Guelph Musicfest 2023

Season 17— May 26 to June 23, 2023

Daniel Cabens (singer)

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Daniel Cabena is a concert singer, recitalist, chamber musician, and singing actor. He is highly regarded in both Canada and Europe for performances of music from the medieval to the contemporary. He is the artistic director of this new Early Music Series at the GYMC.

He is also a curator of texts and music, working in artistic direction, concert programming and the commissioning of new works of text and music.

To this work, he brings a background in early music and liturgical music scholarship and a commitment to exploring how music functions in different performance contexts and traditions, a commitment to the ‘why’ of music and to its ‘how.’

Daniel is also a practitioner of the teacherly arts. He teaches vocal pedagogy and works with singers, one-on-one and in groups, at Wilfrid Laurier University and at the Beckett School at Laurier, the community-integrated wing of the Faculty of Music. He leads the Beckett School’s Community Consort, a multi-instrumental, multidisciplinary community of practice and curiosity that explores how early music was new when it was new and how it means today.

Daniel’s singing and teaching are informed by the Alexander Technique, in which movement education field he is a teacher-trainee. He also makes music with his hands, playing modern and Baroque violin and viola as well as vièle and recorders.

His Canadian concert engagements have included performances with the Victoria and Newfoundland Symphony Orchestras, the Ottawa Choral Society, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Winnipeg’s Camerata Nova, the Grand Philharmonic Choir, the Elora Festival Singers, Spiritus Ensemble, Spiritus Chamber Choir, and Tafelmusik, to name a few. Highlights of his European work include performances with Musica Fiorita, Ensemble Diapsalma, Le Concert Spirituel, La Divina Armonia, Le Parlement de Musique, and Ensemble Gilles Binchois.

His work on the operatic stage has taken him most recently to Prague, Ostrava and Vancouver, for performances, in the role of Ochre in Rudolf Komorous’ The Mute Canary. Past seasons have included appearances with l’Opéra de Montréal, Pacific Opera Victoria and Edmonton Opera in the role of Lydie-Anne in Kevin March and Michel Marc Bouchard’s Les Feluettes, as well as in productions at Theater Basel and the Grand Théâtre de Genève.

As a recitalist, Daniel regularly collaborates with pianist Stephen Runge, and their A Sanctuary in Song recording is nominated for a 2022 East Coast Music Award. Other recent and upcoming collaborations are with Scaramella Ensemble (The Red Priest), the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (The Dark Side of Love), and the Cardinal Consort of Viols.

This season’s performances include appearances with Soundstreams, Toronto (The Garden of Vanished Pleasures, a semi-staged concert featuring the music of Donna McKevitt and Cecilia Livingston), Modulus Festival, Vancouver (Aves, the Four-Chambered Heart, a new song cycle by Alfredo Santa Ana with texts by Colin Browne). His concert work will include performances of Bach’s music with Spiritus Ensemble, Kitchener, the Ottawa Choral Society and Pallade Musica, Montreal.

Daniel, who is deeply involved in contemporary music-making, has participated in the creation of numerous new works by composers such as Rudolf Komorous, Jürgen Simpson, Zachary Wadsworth, Kevin March, Stacey Brown, Philippe Fénelon, Francis Perron, William Rowson, Tim Corlis, and Barrie Cabena, and by librettists such as Luke Hathaway, Augustin Rioux, Bertrand Laverdure, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, and Michel Marc Bouchard.

Daniel participates with lyricist Luke Hathaway in ANIMA, which is a metamorphosing ensemble, a gathering-place in art: a place of friendship, of sustaining story; a place where old texts and melodies are animated by spirit and voice. Daniel and Luke collaborate to create and commission new works of text and music that are in conversation with early sources and soundworlds.

Daniel holds an Honours Bachelor of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Doctorate of Music from l’Université de Montréal. He is a past recipient of the Bernard Diamant and Virginia Parker Prizes from the Canada Council for the Arts, and he holds a Master in Specialized Early Music Performance from the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland.
© 2022 guelph musicfest | ken gee, artistic director contact