The Ottawa Bach Choir (OBC), founded in 2002 by Dr. Lisette Canton, offers audiences a wide range of choral music of the finest quality, performing music from all historical periods while keeping Bach's choral œuvre and the music of the Baroque period as the focus of its repertoire. Through a combination of both a scholarly and emotional approach to choral music, the ensemble expands all aspects of the artistic spectrum. Joining some of Canada's most accomplished artists and top choristers from the National Capital and beyond, the professional choir has received national and international recognition.
The mandate of the OBC is:
- to offer audiences in Ottawa and beyond a range of classical music of the finest quality
- to move people’s emotions through musical excellence
- to use the choir’s skill to benefit the community through educational outreach and to promote Ottawa through high-profile international performances
- to use the choir as a forum to develop talented singers, including up-and-coming young singers
Moving into its seventeenth season, the OBC performs a large subscription concert series in Ottawa and travels extensively in Canada and abroad. In 2018, the choir sang, for the fourth time, at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. In 2016, the choir toured China, where it was invited to represent Canada at one of the most prestigious international arts festivals, Meet in Beijing, in Beijing and Shanghai. The choir has also been invited to sing at the Bachfest Leipzig (2014) and at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany (2014, 2009, 2007, 2005), Carnegie Hall in New York (2011), Festival Musica Santa Fe in Mexico (2008, 2003), Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto (2018, 2010, 2008, 2005), St. Mark's Basilica in Venice (2014), Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris (2009), St. Paul's Cathedral in London (2009), and across Europe.
The OBC has been broadcast nationwide on CBC Radio 2 as well as on Radio-Canada, and has recorded six compact discs to critical acclaim, including its most recent, 'Twas But Pure Love, released for its 15th anniversary. Its seventh CD, recorded in May 2018, will be released in the 2018-19 season.
What People Are Saying
"…you immediately heard the choir's chief assets: a bright, clear and transparent sound; a springy feel for rhythm; beautifully shaded dynamics; and exemplary diction…"
— Steve Smith, The New York Times
"What a choir! They deliver tight, chiselled sound deliciously pure tone, exemplary balance, squeaky-clean vocal counterpoint, flawless German diction, and utterly convincing spirituality."
— Lindsay Koob, American Record Guide
""...the choral singing was magnificent. Lisette Canton’s conducting was remarkably committed and passionate..." "
— Richard Todd, Ottawa Citizen