LSM Newswire

Monday, December 13, 2010

Opera Atelier Closes 09-10 Season With Surplus

Fundraising momentum grows with launch of Silver Anniversary Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto, ON (December 13, 2010) … Alberta Cefis, chair of Opera Atelier’s board of directors, announced positive results at the company’s Annual General Meeting on November 30, 2010. Opera Atelier ended its 2009-10 season with a profit of $911 on an annual operating budget of just under $2.4 million. This was due in part to fundraising revenues which increased by 10% over 2008-09 and set a record for Opera Atelier, at almost $1.1 million.

“We are pleased with 2009-10’s financial results, especially as we were still in the depths of the recession. Our donors were more generous than ever. This, with prudent cost control, helped OA balance the books,” said Opera Atelier’s board chair, Alberta Cefis, EVP and Head, Global Transaction Banking, Scotiabank.

“Last season was a joy,” said co-artistic director Marshall Pynkoski. “Working with costume designer Martha Mann has given the company a true collaborator to match the artistry and imagination of resident scenic designer Gerard Gauci. The artistry of our singers and dancers remains unmatched and they function more and more as a repertory company.”

OA’s fundraising efforts continue to grow from strength to strength. The new Silver Anniversary Campaign is a three-year, $400,000 campaign created to fund OA’s future artistic growth which includes adding a third production to its season, expanding its mandate to include period productions of 19th century works, and continuing exploration of rarely-performed works from the French Baroque repertoire. The campaign is off to a strong start, already 36% over its 2010-2011 goal, thanks to leadership gifts from BMO Financial Group, Scotiabank and Sun Life Financial. Today, Opera Atelier launches the public phase of its Silver Anniversary Campaign. For more information or to donate call 416-703-3767 ext. 26 or visit

The 25th Anniversary Season celebrations continue on April 6th with Opera Atelier’s Silver Anniversary 2011 Versailles Gala at The Carlu presented by BMO Financial Group featuring performances, live and silent auctions. For tickets call 416-703-3767 ext. 21.

The 2010-11 season concludes with North America’s first period production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito (April 22 - May 1, 2011) at the Elgin Theatre. Opera Atelier brings together a stellar cast featuring Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosmanas Vitellia, extraordinary Croatian tenor Kresimir Spicer as Tito, the astonishing American male soprano Michael Maniaci in the role of Sesto, Mireille Asselin as Servilia, Mireille Lebel as Annio, Curtis Sullivan as Publio, andArtists of Atelier Ballet. Maestro David Fallis conducts Tafelmusik Orchestra. Single tickets for La Clemenza di Titoare on sale now through Ticketmaster at 416-872-5555, on-line at or at the Elgin Theatre box office, 189 Yonge Street. For more information visit

2010-11 Season Sponsor: Sun Life Financial

Major Sponsors: BMO Financial Group, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust Music, The Dominion of Canada General Assurance Company

Opera Atelier also gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, The Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Creative Trust.

Opera Atelier is Canada’s premier baroque opera/ballet company, producing opera, ballet and drama from the 17th and 18th centuries. While drawing upon the aesthetics and ideals of the period, Opera Atelier goes beyond “reconstruction” and infuses each production with an inventive theatricality that resonates with modern audiences. Over the past twenty-five years, lead by founding director Marshall Pynkoski and founding choreographer Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, Opera Atelier has garnered acclaim for its performances at home as well as in the United States, Europe and Asia.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Mozart's 255 Birthday

Come and Celebrate Mozart’s 255 Birthday with the TSO!

This January tradition honours one of classical music’s most brilliant composers.


December 8, 2010
– The Toronto Symphony Orchestra celebrates the legacy of beloved Austrian composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with this popular TSO January tradition, the Mozart@255 Festival (January 19 – January 30, 2011 with concerts at Roy Thomson Hall and George Weston Recital Hall). Concert-goers can bask in the sounds of Mozart as TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian celebrates the prolific range of works created by classical music’s most admired composer.

