TMC brings together choral music, contemporary dance and imagery in an exploration of grief for an online concert on Good Friday

For many years, patrons have looked forward to TMC’s annual Good Friday concert which provided a time for contemplation with beautiful music performed in a beautiful setting. In 2021, during the pandemic, the TMC is presenting a re-imagined Sacred Music for a Sacred Space concert online.

The repertoire for the concert is music for Holy Week (in the Christian tradition) by Schubert, Bach, and Brahms. These choral works will be complemented by contemporary dance and imagery that explore the burden of grief and human loss – experienced by so many during this year of Covid-19. The Brahms – How lovely is thy dwelling place – will be accompanied by a recorded walk through a local forest – underscoring how, during the pandemic, many people are finding solace and sacred spaces in nature.

The contemporary dance was choreographed and performed by Laurence Lemieux to the Bach Cantata. The TMC is thrilled to share the stage, virtually, with Laurence, the co-founder and artistic director of Citadel + Companie, the acclaimed contemporary dance company based in Regent Park.

The 40-minute concert will be streamed on Livestream on Good Friday, April 2nd at 8 pm EDT:  The concert will then be available on demand.

The concert is free to view with a request that people, who are able, donate in support of TMC’s online programming.

Concert program

Franz Schubert: Stabat Mater in G minor
TMC with Gergely Szokolay, piano
Images of artwork that tell the story of Mary at the Cross, and then move beyond that to explore grief.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Christ lag in Todesbanden
TMC with string quintet and continuo.
Contemporary dance choreographed and performed by Laurence Lemieux.

Johannes Brahms: How lovely is They Dwelling Place, from A German Requiem
TMC with Gergely Szokolay, piano
Filmed nature walk


Simon Rivard, conductor
Gergely Szokolay, piano
Sheila Jaffé, violin I
Csaba Koczo, violin II
Theresa Rudolph, viola I
Rory McLeod, viola II
Leana Rutt, cello
William Maddox, continuo
Laurence Lemieux, choreography and dance
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir

For more info, visit the Concert webpage.

Read Laurence Lemieux’s Artist Statement.

What does it take to create this online concert?

  • Click tracks created by Simon Rivard for the three works.
  • Guide tracks are sung by members of TMC’s professional core.
  • Click tracks with accompaniment provided to TMC singers who rehearsed online (muted) and then recorded their parts at home.
  • Singer recordings edited by Simon Rivard to create the audio while singer videos were edited separately to create the video.
  • Conductor Simon Rivard leads String quintet, continuo, and piano (all masked) in a recording session on Saturday, March 13 at St. Anne’s Church, following all City of Toronto and Province of Ontario pandemic guidelines and recommendations. The musicians have to perform to the click track to ensure that the chorister audio and the instrumentalist audio all lineup.
  • Laurence Lemieux records her dance, choreographed to Bach’s Cantata, at Citadel + Companie, her contemporary dance organization based in Regent Park.
  • Images of artwork researched to include in the program.
  • Filmed nature walk.
  • The entire program is compiled and edited for screening on April 2.