“Director David Fallis, his orchestra and his cast of singers filled the hall with this great score’s life and laughter, its human emotion and musical beauty, high drama and deathless appeal of its story.”
Conductor David Fallis is one of Canada's leading interpreters of operatic and choral/orchestral repertoire, especially that of the Baroque and Classical periods. As Music Director for Opera Atelier he has helped bring that company onto stages around the world, and for them Mr. Fallis has conducted Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI, DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE and LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Purcell’s DIDO AND AENEAS and THE FAIRY QUEEN, Handel’s ACIS AND GALATEA, LA RESURREZIONE and IL PASTOR FIDO, Charpentier’s LE BOURGEOIS GENTILHOMME and ACTÉON, Monteverdi's ORFEO, IL RITORNO D’ULISSE IN PATRIA and L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA, Gluck's ORFEO ED EURIDICE and Rameau's PYGMALION. Twice, he has led the Opera Atelier forces on tour to Seoul, South Korea conducting the Korean Symphony Orchestra and Camerata Antiqua Seoul, and in Japan, conducting DON GIOVANNI and LE NOZZE DI FIGARO. His most recent activities for Opera Atelier have included DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL, Monteverdi’s L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA and their new productions of LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and LA CLEMENZA DI TITO. The future holds a production of Lully’s ARMIDE for both Opera Atelier and Glimmerglass Opera in upstate New York.
He has led critically acclaimed productions for Houston Grand Opera (Monteverdi’s L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA and ORFEO), Cleveland Opera (Handel’s GIULIO CESARE and POPPEA), Wolftrap Theater (POPPEA), and in he made his debut at Utah Opera in James Robinson’s production of Handel's GIULIO CESARE. He has led the Toronto Consort in opera-in-concert performances of Cavalli’s LA CALISTO, Luigi Rossi's ORFEO and all three Monteverdi operas.
On the symphonic stage, Mr. Fallis has conducted Orchestra London (Mozart arias and Haydn symphonies), the Windsor Symphony (Handel’s MESSIAH, C.P.E. Bach cello concertos), Symphony Nova Scotia (the Mozart REQUIEM), and he led Symphony New Brunswick in Handel’s WATER MUSIC.
As Artistic Director of the Toronto Consort, a renowned chamber group specializing in the music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Mr. Fallis has toured extensively in Europe and Canada and recorded for Marquis Classics, Dorian and SRI. During the 2008/2009 season he led the Toronto Consort in Monteverdi’s VESPERS OF 1610, the Michael Praetorius CHRISTMAS VESPERS, and a world music collaboration entitled THE MARCO POLO PROJECT.
Mr. Fallis has also worked in film and television. He led the Toronto Consort in music for Atom Egoyan’s THE SWEET HEREAFTER, and is Historical Music Producer for Showtime’s acclaimed series THE TUDORS, featuring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Sam Neill and Peter O’Toole.
Formerly the conductor of the Toronto Chamber Choir, Fallis led the world premiere of Christos Hatzis' DE ANGELIS, as well as many performances of music by J. S. Bach, Handel, Mozart and Purcell. In another direction, Mr. Fallis guest conducted the Elmer Iseler Singers on tour in the U.S.A. in a programme of the Bach motets and led the famous choral ensemble in a performance of the MISSA FLAMENCA by the flamenco guitar master Paco Peña.
In June 2009, Mr. Fallis was the Music Director for the world premiere of R. Murray Schafer’s THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE produced by Soundstreams, in collaboration with the Toronto Consort, at Toronto’s prestigious Luminato Festival. He has served as conductor for the new music collective Continuum and his program of works by Arvo Pärt has been heard on CBC's Two New Hours. A musician of great curiosity, he was co-artistic director of Toronto's Metamorphosis Festival, an innovative and multi-cultural three-month-long festival of music, opera, dance, film, theatre and design. Mr. Fallis teaches in the Graduate Department of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.
