Welcome to the Aeolian Phoenix Sessions… LIVE AND IN-PERSON.
The Phoenix Session Summer Retrospective Series is eight weeks of live entertainment presenting artist combos previously heard in the digitally offered Aeolian Phoenix Sessions: live and in-person every Thursday on the Aeolian’s Dundas Garden Stage and in the Dave Southen Lounge.
Seating is limited to 40 guests. Tickets are not required but reservations can be made by calling the Aeolian Hall Box Office during business hours. Admission is by a $10 cover charge but donations are welcome to help support the Aeolian, our brilliant artists and the extraordinary work of our technical team. The patio gate and Southen Lounge Bar will open at 7 p.m. so come early and socialize with friends. Concerts will begin at 8 p.m. with the setting sun providing an extraordinary backdrop to our intimate garden stage.
For two years, the Aeolian Phoenix Sessions have provided patrons with a cross-section of the music going experience. From classical to jazz, rock to country, and bluegrass to folk, the Sessions aim to bring music back into your home and heart.
With over 200 musicians having participated, the sessions have been a safe and consistent experience during rather uncertain times.
Our goal was has always been the same: reignite live music and get artists on stage, technicians behind the soundboard and our patrons on their feet listening to extraordinary talent in extraordinary times.
Concerts will take place on the Dundas Garden Stage or in the Dave Southen Lounge depending on the weather and instrumentation. The performances will be recorded and presented as part of the digital series – so you have two opportunities to participate.
Lesley Andrew has made soloist appearances with many of Canada’s finest orchestras and choirs, including the Vancouver, Windsor, Kitchener-Waterloo, Kingston, Hamilton, Guelph symphony orchestras, Weston Silver Band, Toronto Concert Band, Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, Brott Summer Music Festival, Stratford Summer Music, and the Shenandoah Bach Festival (VA, USA). Ms. Andrew’s recordings have often been heard on CBC Radio. Known for her extraordinary vocal range and versatility in many genres of music, Ms. Andrew often “switches hats,” performing as the soprano soloist for one engagement and as the alto soloist for the next – from opera to show tunes, oratorio to jazz.
Immediately following the completion of her undergraduate degree, Ms. Andrew began an extended tenure with the Stratford Festival, performing in productions including The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, Twelfth Night, Cyrano De Bergerac, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Music Man and Patience. Other theatrical performances include Menotti’s The Telephone and Hopkin’s Three’s Company at the Guelph Spring Festival (featuring and directed by Ms. Andrew). Most recently, Ms. Andrew directed La Boheme (Southern Ontario Lyric Opera), receiving rave reviews as “SOLO’s best production yet!” for her creative direction and use of space.
Ms. Andrew has completed a number of major concert and recital tours, including Argentina (2005), England/Austria/Germany (1989/1990 – Canadian Concert & Jazz Band), the 1999 World Tour aboard the QE II, two USA tours (2002/2003-California/Arizona/Florida/Texas) and a Canadian tour with The Lesley Andrew Trio (2004-Vancouver/Manitoba/Ontario).
A recipient of many awards, including a Canadian Opera Company Scholarship, and the Maureen Forrester Guthrie Award (The Stratford Festival), Ms. Andrew now adjudicates and conducts masterclasses at festivals, universities and schools of music and drama around the world (voice – classical, Broadway and pop, choral music and speech arts classes.) While living in Stratford, Ms. Andrew was twice nominated as Stratford’s “Citizen of the Year.” Ms. Andrew now runs her thriving voice and drama studios – Dream in Progress Productions – in both London, Ontario and Windsor, Ontario. As a director, Ms. Andrew is much in demand in the genres of musical theatre and opera. Ms. Andrew’s intensive theatre and music program for youth, Summer Glee, is now in it’s twenty-fifth year. More programs are now being offered each summer in communities across Ontario in order to accommodate growing enrollment. Ms. Andrew is thrilled to be the Head of Vocal Music for George Brown College, School for Media & Performing Arts, Toronto, Ontario.
Ms. Andrew has made special guest television appearances on The Tonight Show, Oprah Winfrey, To Tell the Truth, Donny & Marie, The Comedy Network, YTV, Regis & Kathy Lee and many more. A popular motivational speaker, Ms. Andrew is engaged across Canada by Educators, Universities, Corporations, Service Clubs and Student Organizations.
Ms. Andrew’s professional activities have included teaching and stage directing appointments at Wilfrid Laurier University (Opera), as well as the Universities of Windsor (Vocal Pedagogy, Studio Voice; Faculty of Music, and The Creative Process; School of Dramatic Arts) and Western Ontario (Studio Voice, Opera – director, Shakespearean drama). As a pedagogue, Ms. Andrew is very involved with the W Ross Macdonald School for the Visually Impaired in Brantford, Ontario, where she helps create and run arts programs for exceptional children. While maintaining a full teaching schedule in her private studios (London and Windsor) Ms. Andrew continues to work as a soloist, collaborative recital artist, stage director, adjudicator, and motivational speaker. Most recently (2018), Ms Andrew performed the role of “Marcellina” in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, “Alice” in A … My Name Is Alice, the mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (Abridged Opera) and Mrs. McLean in Floyd’s Susannah (Pek Productions).
British Columbian Bass-Baritone Chad Louwerse made his European debut as Bernadino in Berlioz’ Benvenuto Cellini with l’Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, France. In Canada he has been engaged by Pacific Opera Victoria, Vancouver Opera, Edmonton Opera, and l’Opéra de Montréal, among others. An active oratorio singer and recitalist, Mr. Louwerse’s concert repertoire includes the Bach Mass in B-minor, the Brahms and Mozart Requiems and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. He is a winner of both the CBC Westcoast Performance Pacific Spotlight competition and the Début competition and has given recitals broadcast on CBC Radio Two. He teaches voice at Western University and now resides in London, Ontario.
British Columbian pianist, Melanie Cancade, is currently one of Southwestern Ontario’s most sought after collaborative pianists, appearing in concert extensively throughout the region with both aspiring and established singers. Since 2010, she has been coaching vocalists at Western University in London, Ontario, as well as maintaining a busy performing schedule. Most recently, she has appeared with London Symphonia and The London Music Machine. Prior to her time in London, however, Melanie’s experiences and education comes from across Canada and Europe.
After completing her Bachelor’s of Music at the University of Victoria, Melanie received her Master’s in Piano Accompaniment from McGill University under the guidance of Michael McMahon. While in Montreal, she worked as a vocal accompanist at McGill and musical director at Player’s Theatre, performed with Liederw lfe Opera Collective, and participated in other community-based musical productions.
Beyond Montreal, she has been invited to further her studies at programs such as the Music Academy of the West, The Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Vancouver International Song Institute, and the Franz Schubert Institut in Austria. Playing to Canadian, American, Italian, and Austrian audiences with features on CBC Radio and Bravo Television, Melanie has also performed locally with Pacific Opera Victoria’s touring productions of “La Cenerentola” and “Carmen”, as well as acting as rehearsal pianist for their Young Artist Program. Other performance credits include Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”, Berlioz’s “Orph e et Eurydice”, Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last Five Years”, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Song and Dance”, and Vaughn Williams’ “Riders to the Sea”.