History of choeur Anima Musica
Anima Musica has been contributing to Montreal's musical life since it was founded in 1973 as the Donovan Chorale, by John and Bernadette Donovan. The latter served as artistic director from the choir's inception to the 1985-86 season. The Choir was renamed Anima Musica and subsequent conductors included Fred Stolzfus, Constantina Tsolainou, Winston Purdy, Andrée Dagenais and Geneviève Boulanger. Francis Guérard has been Anima Musica's musical director since June 2016. 2023 is an exciting milestone for Anima Musica Choir as we celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The choir is always interested in sharing new musical experiences with its audience and frequently presents concerts with specific themes. Aurora Borealis explored the repertoire of Nordic music, Gaudete featured music of medieval inspiration, Navidad en España transported the audience with Mediterranean warmth, and Musical Mosaic took a turn into World Music.
Anima Musica also performs larger choral works such as Mozart's Regina Coeli, Bach's cantata Aus der Tiefe rufe ich and Fauré's Requiem. More recently the choir performed Lauda per la Natività del Signore by Respighi together with the Choeur du Plateau, Duruflé's Requiem, Misa por la Justicia y la Paz by Ariel Ramirez and Mozart's Requiem. Anima Musica also enjoys exploring contemporary repertoire as well as music by Canadian composers such as Willan, Watson, Daley and Sirett.
In April 2009, the choir joined a group of 1500 choristers to sing the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth under the direction of Kent Nagano. Anima Musica has participated several times in the Religious Choral Music Festival of the Alliance des chorales du Québec and in 2010 the choir sang at the Mondial Choral de Laval. In the spring of 2010 the choir participated in the National Amateur Choir Competition organized by the Association of Canadian Community choirs, the CBC and the Canada Council for the Arts. Anima Musica was awarded 2nd place in the mixed voice community adult choir category.
At the invitation of the Montreal Choral Institute, Anima Musica sang under the direction of Jon Washburn, Erik Westberg, Maria Guinand,and Julia Davids. In 2014, Anima Musica joined other choirs with the MSO for a wonderful performance of Carmina Burana on the Esplanade of the Olympic Stadium. The choir usually participates in the Night of the Choirs as a prelude to the Bach Festival.