LSM Newswire

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tafelmusik Presents The Galileo Project

Out of this world!

The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres returns to Toronto

Directed by Jeanne Lamon

Conceived, scripted and programmed by Alison Mackay Production Design by Glenn Davidson

Narrated by Shaun Smyth

Dates + Times: Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre

Wednesday Mar 2 at 7pm

Thursday Mar 3 - Saturday Mar 5 at 8PM

Sunday Mar 6 at 3:30PM

Ticket Prices: $39 -$85

Face the Musik for ages 30 and under: $22, $27 /

PWYC Friday for ages 30 and under: Friday Mar 4

Venue: Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor Street West

Box Office: Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre: 416.964.6337 / www.tafelmusik.org

Website: www.tafelmusik.org / www.facebook.com/tafelmusik.org

“Simply put, this is one of the best, most imaginative shows based on classical music seen here in years … the audience is left with a true taste of the awe, wonder and optimism…” - Toronto Star

Back by popular demand! Following its Toronto premiere two seasons ago, the awe-inspiring, multi-media concert experience The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres returns to Toronto March 2 to 6, 2011. One of Tafelmusik’s most successful international exports,The Galileo Project has been seen in China (in Mandarin), Malaysia, Mexico (in Spanish), Canada and the United States and continues to attract invitations from presenters around the world. Created by bassist Alison Mackay to commemorate the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, The Galileo Project is a co-production with The Banff Centre with stage direction by Marshall Pynkoski, and production design by Glenn Davidson.

Actor Shaun Smyth narrates a fully-integrated, staged programme that combines projected images from the Hubble telescope and Canadian astronomers with music from the time of Galileo by such composers as Monteverdi and Merula, and astronomically-themed music by baroque composers including Rameau, Handel, Zelenka and Bach. Tafelmusik musicians perform the music completely from memory, allowing them an even higher degree of interaction. The result is a thrilling and unique concert experience that has been met with praise around the world, and which will be seen by thousands more via the Internet and on a future DVD release. Click here to see a video excerpt from The Galileo Project.

Alison Mackay, who has played violone and double bass with Tafelmusik since 1979, is active in the creation of multi-disciplinary programming for the orchestra. Her programme Four Seasons: A Cycle of the Sun toured in Canada, the U.S. and China, and was the inspiration for the documentary film The Four Seasons Mosaic. Her children’s tale Baroque Adventure: The Quest for Arundo Donax , released on the Analekta label, was awarded the Juno Award for Children’s Recording of the Year. Mackay has also convened several city-wide arts festivals, including Metamorphosis (2007) and Sacred Spaces, Sacred Circles, a celebration of architecture and the arts in the varied worship spaces of Toronto (2008).

“The creativity of our artistic partners and the orchestra's amazing commitment to performing this concert from memory allows us to explore new ways of sharing our emotional connection to baroque music with our audience,” says Alison Mackay. “The Galileo Projecthas been a wonderful opportunity for Tafelmusik to collaborate with scientists and artists from different disciplines, allowing us to expand into new arenas as we fuse arts, science and culture.”

In the coming weeks, thousands of elementary school students across Ontario will experience The Galileo Project, both at Tafelmusik’s home venue of Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre at four free education concerts, as well as at two free educations concerts each at schools in Embro and Milton in March. Teachers receive curriculum-based study guides and audio CDs of The Galileo Project as tools to open doors for continued exploration long after the applause has ended. For details about education concerts, visit Tafelmusik’s website.

The Galileo Project was also nominated as Canada’s entry in the International Year of Astronomy’s 2009 Prize for Excellence in Astronomy Education and Public Outreach, and in April 2009, the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid after Tafelmusik.

Since its Toronto premiere in 2009, The Galileo Project has attracted rave reviews from critics around the world:

“Another interesting performance at the Beijing Music Festival was by Tafelmusik, a Canadian group that put on a show called The Galileo Project … Besides having the text translated into Chinese, the group also made a special effort to reach out to the local audience by including several Chinese works and parallel developments in Chinese astronomy. The result was an engaging evening with a long ovation.” (The New York Times)

“Intonation approached a golden mean of perfection; styling, phrasing, bowing, color, articulation — all in superb focus — mined the full array of emotion and subtext that divines the repertoire … The modern audience in attendance was forced to listen with an attentiveness seldom experienced outside of prayer — gratifying.” (Santa Barbara News Press)

“The members of the Canadian orchestra created a real celestial harmony. By crossing the boundaries of time and space they managed to share with the audience the ideas and profound reflections of Galileo Galilei.” (Milenio Online, Mexico)

“… the most imaginative, engaging, and spontaneous-sounding early music program I can remember attending.” (San Diego Arts)

“Simply heaven. That was the feeling last night when Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra performed … The Galileo Project … kudos to double bassist Alison Mackay and music director Jeanne Lamon for their unique approach to presenting the delicate yet stirring musical pieces.” (The New Straits Times, Malaysia)

“Tafelmusik and their various collaborators have succeeded in teasing out thrilling links between

artists and thinkers and providing new insights into these fine centuries-old works … for the first time, I felt like I could actually hear the icy, brittle nuances of winter, or the lush, rich textures of summer. The achievement here is enough to make the stars weep.” (CBC.ca)

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