January 27 marks Mozart’s 255 birthday and the TSO celebrates with treats in the lobby for audience members on January 27. On stage is renowned

pianist Jeffrey Kahane performing two Piano Concerti: No.9 “Jeunehomme,” one of Mozart’s inventive early masterpieces, and Piano Concerto

No.22. Kahane is also featured in the January 26 Afterworks concert that starts at 6:30pm and runs without intermission, designed to fit into Mozart

lovers’ busy schedules.

Grammy, Juno, and Gramophone-winning violinist, James Ehnes joins the TSO to perform the complete collection of all five Mozart Violin Concerti in

two nights (Wed, January 19 at 8:00pm and Thu, January 20 at 2:00pm). Ehnes is solo violin and leader in these special Mozart@255 Festival

performances. Also in the spotlight this Mozart@255 Festival, are TSO Principal Oboe Sarah Jeffrey and TSO Principal Double Bass Jeffrey

Beecher. They perform solos in Light Classics Concerts Series Mozart's World (Sat, January 29 at 7:30pm and Sun, January 30 at 3:00pm), a

programme that highlights the music of Mozart and his contemporaries.

Now in its seventh season, the TSO’s Mozart@255 Festival brings to light the wide range of the composer’s music. In his works, Mozart covers

various emotions and utilizes many different musical forms. In the January 22 and 23 concerts, conductor Bernard Labadie and contralto

Marie-Nicole Lemieux highlight Mozart’s vocal music with “Voi che sapete” from The Marriage of Figaro and other popular concert arias. The TSO

takes this programme north to the intimate space of the George Weston Recital Hall on January 23.

For tickets, please visit or call 416.593.4828 for more information.

For tickets to Mozart Arias on January 23 at the George Weston Recital Hall, visit or call Ticketmaster at 416.872.1111.

Mozart@255 Festival is sponsored by Invesco Trimark.
TSO Concert Season Sponsor is Tippet-Richardson Limited.
TSO Conductor’s Podium Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.
TSO Light Classics Concerts Series Sponsor is Desjardins.
TSO Light Classics Media Partner is Classical 96.3FM.


Ehnes Plays Mozart I

Wed, January 19 at 8:00pm

James Ehnes, leader and violin

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 1, K. 207

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 2, K. 211

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3, K. 216

Tickets: $40-$148

Ehnes Plays Mozart II

Thu, January 20 at 2:00pm

James Ehnes, leader and violin

Mozart: Rondo in C Major for Violin and Orchestra, K. 373

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4, K. 218

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5, K. 219 "Turkish"

Tickets: $32-$88

Mozart Arias

Sat, January 22 at 8:00pm

Sun, January 23 at 3:00pm (George Weston Recital Hall)

Bernard Labadie, conductor
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto

Mozart: Chaccone from Idomeneo, K. 367

Select Mozart Arias

Mozart: Symphony No. 33, K. 319

Tickets: $32-$141

Mozart Symphony 34

Wed, January 26 at 6:30pm
Thu, January 27 at 8:00pm

Peter Oundjian, conductor
Jeffrey Kahane, piano
Tom Allen, host (Jan. 26)

Mozart: Symphony No. 34, K. 338

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9, K. 271 "Jeunehomme"

Mozart: Adagio and Fugue, K. 546 (Jan. 27 only)

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 22, K. 482

Tickets: $22.50-$141

Mozart's World

Sat, January 29 at 7:30pm
Sun, January 30 at 3:00pm

Peter Oundjian, conductor
Sarah Jeffrey, oboe
Jeffrey Beecher, double bass

Salieri: Overture to Les Horaces
Vanhal: Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra in D Major
Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525
Mozart: Oboe Concerto in C Major, K. 285d
Haydn: Symphony No. 8 in G Major “Le Soir”

Tickets: $30-$82

About the TSO: Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s major cultural institutions. Under the leadership of Music Director Peter Oundjian, the TSO is committed to innovative programming and showcases a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. In addition to performances, the TSO serves the community with one of the largest musical education outreach programmes in Canada, connecting students throughout Ontario with curriculum-based programming.


COC Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour a Success


Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Opera Company’s Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour completed its most ambitious tour of elementary schools to date on December 5, 2010, with the casts and crews of two productions travelling a combined 9,068 km and giving a collective 47 performances since November 8, 2010. In addition to the annual trip to communities across Ontario, the Inuit communities of Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq in the Nunavik region of northern Québec were added to the list of destinations, taking the school tour farther north than ever before.

