"It's the musicianship of Tafelmusik that really makes the program soar … and the verve with which they deliver it … They move freely around the stage as the piece demands, and this alone gives their playing a wonderful energy that's sorely lacking in most symphony orchestras.” — Sydney Morning Herald, 2015
Toronto, ON, February 22, 2016 … From March 4 to 12, 2016,audiences in Western Canada will have an opportunity to see Tafelmusik’s genre-defying international co-production House of Dreams. Canada’s most active touring orchestra will perform the “intense” and “exhilarating” programme (St. Louis Post Dispatch) in seven Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo, Kelowna, Edmonton, and Calgary.
House of Dreamswas 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 memoryagainst 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. Production design is by Glenn Davidson, and projections are designed by Raha Javanfar.
“House of Dreams is an evocation of rich and intimate experiences of the arts in the time of Purcell, Handel, Vivaldi and Bach,” says 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 segmentfor CBC Television’s The National.
Narrator Blair Williams works as a director and actor in theatres across Canada and the US, and recently directed Moss Hart's Light Up The Sky at the Shaw Festival. Prior to House of Dreams, he collaborated with Tafelmusik on Chariots of Fire; King Arthur; The Grand Tour; and the JUNO Award-winning recording The Quest for Arundo Donax. 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 no exception. Tafelmusik performed the programme in Australia and New Zealand in 2015, and across the United States in 2013, during an eight-city tour which included concerts in New York and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. House of Dreams has garnered critical acclaim in every city where it has been seen, including New York: “[Tafelmusik] ensemble members moved freely around the stage and performed the entire concert from memory, their spirited, polished interpretations imbued with spontaneity and imaginative flair.” (New York Times)
Video excerpts from House of Dreams can be seen on Tafelmusik’s Watch and Listensite, and a JUNO Award-nominated CD/DVD version is available on the Tafelmusik Media label. Detailed information including high-resolution images, biographies, reviews, and full repertoire 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 thePalais-Royal(Paris) and in partnership with theHandel House Museum(London), The Claudio Buziol Foundation(Venice), The Golden ABC(Delft), and the Bach Museum and Archive(Leipzig).
House of DreamsWestern Canada tour itinerary:
Fri Mar 4 at 7:30pm
Presented by Early Music Vancouver
The Vancouver Playhouse, Vancouver, BC
Sat Mar 5 at 8pm
Presented by the Early Music Society of the Islands
Alix Goolden Hall, Victoria, BC
Sun Mar 6, 2016 at 2pm
Presented by Cowichan Symphony
Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Duncan, BC
Mon Mar 7 at 7:30pm
Presented by Vancouver Island Symphony
The Port Theatre, Nanaimo, BC
Wed Mar 9 at 7:30pm
Mary Irwin Theatre, Rotary Centre for the Arts, Kelowna, BC
Fri Mar 11 at 8pm
Presented by The Edmonton Chamber Music Society
Robertson-Wesley United Church, Edmonton, AB
Sat Mar 12 at 8pm
Presented by Calgary Pro Musica
Rozsa Centre, Eckhardt-Grammaté Hall, Calgary, AB