The Ottawa Classical Choir
The Ottawa Classical Choir was founded in 2006 by soprano Maria Knapik and conductor Michel Brousseau to give amateur singers the opportunity to work and perform with professional artists, and to give the Ottawa community access to high quality classical concerts with local and international performers. Our mission is to spread the joy of music. Another part of our mission is also to use our concerts as an opportunity to showcase artists and musicians from the region; for instance, we have performed with well-known professional local artists such as mezzo-sopranos Renée Lapointe and Julie Nesrallah, tenor Steeve Michaud and pianist Jean Desmarais. Speaking of professionals, our Artistic Director, Michel Brousseau, is an accomplished pianist as well as a talented conductor who has been acclaimed internationally for having performed with different orchestras in Europe, the United States, and in Canada.
As our name suggest, the OCC’s repertoire focuses on classical music. Over the years, we performed major works such as Verdi’s Requiem, which was performed at the National Arts Centre, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, as well as Johannes Strauss’s Greatest Waltzes, which concert was given in December 2013 under the patronage of the Austrian Embassy in Canada.
We have also been innovating in bringing rarely performed works to music lovers of Ottawa and the National Capital Region. For instance, we gave the North American première of the Messe de la délivrance by French composer Théodore Dubois. In fact this mass, along with another one written by Dubois was recorded on a CD and released in 2010 under the ATMA Classics label, with many of our members signing on the recording. We also performed for the first time ever in Ottawa Théodore Dubois’s beautiful oratorio called “le paradis perdu”, in 2012.
The OCC usually gives two concerts every year – one in the spring and one in late fall. In addition, members of the OCC have had several opportunities, in recent years, to perform abroad. For instance, our members sang at Carnegie Hall in New York, twice in Italy and once in France, including at the famous Notre-Dame de Paris Church, and, more recently, in Romania.
The New World Philharmonic Society
A key feature of our organisation is that we are joined for our concerts by three choirs also under the artistic direction of Maestro Brousseau. These choirs are located in Montreal, Sainte-Thérèse and Mont-Tremblant. As a result, we are about 100 to 120 on stage for our concerts. In addition, we are also often accompanied by the professional musicians of the New World Philharmonic Orchestra, which is based in Montreal. When we are all together on stage, we make up what is called The New World Philharmonic Society. With its 200 and some musicians and choristers, the NWPS is one of the largest musical organizations of its kind in Canada.