Conductor David Fallis is one of Canada’s leading interpreters of operatic and choral/orchestral repertoire, especially that of the Baroque and Classical periods. As Music Director for Opera Atelier he has helped bring that company onto stages around the world, and for them Mr. Fallis has conducted Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI, DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE and LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Purcell’s DIDO AND AENEAS and THE FAIRY QUEEN, Handel’s ACIS AND GALATEA, LA RESURREZIONE and IL PASTOR FIDO, Charpentier’s LE BOURGEOIS GENTILHOMME and ACTÉON, Monteverdi’s ORFEO, IL RITORNO D’ULISSE IN PATRIA and L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA, Gluck’s ORFEO ED EURIDICE and Rameau’s PYGMALION. Twice, he has led the Opera Atelier forces on tour to Seoul, South Korea conducting the Korean Symphony Orchestra and Camerata Antiqua Seoul, and in Japan, conducting DON GIOVANNI and LE NOZZE DI FIGARO. His most recent activities for Opera Atelier have included Handel’s ALCINA, DER FREISCHÜTZ, DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL, L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA, new productions of LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and LA CLEMENZA DI TITO, Lully’s ARMIDE for both Opera Atelier and Glimmerglass Opera in upstate New York and PERSÉE and LUCIO SILLA (Toronto and at Versailles).
For the 2019 Luminato Festival, he led the world premiere of MAADA’OOKII SONGLINES on the waterfront featuring over 200 singers and an Indigenous ensemble. Earlier, he was again in the pit conducting the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Opera Atelier’s production of Mozart’s IDOMENEO.
He has led critically acclaimed productions for Houston Grand Opera (Monteverdi’s L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA and ORFEO), Cleveland Opera (Handel’s GIULIO CESARE and POPPEA), Wolftrap Theater (POPPEA), and in he made his debut at Utah Opera in James Robinson’s production of Handel’s GIULIO CESARE. He has led the Toronto Consort in opera-in-concert performances of Cavalli’s LA CALISTO, Luigi Rossi’s ORFEO and all three Monteverdi operas.
On the symphonic stage, Mr. Fallis has conducted Orchestra London (Mozart arias and Haydn symphonies), the Windsor Symphony (Handel’s MESSIAH, C.P.E. Bach cello concertos), Symphony Nova Scotia (the Mozart REQUIEM), and he led Symphony New Brunswick in Handel’s WATER MUSIC and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in a programme of Christmas Baroque works with choir and orchestra.
As Artistic Director of the Toronto Consort, a renowned chamber group specializing in the music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Mr. Fallis has toured extensively in Europe and Canada and recorded for Marquis Classics, Dorian and SRI. In recent seasons, he led the group in Monteverdi’s VESPERS OF 1610, Praetorius’ CHRISTMAS VESPERS, and a world music collaboration, THE MARCO POLO PROJECT. Following his retirement from his leadership position with Toronto Consort, Maestro Fallis accepted a position as Interim Conductor and Artistic Advisor of Toronto’s Mendelssohn Choir and will hold the position pending the announcement of a new Artistic Director.
Mr. Fallis has also worked in film and television. He led the Toronto Consort in music for Atom Egoyan’s THE SWEET HEREAFTER, and is Historical Music Producer for Showtime’s acclaimed series THE TUDORS, featuring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Sam Neill and Peter O’Toole.
Formerly the conductor of the Toronto Chamber Choir, Fallis led the world premiere of Christos Hatzis’ DE ANGELIS, as well as many performances of music by J. S. Bach, Handel, Mozart and Purcell. In another direction, Mr. Fallis guest conducted the Elmer Iseler Singers on tour in the U.S.A. in a programme of the Bach motets and led the famous choral ensemble in a performance of the MISSA FLAMENCA by the flamenco guitar master Paco Peña.
Mr. Fallis was the Music Director for the world premiere of R. Murray Schafer’s THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE produced by Soundstreams, in collaboration with the Toronto Consort, at Toronto’s prestigious Luminato Festival. He has served as conductor for the new music collective Continuum and his program of works by Arvo Pärt has been heard on CBC’s Two New Hours. A musician of great curiosity, he was co-artistic director of Toronto’s Metamorphosis Festival, an innovative and multi-cultural three-month-long festival of music, opera, dance, film, theatre and design. Mr. Fallis teaches in the Graduate Department of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.