This fall, the COC presented its acclaimed operas, Isis and the Seven Scorpions, by Canadian composer Dean Burry, and Cinderella, a combination of Jules Massenet’s and Rossini’s musical scores, as part of the school tour. For many of the thousands of children who attended the in-school presentations, in Ontario and Québec, the Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour was their first experience with opera, allowing them to discover a new and exciting art form. “I think it was really cool. I have never seen opera before,” shares a Grade 3 student from St. Joseph Catholic School in Markham, Ont. A Grade 6 student from Roberta Bondar Public School in Brampton, Ont., adds, “To see someone with this type of talent perform was an extraordinary experience for me.”

The COC’s visit to Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq was made possible by major global diversified mining group Xstrata, which is the Title Sponsor of the school tour. As both Inuit communities are only accessible by air, the cast and crew for Cinderella were flown into each community from the tour’s home base at Xstrata Nickel’s Raglan mine, located nearby. In addition to the school performances, members of the Cinderella production presented a short program of operatic arias for 150 employees of the Raglan mine.

The COC was originally scheduled to perform its school-friendly production of Cinderella for the students of Pigiurvik School in Salluit on November 16 and Arsaniq School in Kangiqsujuaq on November 17. Shifting weather conditions in this sub-arctic region of Québec, however, necessitated several last-minute scheduling changes. Ultimately, both in-school presentations took place on November 17, when improved flight visibility allowed the 12-seat commuter turboprop plane transporting the COC team to successfully reach these remote areas of the region. The touring production of Cinderella was performed for a total of 400 school children and community members, an estimated 21% of the combined populations of Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq, for whom Inuktitut is the primary language, followed by French and English.

Since becoming the Title Sponsor of the school tour in 2007, Xstrata’s support has significantly expanded the tour’s geographical reach. In addition to this year’s trip to Québec, schools in Timmins and Sudbury in northern Ontario have hosted school tour performances for the past two and three years, respectively.

“Xstrata is proud to sponsor the tour and bring it to the northern communities in which we operate,” says Ian Pearce, Chief Executive Officer of Xstrata Nickel. “We were especially pleased to facilitate the trip to Nunavik for the first time this year where our Inuit community partners had the opportunity to experience opera first hand, while also having the opportunity to share some of their own cultural traditions.”

“The students who experienced this year’s school tour have been unanimous in their response to both productions: they have been engaged, excited and entertained by the performances they attended,” says Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company. “The Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour is living proof that opera is an art form accessible to people of all ages, of any language, of any cultural background, everywhere.”

The annual Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour reaches over 16,000 students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 and displays the talents of professional singers from the renowned COC Ensemble Studio training program. The tour features a 50-minute performance sung in English, which is adapted for a younger audience, concluding with a post-show question-and-answer period with members of the cast and crew.

The COC’s Ensemble Studio is Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals and provides advanced instruction, hands-on experience and career development opportunities. The Ensemble Studio is generously supported by the Government of Canada through the department of Canadian Heritage, RBC Foundation and additional donors.

About the Canadian Opera Company

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the five largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006, and is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada. For more information on the Canadian Opera Company, please visit its award-winning website,


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Monday, December 6, 2010

Upper Canada Choristers Presents A Medieval-Flavoured Christmas Concert

A Babe is Born – December 10 at Grace Church-on-the-Hill



The Upper Canada Choristers present traditional, popular and classical music inspired by the medieval era in its Christmas concert, A Babe is Born,Friday, December 10 at 8 p.m. at Grace Church-on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road. Founder Laurie Evan Fraser conducts the 40-voice choir of men and women, with Nicole Bellamy on piano.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, children and high school students free. To order, call (416) 256-0510. More information is available

The program combines ancient words and melodies, some from the perspective of modern composers. Among the selections are Gustav Holst’s settings of Four Old English Carols, a group of carols by John Rutter, and the transcendently beautiful Veni Jesu by Luigi Cherubini.

Cantemos, the UCC’s highly accomplished Latin-American ensemble, performs a gorgeous setting of Ave Maria, written in 1938 by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos; El Nacimiento by Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez, and the traditional Spanish carol A la Nanita Nana.

