Stratford Symphony Orchestra

William Rowson, our
principal conductor,
welcomes you to
Season 15


Catherine Gardner

Mark Gardner


January 1, 2020 | 3:00 pm

We are excited to welcome back singers Catherine and Mark Gardner on our journey back to the Vienna of Johann Strauss. Light opera favourites, Viennese waltzes and confections and Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, along with toasts to the New Year will round out our annual matinée concert.

Principal Conductor: William Rowson

Guest ArtistsCatherine Gardner, Soprano and Mark Gardner, Baritone

Soprano Catherine Gardner has been praised for her embodied singing and dramatic range in both art song and opera. Her recent performances include a concert version of Strauss’ Four Last Songs and an improvisational version of Shostakovich’s Ophelia’s Song with modern dancer and cellist at Gallery 345 (Toronto), singing Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras with the University of Toronto Cello Ensemble (led by Shauna Rolston), a solo recital of night songs with pianist Lara Dodds-Eden (Walter Hall, University of Toronto) and performing Canadian-Polish composer Norbert Palej’s The Poet and the War as part of Pianofest at the Burdock (Toronto).

Catherine is equally comfortable in operatic and concert repertoire. Highlights include Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (St. Andrews University Orchestra), Rutter’s Magnificat, (Baltimore, Maryland) Handel’s Messiah,“Countess Almaviva” in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (COSI, Italy and The University of Western Ontario), Strauss’ Four Last Songs (in recital, at Gallery 345 and at The Arts and Letters Club), Faure’s Requiem (Stratford, ON), Mozart’s Mass in C Minor (Stratford Summer Music), Schubert’s Mass in Bb and Mozart’s Mass in C Major (Detroit, Michigan).

Catherine has won several awards and competitions, including two Peabody Career Grants, the George Castell Memorial Award (Peabody Conservatory), and most recently, an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, a fellowship at the University of Toronto and the Richard Bradshaw Award in Opera (University of Toronto). As well as singing, Catherine is in demand as a voice teacher, adjudicator, masterclass technician and examiner (Conservatory Canada). She recently received her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Toronto where she studied with Wendy Nielsen.

This season, Mark Gardner is pleased to have made his debut with the Raleigh Bach Soloists in Handel’s Messiah as the baritone soloist, and is looking forward to singing Father in the ECU fall production of Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck. Mark is happy to be returning to Stratford to sing in the Stratford Symphony Orchestra’s “New Year in Vienna” concert.

Mark’s operatic roles include Gideon March in Adamo’s Little Women the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Father in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (Symphony by the Bay), Le Chevalier des Grieux in Massenet's Le Portrait de Manon (Muskoka Opera), Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohéme (Opera York), Giorgio Germont in La Traviata (Centre for Opera Studies in Italy), Belcore in L’Elixir d’Amore (Centre for Opera Studies in Italy), Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Opera Kitchener), Keith/ Earl/Father in Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speakin’ (Peabody Opera), Marco in Gianni Schicchi (Peabody Opera), Sid in Albert Herring (Peabody Opera), Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief (Bowlby Productions), Dimitri Petrovski in The Music Shop (Arts Opera) and Pish-Tush in The Mikado (Annapolis Opera).

Mark is equally at home on the concert stage, having sung various recitals and concerts throughout North America and Italy most recently Handel’s Messiah with the Raleigh Bach Soloists. Due to his grand prize win at the National Federation of Music vocal competition male division he has been able to tour the United States giving recitals, including a recital at the Chautauqua Institute. As a member of the recital trio The Poet Sings (with pianist Sandra Mogensen and soprano Catherine Gardner), Mark performed at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, at Aeolian Hall in London and at various church venues and concert series in Stratford, Ontario, Sarnia, Ontario and Michigan. Other concert work includes performing arias and duets for the Stratford Symphony Orchestra's Five Star Gala and Song’s of Stone, a soloist for PAL benefit concert A Place to Sing with baritones James Westman, Phillip Addis and tenor Roger Honeywell, as well as the baritone soloist and reader at the Stratford reading of A Christmas Carol. Canadian premieres of new works include A Stronger Thought of Love with Orpheus Productions and Mark Richard's Hamlet as part of the Stratford Summer Music Festival.

Mark has been the recipient of many awards and honours, most recently as the Grand Prize winner in the National Federation of Music Clubs Male Division. He was a finalist in the Nicholas Loren International Vocal Competition in Michigan, placed Second in the Andrews University International Voice Competition and the Richardson Vocal Competition, and was awarded a Peabody Career Grant, a Peabody Talent Scholarship and the David Adamany Scholarship. Mark completed his Masters of Music from the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University. He holds a Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from the Wayne State University.



Click to edit table header
  von Suppé
  Overture to Light Calvary
  Hungarian Dance No. 1
  Hungarian Dance No. 5
  Hungarian Dance No. 3
  Beer Barrel Polka
von Suppé 

Boccaccio: Hab ich nur einer liebe

Die Csárdásfürstin: Ja, Mädchen gibt es Wunderfeine
Op. 9 No. 1         Schneeglöckchen
Op. 9 No. 2          Nachtwanderer 
  Strauss Jr
  An der schönen blauen Donau Op. 314
  Strauss Sr
  Radetzky March Op. 228