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Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House (CD + DVD)

Telemann, Handel, Bach, Sheikh Abul Ela Mohamed, and more

Jeanne Lamon, Alison Mackay, Trio Arabica, Alon Nashman, Maryem Tollar, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

“A phenomenon that was unexpected and powerful” – The Globe and Mail (on the live concert of Tales of Two Cities)
  • CD

PreviewTrack Title
Telemann, Ouverture in D Major, TWV 55:D18
Traditional, Badat Min al Khidri
Traditional, Yamul 'Ulyoun Issoud
Monteverdi, Ritornello from Orfeo, Act II
Omar Al-Batsh, Ya Malikan
Lully, Chaconne from Cadmus et Hermione
Telemann, Concerto for 4 violins in G Major, TWV 40:201, Largo
Telemann, Concerto for 4 violins in G Major, TWV 40:201, Vivace
Handel, Allegro from Sonata in G Minor, op. 2, no. 5
Telemann, Presto from Concerto for viola in G Major
Yale Strom, Tish Nign (After an 18th-centruy source, from The Book of Klezmer by Yale Strom)
Traditional, Dulab Bayat
Handel/Traditional, Musette from Concerto grosso op. 6, no. 6 / Darij Bayat
Handel, Allegro from Concerto for violin in E Minor, op. 8, no. 5
Torelli, Allegro from Concerto for violin in E Minor, op. 8, no. 9
Telemann, Burlesque de Quixotte, Le galope de Rosinante / Celui d'âne de Sanche
Telemann, Burlesque de Quixotte, Son attaque des moulins à vent
Telemann, Conclusion from Musique de Table, Book III
J.S. Bach, Sinfonia after "Ehre sei dir, Gott," BWV 248
Mohammed Al-Qasabji, Zikrayati
Sheikh Abul Ela Mohamed / Lyrics by Ibn Alnabi, Afdihi in Hadidhal Hawa Ow Diya'a
J.S. Bach, Adagio after Aria "Wo zwei und drei versammlet sind," BWV 42
Traditional / Telemann, Tala'a Min Beyt Abouha / Ritornello from Concerto TWV 52:31

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“I absolutely loved Tales of Two Cities. The inventive combination of music and literary selections coupled with stunning images and historically informed narration was only transcended by the excellence of all the musicians involved.” -The WholeNote

Directed by: Jeanne Lamon
Conceived, programmed and scripted: Alison Mackay
Stage Director: Marshall Pynkoski
Production Designer: Glenn Davidson
Projections Designer: Raha Javanfar
Narrators: Alon Nashman & Maryem Tollar

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Violin: Jeanne Lamon, Patricia Ahern, Thomas Georgi, Geneviève Gilardeau,
Aisslinn Nosky, Christopher Verrette, Julia Wedman, Cristina Zacharias
Viola: Patrick G. Jordan, Stefano Marcocchi
Violoncello: Christina Mahler, Allen Whear
Double Bass: Alison Mackay
Oboe: John Abberger, Marco Cera
Bassoon: Dominic Teresi
Harpsichord: Charlotte Nediger

Trio Arabica
Voice & Qanun
: Maryem Tollar
Percussion: Naghmeh Farahmand
Oud: Demetri Patsalakis

Welcome to Tafelmusik Orchestra’s celebration of music and culture in the eighteenth century! The cities of Leipzig and Damascus both lay at the crossroads of ancient trading routes. They were both important centres of scholarship and the dissemination of ideas. And they were both famous for their coffee houses, where music was performed by the most brilliant musicians of the day. Our concert presents works by Bach, Telemann, and Handel, as well as treasures of classical Arabic music as they might have been enjoyed by coffee drinkers of the past. In our cross-cultural café, music, words, and images are used to explore the ways in which people separated by great distances are bound together by trade, ideas, and art. We are thrilled to have you join us there.

