The Toronto Consort Welcomes New Managing Director
The Toronto Consort is pleased to announce the selection of Terry Raininger to the newly created position of Managing Director, effective August 6, 2013.
Terry, passionately committed to art-making, brings more than twenty-five years of solid experience as a dedicated arts professional. Most recently, she has been providing consulting services in fundraising, marketing and communications to dance and theatre organizations including DanceWorks, Dance Ontario and Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company. The focus of her work is on donor and audience cultivation, developing new donor and earned revenue streams, revitalizing communications strategies and volunteer training. In addition, Terry is currently the Chair of Nightswimming Theatre.
Terry has recently studied in the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management Program at Ryerson University, Toronto.
The Toronto Consort is excited about the leadership, initiative and skills that Terry will contribute to the organization in partnership with Artistic Director David Fallis, as the Consort takes this important step forward in its fifth decade of being one of the leading Canadian medieval and renaissance ensembles. Welcome, Terry.
The Toronto Consort’s 40th anniversary gift to the city:
Janet Cardiff’s sound installation FORTY-PART MOTET comes to
Scotiabank Nuit Blanche on September 29, 2012
View of Janet Cardiff's Forty-Part Motet, 2001, 40-track audio installation, 14 minutes in duration; at the Rideau Chapel, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
Just ahead of its 40th anniversary season launch, the Toronto Consort is delighted to bring Janet Cardiff's award-winning sound installation FORTY-PART MOTET, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, to Toronto’s Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, to be part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche on September 29, 2012. To ensure the best listening experience, only 50 people at a time may enter the installation. The motet will repeat every 15 minutes.
FORTY-PART MOTET is based on a masterwork of English Renaissance choral music, Spem in alium written by Thomas Tallis for forty separate voices. Just three weeks after Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Consort audiences will have the opportunity to hear this piece performed live at the 40th anniversary opening concerts on October 19 and 20.
Janet Cardiff ’s work is part of the National Gallery of Canada’s permanent collection and is one of the several versions that has been shown in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
This innovative undertaking by the Toronto Consort has been generously supported by the Metcalf Foundation under their Strategic Initiatives Program.
The Borgias Series Allies with Toronto Consort
From Early Music America magazine, Summer 2012 by Mark Longaker:
The Borgias of Renaissance Italy were known for forging alliances in their ruthless pursuit of power. Their spirit lives on in a hit television series that bears their name and has allied with the Toronto Consort to replicate the early Renaissance period musically.
Now in its second season
on the Showtime channel, The Borgias delights both the ear and the eye with its extraordinary and painstaking attention to period details. Read more
Death of Garry Crighton, founding member of Toronto Consort
It was with great sadness that we heard in late April of the death of Garry Crighton, a founding member of the Toronto Consort and longtime mentor and inspiration in the group. He was blessed with an extraordinary countertenor voice and an insatiable curiosity for and love of early music. He will be sorely missed by friends and family in Germany and Canada. Our closing concerts of the season — performances of The Original Carmina Burana — were dedicated to his memory.
David Fallis leads Opera Atelier's Armide in France and U.S.
The Company of Armide
Photo Credit: Bruce Zinger 2012
When he's not programming, rehearsing or performing with the Toronto Consort, Artistic Director David Fallis can often be found on Opera Atelier's podium, leading Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir in many of the company's productions. Opera Atelier's current hit is Lully's Armide, which has been called "the most visually and aurally beautiful production on a Toronto stage this season," (Toronto Star) and just wrapped up its critically acclaimed run at the Elgin Theatre.
Three other Consort members — recorder virtuosa Alison Melville,soprano Michele DeBoer and bass John Pepper — are part of the Armide orchestra and choir respectively. David joins Opera Atelier for high-profile performances of Armide at the Royal Opera in Versailles, France, May 11-13, and at The Glimmerglass Festival, Cooperstown, New York in July and August.
New recording and praise from Gramophone
Maureen Forrester Hall
The Toronto Consort has been busy recording A Spanish Christmas, its latest CD. The recording was made just before Christmas in Maureen Forrester Hall at Wilfrid Laurier University in Kitchener, Ontario and is scheduled for release in 2012. Known for its excellent acoustics, Maureen Forrester Hall is unique in that there are no 90 degree angles, which contributes to a more beautiful overall sound.
