LSM Newswire

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CASTLETON FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA TO RETURN ON JULY 22 TO PERFORM HIGHLIGHTS FROM CARMEN AND PORGY AND BESS

ASTLETON FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS,
CONDUCTED BY WORLD RENOWNED LORIN MAAZEL,
TO MAKE CANADIAN DEBUT ON THURSDAY, JUNE 29
AT CAPITAL ONE BLACKCREEK SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL
WITH ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING ACTORS
DAME HELEN MIRREN AND JEREMY IRONS

Toronto, ON (June 14, 2011) -- Renowned Academy Award-winning actors Dame Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons will star in an innovative program of "Music Inspired by Shakespeare" when famed conductor Lorin Maazel brings his Castleton Festival Orchestra and Women's Chorus to Toronto on Wednesday, June 29 at 8:00 p.m. The two film stars will join forces for a performance of Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream incidental music, incorporating dramatic readings of the Shakespeare verses that ignited the great composer's musical imagination. A new version of the text by J.D. McClatchy, the celebrated poet and librettist, created specifically for this performance version will receive its premiere on June 29.

This is the first of two programs to be presented by the Castleton Festival and Conductor Lorin Maazel at this year's Capital One BlackCreek Summer Music Festival.

The June 29 program will open with three excerpts from Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet, to be followed by Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture.

On Friday, July 22, the Castleton Festival Orchestra returns to Toronto to perform highlights in concert version from Bizet's Carmen and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. The cast of eight vocal soloists includes Mezzo Soprano Denyce Graves as Carmen, Tenor Richard Troxell as Don Jose, and Jonathan Beyer as Escamillo. For Porgy and Bess, the cast includes Soprano Reyna Carguill as Bess, Bass-baritone Patrick Blackwell as Porgy, Tenor Chauncey Packer as Sportin' Life, and Baritone John Fulton as Crown.

At the Castleton Festival, which he launched in 2009, Maazel works intimately with a hand-picked group of singers, conductors and directors. Among them are the finest young singers he has heard in his travels throughout the international opera world. The artists live together on a beautiful 550-acre farm in Castleton, Virginia, collaborating on musical performances of nuance and depth.

The Castleton Festival continues to expand its profile, having recently completed a Britten chamber opera cycle in Berkeley, California. Later this summer, concerts by the Castleton Festival Orchestra and Maestro Maazel will be presented by China's National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and a new co-production with Beijing is planned for 2012.

Lorin Maazel was recently called "one of the world's most prolific and respected conductors" by the Toronto Star. Later this summer, he will lead the London Symphony Orchestra in three different programs at the Capital One BlackCreek Summer Music Festival - the LSO's first classical concerts in Toronto in more than 30 years. Maestro Maazel also holds the title of Artistic Advisor, Classical Programming, for the Festival.

Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons starred together in the 2006 historical television mini-series, Elizabeth I, in which her performance won her an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Actress, and for which he received a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor.



HELEN MIRREN is one of the best known and most respected actresses with an international career that spans stage, screen and television. She has won many awards for her powerful and versatile performances, including the Academy Award® in 2007 for her performance in The Queen. Her other films include White Nights; The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover; The Madness of King George; Gosford Park; The Last Station, for which she received another Best Actress Academy Award nomination in 2010; and most recently The Debt, Julie Taymor's resetting of Shakespeare's The Tempest; Red and Arthur. She became a household name in television for her role as Detective Jane Tennison in the award-winning and much-loved series, Prime Suspect, for which she won an Emmy for Best Actress.

Classically trained British actor, JEREMY IRONS, began his acting career on stage in 1969 and made his Broadway debut in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, earning a Tony Award for Best Actor. His first major film role came in the 1981 romantic drama, The French Lieutenant's Woman, for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor. He went on to star in such films as Betrayal, The Mission, Dead Ringers and Reversal of Fortune, for which he received the Academy Award® for Best Actor. Other notable films have included The House of the Spirits, The Lion King, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Lolita, The Merchant of Venice, Being Julia and Appaloosa. Irons has also made several notable television appearances, perhaps most memorably in the 1981 ITV series, Brideshead Revisited. He is currently starring as patriarch Rodrigo Borgia, better known to history as Pope Alexander VI, in the Showtime network's acclaimed mini-series The Borgias.



ABOUT LORIN MAAZEL

A second-generation American born in Paris, LORIN MAAZEL began violin lessons at age five and conducting lessons at age seven. His prodigious talent as a conductor quickly revealed itself, and before the age of 15 he had conducted most of the major American orchestras, including the NBC Symphony at Arturo Toscanini's invitation.

Maestro Maazel has served as Music Director of some of the most important orchestras and opera companies in the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and Vienna State Opera. He has conducted more than 150 orchestras in no fewer than 5,000 opera and concert performances, has made over 300 recordings, and been awarded 10 Grands Prix du Disques. His close association with the Vienna Philharmonic includes 11 internationally televised New Year's Day Concerts from Vienna.

On September 1, 2012, he will become Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic. He continues as the first Music Director of the spectacular Santiago Calatrava-designed opera house in Valencia, Spain, and as the founder and Artistic Director of the Castleton Festival.


TICKETS

Tickets to the individual concerts by the Castleton Festival Orchestra are now on sale and are priced at $124.50, $101.75, $90.50, $79.25, $56.50 and $45.25 (including HST; additional service charges will apply to online and phone orders) and may be purchased in person at the Rexall Centre Box Office at 1 Shoreham Drive on the campus of York University, online at www.blackcreekfestival.com, or by calling 1-888-860-7888.

Patrons purchasing tickets to both concerts will be offered a 15% savings. There is a limit of 6 tickets per order.

The Rexall Centre Box Office is open on non-performance days from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. On performance days the Box Office will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Box Office will be closed from June 9 to 17 inclusive (for York Convocation) and from July 25 to August 16 inclusive (for Rogers Cup). There are no service charges for tickets purchased at the Box Office.


ABOUT THE CAPITAL ONE BLACKCREEK SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL

The inaugural 2011 season of the Capital One BlackCreek Summer Music Festival spans 12 weeks, from June to August, and includes a wide array of programs by some of the most revered names in pop and jazz, along with rousing symphonic evenings, Broadway showstoppers, gospel music and iconic country artists, all performing "under the stars" at the Rexall Centre on the grounds of York University in Toronto. Highlights of the season include such renowned artists as James Taylor, Tony Bennett and Diana Krall, Lionel Richie and Michael McDonald, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, John Fogerty and The Levon Helm Band, Marvin Hamlisch, Pink Martini and Chris Botti, Barry Manilow, Roberto Alagna and the London Symphony Orchestra, among others.

For general information, or to sign up for Capital One BlackCreek Summer Music Festival alerts, please visit our website at www.blackcreekfestival.com.

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