Operatic Fluidity

with Arion Baroque Orchestra, directed by Hank Knox, contralto Rose Naggar-Tremblay and counter-tenor Ian Sabourin and stage direction by Thomas Ayouti.

Montreal Baroque faces the music with voices of the 2ELGBTQI+ in some of Handel’s most touching operatic moments.

A grand concert - Arion Baroque Orchestra directed by Hank Knox, with contralto Rose Naggar-Tremblay and counter-tenor Ian Sabourin. Stage direction by Thomas Ayouti.

Handel operatic excerpts - Alcina, Hercules, Tolomeo, Re d’Egitto, Rinaldo, Rodelinda, Semele, et Serse 


Regular: $45 - Seniors (65+): $40 - Students: $15

Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours
400 Rue Saint-Paul E,
Montréal QC

Notes de programme

Fluidité opératique

visuel note fluidité opératique
Artist(s) and Ensemble(s)

IAN SABOURIN, contreténor

HANK KNOX, direction


Concerto grosso en si mineur op. 6 nº 12, HWV 330 [1739, extraits]
Largo - Allegro

Aria Furibondo spira il vento (Partenope, HWV 27, 1730)

Concerto grosso en mi mineur op. 6 nº 3, HWV 321 [extrait]
Larghetto - Andante

Air Where shall I fly (Hercules, HWV 60, 1744)

Air Hence, Iris, hence away (Semele, HWV 58, 1743)

Ouverture (Alcina, HWV 34, 1735)

Aria Stille amare (Tolomeo, re di Egitto, HWV 25, 1728)

Aria Vorrei vendicarmi (Alcina)

Concerto grosso en la mineur op. 6 nº 4, HWV 322 [extrait]
Allegro - Larghetto affettuoso

Aria Cara sposa (Rinaldo, HWV 7, 1711)

Air Welcome as the dawn of day (Solomon, HWV 67, 1748)

Aria Dove sei, amato bene? (Rodelinda, HWV 19, 1725)

Concerto grosso en fa majeur op. 6 nº 9, HWV 327 [extrait]
Largo - Allegro

Aria Ombra mai fu (Serse, HWV 40, 1738)

Program Notes

Castrati were the singing superstars of the 18th century! Given their extended range, composers wrote many operatic lead roles for them. Nowadays women and men vie for these roles creating the possibility of interesting, contrasting, casting options. Gender fluidity plays a fascinating dilemma in baroque opera performance today. High male voices are often confounded as feminine whereas a woman singing a heroic male role is confusing! With Operatic Fluidity, Montreal Baroque faces the music with voices of the 2ELGBTQI+ in some of the most touching operatic moments in Handel operas staged by the incredible, multi-talented Thomas Ayouti! 


Praised for « the depth of her tone, the evenness of her voice, her breath control and the emotional maturity of her singing » Rose Naggar-Tremblay started her musical journey at the piano as well as in choral singing until the age of twelve when her classical music training started. She studied at McGill recieving a bachelor’s degree in voice with a minor in literature and European culture studies. Since 2020 she has been studying with Lena Hellström-Färnlöf, director the Academy of Music and Opera at the University of Mälardalen.

Since starting her residence at the Atelier lyric at the Montreal Opera (from 2017-2020), she has performed in Svalbard and Twenty-seven. In 2021 she had a glorious debut at the Sofia Opera as Carmen and won first prize at the George Enesco Competition in Paris. She won first prize both at the Montreal Symphony Competition as well as the Concours Georges Enesco in Paris and received the Jeune Espoire lyric canadienne grant and the prize for the best interpretation in the MSO competition for a Canadian work, with the song cycle, Healing, which she composed in collaboration with Eric Champagne. She was winner of the Révélation Radio-Canada in classical music, won second prize at the Prix d’Europe and was awarded the prestigious Fernand Lindsay career grant. She was in the cast of the 2022 performance at the launching of the CD of an opera based on Jack Kerouac’s La nuit et la femme in which she played the role of Gabrielle.