مرحباً بكم في احتفال أوركسترا تافلميوزك بالموسيقى والثقافة في القرن الثامن عشر!
تقع مدينتا لايبزيغ ودمشق على مفترق للطرق التجارية القديمة، وقد كانت كلتا المدينتين
تشكّلان مركزاً هامّاً  للعلم  ونشر الأفكار. واشتهرت المدينتان بمقاهيها، حيث كانت الموسيقى
تُعزف من قبل أكثر الموسيقيين براعةً في عصرهم. يتخلّل حفلنا الموسيقي هذا أعمال لكل من باخ، وتيليمان، وهاندل، بالإضافة إلى كنوز من الموسيقى الشرقيّة التي استمتع بها عُشّاق شرب القهوة في الماضي. في مقهانا المتعدّد الثّقافات، تستخدم الموسيقى، والكلمات، والصور لاستكشاف الطرق التي يلتقى من خلالها الناس الذين تفصلهم المساحات الشاسعة عن طريق التجارة، والأفكار، والفن.
نحن سعداء جدّاً بانضمامكم إلينا هناك.

Narration in English & Arabic, with Arabic subtitles.


Alison MackayAlison Mackay


Alison Mackay has played the violone and double bass with Tafelmusik since 1979. She has been active in the creation of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary projects for the orchestra, including The Four Seasons: A Cycle of the Sun, The Galileo Project, and House of Dreams, all of which have been made into feature documentary films. Her musical tale of adventure, The Quest for Arundo Donax,was awarded the 2006 JUNO Award for Children’s Recording of the Year. Under her leadership, Tafelmusik has sponsored two city-wide arts festivals: the 2005 Metamorphosis Festival was a presentation of music, art, dance, film, and theatre inspired by the stories in Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the 2008 Sacred Spaces, Sacred Circles Festival was a celebration of architecture and arts in the worship spaces of many cultures in the city of Toronto. She is the recipient of the 2013 Betty Webster Award for her contribution to orchestral life in Canada.


Jeanne LamonJeanne Lamon


Music Director of Tafelmusik from 1981 to 2014, Jeanne Lamon has been praised by critics in Europe and North America for her strong musical leadership. She has won numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from York University, Mount Saint Vincent University, and University of Toronto, and the prestigious Molson Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2000, Jeanne Lamon was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2014, a Member of the Order of Ontario. She is in demand as guest director of symphony orchestras in North America and abroad. She is passionate about teaching young professionals, which she does as Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. Jeanne Lamon now serves as Music Director Emerita of Tafelmusik.


Alon NashmanAlon Nashman


Alon Nashman is a performer, director, and creator of theatre. He is co-creator of Charlotte: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music (Luminato), Hirsch (Stratford Festival) and Kafka and Son (World Stage). Alon directed Alphonse (Theatre Direct), and The Snow Queen, (for string quartet and narrator, Banff Centre). Under the banner of THEATURTLE, Alon’s work has been seen in New York, London, Prague, Germany, South Africa’s National Arts Festival, Iceland’s National Theatre, Vancouver’s Chutzpah Festival, Winnipeg’s RMTC, Victoria’s UNO FEST, Ottawa Chamberfest, Taiwan’s World Stage Design Festival, and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Selected acting credits include Hamlet, Botticelli / Sodom, Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Dora Nomination), and THIS  at Canadian Stage; Much Ado About Nothing, and Scorched  at Tarragon Theatre; Hedda Gabler at Volcano / Buddies in Bad Times); and If Jesus Met Nanabush at De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre.


Maryem TollarMaryem Tollar


Maryem Tollar is a renowned Egyptian-Canadian vocalist, known for her world-music performances as well as original compositions. Her voice has been heard on the theme of CBC's Little Mosque on the Prairie and A.R. Rahman's Bollywood hit, Mayya Mayya. She was the featured vocalist in Christos Hatzis’ piece “Syn-Phonia” with Inuit throat singer Tiffany Ayalik and The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and collaborated with dancers Joanna DeSouza (Kathak) and Esmeralda Enrique (Flamenco) for Danceworks 40th anniversary show in Toronto. Maryem received Juno nominations in 2017 for Nazar with quartet Turkwazand in 2009 for Cairo to Toronto with Ernie Tollar, and received a Juno Award in 2014 with the group Odessa/Havana. She has performed in Christos Hatzis' Constantinople, Sepulcher of Life, and From the Song of Songs.