The Consort’s previous recording, The Queen, was highly praised by Gramophone Magazine (U.K.) “As led by its Artistic Director David Fallis, the Toronto Consort lavishes luminous clarity, lightness and vitality on the music. The singers bring crisp enunciation to the text and are not afraid to highlight the lusty qualities in several of the selections. Amid the songs, the period instrumentalists evoke delicate and rousing sounds that the queen, in all probability, would have relished.”
David Fallis on the conductor’s podium
Phillip Addis and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg. Photo Credit: Bruce Zinger 2011
When he's not programming, rehearsing or performing with the Toronto Consort, Artistic Director David Fallis will be stepping on to the conductor's podium this fall for two engagements that couldn't be more varied: on October 30, he leads Mass Brass, a Soundstreams presentation at Koerner Hall featuring Stockholm Chamber Brass (Sweden), Simón Bolívar Brass Quintet (Venezuela), and Canada's True North Brass.
On November 25 and 27, David will be welcomed to Ohio by Opera Columbus, when he conducts the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and chorus in two performances of Opera Atelier's production of Don Giovanni by Mozart. Toronto audiences will see the same cast of singers and dancers at the Elgin Theatre from October 29 to November 5, with the Tafelmusik Orchestra under the direction of guest conductor Stefano Montanari.
Toronto Consort tours the U.S.
The Toronto Consort takes the show on the road! From October 9 to 16, the ensemble will perform concerts and offer masterclasses and outreach events in six different U.S. cities in three states. Two of the Consort's most popular programs -- the Da Vinci Codex and Shakespeare’s Songbook -- will be on offer as they travel to Kenosha, (Wisconsin), Eugene, Marylhurst, Corvallis, Monmouth (Oregon), and Seattle (Washington). For tour details, visit our touring page.
Consort’s Terry McKenna teams up with Sylvia Tyson on literary music project
The Toronto Consort's multi-talented lute and guitar master Terry McKenna has collaborated with renowned singer-songwriter --and debut novelist -- Sylvia Tyson on music to accompany Joyner’s Dream, her new book published by Harper Collins. The narrative of Joyner's Dream is propelled by music, and Tyson subsequently also wrote original ballads and tunes that she had referred to in her novel. A big fan of Terry's Marquis Classics recording Throw the house Out of the Windowe, Tyson asked Terry to co-produce the project and arrange the songs that illustrate key moments in the novel. McKenna was joined by Consort members Ben Grossman and Paul Jenkins for the January recording session, which was session-produced by David Fallis.
Joyner’s Dream is the sweeping story of a family and its abiding love of music coupled with a persistent knack for thieving. The multi-generational story begins in England in the 1780s, continues in Halifax at the time of the Great Explosion, and ends in present-day Toronto. The characters are connected by music, a secret family journal and one long-lived violin.
Watch a video of Sylvia Tyson discussing the music for Joyner’s Dream, with excerpts from the recording sessions featuring Terry and friends. The album is now available for download from Zunior.com
Toronto Consort joins Norway’s Trio Mediæval on March 23
Photo credit: Trio Mediæval photo by Asa-M-Mikkelsen
The Toronto Consort joins Norway's Grammy-nominated Trio Mediæval in a fascinating and provocative journey from the medieval to the modern on Wednesday March 23 at 8:00 pm, courtesy of Soundstreams. The voices of Trio Mediæval have captivated audiences around the world with breathtaking performances of medieval music, contemporary works, and traditional Norwegian ballads and songs. Together with the Toronto Consort, they perform the Soundstreams-commissioned world premiere of a new work by Canadian composer James Rolfe.
The program includes haunting folk songs, rousing mediaeval dances, a new work by British composer Gavin Bryars, and a reconstruction of a recently discovered 13th century Mass. The concert is performed against the stunning backdrop The Group of Seven murals in St. Anne's Church (270 Gladstone Avenue), and tickets are available through the Royal Conservatory Box Office.
Watch a video of Trio Mediæval in performance and conversation:
Marco Polo Project: Part 2 musicians featured on CBC Radio's Metro Morning
The Toronto Consort has been preparing for the Marco Polo Project: Part 2 on February 18 and 19, the second of two collaborative concerts conceived by Artistic Director David Fallis that sees Consort musicians harmonizing with some of the best world musicians in our city. CBC Radio Metro Morning’s Aparita Bhandari dropped by a rehearsal to speak with Suba Sankaran, guest vocalist and co-founder of Indo-Jazz fusion ensemble Autorickshaw, and the Consort’s own Michele DeBoer. The Marco Polo Project reunited the two singers, who first met more than 20 years ago as students at Earl Haig Secondary School. Listen to their story.
