Jan 28, 2014
Tafelmusik presents Handel’s epic oratorio Saul for the first time, February 21 to 23 at Koerner Hall
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Toronto, January 21, 2014 … Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir return to Koerner Hall for their first-ever performances of Handel’s epic oratorio, Saul, Feb 21-23, 2014. Under choir director Ivars Taurins and with a stellar cast of soloists— including soprano Joanne Lunn, who wowed audiences and critics alike with her 2012 Tafelmusik Messiah performances; soprano Sherezade Panthaki, a rising star and alumna of the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute; tenor Rufus Müller and countertenor Daniel Taylor, who are featured in Tafelmusik’s DVD recording of Sing-Along Messiah; and English baritone Peter Harvey, whose 2010 recording of Schubert's Winterreise was named Classic FM Magazine's 'Disc of the month' — Saul promises to be one of the highlights of the 2013/14 season
Begun in 1737, Saul marked the start of a new collaboration with Charles Jennens, the writer who provided Handel with libretti for a number of oratorios, most notably Messiah. The biblical story of King Saul and David — a tale filled with drama, pageantry, witches and ghosts, suspicion, jealousy, and madness — proved irresistible for the pair, and by the autumn of 1738, Handel’s new oratorio Saul was complete.
Over the years, Tafelmusik has made the artistic commitment to explore Handel’s great oratorios, having shared the composer’s works Solomon, Deborah, Israel in Egypt, Hercules, and of course Messiah with Toronto audiences. Tafelmusik’s presentation of Saul, the most lavish of Handel’s oratorios, fulfills a personal dream of Taurins’. “Handel’s Saul accomplishes precisely what he intended to achieve — the drama, pathos, and excitement of Italian opera in a truly English oratorio,” says Taurins. “The psychological and emotional machinations of the human mind and heart are set against the backdrop of the sweeping spectacle of history.”
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.