Mendelssohn’s Elijah

Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Emmanuel United Church (formerly George Street United), Peterborough

Featuring: Melody Thomas, soprano | Marjorie Maltais, mezzo | Adam Bishop, tenor | Alex Dobson, bass | Ian Sadler, organ 

The story of Elijah spans religions, having been told in sacred texts from the Old Testament, Quran, and Talmud to the Book of Mormon and the teachings of the Bahá’í faith. In Elijah, Mendelssohn retells the story of a man’s devotion, prosecution, and ascension as it has come down to us in the teachings of the Bible’s Book of Kings. Allow our wonderfully talented guest artists and 100+ choir to journey with you back in time as we explore the world and life of Elijah.

A stunning musical interpretation of devotion, prosecution, and ascension!


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Soprano Melody Thomas received her Honours Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto under the tutelage of mezzo-soprano Jo-Anne Bentley. Her opera debut was singing the role of Nora from Vaughan Williams’s Riders to the Sea with the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, and her performance was praised by Opera Canada magazine. Melody then completed her Opera Diploma at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she successfully performed the role of Susanna from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

Since graduating from Laurier, Melody has furthered her training at a number of summer programs. She attended the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Advanced Summer Vocal Academy with Daniel Taylor, Nancy Argenta, and Ingrid Attrot twice, first to focus on Baroque chamber music and then on oratorio. She was a part of the inaugural Stratford Summer Vocal Academy with Michael Schade, Emily Hamper, and Phillip Addis, and she participated in Michael and Anne-Marie Donovan’s Long Reach Opera Workshop, where she sang the title role in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah.

As a winner of the inaugural Spotlight On Our Youth scholarship competition, Melody was a featured soloist for the Grand River Chorus in the fall of 2013. That winter, she performed her first solo Messiah with the Peterborough Singers. Ever since, Melody has continued to delight audiences with her performances of opera, oratorio, and recital repertoire. Notable performances include a concert of opera excerpts with the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra alongside mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (also with the Peterborough Symphony), and a concert of popular opera with the Northumberland Orchestra and Chorus. Highlights of the 2017-2018 season thus far include a program of French opera with the Georgian Bay Symphony as well as performing Mendelssohn’s Elijah for her hometown audience with the Peterborough Singers.



Mezzo-soprano Marjorie Maltais completed her Master of Music in Literature and Performance at the University of Western Ontario in 2015, singing leading roles in Cosi fan Tutte, L’Heure Espagnole, and La Cenerentola. She gained attention as a finalist at the Canadian Opera Company’s 2015 Centre Stage Competition for her dynamic stage presence and the “fireworks of her remarkable coloratura.”

A native of Clermont, Quebec, Marjorie was invited to acclaimed mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne’s Music Academy of The West Summer Music Festival in Santa Barbara, California, performing in excerpts from Handel’s Rinaldo under Maestro Nicholas McGegan.

Highlights for Marjorie’s 2015-16 concert season featured guest performances in Mozart’s Requiem (Boise Philharmonic, Guelph Symphony), Messiah with Windsor Symphony, Chausson’s Poeme de l’amour et de la mer with the London Community Orchestra, and Bach’s B Minor Mass with Orpheus Choir/Chorus Niagara. Marjorie also starred in Travelogue, premiering new operas with Toronto’s innovative Bicycle Opera Project and was a featured guest soloist with Chamberfest Cleveland, performing works by Korngold, Wagner, and Britten.

In the 2016-17 season, Marjorie had several soloist debuts, in Elijah with Toronto’s Pax Christi Chorale, Messiah with the McGill Chamber Orchestra, and St. Matthew Passion with Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra. In 2017, Marjorie debuted with Voicebox: Opera in Concert as Costanza in Haydn’s L’isola disabitata with Kevin Mallon and the Aradia Ensemble. According to Ian Ritchie of Opera Going Toronto, she “confidently anchored this mid-winter Voicebox production with a deeply resonant performance, her rich, warm mezzo brimming with all the courage and desperation of a woman stretched to the ends of her wits.”

Marjorie Maltais received the Ruby Mercer Scholarship to attend IRCPA’s “Sondra Radvanovsky Encounter” and won the “Career Blueprint” for a three-day session at the National Opera Center in New York.