The Toronto Consort and SHOWTIME TV's The Borgias: David Fallis named Historical Music Producer for new TV series on SHOWTIME
Hot on the heels of the final season of The Tudors, CBC TV’s smash hit series, Toronto Consort Artistic Director David Fallis is back as Historical Music Producer for The Borgias, a new series created for Showtime Networks airing in the spring of 2011. Members of The Toronto Consort will be called upon to record music for the series, which will be broadcast in nine one-hour episodes.
This epic drama is based on the infamous Italian Renaissance family and stars Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia and Gemini Award-winning actor Colm Feore as Giuliano della Rovere. Academy Award-winning director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) is creator, writer and executive producer of the series, and will direct the first two episodes.
"Lots of the Consort members and I had fun producing music for The Tudors and now we're turning to a slightly earlier period with music for The Borgias. We're dipping into the repertoire of Italian medieval dances as well as some of the great choral music of the time. From what I've seen, it is very beautifully filmed, too!” says David.
For behind-the-scenes information about The Borgias series including historical background, visit The Borgiaswiki.
Artistic Director David Fallis featured on CBC Radio Two’s This is My Music on October 16
Tune in to CBC Radio Two’s This is My Music on Saturday October 16 at 10:00 am (EST) for a personal tour of Artistic Director David Fallis’ favourite music picks. The two-hour program is broadcast nationally each week and features Canada’s leading classical music stars as they share the music that inspires them and shapes their lives.
David has also been featured recently in conversation with hosts Jean Stilwell and Mike Duncan on Classical 96.3 FM’s morning show, Good Day GTA. Click below to listen to the interview, which offers a sneak peek of the Toronto Consort’s 2010-11 season.
The Toronto Consort performs at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Essential Cinema series
The Toronto Consort goes to the movies!
At 8:00 pm on September 28 and 29, David Fallis conducted members of The Toronto Consort and Choir 21 in association with Soundstreams in performances of Richard Einhorn's 1994 oratorio Voices of Light. The musicians accompanied two screenings of Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 silent film masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc with a special version of Einhorn's haunting score adapted by the composer himself. This event was part of TIFF Cinematheque’s Essential Cinema, the inaugural show at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Read the Toronto Star’s four-star review by John Terauds. [Photo courtesy of the Film Reference Library]
The Consort will perform a one hour concert of carnival music from Venice at the Bata Shoe Museum on February 5, 2010. The performance is complementary to the exhibition On a Pedestal: From Renaissance Chopines to Baroque Heels.
Carnival in Venice: Party Music of the 16th Century
Friday, February 5, 2010
8-9 pm; doors open at 7:30 pm
Renaissance Italy celebrated Carnival in style, with elaborate processions, masquerades, songs and parties being a feature of life particularly in Florence and Venice in the days leading up to Mardi Gras. The Toronto Consort will perform a delectable selection of carnival songs and dances from the early 16th century, with voices, lute, recorder, hurdy-gurdy, harpsichord and viola da gamba.
In February 2010, the Consort will present two performances of our newest education program, based on The Marco Polo Project concert that was performed in early October 2008.
This new concert debuted in Spring 2009 with a script of selected readings from The Travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian’s own account of his adventures through the Middle East and southern Russia to China. Students hear examples of Chinese musical styles and instruments and traditional Georgian music, which features incredible vocal gymnastics, including nimble counterpoint and strident dissonant chord tunings. Around these pieces from Georgia and China, the Toronto Consort plays examples of the lively dances and haunting laude (Italian spiritual songs) which would have been known by Marco Polo and his family.
The new education program will be of special interest to the many students from diverse cultural backgrounds who have been attending our programs in recent years.
The Toronto Consort newest CD, The Queen, was released on the Marquis Classics label in May 2009. This new recording features examples of a uniquely English combination of instruments called the “mixed consort”, consisting of lute, bandora, cittern, viola da gamba, flute and violin with all the glorious music relating in some way to the remarkable monarch, Elizabeth I.
The Queen and the Consort’s seven other CDs are now available at Toronto Consort performances, or contact us at 416-966-1045.
Toronto Consort members and David Fallis have continued their work on music for The Tudors. During summer 2009 the Consort was working on the music for Season Four, the final season of this epic series. Season Three of the TV series was shown on CBC Television this Fall and is currently online at www.cbc.ca/video/#/Shows/The_Tudors if you would like to watch the episodes.