Jan 13, 2015

Tafelmusik’s House of Dreams opens in Toronto Feb. 11 before touring to Australia & New Zealand

Download the PDF

This is the first time I've seen one of these projects, and for me it had the unexpected effect of revivifying period performance … Tafelmusik played with 
a bracing fission and fervor..."  — American Record Guide
Toronto (Canada), January 13, 2015 … From February 11 to 15, Toronto audiences will have a chance to see Tafelmusik’s genre-defying, international co-production House of Dreams at Trinity-St Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall  — just before the orchestra takes the show on the road. From February 19 to March 6, Canada’s most active touring orchestra will perform the “intense” and “exhilarating” (St. Louis Post Dispatch) House of Dreams in eight Australian cities and in Auckland, New Zealand. An audience Talkback with select musicians takes place after the Feb. 11 performance.
House of Dreams was conceived, scripted and programmed by Tafelmusik double-bassist Alison Mackay, and takes the audience to five European houses where baroque music and art intersect. Tafelmusik musicians perform the entire House of Dreams programme — which includes the music of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell, and Marais — from memory against a backdrop of stunning images and paintings by Vermeer, Canaletto, and Watteau, while narrator Blair Williams weaves together the threads connecting each of the houses. Stage direction for House of Dreams is by Marshall Pynkoski, co-artistic director of Opera Atelier.  
Several aspects of the House of Dreams stage set designed by Glenn Davidson were inspired by historical features in an 18th-century Venetian residence. An ornate gilt frame belonging to the house in Venice served as the inspiration for the 12 x 16 foot projection surface. The screen is suspended above the musicians to display the projections designed by 2012 Siminovitch Prize protégé Raha Javanfar, which include paintings by European masters and photographs taken in and around the historical houses. 
House of Dreams is an evocation of rich and intimate experiences of the arts in the time of Purcell, Handel, Vivaldi and Bach,” says creator Alison Mackay. “It’s a virtual visit to London, Venice, Delft, Paris and Leipzig, where great masterpieces by European painters were displayed on the walls of five private homes. These houses were also alive with music, often played by the leading performers and composers of the day.” 
The 2012 Toronto premiere of House of Dreams was described as “…much more than a concert … an experience that transcends its many components to create a special, all-encompassing experience that makes one forget time and place for two bliss-filled hours” (Toronto Star), and veteran broadcast journalist Joe Schlesinger featured House of Dreams in a segment for CBC Television’s The National.   
Narrator Blair Williams works as a director and actor in theatres across Canada and the US, most recently appearing in Educating Rita at the Thousand Islands Playhouse and will next be directing Moss Hart's Light Up The Sky at the internationally renowned Shaw Festival. Prior to House of Dreams, he had previously collaborated with Tafelmusik on the narrative concerts Chariots of Fire; King Arthur; The Grand Tour; and The Quest for Arundo Donax, the recording of which won a JUNO Award for Best Children’s Album of the Year. He was born in North Bay Ontario, and is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.
Tafelmusik’s creative multidisciplinary concerts have opened doors around the world, and House of Dreams is one of the orchestra’s biggest and most ambitious artistic creations to date. The programme was seen across the United States in 2013 during an eight-city tour which included performances in New York and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and garnered critical acclaim in every city. “The ensemble members moved freely around the stage and performed the entire concert from memory, their spirited, polished interpretations imbued with spontaneity and imaginative flair.” (The New York Times)  
Video excerpts from House of Dreams can be seen on Tafelmusik’s Watch and Listen site, and a JUNO Award-nominated CD/DVD version is commercially available on the Tafelmusik Media label. Detailed information including high-resolution images, biographies, reviews, and the full programme listing is available on Tafelmusik’s website.
Co-produced with The Banff Centre, House of Dreams is presented and performed under the kind patronage of the Palais-Royal (Paris) and in partnership with the Handel House Museum (London), The Claudio Buziol Foundation (Venice), The Golden ABC (Delft), and the Bach Museum and Archive (Leipzig). 
House of Dreams is a Co-Production with
Season Presenting Sponsor 
The Australia and New Zealand tour was made possible through the generous support of : 
Tafelmusik gratefully acknowledges the support of its partners in government:

Tafelmusik’s Season Radio Sponsor is THE NEW CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.
Tafelmusik is a proud member of the Bloor Street Culture Corridor