Critiques et Commentaires


“Award-winning soprano stops at Carleton on her national tour.”
Susan Hansen-Broten. (Ottawa Citizen)

Soprano Elisabeth Pomès has been described as a stunning performer and an excellent communicator with a gift for breathing new life into contemporary compositions.

On Sunday January 30th this talented singer will perform at Carleton in a free concert hosted by the University Committee on Cultural Activities. Ottawa is the final stop on Pomès’ cross-Canada tour.

The tour is part of her prize as winner of the 1993 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition. One of the competition’s requirements is that semi-finalists perform a new Canadian work specifically created for the competition, known as the “imposed” piece.

Last year Eckhardt-Gramatté honoured Carleton University Music Professor Patrick Cardy, commissioning him to write the imposed piece for the 1993 competition. Dr. Cardy is a renowned Canadian composer who has received many awards and commissions for his work. Another of his compositions “Virelai” was nominated for a Juno award in 1992, and has recently been released on CD by CBC records.

Elisabeth Pomès’ national concert tour program includes Patrick Cardy’s “Autumn,” the song cycle he composed for the competition. Pomès found the second song in the cycle, “Aspects of Rain,” to be particularly challenging. It is a playful patter piece with a tongue twisting onomatopoeic text intended to imitate the sounds of rain.

Pomès’ engagements have taken her to both sides of the Atlantic where she has appeared in operas, recitals, broadcast performances and chamber music programs as well as concerts with orchestra. Recent operatic roles include “Despina” in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte and “Adriana” in Murray Schafer’s La Testa D’Adriana.

Pomès’ Carleton concert will include works by Cardy, Benjamin Britten and Luciano Berio. She will also sing Murray Schafer’s aria “Princess of the Stars.” Pomès has actually performed this piece as scripted, on a raft in the middle of a lake during an autumn dawn–an experience which has proven unique in her career.

The concert is at 8 p.m., Sunday, January 30th in the Alumni Theatre at Southam Hall. Admission is free and seating is unreserved.

It promises to be an entertaining evening and a rare opportunity to enjoy a nationally acclaimed artist performing the music of some of this century’s most noteworthy composers.