La Chapelle de Québec

La Chapelle de Québec. Professional choir, known as the Ensemble vocal Bernard Labadie 1985-91, founded in Quebec City in 1985 by Bernard Labadie; it existed informally before that year.

La Chapelle de Québec

La Chapelle de Québec. Professional choir, known as the Ensemble vocal Bernard Labadie 1985-91, founded in Quebec City in 1985 by Bernard Labadie; it existed informally before that year. It was intended as both a stand-alone ensemble and a partner for Les Violons du Roy, to allow the performance of masses, oratorios, and cantatas; Labadie in fact created Les Violons du Roy to accompany the choir. The first concert of the combined forces of the Ensemble vocal and Les Violons was of Handel's Dixit Dominus.

The Ensemble vocal Bernard Labadie attracted attention early on by winning the 1986 Healey Willan Prize of the Canada Council as "the country's most promising vocal ensemble," and then winning second place in the CBC Radio National Competition for Amateur Choirs. It participated in Mozart's Requiem at René Levesque's funeral in 1987, which brought it increased recognition. The choir later joined the Choeur Symphonique de Quebec for its performances with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, and in December 1989 sang Handel's Messiah with the Elmer Iseler Singers and Tudor Singers of Montreal, under Elmer Iseler. In 1991 it made its first European tour.

Throughout the 1990s, under its new name, La Chapelle cemented its reputation in part by its participation in many concerts with Les Violons. It performed Handel's Messiah 1997-9 to great critical acclaim in Montreal, Quebec City, and Toronto, and undertook Bach's St Matthew Passion in Toronto in 2000. In 1998, Labadie restructured the choir to make it a professional ensemble. The choir's recording of Mozart's Requiem, made during a concert in New York State with Les Violons shortly after the terrorist attacks of 11 Sep 2001, won a Juno Award. The choir also performed Messiah under Labadie with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in December 2004. David Vernier, reviewing the recording of the Requiem, remarked that "Labadie's choir is second to none - clear-voiced, uniform in tone, exceptionally well-balanced, articulate, technically sound, expressively versatile" (ClassicsToday.com).

La Chapelle de Québec is largely devoted to Classical and Baroque repertoire, mainly sacred music with chamber orchestra, which it often performs with Les Violons du Roy. The ensemble has distinguished itself by the presentation of such other 18th-century choral works as Haydn's Nelson Mass and Bach's Magnificat, St John Passion, and Lutheran Masses. More recently it has forayed into Romantic repertoire, performing works by Fauré and Brahms.

Selected Discography
Intégrale de la musique sacrée avec clavier / Gabriel Fauré. Chapelle de Québec, Labadie conductor. 1992. Adès 202132

Requiem de Mozart. Les Violons du Roy, Labadie conductor. 2002. Dorian DOR-90310

Celebration. Les Violons du Roy, Labadie conductor. 2004. Dorian DOR-90024