May 16, 2018

Tafelmusik Returns to Australia with Alison Mackay’s Bach and His World

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“Bach’s music feels more alive than ever.”
The Globe and Mail

May 16, 2018 … Tafelmusik returns to Australia with its “superb” (San Diego Tribune) globetrotting multimedia creation, Bach and His World (known in North America as J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation). Performances take place from May 19 to June 4, 2018 in Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Sydney. Presented by Musica Viva, Tafelmusik’s previous Australia tours have garnered audience ovations and rave reviews: “Near-miraculously linked in thought and intention, the players of Tafelmusik sound as if born to the job. In purely musical terms, the Toronto-based players are incomparable.”         
(The West Australian).

J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation is a celebration of the genius of Bach. Since its Toronto premiere in May 2015, the program has been seen in nineteen cities around the world, with scripts performed in four different languages including French, Mandarin and Korean.

“This tour underscores Tafelmusik's commitment to innovative, boundary-pushing projects such as our renowned multimedia concerts that help make new musical connections and attract new audiences. Earlier this season we premiered Alison Mackay's latest creation, Safe Haven, and next season we'll revisit her multimedia fusion of Western European and Arabic music, Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig Damascus Project, which will be seen in seven American cities as well as Ottawa and Toronto,” said Managing Director William Norris.

J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation was created by Tafelmusik double bassist Alison Mackay, who has redefined the classical concert experience through her phenomenally successful productions. Narrated by actor Blair Williams and directed by Music Director Elisa Citterio from the violin, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation combines text, music, and stunning projected images and video to explore the world of the artisans — papermakers, violin carvers, string spinners, and performers — who helped J.S. Bach realize his musical ideas.

“The concert celebrates the genius of Bach and places a special emphasis on the instrumental music which he created for his family, his students, and his colleagues,” says Mackay. “In words and images, the performance also honours the work of the artisans and tradespeople whose labour and expertise made the performances of Bach’s music possible. In examining the origins and anatomy of Bach’s orchestra, we hope to shed light on the inner workings of our own.” 

The all-Bach program is performed from memory and includes Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 in G Major; movements from the Orchestral Suites 1 and 3, and from the Trio Sonata in G Major; solo works for violin, cello, and harpsichord; excerpts from the Goldberg Variations; and instrumental excerpts from five cantatas.

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s creative multimedia performances have delighted audiences around the world, and J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation is no exception. Last season, Mandarin and Korean versions of the program were presented at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre in China, as well as Daegu, Tongyeong, and Seoul in South Korea.

In February and March, 2017, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation also travelled stateside to eight cities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Florida, California, and Washington state. Closer to home, the program played to a sold-out house in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre’s Canada Scene Festival in June 2017, and was seen on a six-city tour of Québec, New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia last November.

J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation was conceived, programmed, and scripted by Alison Mackay, with stage direction by Marshall Pynkoski; production design by Glenn Davidson; projection design by Raha Javanfar; and film editing by Jane MacRae.

This tour has been made possible through generous grants provided by the Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council. J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation was produced with support from the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship in Media and Production at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, in Banff, Alberta.

Media contact:
Luisa Trisi, (416) 456-0499 |
427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1X7
High‐resolution photos of Tafelmusik are available for download here.