May 20, 2014
Tafelmusik’s European Spring: Tours to Versailles, France and Leipzig, Germany
“… one of the world’s top baroque orchestras, exemplary in every way from their generous but clear-voiced sound to their nicely judged responses to the music’s many details.” — Gramophone
Toronto (Canada), May 20, 2014 … Tafelmusik, Canada’s most active touring orchestra, returns to Europe twice in the coming four weeks for high-profile engagements in France and Germany. Tafelmusik has been invited by long-time collaborators Opera Atelier to join them in performances of Lully's Persée on May 23, 24 and 25 at the Royal Palace of Versailles, which will mark the first time the opera has appeared on that stage since 1770. From June 13 to 21, Tafelmusik makes its debut as Orchestra-in-Residence at BachFest Leipzig, in the city where Bach spent the last 25 years of his life — a most fitting conclusion to Jeanne Lamon’s final full-time season as Music Director. Between these two European engagements, Tafelmusik musicians return to Toronto for the annual Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, May 26 to June 8.
At BachFest Leipzig, Tafelmusik performs three concerts in two churches that are closely associated with Bach — St. Thomas, where he worked as cantor for more than 25 years, and St. Nicholas, where the composer’s St. John Passion was first heard. The June 13 concert features sacred choral music by J.S. and C.P.E. Bach, performed with the St. Thomas’ Boys Choir under Gotthold Schwarz. The June 16 concert is a programme of orchestral music by Handel and C.P.E. Bach directed by Jeanne Lamon. They are joined by guest violinist Midori Seiler, who is featured in concertos by Telemann and Bach. On June 21, Christopher Hogwood directs Tafelmusik and the Zürcher Sing-Akademie in Handel’s Brockes Passion.
A moving retelling of the classical Greek Perseus myth, Lully’s Persée is a landmark production for Opera Atelier. The company’s 2000 production was the first fully staged incarnation of the opera since it inaugurated the Royal Opera House at Versailles in 1770 during the wedding celebrations of the future King Louis XVI to Marie Antoinette. Following the success of Armide in 2012, The Royal Opera House invited the company back to Versailles with Persée, marking the second time Tafelmusik has joined Opera Atelier in the historic venue. Opera Atelier’s resident music director David Fallis recently gave an interview to NOW magazine, saying, “When I conduct Tafelmusik, I feel like a kid who’s given his father’s Maserati to drive for a week.”
Tafelmusik maintains a rigorous schedule of touring engagements, spending an average of 7 to 12 weeks on the road each season. To date, the orchestra has visited more than 350 cities in 32 different countries. Last November, Tafelmusik completed a tour of Japan and South Korea featuring Alison Mackay’s multi-media concert The Galileo Project, which has been seen in Australia, New Zealand, China (in Mandarin), Malaysia, Mexico (in Spanish), Canada, and the United States. In March, Tafelmusik returned to Carnegie Hall with a programme of Baroque music by French and German composers.
Earlier this year, Tafelmusik won the 2012/13 season Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA) Award for Touring Artist of the Year. The CAPACOA awards recognize excellence in the field of live performance touring and presenting in Canada. The Touring Artist of the Year award recognizes performers whose professionalism and cooperative spirit enhance their relationship with presenters.
Royal Opera House, Versailles (France)
May 23, 24, and 25: Lully’s Persée with Opera Atelier
BachFest Leipzig (Germany)
June 13: St Thomas Church, directed by Gotthold Schwarz, with St. Thomas’ Boys Choir
June 16: St. Nicholas Church, directed by Jeanne Lamon, with guest violinist Midori Seiler
June 21: St. Nicholas Church, directed by Christopher Hogwood, with the Zürcher Sing-Akademie
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, founded in 1979 and led by Music Director Jeanne Lamon since 1981, is one of the world’s leading period performance ensembles. The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, under the direction of Ivars Taurins, was formed in 1981 to complement the Orchestra. The orchestra performs more than 50 concerts each year at home in Toronto, and travels extensively around the world to such places as this season's tour destinations: Japan and South Korea, Carnegie Hall in New York City, BachFest Leipzig in Germany, cities across Ontario, and a tour with Opera Atelier to Versailles, France. The choir and orchestra’s multi-platform recording label Tafelmusik Media was launched in January 2012, along with the Watch and Listen site, Tafelmusik‘s digital concert hall. Tafelmusik has a rich discography of more than 80 CDs recorded on the Sony Classical, CBC Records, Analekta and Tafelmusik Media labels. Since 1991, Tafelmusik has received nine JUNO Awards and a Grammy Award nomination. Tafelmusik is the Baroque Orchestra-in-Residence at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and operates its annual artist training programmes, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and Tafelmusik Winter Institute.