and continues to compose, direct and create new projects and is a founding member of Collectìf.
Ms. Lorèn pursued a BFA in Drama at the University of Saskatchewan. She has since completed her bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Toronto under the instruction of J. Patrick Raftery. In 2016, Ms Lorèn completed a master’s degree in Opera fromthe same institution, studying with Wendy Nielsen.
Honoured as one of the University of Saskatchewan’s Arts and Science Alumni of Influence, Saskatchewan born contralto, Lisa Hornung has been acclaimed for performances in repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary composers. Her voice has been called “rich and powerful” and her stage presence has “inspired audiences and musicians alike”.
Most often heard in Handel’s Messiah, Ms. Hornung’s orchestral performances also include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mass in C major, Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass and Vesperae solennes de Confessore, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, the Duruflé Requiem, the Canadian premiere of Ruth Watson-Henderson’s From Darkness to Light, Verdi’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vaughn Williams’ Magnificat, The May Queen by Bennett, and the Alto Rhapsody by Brahms. Very excited about the talents of composer Paul Suchan, Lisa was delighted to record his full nuptial mass entitled May, and to have premiered the role of May Bartram in his opera The Beast in the Jungle.
In addition to her orchestral work, Ms. Hornung enjoys an active recital career with recent performances including works by Brahms, Schumann, Schubert, Marx, Debussy, Purcell and Handel as well as Christmas, Spiritual and Folk repertoire. She has toured the United States and Europe as a soloist and ensemble member with the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group of professional singers dedicated to the preservation and performance of Negro Spirituals.
Soprano Casey Peden and Lisa have been presenting duet recitals including works of Haydn, Purcell and Handel as well as a variety of folk arrangements. They have collaborated with Mr. John Ried Coulter, Ms. Alison Kilgannon, and Mr. Robert Hall. Their most recent venture saw them in Ontario singing with The Sudbury Studio Singers and the Sudbury University Chorus, performing Canadian Folk Songs arranged for SATB choir with alto and soprano soloists, arranged by Robert Hall.
Having performed across Western Canada, the United States and Europe, Lisa is always happy to be close to home with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. She looks forward to singing Bach’s Magnificat with friends and colleagues Spencer McKnight and Casey Peden, the SSO and the SSO Chorus in May of 2018.
After completing a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Saskatchewan under the tutelage of Professor Dorothy Howard, Ms. Hornung went on to further her studies at the Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. This was followed by an intensive study time at Southern Illinois University with Richard Best. Later she completed a year of study, with the support of the Saskatchewan Arts Board, working with Mr. Nico Castel, Dr. Everett McCorvey, Dr. Cliff Jackson, Dr. Bill Cooper, Professor Micheal McMahon, Professor Tedrin Lindsey and Mr. Richard Best.
In accordance with her belief that every child deserves the opportunity to sing, Lisa runs a non-audition Community Youth Choir and often collaborates with elementary and high school musical endeavours. She also enjoys lending a hand when the local drama club is in need of musical direction. For several years she directed the Meota Men’s Choir, a non-audition men’s choir that was very active in the Battlefords and surrounding area. Ms. Hornung has gained a deeper appreciation and love of choral arts through her continued work as vocal coach for Cantilon and Belle Canto, professional touring choirs directed by Ms. Heather Johnson.
Lisa is the founder and director of Summer School for the Solo Voice, a week long study and performance opportunity for singers, choral conductors, accompanists and voice teachers of all ages and abilities. Growing from a local to a national, and now, international program, SSSV celebrated its 20th Anniversary in July, 2017.
In October of 2017 Ms. Hornung was presented with the Saskatchewan Music Educators Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Well known as a teacher, adjudicator, clinician and choral coach, Lisa lives in North Battleford, Saskatchewan with her husband John. They have two grown children in University, and a German Shepherd at home to help with their ‘empty nest syndrome’.
Tenor Spencer McKnight’s has been described as “one of the finest tenor voices” in Canada.
McKnight began singing at the age of 17. He was encouraged to pursue music by an adjudicator who heard him sing at his local music festival. His passion for music finds him frequently immersed in the music of Handel, Rossini, and Britten.
Spencer’s garnered much attention both in concert and in competition over the course of the last six years, including multiple awards at a national level, and the 2018 winner of the Gordon C. Wallis Opera Competition. Though early in his career, Spencer has had the opportunity to sing a wealth of oratorio repertoire and had recent engagements with the Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras.
Spencer recently toured with a recital program entitled Songs of the Great War. An artistic project many years in the making, the recital featured songs, both popular and art, from the World War One era, including the Canadian premieres of two songs by composer William Dennis Browne.
Spencer had the pleasure of making his international opera debut in Vicenza, Italy this past summer as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. He was reviewed as having a “clear timbre” by the Giornale di Vicenza.
Some of the exciting upcoming engagements include the North American premiere of Rebecca Dale’s Materna Requiem with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. In 2020 Spencer will join his long-time collaborator Mark Turner in a tour of a new recital programme called Songs of the Isles.
Spencer studied with teacher and mentor Lisa Hornung for many years, he now studies with Toronto based vocal pedagogue Mark Daboll.
His voice is described as fresh and brassy with stratospheric high notes, Spencer is proud to be a recipient of funding from the Saskatchewan Arts Board.
Canadian baritone Adam Harris has been described as an intuitively musical and distinctively dramatic young performer. He has most recently been engaged with Calgary Opera, performing the role of Barrington in the world premiere of Ghost Opera, Guy Cotter in the Canadian premiere of Everest and as Gregorio in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette. Further credits include Ceprano in Rigoletto with Calgary Opera, Falke in Die Fledermaus at Koerner Hall, the Baritone in Kopernikus at the Banff Centre, Moralès in Carmen with the Mississauga Symphony, Marcello in La Bohème with Opera Kelowna, Argenio in Imeneo, Pluto in Orphée aux Enfers, Mr Gobineau in The Medium, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Curly in Oklahoma! and The Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe. At home both in Operatic and Concert work, Adam has performed Handel’s Messiah with the Saskatoon Symphony, Fauré’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Five Mystical Songs with the Lyrica Chamber choir, as well as Carmina Burana with the Indian River Festival and George Butterworth’s Six Songs from a Shropshire Lad alongside the University of Toronto Orchestra under the baton of conductor Uri Mayer. Adam has appeared alongside Toronto based “Collectif” in their original production of “Fête” at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre and in “The Happenstancers” concert series, performing “Neuf Historiettes” by Jean Francaix(1912-1997). Mr Harris holds his MA from the University of Toronto and a BMus from Western University.