Thursday, February 12, 2015

Catacoustic Consort: My Heart is Prepared

The final concert of the 3rd annual Cincinnati Early Music Festival will take place Feb. 28 at 7:30, and will feature soprano Shannon Mercer (Toronto) with harpsichordist Michael Unger and Annalisa Pappano on pardessus de viole performing the music of Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville.

Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville (1711-1772) was one of the great composers of the French Baroque period. He was an innovative composer – in one of his collections of "violin sonatas," the pieces are actually harpsichord sonatas with violin accompaniment! He also utilized newly developed techniques like harmonics. Mondonville worked as a violinist and was Maître de musique de la chapelle du roi. He composed operas (one premiered Madame de Pompadour in the lead role) and motets as well as instrumental music, and later in life directed the famous Concert Spirituel series.

Recognized for the luminosity and effortless agility of her voice, as well as her commanding stage presence and profound acting ability, Canadian soprano Shannon Mercer enthusiastically embraces a range of repertoire from early to contemporary music. Shannon maintains a busy and challenging performance calendar of opera, concert, and recital engagements throughout North America and Europe while also sustaining an active recording presence, capturing some rarely performed works.

An alumna of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Summer Program, Shannon began her operatic career as a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio Program. A Career Development Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and the award of the 2004 Bernard Diamant Prize allowed Shannon to spend an extended period of time in Vienna where she studied German operatic repertoire with renowned voice coach Margaret Singer. She also received the Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Women's Musical Club of Toronto Career Development Award.

Listen to Shannon Mercer singing a selection of the Mondonville that Catacoustic will perform at:

This candlelight concert of sacred music will evoke the refined elegance of an earlier age with rare instruments and sublime performances. Come early for the best seats. A reception follows. For ticket information go to

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