After a celebratory return of outstanding choral music over the weekend, the inaugural Winnipeg Baroque Festival has made the decision to delay their tri-choir finale on Friday, April 15, in anticipation of a major winter storm set to hit southern Manitoba.
“We were really, really happy to be able to present this beautiful music to so many people over the first weekend,” says Dead of Winter executive director Roland Deschambault. “If anything, we were worried that maybe it would be the pandemic — or the sixth wave — that might close the doors on some or part of (the festival)… and no, it’s an April storm.”
The difficult decision was made to postpone the Good Friday performance of Bach’s St. John Passion, featuring all three choirs — Canzona, Dead of Winter and Polycoro —plus celebrated soloists and the renowned Pacific Baroque Orchestra.
“It just became too daunting with the chances and the risk of bringing in musicians from all across North America,” says Dead of Winter artistic director Andrew Balfour, himself on the call from the Winnipeg Airport before a flight back to Toronto. “Know that it is not a cancellation but a postponement.”
“We were so proud to be able to do three, professional incredible concerts this (past) weekend, so we take the positive.”
For concert organizers, next steps include working through the logistics of rescheduling an event years in the works.
“Making sure that we can bring in all of those same players and soloists to give the audience the experience that they would have expected from this,” says Deschambault. “We want to present it in the most professional and most glorious way.”