Inspired by her travels this past summer to some of the magnificent churches and cathedrals in France and England, Evan Fraser has written Dormi, Jesu, a new a cappella song for the choir that pays homage to Gregorian chant.

The audience will also have a chance to join the choir in singing favorite carols.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Wish Opera Announces New Season

WISH OPERA 1179 King Street West Toronto, Ontario CANADA M6K 3C5
Maestro Stratton brings over 30 years experience to Wish Opera. Canadian Fashion Designers and Artists fuse their talents to give a contemporary sheen to Friml & Stothart's operetta Rose Marie and Gounod's Roméo et Juliette.

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada (December 3, 2010)
Founded in the spring of 2010, Wish Opera is a young company with a mature vision. By incorporating elements of contemporary fashion and design, the company presents opera that is vibrant, current, and relevant in the present day, while maintaining the integrity and intentions of the original work. In choosing repertoire, Wish Opera seeks to address issues which stimulate and challenge today’s audiences, and lead to contemplative introspection. With a mandate to support Canadian artists, and to encourage and nurture emerging talent, the company is confident in the vast natural resources available to fulfill this dynamic and compelling vision. Wish Opera delivers on this promise by constantly seeking to answer the question on which it is founded:
How would you create the perfect, Canadian, operatic experience?
Wish for it…
Wish Opera’s 2011 Season will be presented at their new home, the John Bassett Theatre (MTCC) and will commence April 15/16 with the Operetta Rose Marie, music by Friml and Stothart, lyrics by Hammerstein II. Set in the Canadian Rockies, Rose Marie La Flemme, a French Canadian girl, loves miner Jim Kenyon - Mounties, music and mayhem ensue! The work premiered on Broadway in 1924, running for 557 performances. It was the longest-running Broadway musical of the 1920s until it was surpassed by The Student Prince in 1926. The charming score is full of popular melodies, including the much loved Indian Love Call - “When I’m calling you…”
Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette will be presented October 28/29. This retelling of Shakespeare’s masterpiece of romantic tragedy will be given a contemporary setting, and will utilize the combined talents of leading Canadian fashion and interior designers to create a setting that will be both stimulating and accessible to a modern audience. The timeless beauty of the story reaches across the centuries, and addresses issues of hatred and intolerance that are as relevant today as they have ever been. In accordance with its mandate, Wish Opera will seek to leave opera goers not only entertained, but challenged to reflect on issues which are before the public eye.
“We are delighted that Maestro Stratton has joined our Artistic Management team” said Cianciulli. “Kerry brings a wealth of experience to the Company. He is a brilliant musical talent, and is one of Canada’s foremost conductors.”
Maestro Stratton will be responsible for the musical leadership of the Company, and will be instrumental in the development and execution of the Company’s artistic vision. "It is very exciting for me to be invited to take part in this imaginative venture that is Wish Opera, and I look forward to the creation of a vital presence in the Canadian opera community" said Kerry Stratton.
Listeners to Toronto's Classical 96.3 FM know Maestro Stratton as host of Conductor's Choice. Local concert-goers also knew him as Conductor and Music Director, from 1988 until May of 2010, of the Toronto Philharmonia, which he developed into a professional ensemble. Stratton was appointed conductor of the Toronto concert Orchestra in September and has begun an exciting season for this newest orchestra. He also founded and conducts the Grand Salon, Canada's Palm Court Orchestra, which recalls the elegant salon era of the early 20th century.

A devotee of Eastern-European music and orchestras, in 2007 Maestro Stratton joined the ranks of renowned individuals to receive the Czech Republic's Gratias Agit Award for his significant contribution to promoting Czech culture. Maestro Stratton has conducted orchestras in Europe, North America and Asia – among them the Czech Philharmonic, Slovak State Philharmonic, Concert-Verein Orchestra of the famed Vienna Symphony, Prime Philharmonic in Korea, the Beijing Symphony in the Forbidden City, the National Symphony in Taiwan, Mexican State Symphony Orchestra, and many Canadian orchestras.

For additional information, please contact: Robert de Vrij General Director Wish Opera
t. 416.640.9768 416.904.8414 (Direct) f. 416.646.5306 e. w.

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