FULLY-STAGED OPERA PRODUCTIONS
|Monteverdi||Orfeo||Houston Grand Opera|
|Christopher Willibald Gluck||Orfeo ed Euridice||State Theatre,Cleveland Opera|
|G. F. Handel||Acis and Galatea
|Jane Mallett Theatre
|John Blow||Venus and Adonis|
|Benjamin Britten||Phaedra||Winter Garden Theatre|
|Marc-Antoine Charpentier||Actéon||Glenn Gould Studio|
|W.A.Mozart/Handel||Acis and Galatea||Elgin Theatre|
|G. F. Handel||Il Pastor Fido||MacMillan Theatre|
|Jean Philippe Rameau||Pygmalion||MacMillan Theatre|
|Henry Purcell||Dido and Aeneas||MacMillan Theatre|
|Claudio Monteverdi||Orfeo||MacMillan Theatre|
ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR AND CHORUS MASTER
|W.A. Mozart||DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE (Andrew Parrott, conductor)
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (Mark Minkowski, conductor)
DON GIOVANNI (Mark Minkowski, conductor)
MAJOR CHORAL-ORCHESTRAL WORKS
|C.P.E. Bach||Cello Concerto in B flat
Die Israeliten in der Wüste
Cantatas #4, 21, 23, 36, 54, 61, 70, 104, 106, 133, 140, 182, 191
|Leonard Bernstein||Chichester Psalms|
|M.A. Charpentier||Messe de Minuit|
Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne
|Joseph Haydn||London Symphonies|
|Michael Haydn||Requiem in C Minor|
|Gustav Holst||Robert Bridges Songs, Opus 44|
|Claudio Monteverdi||Vespers of 1610|
|W. A. Mozart||Requiem|
|Arvo Pärt||Berliner Messe|
|Daniel Pinkham||Christmas Cantata|
|Henry Purcell||The Fairy Queen
Come ye Sons of Art
|Franz Schubert||Mass in G|
|Heinrich Schütz||The Christmas Story|
|Georg Philipp Telemann||Siehe das ist Gottes Lamm|
|Ralph Vaughan Williams||Benedicite
Fantasia on Christmas Carols
LARGE WORKS – A CAPELLA OR WITH SMALL ENSEMBLE
|Luciano Berio||The Cries of London|
|Dmitri Bortniansky||Sacred Concerti|
|Benjamin Britten||A Ceremony of Carols
Rejoice in the Lamb
Missa Brevis in D
|William Byrd||Mass for four voices
Mass for three voices
|Zoltan Kodaly||Missa Brevis|
|Gioacchino Rossini||Petite Messe Solennelle|
|R. Murray Schafer||Miniwaka|
|Heinrich Schütz||St. Matthew Passion
|Igor Stravinsky||Symphony of Psalms|
|Ralph Vaughan Williams||Mass in G minor|
|Healey Willan||An Apostrophe to the Heavenly Hosts|
“Recreating the tremulous quality of opera on an historical knife edge, conductor David Fallis, in partnership with a brilliant 16-player ensemble courtesy Tafelmusik, strikes to the very core of genius, summoning all the colour and texture of Monteverdi’s daring score.” [Opera Atelier, The Return of Ulysses] Opera Going Toronto, Ian Ritchie
“As conductor of this extravaganza, David Fallis, more often seen before the 20-odd members of the Tafelmusik Orchestra, acts as much as an air traffic controller than a conductor, hoping against hope that his choirs, choruses, dancers, instrumentalists, and string quartets don’t go crashing musically into one another. He succeeds, and more, coaxes, with his colleagues, some fine music-making from his assembled forces.” [Luminato Festival, Apocalypsis] Globe and Mail, Robert Harris
“Schafer’s one condition in agreeing to let Luminato produce Apocalypsis was that they hire David Fallis; says Weisbrodt, “There was never a condition I followed with more happiness … I almost feel he was born to conduct this piece.” The wiry director of several Toronto choirs seems unflappable when surrounded by hundreds of people in the hangar-like rehearsal space of the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre. He waves his arms, spinning around in the centre of a mass of choristers and instrumentalists, using an iPad’s chronometer instead of a metronome.” [Luminato Festival, Apocalypsis] National Post, Mike Doherty
“…the always sensitive conducting of David Fallis makes the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra bring out all the subtle undertones in Gluck’s score.” [Opera Atelier, Orpheo and Eurydice] Toronto Star, Richard Ouzounian
“And the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the finest “house band” any company ever had, shines throughout under David Fallis’s conducting.” [Opera Atelier, Alcina] Toronto Star, Richard Ouzounian
“The absence of ennui says something also about the sure sense of pacing in the pit by David Fallis and the sympathetic early-music sounds made by the Tafelmusik Orchestra (abetted by a few choruses). Alcina is a great show.”