Naghmeh FarahmandNaghmeh Farahmand


Naghmeh Farahmand, the daughter of master percussionist Mahmoud Farahmand, has performed with many well-known ensembles in Iran and at festivals in Europe, Asia, and North America, and collaborating with Iranian TV for more than a decade. In 2010 she moved to Canada, releasing her solo percussion CD Unbound and collaborating with top performers of world music. She has vast experience teaching music and conducting workshops throughout the world. In 2016 she released her first instructional DVD on Persian rhythms, “The Iranian Daf" in international drumming language.



Demetri PetsalakisDemetri Petsalakis


Originally from Athens, Greece, Demetri Petsalakis is a Toronto-based musician performing in a variety of styles with a focus on Greek and Middle Eastern lutes. Influenced by the rich cultural diversity of Canada, Demetri incorporates musical elements from different traditions in order to create a contemporary sound that represents both his heritage and the community of which he is a part.  An active member of the Toronto world-music scene Demetri has recorded and performed with many groups including The New Canadian Global Music Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Ventanas, Near East, Nomadica, Zephyr, Turkuaz, Lenka Lichtenberg and Fray, Odessa Havana, and The Blue Dot. During his musical studies Demetri has been fortunate to learn from many great teachers including oud masters Basam Bishara, and Christos Tsiamoulis as well as master of the Cretan Lyra Astrinos Zaharioudakis and renowned jazz guitarist Lorne Lofsky.

Glenn DavidsonGlenn Davidson  

Glenn Davidson is the Production Designer for The Galileo Project, House of Dreams, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation, and Tales of Two Cities. He has also travelled the globe with the orchestra technical director of these multimedia programs. He has worked as a set and lighting designer in theatre for 40 years, with over 500 design credits. His work has been honoured with a Dora Mavor Moore award for set design, and another for lighting design. In 1993 he was the recipient of the Pauline McGibbon Award, and in 2008 he was awarded a Harold Award. His second love is photography, and many of his photos have been seen in Tafelmusik's productions.


Raha JavanfarRaha Javanfar


Raha Javanfar has been working with Tafelmusik as Projections Designer since 2009. She is thrilled to have travelled the globe with the orchestra with The Galileo Project, House of Dreams, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation, and is honoured to have returned for A Tale of Two Cities. Raha's other theatre credits include lighting design for Soulpepper Theatre, Ballet Jörgen Canada, and Theatre Passe Muraille, amongst others, and projection design for the Toronto Consort, Opera Atelier, and the National Ballet School of Canada. She was one of the 2012 recipients of the Siminovitch Protégé Prize. Raha is also a busy musician in the Toronto roots scene, with such bands as Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes, The Double Cuts, Zuze, and Voodoo Raha & Speedy Wax.


Marshall PynkoskiMarshall Pynkoski


Marshall Pynkoski founded Opera Atelier with his partner Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg 30 years ago and he has since directed a wide range of period productions of baroque and classical opera and ballet in close collaboration with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. Marshall has collaborated with many of the finest artists in the world of early music, and his productions of opera and ballet have toured throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, enjoying repeat invitations from major presenters including Houston Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Seoul Arts Centre, and the Royal Opera House at Versailles. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Toronto Arts Award, the Ruby Award for outstanding contribution to opera in Canada, and the TIME Magazine award for classical music. Marshall was made a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France. Marshall has directed at the Salzburg Festival; La Scala, Milan; and in August 2018 Marshall Pynkoski makes his directorial debut at the Rossini Festival in Italy.

Gordon HendersonGordon Henderson


90th Parallel Productions was founded by Gordon Henderson in 1987. The company produces high-end documentaries, which focus on history, science, the arts and social issues. 90th has won many national and international awards and takes pride in telling Canadian stories for an international audience. This is the fourth film 90th Parallel Productions has produced with Tafelmusik, following The Sing-Along Messiah, The Galileo Project and House of

Before starting 90th Parallel Productions, Gordon Henderson was a parliamentary correspondent with Global Television News and a current affairs producer at CBC and CTV. For more than a decade he taught in the Journalism Department at Ryerson University. Canadian history is a particular passion. He was senior series producer on the celebrated CBC/Radio-Canada series Canada: A People's History and is the author of the novel Man in the Shadows (HarperCollins) built around the assassination of D’Arcy McGee and the early days of Canada’s Confederation. He has a keen interest in music and has served on both Tafelmusik and Opera Atelier’s boards.


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