Voltaire’s irresistible—and censored!—masterwork becomes great music theatre. Upstaged by West Side Story but never obscured, the operetta has become the darling of opera companies and Broadway through the sheer power of its drama, music and imaginative splendor.
BRENTANO QUARTET with soprano DAWN UPSHAW
Founded in 1992, the Brentano Quartet just celebrated its 25th anniversary season. The quartet performs music spanning from the Renaissance, through the beloved Classical and Romantic literature, up to music of today's composers. Dawn Upshaw has achieved worldwide celebrity as a singer of opera and concert repertoire ranging from the sacred works of Bach to the freshest sounds of today. A five-time Grammy Award winner, in 2007 she was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation, the first vocal artist to be awarded the five-year “genius” prize.
Stephen Hough is regarded as a renaissance man. He has distinguished himself as a true polymath, both as a uniquely insightful concert pianist, and as a writer and composer. In 2001 Mr. Hough was the first classical performing artist to win a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (colloquially called the genius awards).
ST LAWRENCE QUARTET
Established in 1989, the SLSQ came to Music TORONTO in 1992 and continues annually. The SLSQ has developed an undisputed reputation as one of the world's great ensembles. Called “witty, buoyant, and wickedly attentive” (the Gazette, Montreal), with a “peerless” sense of ensemble (Financial Times, London).
I DUE FIGARO
Rediscovered in 2009, this 1826 opera turns out to be a jewel of the Bel Canto style. Brilliant and graceful.
Born in Moscow in 1944, Alexei Lubimov premiered many 20th century pieces in Russia, despite heavy Soviet criticism of his commitment to Western music. Since political restrictions were lifted during the 1980s, he has given solo recitals throughout the world, appeared with leading symphony orchestras, and worked regularly with early music ensembles.
DOYLE a la CARTE CABARET
Libations with a touch of Gilbert & Sullivan.
Hosted by Henry Ingram.
Bach, Brass, and Calypso come together for an afternoon of remarkable virtuosity and the sounds of sunshine.
APOLLON MUSAGETE QUARTET
MTO introduced this young Polish quartet to Toronto audiences in November 2015 – and then invited them to return. Founded in 2006, they met in Vienna, and were mentored by the legendary Alban Berg Quartett. They have won many awards, the latest being a prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2014.
The Penderecki String Quartet celebrated its 30th anniversary season in 2016. These four musicians from Poland, Canada, and the USA bring their varied yet collective experience to create performances that demonstrate their “remarkable range of technical excellence and emotional sweep” (Globe and Mail, Toronto).
THE ECSTACY OF RITA JOE
24/03/2018 to 25/03/2018
A World Premiere.
Now an opera based on the extraordinary play by George Ryga, The Ecstacy of Rita Joe is a contemporary tragedy that condemns the brutality of a system that sentenced Indigenous peoples to lives of social and spiritual poverty.
Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon made his Toronto debut in February 2015 and we discovered his commanding virtuosity. At the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, he studied piano with Sándor Falvai and chamber music with György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados, finishing his studies in 1991. He is a regular guest at the most prestigious festivals world-wide, has performed with major orchestras throughout Europe and in the US, and is a deeply committed chamber musician.
Joe Alessi and acclaimed conductor Johan de Meij make a return appearance for an extraordinary season finale filled with virtuosity and artistry.
Toronto debut. The three brothers Mark, Erik and Ken Schumann, who grew up in the Rhineland, have been playing together since 2007. In 2012, they were joined by violist Liisa Randalu, who was born in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany. An exciting new European quartet.
LA BELLE HELENE
25/04/2018 to 29/04/2018
The beautiful Helen got the Golden Apple from Paris and left some rather irate goddess “in the dust! Long before her fabled trip to Troy, there was much singing, frolicking, amusement and hanky-panky in the city of Athens.
HOCKEY NOIR - the opera
10/05/2018 to 11/05/2018
A bilingual chamber opera in three periods. Set in the 1950s, the classic hockey rivalry between Toronto and Montreal takes centre stage with a side of organized crime. Love, lust, scandal, blood, betrayal – in sudden death, who wins and who loses is determined not by fate but by the final shot.