Jun 14, 2013

Tafelmusik Makes Luminato Festival debut - June 2013

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Toronto, Canada, June 13, 2013 … The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir makes its Luminato Festival debut in the Canadian premiere of the Mark Morris Dance Group’s iconic L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato. Choreographed by Mark Morris, this legendary piece for two dozen dancers, vocal soloists, choir and orchestra is set to Handel’s eponymous oratorio, and has been called “one of the great dance works of the twentieth century.” (The New Yorker). The performances are conducted by Jane Glover and feature a stellar cast of soloists including sopranos Karina Gauvin and Shannon Mercer; tenor Thomas Cooley; and baritone Douglas Williams. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato will run from June 21-23 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, as part of the 7th Annual Luminato Festival.
Since its creation in 1988, choreographer Mark Morris’ L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato has earned global recognition as his company’s crowning achievement. Morris’ singular interpretation of the oratorio, combining Handel’s music with John Milton’s cosmic poetry, William Blake’s luminous paintings, and Morris’ two dozen dancers, is at once joyous, exhilarating and profound. In 1995, Tafelmusik collaborated with the Mark Morris Dance Group on another baroque music-inspired project, Dido and Aeneas. Morris’ multi award-winning dance adaptation of Purcell’s opera was filmed and produced by Rhombus Media for broadcast on CBC Television, and was directed by Barbara Willis Sweete.  
“We are excited to be making our Luminato Festival debut, and it is a privilege for the Tafelmusik musicians to work with Mark Morris again,” said Music Director Jeanne Lamon. “He is an outstanding artist, whom we’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past, making a film of his groundbreaking ‘danced opera’, Dido and Aeneas. We can't wait to experience his interpretation of Handel's L'Allegro, about which we've heard so much.”
The music of George Frideric Handel has been at the core of Tafelmusik’s repertoire for more than three decades, and the ensemble’s live and recorded performances have earned them praise and recognition around the world. Tafelmusik performed L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato in Toronto under the direction of Nicholas McGegan in the mid-1980s.  Handel composed the oratorio in 1740, working with the librettist Charles Jennens, who later collaborated with him on the text for Messiah. Jennens adapted L'Allegro and Il Penseroso, two poems by John Milton, and penned the third poem, Il Moderato, himself.
The New York-based Mark Morris Dance Group is one the most revered modern dance companies today, and has earned international acclaim for an impressive spectrum of productions in dance and opera. The pairing of the Mark Morris Dance Group with “one of the world’s top baroque orchestras” (Gramophone) and “the best period performance choir anywhere in the world,” (Globe and Mail) ranks L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato among the most highly anticipated events of the 2013 Luminato Festival.  
In addition to the performances at the Sony Centre, Tafelmusik will participate in L’Allegro Movement Project, the Mark Morris Dance Group’s groundbreaking DANCE FOR PD® program, in partnership with Toronto’s DANCING WITH PARKINSON’S.  Using thematic and structural elements from L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato as the basis for the movement creation, the participants — including local elementary school students from Nelson Mandela Park PS and Winchester Junior PS— will explore the choreographic, poetic and musical elements of Mark Morris’ signature work. Through this collaborative, intergenerational initiative, young students and participants with Parkinson’s disease can explore and celebrate the expressive possibilities of movement through dance and music. There will be one FREE performance on June 19 at Ada Slaight Hall, Daniels Spectrum, as part of the 7th Annual Luminato Festival. A team of young filmmakers will document the project and the completed short film will premiere as part of the Regent Park Film Festival in the fall of 2013.
Mark Morris Dance Group
Featuring Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir
Music Director Jeanne Lamon | Ivars Taurins, Director, Chamber Choir
Conductor Jane Glover
With Karina Gauvin, Soprano |Shannon Mercer, Soprano |Thomas Cooley, Tenor | Douglas Williams, Baritone
Sony Centre For The Performing Arts, 1 Front Street East
June 21-23, 2013 – Three Performances Only!
Friday and Saturday at 7:30PM • Sunday at 3:00PM
$45-$95 (includes HST and facility fee; plus applicable service charges)
Purchase online at luminatofestival.com or by phone at 416-368-4TIX (4849)
Ticket holders are invited to join arts journalist and noted dance expert Michael Crabb for a pre-show introduction
prior to each performance at the theatre
Presented by TELUS
With support From Mohammad and Najla Al Zaibak. Major Media Partner: Toronto Star
Wednesday, June 19 at 7pm – One Performance Only!
Daniels Spectrum, Ada Slaight Hall, 585 Dundas Street East
Admission is FREE and includes a post-performance panel and Q&A
A project of Luminato Festival’s Education and Community Outreach program
Limited Public Seating
Presented by TELUS
With support from Mohammad and Najla Al Zaibak.
Major Media Partner: Toronto Star