Music Director and Conductor for Opera Atelier (Canada's leading period opera company)
Appointed May, 1988
Artistic Director and Tenor with the Toronto Consort (Canada's leading ensemble specializing in the music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance)
Appointed September 1990
Music Director and Conductor with the Toronto Chamber Society (35-voice chamber choir specializing in Renaissance and Baroque choral / orchestral works)
Conductor of the Jubilate Singers of North York, 1979 - 1986
Assistant Conductor of the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, 1977 - 1981
Tenor with The Gents (all-male vocal sextet), 1981 - 1996
Conducting studies and workshops with Helmuth Rilling, Margaret Hillis, George Hurst, Elmer Iseler, Jon Washburn, Wayne Riddell
Master of Arts (Musicology), University of Toronto, 1979
Bachelor of Arts (Honour Music), University of Toronto, 1978
Associateship of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (Piano Performance), 1976
Vocal studies and workshops with Sir Peter Pears, Nigel Rogers, Lillian Weichel, Bernard Diamant
Good working knowledge of French, German, Spanish, Latin
AWARDS IN CONDUCTING
Winner of the 1985 Leslie Bell Scholarship for Choral Conducting
RELATED EXPERIENCE Frequent guest music host, CBC Stereo
Frequent guest music host, CBC Stereo
ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR AND CHORUS MASTER
MAJOR CHORAL-ORCHESTRAL WORKS
LARGE WORKS - A CAPELLA OR WITH SMALL ENSEMBLE
REVIEWS SELECTED RECENT PROJECTS
Conducting Gluck's Orfeo at the Cleveland Opera, with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra and Cleveland Opera Chorus, February, 1998
Creating The Song of Songs, a collaboration between the Toronto Chamber Society and Dancemakers, at the DuMaurier Theatre, Toronto, December 1997
Guest conducting the Elmer Iseler Singers on tour to Michigan, May 1997
Creating and touring across Canada An Elizabethan Entertainment with Veronica Tennant and the Toronto Consort, 1996/97
Conducting Handel's Semele with Michael Schade, Linda Perillo and the Toronto Chamber Society, Christ Church Deer Park, April 1991
Conducting a Gala Anniversary Concert for the Toronto Chamber Society in Toronto, November 1988
David Fallis led the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Choir in a reading that combined lively rhythms with sumptuous sonority. Fanfare sackbuts and cornettos in an upper box heightened the sense of ceremony and drama. The final joyous Moresco, seemingly a celebration itself, joined everyone in dance-even Maestro Fallis.”
Opera News - Christopher Hoile
“The performance conducted by David Fallis had much to commend it: lively choruses, vocal agility on the part of all four soloists and stylish playing from the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montreal.” (SEMELE)
Globe and Mail
“David Fallis conducts the work with authority, knowing where to propel and where to breathe, how to balance and how to weigh instruments to convey dramatic points. The orchestra plays modern instruments with subtle use of vibrato and crisp articulation and to handsome ends. And how good to hear the choir singing with such forward sound and ensemble finesse.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“David Fallis, his consort and their seven guests…were able to breathe life and beauty, drama and humour into this never-performed work and send their audience away happy, fulfilled and thoroughly entertained…it was a rare treat to hear it so musically undertaken by Fallis and his superb little company.” (ORFEO by Luigi Rossi)
Globe and Mail
“Canadian early-music specialist David Fallis conducted the Utah Symphony with vigor and style.” (Utah Opera – JULIUS CESARE)
The Salt Lake City Tribune
“David Fallis …brought out, to great effect, the power of Monteverdi’s dissonant modernisms and eccentric orchestrations…More importantly, Fallis never forgot a purity of style. (Monteverdi’s ORFEO)
Opera Canada – Paula Citron
“One of Fallis’s greatest strengths as a conductor seems to be his ability to provide precise control and focused interpretations while at the same time allowing choir members the freedom to express their musical individuality. The free open sound of the group and the apparent ease of their music-making can be attributed to this skill, which technique alone cannot achieve.” (Gala Anniversary Concert for the Toronto Chamber Society)
Globe and Mail
“The singing, both solo and in various ensembles was excellent. The mood of each solo song was created well and together the voices made a creamy blend with just enough individual character in each to make for clear lines when needed, These people know how to sing madrigals.” (An Elizabethan Entertainment with Veronica Tennant)
Very quickly the audience recognized the extraordinary clarity of the winding musical lines and the striking articulation of the words as sung by the choir. Each vocal section displayed uncanny ability to back down at the right moment but without losing touch with the musical circuitry. Maestro Fallis then remerged the dual choir for the next two works. The gigantic, always fascinating Jesu mein Freude followed. The initial portion was celestial, marked by incredible blend and perfect attacks and releases. Muddiness was banished, no matter how complex the interweaving of vocal lines. Soprano notes were launched as sonoral missiles into the resplendent acoustics. Here was exciting music.”
“The evening was a perfect marriage of music, song, poetry and dance…When all five voices worked together, it was enough to send shivers down one’s spine…The evening was nothing short of magnificent.”