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Duo Oriana and Leaf Music Present: “How Like a Golden Dream”

Duo Oriana is thrilled to present How Like a Golden Dream, their first record on Leaf Music set to be released on March 17, 2023. Recorded at Humbercrest United Church in Toronto of October of 2022, How Like a Golden Dream is a reflection on the ways people have communed with the night-time throughout history. Soprano Sinéad White and lutenist Jonathan Stuchbery lead the listener through old Irish meditations and English Renaissance melodies, lingering on the nature of night, darkness, and the stories and rituals that have emerged out of the human’s relationship with night-time.

Our modern world makes it easy to forget the importance night-time once held, both as a practical, sensory depriving event, as well as the symbolism and connotations that attached themselves to it for millennia. On this record, White and Stuchbery endeavour to rest in the perspectives of these early people and to inhabit the daily descent into fear, hope, and prayer as the light fades away.  

Part of the inspiration for this record comes from the duo’s desire to inject previously unearthed or largely disregarded material into the modern spotlight. Speaking on the ways in which this music is still relevant today, Stuchbery says, “Part of the wonder of approaching these old folk songs is that the composer, arranger, and performer at any point in the song’s existence could be any and all of the people who have ever sung it—including ourselves”.  

Soprano Sinéad White and lutenist Jonathan Stuchbery are a Toronto based duo breathing life into song traditions that span centuries and evolve in the present day. Both are specialists in the performance of renaissance and baroque music and first started working together in the early music scene in Toronto. The desire to keep making music during the most restricted days of the COVID-19 pandemic brought them together as a duo for the first time to collaborate virtually for a recording and video of an old Irish lullaby. This led them to assemble a program of music from Ireland, Scotland, and England, which reflected their own respective heritages. A film version of this concert is available online presented by Humbercrest United Church as part of their 2021 summer concert series. They are 2022-23 Artists in Residence at St. James Cathedral in downtown Toronto, where they will be presenting concerts, workshops, and integrating their music into cathedral worship.  

White and Stuchbery both have extensive experience in the discipline of historical performance. White is currently a DMA student at the University of Toronto and Stuchbery a recent graduate of the Masters in Interpretation of Early Music at ESMUC in Barcelona. Their formation in this field grounds them in performance practice, yet also inspires them to creativity with new arrangements and compositions. The duo are also actively working to expand the repertoire for lute and voice, through research of little known historical sources and in the composition of new music. They can also be heard together in larger ensemble contexts, such as with the indie early music company Aureas Voces, Tafelmusik, or Theatre of Early Music. 

Duo Oriana ~ How Like a Golden Dream 

Release Date: March 17, 2023 

Physical/Digital Release 

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Brown | 

How Like a Golden Dream

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“Durme, Durme: Four Ladino Folk Songs” Released by Leaf Music

(Halifax, NS) Halifax’s Leaf Music is releasing Durme, Durme: Four Ladino Folk Songs, with award-winning soprano Maureen Batt and collaborative pianist, Tara Scott. This new work is an exploration of Judeo-Spanish poetry and song. Composer Elisha Denberg ( notes that Sephardic traditions were shared in his family through the teachings and performances of his uncle, Moshe Denburg and grandmother, Miriam Ben-Ezra Denburg, and he’s used “the poems’ traditional melodies as springboards to a newly rendered work, in the Jewish tradition of ‘renewing days as of old.’” The work was supported by a commission from the Ontario Arts Council. Texts and translations are edited by Daisy Sadaka Braverman.

The four songs range from a simple lullaby (Durme, durme, or Sleep, sleep), to the intense solo vocal, liturgical/cantorial chant of Ir me kero, madre, a Yerushalayim (I want to go, mother, to Jerusalem). Inspired by the Hineni (Here I am), a synagogue prayer chanted on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), this prayer is sung by the cantor asking God to accept both personal and communal prayers on behalf of the entire congregation. The traditional melody is used in the refrain, En El me arimo Yo (In Him I place my trust).
Elisha Denburg has composed vocal music and chamber works for ensembles such as Access Contemporary Music, TorQ Percussion Quartet, Halifax Camerata Singers, The Array Ensemble and Essential Opera, who commissioned his one-act opera about the first female rabbi, Regina. His music can be heard on CBC Radio 2’s The Signal with Laurie Brown, About Time with Tom Allen, and Tempo with Julie Nesrallah. His three-movement work Sonatina for Vibraphone & Harp is featured on Angela Schwarzkopf’s JUNO-winning album detach.

Soprano Maureen Batt ( focuses on celebrating Canadian classical contemporary music and is an ECMA and JUNO nominee and winner for her discography. She’s the co-artistic director of Essential Opera, and founded Crossing Borders, a contemporary Western classical music recital series that has toured programs in the United States, Canada and Colombia and produced digital broadcasts. Maureen is a frequent festival adjudicator and has been regularly on the faculty of the Halifax Summer Opera Festival. Having premiered many new opera roles by Canadian composers, she most recently won the Classical Recording of the Year at the 2022 ECMAs for her Lighthouse project with Grej.

