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Rosa Barocca performs in Calgary and Red Deer


Using period-appropriate instruments, and informed by a deep understanding of the history and musical context of the Baroque period, Rosa Barocca seek to “capture the spirit, stylistic approach and distinctive sound of that glorious musical era” which lasted from roughly 1600 to 1750. And now, on top of bringing new lustre to this time-honoured music, members of Rosa Barocca can add a shiny new JUNO Award to their list of accomplishments!

Beginning in Red Deer in 2016, Rosa Barocca is an ensemble that draws on musicians from all across Canada, under the leadership of Artistic Director Claude Lapalme, who’s also the long-time Music Director of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra. Rosa Barocca doesn’t have their own independent concert series; instead, they concentrate on travelling to different centres across Alberta, performing in conjunction with other musical groups and choral societies. One such 2019 concert in Red Deer featuring Montreal cellist Elinor Frey went so well that it prompted Frey to ask members of Rosa Barocca to record with her; and the resulting album just won the 2023 JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year: Small Ensemble!

Rosa Barocca has a lot to celebrate at their next concert, which will be a performance of one of the most renowned pieces of Western classical music ever written, Johan Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor. It takes place April 7 at Calgary’s Bella Concert Hall, as presented by Calgary chamber choir Luminous Voices. A co-presentation with the Red Deer Symphony will follow on April 29 at the Red Deer Arts Centre, featuring work by Pachelbel, Vivaldi, and Rebel.

Claude Lapalme joined CKUA’s Grant Stovel to discuss the everlasting appeal of Baroque music, the upcoming concerts, and how contributing to a JUNO-winning album represents a true “coming-out party” for Rosa Barocca.