Tonight: Canada’s only French horn-playing Purcell singer?


Erin Cooper Gay sets down her horn for 3 B'roque Girls, a vocal concert tonight at Trinity College Chapel (Bo Huang photo).

How many professional musicians not working in musicals directed by John Doyle could credibly go from playing French horn in a Mahler symphony one night to singing a Handel aria the next?

Toronto’s Erin Cooper Gay is one of those rare creatures.

She has been a regular substitute player in the French horn section of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for several seasons now. She also happens to have a fine lyric soprano voice that she has been cultivating with the help of countertenor Daniel Taylor, who has just been named to oversee Early Music at University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.

Gay, and two other talented sopranos with profesional experience, Agnes Zsigovics and Montrealer Hélène Brunet, all advanced certificate students of Taylor’s, show off their stuff in 3 B’roque Girls, a concert this evening at 7:30, inside the beautiful simplicity of Trinity College Chapel (just west of Queen’s Park, on Hoskin Ave.).

“(Daniel Taylor) wanted to the three of us to perform as an ensemble so we planned the Trinity recital with a small group of musicians accompanying,” Gay wrote me.  They are Tafelmusik lute player Lucas Harris and violinist Christina Zacharias, joined by cellist Alexa Pilon and Wesley Shen at the organ.

The programme is a dream for lovers of Baroque music, featuring piecs by J.S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel and Henry Purcell.

As far as I know, the concert is free.

Here’s a four-year-old clip of Taylor in recital with Zsigovics in Rio de Janeiro, accompanied by Julian Wachner. They’re performing “Welcome as Dawn of the Day,”  from Handel’s Solomon:

John Terauds

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