Tenor Adam Bishop has performed for audiences across Canada, the United States, and Austria in art song, oratorio, and opera. He has had the privilege of performing for former Prime Minster Jean Chrétien, HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and, since 2013, has regularly performed the Canadian and US National Anthems for the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2010, Bishop undertook the role of Le Prince Charmant in Massenet’s at the Glenn Gould School. Led by Maestro Uri Mayer, these were the inaugural operatic performances in the world-class Koerner Hall. Other roles include Nemorino in , Ferrando in , Le Chevalier de la Force in , and the Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Locally, Mr. Bishop’s recent performances include the Bach’s St. John Passion with the Peterborough Singers, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, and performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Uxbridge Chamber Choir. Other highlights include Handel’s Messiah with the Regina Symphony Orchestra and the Peterborough Singers, Mozart’s Requiem with the Georgian Bay Concert Choir. Charpentier’s Te Deum and Karl Jenkins’s The Armed Man with the Regina Philharmonic Chorus, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Toronto Classical Singers and Talisker Players conducted by Jurgen Petrenko, as well as performances of Vaughan Williams’s Hodie, Stainer’s Crucifixion, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Britten’s St. Nicolas Oratorio.

Mr. Bishop holds a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the Artists Diploma program at The Glenn Gould School. Former teachers include Dr. Darryl Edwards, Monica Whicher, Carol-Lynn Reifel, and Fr. Paul Massel. He has participated in elite training programs such as the Highlands Opera Studio, under Richard Margison, and the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute. Adam is a graduate of Lakefield College School and continues to supports the arts at LCS as the Assistant Director of Vocal Music.



British-Canadian baritone Alexander Dobson has been praised for his musical and dramatic artistry on both opera and concert stages. His portrayal of the title role in Wozzeck, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin with Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and Orchestre Métropolitain du Grande Montréal, was praised by Journal Voir as a “gripping embodiment of Wozzeck.”

Highlighting Dobson’s 2016-17 season is his performance in the title role in Don Giovanni at Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera, a role he has also sung with Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal. Dobson also appears in concert with the Toronto Symphony (Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast), the Calgary Philharmonic (Handel’s Messiah), and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (Mozart’s Requiem). In recital, Dobson can be heard this season on a program at Mooredale Concerts in Toronto.

Dobson’s operatic roles include Masetto in Don Giovanni and Maximilian in Bernstein’s Candide with the Calgary Opera, Guillaume in the French version of Così fan tutte with Opera Lafayette, The Count in The Marriage of Figaro with Against the Grain, and Marcello in La Bohème with Pacific Opera Victoria. Dobson also sang the role of Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea with conductor Nicholas McGegan and the Mark Morris Dance Group.

On the concert stage, Dobson has shown versatility with both classical and contemporary repertoire. He has performed Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfayer with Orchestre Métropolitain, Faure’s Requiem with the Windsor Symphony, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the combined National Arts Centre Orchestra and Orchestre Metropolitain. He has sung Handel’s Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestra London, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and many others. Recent performances of contemporary works include the role of The Master in Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie’s production of Against Nature with director James Kudelka and The Pilot in Soundstreams’ production of Airline Icarus, a new opera by Brian Current. A recording of Airline Icarus (winner of the JUNO for Classical Composition of the Year) featuring Mr. Dobson was released on Naxos Records in 2015.

Dobson is a dedicated recital artist, and his recent performances of Schubert’s Winterreise and Schumann’s Dichterliebe were highly acclaimed in New York, Montréal, Toronto, Victoria, England, and Paris.



IanSadler2013Ian Sadler began his musical training as a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England. He then won a music scholarship to The King’s School, Canterbury, followed by the Organ Scholarship to Bristol University. During postgraduate study at London University, Ian held the Organ Scholarship at St. Paul’s Cathedral from 1978-80. Ian holds degrees in musicology and education, with organ diplomas from Trinity College of Music, London, and The Royal College of Organists. Before moving to Canada, his final engagement in the UK was to play the organ in the movie, Chariots of Fire.

Ian moved to Canada in 1980 following his appointments in Toronto as Director of Music at Grace Church-on-the-Hill and Choral Director at Upper Canada College. In 1986, the year that he became a Canadian citizen, he won 1st prize at the Syracuse International Organ Playing Competition in the USA. As a Canadian recitalist, he has since toured to Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France (Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris), Austria (Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral), Australia (Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide, and Melbourne), the USA (New York, Boston, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, San Francisco, and Hawaii), and back to the UK (Winchester Cathedral, Truro Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral, York Minster, St. Giles – Edinburgh, Coventry Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, King’s College Cambridge, and St. Paul’s Cathedral). In 2000, Ian was presented with a Juno award for a choral CD by his Burlington chamber choir, Pro Musica.

For his dedication to promoting the organ and Canadian music, both at home and abroad, The Royal Canadian College of Organists honoured Ian in 2007 with its highest award: Fellowship of The Royal Canadian College of Organists.

In 2016, Ian was appointed organist of The Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto. Ian is also conductor of The Stratford Concert Choir, a position he has held since 1989. He is also conductor of The Cathedral Singers of Ontario, a choir which he founded in 1999. In December, this choir sang for a week of services at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London England. In July 2017, The Cathedral Singers of Ontario will be choir-in-residence for a week at Lincoln Cathedral.