Lulu Presents: Benjamin Butterfield, tenor & Michelle Mares, piano

Lulu Performing Arts

Submitted Article

Tuesday, January 31 2017

We could say that February 2017 is Michelle Mares month. In the fall, Michelle contacted us to say that she and Benjamin were working on “ Die schone Mullerin” and would love to come to Gabriola. A week later Michelle called again: Corey Cerovsek was going to be in the neighbourhood and Adrian Brendel wanted to join in, could they play on Gabriola. So we are pleased to present two concerts this month, the first featuring Benjamin Butterfield and Michelle Mares.

Some may remember that Lulu presented tenor Benjamin Butterfield in 2008. One of the surprising highlights in a recital of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Barber and Ives was “Short People” by Randy Newman, a favourite composer of Benjamin’s. 

Benjamin Butterfield, praised by The New York Times as “clarion-voiced and vibrant,” is known for his performances throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He has performed with many of the world’s leading conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Nicholas McGegan, Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin, Bramwell Tovey, Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Labadie, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Trevor Pinnock, Bruno Weil and Marc Minkowski. He makes frequent appearances with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem including their annual two-week Bach Festival. Most recently as an interpreter of opera, he has performed with Pacific Opera, Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Calgary Opera, and was stage director for Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival. A prolific recording artist, he has recorded for Analekta, Dorian, CBC Records, Koch International, and Timpani (France). Associate Professor, head of voice, and co-head of performance for the School of Music at the University of Victoria, Butterfield is the 2015 recipient of the UVic Craigdarroch Award for Excellence in Artistic Expression.

Michelle Mares, a favourite of Gabriola audiences who has also had a celebrated international career, has recently returned to her native West Coast after nearly two decades in Europe. As a young pianist, she routinely won top prizes in national and international piano competitions including the Geneva International, the CBC Young Performer’s Competition (twice), the Montreal Symphony competition, the Hamburg Steinway Competition and the Robert Casadesus International. Originally from Vancouver, she is now teaching on the piano faculty at the University of Victoria and at the VCM.

Join Lulu Performing Arts on Saturday, February 4, 7:30 p.m., in the Phoenix Auditorium at The Haven for an evening of spectacular music. Advance tickets are $20 at North Road Sports and Clothing, $25 at the door, and $5 for Youth (16 & under). For more information please visit www.luluperformingarts.ca or email info@luluperformingarts.ca. 

See you at the show!