Created by Alison Mackay

Tales of Two Cities

Thu Feb 21, Fri Feb 22, Sat Feb 23 at 8pm, Sun Feb 24, 2019 at 3:30pm Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre Map BUY NOW SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE

Elisa Citterio, Music Director
Conceived, scripted and programmed by Alison Mackay
Maryem Tollar, Narrator & Vocalist
Alon Nashman, Narrator

Tafelmusik’s groundbreaking multimedia fusion of European and Arabic music returns.

Alison Mackay’s musical vision of the links between 18th-century Saxony and Syria became one of the most cherished and talked-about projects in Tafelmusik’s history when it was first seen in 2016. Now it returns for our 40th anniversary season, reuniting musicians from Western and Arabic traditions in a magical, moving multimedia concert.

Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damscus Coffee House celebrates the rich musical traditions of East and West, and the renewed dialogue between those traditions in contemporary, multicultural Toronto. As Handel and Telemann meet traditional Arabic song and Klezmer fiddle music, your musical perspectives will never be the same again.

Naghmeh Farahmand, percussion
Demetri Petsalakis, oud

Marshall Pynkoski, Stage Director
Glenn Davidson, Production Designer
Raha Javanfar, Projections Designer


  • Telemann Ouverture in D Major
  • Traditional Badat Min al Khidri & Yamul ‘Uyound Issoud
  • Monteverdi Ritornello from Orfeo
  • Omar Al-Batsh Ya Malikan
  • Lully Chaconne from Cadmus & Hermione
  • Telemann Concerto for 4 violins in Major: Largo – Vivace  
  • Handel Sonata in G Minor, op. 2, no. 5: Allegro
  • Telemann Concerto for viola in G Major: Presto
  • Yale Strom Tish Nign
  • Traditional Dulab Bayat
  • Handel Concerto grosso op. 6, no. 6: Musette
  • Traditional Darj Bayat
  • Handel Concerto grosso op. 6, no. 5: Allegro
  • Torelli Concerto for violin in E Minor, op. 8, no. 9: Allegro.
  • Telemann Burlesque de Don Quixote, excerpts
    Musique de table III: Conclusion
  • J.S. Bach Sinfonia after “Ehre sei dir, Gott”
  • Mohamed Al-Qasabji Zikrayati
  • Sheikh Abul Ela Mohamed Afdihi in Hafidhal
    Percussion improvisation
  • J.S. Bach Adagio, after Aria from Cantata 42
  • Traditional Tala’a Min Beyt Abouha
  • Telemann Ritornello

* Recorded by Tafelmusik

Take Tales home with you: Tales of Two Cities is available as a DVD for purchase in our online shop.

Guest Artist Masterclass with Stefano Demichelli: Sat Feb 23, 2019 from 2–4pm MORE INFO

Tales of Two Cities was developed in partnership with Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Queen’s University, Kingston, in collaboration with the Aga Khan Museum, and is generously supported by The Pluralism Fund and by a gift from an anonymous benefactor.