[Opera Atelier, Alcina] National Post, Arthur Kaptainis
David Fallis led the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Choir in a reading that combined lively rhythms with sumptuous sonority. Fanfare sackbuts and cornettos in an upper box heightened the sense of ceremony and drama. The final joyous Moresco, seemingly a celebration itself, joined everyone in dance-even Maestro Fallis.” [Opera Atelier, Orfeo] Opera News, Christopher Hoile
“The performance conducted by David Fallis had much to commend it: lively choruses, vocal agility on the part of all four soloists and stylish playing from the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montreal.” [SEMELE] Globe and Mail
“David Fallis conducts the work with authority, knowing where to propel and where to breathe, how to balance and how to weigh instruments to convey dramatic points. The orchestra plays modern instruments with subtle use of vibrato and crisp articulation and to handsome ends. And how good to hear the choir singing with such forward sound and ensemble finesse.” Cleveland Plain Dealer
“David Fallis, his consort and their seven guests…were able to breathe life and beauty, drama and humour into this never-performed work and send their audience away happy, fulfilled and thoroughly entertained…it was a rare treat to hear it so musically undertaken by Fallis and his superb little company.” [Luigi Rossi’s ORFEO] Globe and Mail
“Canadian early-music specialist David Fallis conducted the Utah Symphony with vigor and style.”
[Utah Opera, Julius Caesar] The Salt Lake City Tribune
“David Fallis …brought out, to great effect, the power of Monteverdi’s dissonant modernisms and eccentric orchestrations…More importantly, Fallis never forgot a purity of style.” [Monteverdi’s ORFEO] Opera Canada, Paula Citron
“One of Fallis’s greatest strengths as a conductor seems to be his ability to provide precise control and focused interpretations while at the same time allowing choir members the freedom to express their musical individuality. The free open sound of the group and the apparent ease of their music-making can be attributed to this skill, which technique alone cannot achieve.”
[Gala Anniversary Concert for the Toronto Chamber Society] Globe and Mail
“The singing, both solo and in various ensembles was excellent. The mood of each solo song was created well and together the voices made a creamy blend with just enough individual character in each to make for clear lines when needed, These people know how to sing madrigals.” [An Elizabethan Entertainment with Veronica Tennant] Kingston Whig-Standard
“Very quickly the audience recognized the extraordinary clarity of the winding musical lines and the striking articulation of the words as sung by the choir. Each vocal section displayed uncanny ability to back down at the right moment but without losing touch with the musical circuitry. Maestro Fallis then remerged the dual choir for the next two works. The gigantic, always fascinating ‘Jesu mein Freude’ followed. The initial portion was celestial, marked by incredible blend and perfect attacks and releases. Muddiness was banished, no matter how complex the interweaving of vocal lines. Soprano notes were launched as sonoral missiles into the resplendent acoustics. Here was exciting music.” Kalamazoo Gazette
“The evening was a perfect marriage of music, song, poetry and dance…When all five voices worked together, it was enough to send shivers down one’s spine…The evening was nothing short of magnificent.” Kelowna Courier
DAVID FALLIS CONDUCTS APOCALYPSIS FOR LUMINATO FESTIVAL
Performed in full for the first time since its world premiere in 1980, R. Murray Schafer’s epic musical voyage is written in two parts: John’s Vision, a meditation on the world ending in chaos; and Credo, a revolutionary ascension to order.
In one of the largest performance events Toronto has ever seen, Apocalypsis blends professional and amateur talents in a cast of 1,000 musicians including local choirs, musicians, conductors, actors and dancers to create an unprecedented feast for the eyes, the ears and the soul.
Toronto conductor David Fallis brings Schafer’s signature soundscapes to life, leading a team of close to 20 conductors and their ensembles on stage to rejoice in humanity’s potential for rebirth in a celebration of life and hope, with solo performances from multi-disciplinary artist Nina Arsenault, Tony Award-winner Brent Carver, dancer Denise Fujiwara, Polaris Prize-winner Tanya Tagaq, rising New Zealand opera star Kawiti Waetford, and the voice of renowned performance artist Laurie Anderson.
Performances are at the Sony Centre on June 25, 26 and 27, 2015
TORONTO CONSORT RERELEASES CHRISTMAS CD
Early music specialists, the Toronto Consort has rereleased its Renaissance Christmas CD, The Little Barley-Corne, and is presenting the music in concert in Toronto on December 12, 13, and 14, 2014.
Conductor David Fallis notes that the time of Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth 1 was “an exciting time for English society,” with expansion of the arts and an increasingly confident society. But many people could not read and relied on the balladeers, who sang the news on the streets and in pubs, he says.These songs from England and France range from English ballads to rousing country dances and French carols. Fallis describes the roster as “toe-tapping” and points to “Greensleeves,” as an example of one a song that has stayed in the public’s consciousness.
Guest fiddler David Greenberg will provide much of that inspiration to dance a jig saying, “A fiddler will definitely liven up the party.”The specialist in Cape Breton folk music says it can be tiring playing rousing, rapid fiddle tunes, but he “gains strength” from the emotional connection people have to his music.