As an accomplished musician she often participates in chamber music events and recitals directed by well-known directors including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Rafael Payare, Jean-Marie Zeitouni and Jacques Lacombe as well as the new generation of future stars like Simon Rivard, Francis Choiniere and Nicolas Ellis. She was soloist recently in Sea Pictures by Elgar, Palmeri’s Magnificat, Haendel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus the
Requiems of Mozart, Verdi and Duruflé as well as many Bach cantatas.  In 2023, she performed her debut at the Metz-Reims Opera as the second spirit (Rusalka), the inn keeper, (Boris Godunov) at the Bayerische Staatsoper and Carmen at the Edmonton opera. She launched her first mini-album of original songs including French chansons and chamber works entitled Je me souviens
à toi. In 2024 she performed the Voix d’en haut ((La femme sans ombre) at the Capitole in Toulouse es well as qu’Elda (Das Rheingold) at the Erfurt Theatre.

Ian Sabourin is a Canadian countertenor raised in Ottawa and based in Montreal, renowned for his unique sound, powerful high notes, and diverse repertoire. He has been awarded the Fellowship Stingray Audience Award and recently joined the Opéra de Montréal's Atelier Lyrique as their first countertenor. Ian is also a professional soloist in Montreal with various professional ensembles such as Orchestre Classique de Montréal, Ensemble Caprice, Harmonies des Saisons, and Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal. Upcoming performances include Bach's St. Matthew Passion with The Peterborough Singers, Handel arias concert with Arion Baroque and Montreal Baroque Festival, a recording of Bach cantatas with Ensemble Caprice and ATMA Classique, and the role of Bateau B in a new opera for kids in Le Phare by Laurence Jobidon with ODM.

His 2023/2024 season has included his debut role with ODM as Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, the role of David in Handel’s Saul with Caelis Academy Ensemble, Berstein’s Chichester Psalms with Ottawa Choral Society, and touring a Handel concert with Ensemble Caprice. At the Lamèque Baroque Festival, Ian's voice was described as "stunning, with a powerful timbre - the kind of voice you can listen to for hours without getting tired.” Ian earned a Masters in Early Music/Opera Performance from McGill University, where he studied with mezzo-soprano Annamaria Popescu. He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Voice Performance from McGill University, where he studied with soprano Dominique Labelle. Ian obtained his Bachelors in Music from the University of Toronto, where he studied with countertenor Daniel Taylor.

A cornerstone of Montreal's music scene for over forty years, Arion Baroque Orchestra is a pioneer in Quebec and Canada in the world of early music on period instruments. Under the artistic direction of conductor and bassoonist Mathieu Lussier since 2019, Arion presents a series of concerts featuring internationally renowned guest conductors and soloists.

Founded in Montreal in 1981 by Claire Guimond, Chantal Rémillard, Betsy MacMillan and Hank Knox, Arion has performed in Quebec, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Asia and Europe. The clarity and freshness of Arion's interpretations of baroque and classical works are supported by a discography of more than thirty titles, have received numerous awards, and widespread critical acclaim.

Committed to the creation and dissemination of youth and educational projects, and a partner of renowned institutions such as the Université de Montréal, McGill University, the Arte Musica Foundation, the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles and the SAMS, Arion is a unique and vital contributor to the Canadian musical scene.

Hailed for his “colourful, kinetic performances,” Hank Knox has performed on harpsichord in concert halls, churches, museums, galleries and homes around the globe. He is a founding member of Montreal’s Arion Baroque Orchestra, and has performed, toured and recorded with numerous ensembles and orchestras.  He has released several acclaimed recordings on antique instruments as well as historical copies, including discs devoted to Scarlatti, Bach, Frescobaldi, Geminiani and Handel. As conductor of the McGill Baroque Orchestra, he directed many Baroque operas, including Francesca Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Monteverdi’s Poppea and Handel’s Orlando, Giulio Cesare, and Alcina.