Tara Scott (piano) is one of Atlantic Canada’s most renowned collaborative pianists. She’s worked across Canada with singers, instrumentalists and choirs, and co-founded Halifax Summer Opera Festival, now in its sixteenth season. She’s been Music Director for shows with Neptune Theatre, Eastern Front and Essential Opera, and has performed with Opera Nova Scotia, Opera New Brunswick and Halifax Theatre for Young People. Tara maintains a busy private piano study and teaches at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. This EP is Tara’s second commercial release, her first being the JUNO-nominated Breathing in the Shadows with song cycles by Saman Shahi.
The album was recorded at St. Andrew’s United Church in Halifax in October of 2022.  
This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters, with support from Music Nova Scotia and Arts Nova Scotia. Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.
Release Date:  February 3, 2023
UPC 3191684102160
Catalog Number LM2032 

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Note to editors:  For more information/photos or to arrange interviews please contact Peggy Walt,, (902) 422-5403 (office) or (902) 476-1096 (cell).

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Christina Raphaëlle Haldane Releases Debut Album: “Tu me voyais”

Christina Raphaëlle Haldane is thrilled to present Tu me voyais, her first record on Leaf Music set to be released on October 21, 2022. Tu Me Voyais is the result of the collaboration between Haldane and Carl Philippe Gionet, along with several other artists, writers, and composers who have contributed their own offerings.

The album is anchored around Gionet’s new arrangements of Twelve Acadian Folk Songs, tailored for Haldane’s voice. These re-imaginings are set in the 19th century lieder aesthetic or art song where voice and piano play equal solo parts within the musical architecture.  

Carl’s approach to the Acadian folk song arrangements is rooted in the oral tradition, where music and texts are passed orally from generation to generation, without the use of musical notation. He selected folk songs that were already committed to his memory, passed on to him orally from family members and childhood musical activities. In the arrangements, Carl has remained as faithful as possible to his musical memory. He has also taken liberties with the traditional texts, often re-working the order of the storytelling, making omissions, and creating repetitions to enhance the dramatic arc of the pieces. 

Christina Haldane’s career spans the UK, Europe, Asia and North America, and she is currently based in Canada’s Atlantic provinces. She has interpreted many lead opera roles, having performed for opera houses such as The Finnish National Opera, The Royal Opera Covent Garden, Scottish Opera and Musica Viva Hong Kong. Her specialty is performing Handel’s Heroines, Comedic Bel Canto roles and Contemporary opera. Christina enjoys performing and curating recital and chamber music concerts, and she is often invited to perform with leading orchestras. Her exploration of contemporary music has led to many collaborations with composers, and she continues to bring their vocal works to life. Christina is a bilingual English and French speaker with Acadian heritage, and she is proud to be a citizen of Canada and Great Britain.  

Christina Haldane – Tu me voyais 

Release Date: October 21, 2022 

Tu me voyais is available to stream on all major streaming platforms.

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Alice Ho Releases New Album: “A Woman’s Voice”

“A Woman’s Voice” is an album written for female voices and piano. The repertoire is inspired by literature that celebrates the female spirit and their challenging, and changing, roles throughout history. The multi-lingual lyrics (English, French, and Mandarin) reflect the multicultural Canadian ethos and presents a wide spectrum of text, including ancient Chinese poems from the Tang Dynasty, a war poem by English poetess Charlotte Mew, as well as Alice Ho’s collaborations with seven Canadian writers across the provinces: Marjorie Chan, Madeleine Thien, Carole Languille, Phoebe Tsang, Tong Wang, Thomass Muir, Anna Camara, and Michael O’brien. These writers span a wide range, both in their racial and geographic diversity, as well as where they are in their careers. 

 “A Women’s Voice” features an “all Canadian” lineup. Many astounding young performers have contributed passionately to this album, including pianist/vocalist Jialiang Zhu, coloratura lyric soprano Vania Chan, soprano Katy Clark, soprano Maeve Palmer, soprano Ariadne Lih, mezzo-soprano Alex Hetherington, pianist/writer Tong Wang, and cellist Andrew Ascenzo

This recording intends to aim the spotlight at women’s empowerment and strength by leading the audience through a cross-cultural musicscape, and ultimately serves as a reflection on how women of the past and present navigate love, desire, grief, and hardship.

One of the most acclaimed composers writing in Canada today, Hong Kong born Alice Ping Yee Ho has written in many musical genres and received numerous national and international awards, including the 2022 Nova Scotia Symphony’s Maria Anna Mozart Award, 2022 Barlow General Commissioning Award, 2019 Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize, 2016 Louis Applebaum Composers Award, 2014 Prince Edward Island Symphony Composers Competition, 2014 Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Friendship Orchestral Composition Competition, 2013 Dora Mayor Moore Award for “Outstanding Original Opera” for her opera The Lesson of Da Ji, and the 2013 Boston Metro Opera International Composition Competition, K.M. Hunter Artist Award, du Maurier Arts Ltd. Her upcoming project is a new opera called CHINATOWN commissioned by City Opera Vancouver with renowned Canadian writer/librettist Madeleine Thien and Hoisanese co-writer Paul Yee, premiering September 13-17 at the Vancouver Playhouse.