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April 2011 - Nr. 4
Happy Easter - Frohe Ostern

Lawrence Wiliford, tenor / Shannon Mercer and Teri Dunn, soprano / Peter McGillivray and Alexander Dobson, baritones / Larry Beckwith, conductor/violinist / Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, director/dancer / Caroline Guilbault , production designer / GabrielCropley, lighting designer

Thursday, May 5 & Friday, May 6 at 8 PM / Pre-concert chats at 7:15 PM / Enwave Theatre, 231 Queen’s Quay West / Tickets: $40 / $35 / $20 / 416 973 4000 /

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The Toronto Masque Theatre (TMT) presents its final production of the season, “Masques of Orpheus”, which features two deeply affecting versions of the story synonymous with opera itself: Orpheus’ journey to the underworld, where he uses his music and poetry to convince Pluto to restore his beloved Eurydice to life. The productions’s repertoire consists of La Descente d'Orphee aux Enfers by Charpentier, and Orpheus and Eurydice by James Rolfe and Andre Alexis, originally commissioned for Toronto Masque Theatre in 2003.

“This program is one of the most important and deeply moving projects we've ever done,” explains Larry Beckwith, TMT’s founder and conductor. “By taking a little-known, but timeless piece of 17th-century French music theatre about Orpheus, and commissioning a new Canadian work to go beside it, TMT served notice as to what it’s all about. I love Charpentier's music; it is touching, simple, sophisticated and elegant. I also love James Rolfe's music. He has taken the profound nature of Andre Alexis' text and created something quite haunting. His use of the old instruments, especially the recorders, is nothing short of brilliant, and his final chorus is so sublime. It sums up the whole program brilliantly.”

Lauded for his luminous projection, lyrical sensitivity, and brilliant coloratura, American-born Canadian tenor Lawrence Wiliford is in high demand in concert, opera, and recital repertoire ranging from works by Monteverdi to contemporary composers. Mr. Wiliford has collaborated with conductors such as Richard Bradshaw, Jane Glover, Bernard Labadie, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Trevor Pinnock, Helmuth Rilling, and Pinchas Zukerman. He is recognized for his interpretation of Bach and other Baroque composers. His opera credits include Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, Britten’s A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Turn of the Screw, Rameau’s Pygmalion and Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. Mr. Wiliford champions English and North American art song, leading to engagements across North America and at the Aldeburgh Festival in England. He has recorded on the ATMA Classique & NAXOS labels.

Her voice has been described as luminous and her acting witty and feisty — Shannon Mercer is an artist of uncommon musical artistry whose artform embraces repertoire ranging from early to contemporary music. Her award-winning discography includes her new release, Salsa Baroque, O Viva Rosa by Francesca Caccini, the 2009 JUNO Award-winning Gloria!: Vivaldi’s Angels, Bach and the Liturgical Year, Wales ~ The Land of Song, Mondonville, English Fancy, (Analekta) and Marin Marais’s Sémélé (Glossa). She also starred in the comic opera Burnt Toast and Monty Python funny-man Eric Idle’s Not the Messiah, both now available on DVD. She also sings the role of Blais Grenier for Mulroney: The Opera, premiering in movie theatres on April 16, 2011. Highlights of her 10-11 season include a tour in Canada of Ana Sokolovic's Love Songs, a one-woman virtuosic tour-de-force opera produced by The Queen of Puddings Music Theatre which met with enthusiastic response at the 2010 Holland Festival, Bach’s St. John Passion with the Arion Baroque Orchestra (to be recorded by ATMA), as well as the same work with the Portland Baroque Orchestra on their tour to Seattle.

Toronto Masque Theatre’s 2010-2011 Season is generously sponsored by the Julie-Jiggs Foundation, Roger D. Moore and Brian D. Freeland. Toronto Masque Theatre is supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.

Toronto Masque Theatre’s 2011/2012 season (pretty much) confirmed!

Tickets available in the summer.

Nov. 11-13, 2011, EnWave Theatre
CRAZY TO KILL by John Beckwith and James Reaney.
Kimberly Barber, Doug MacNaughton and Shannon Mercer, directed by David Ferry,
guest musical direction by Greg Oh.

Feb. 2-4, 2012, Enoch Turner Schoolhouse
Patricia O'Callaghan, Ken Whiteley, Terry McKenna, GIles Tomkins, Teri Dunn, Vicki St. Pierre, Martin Julien and many others! Featuring Omar Daniel's "Neruda Canciones", written especially for TMT in 2006.

May 11-13, 2012, Hart House Theatre
A series of short 17th-century works celebrating the power of women.
More fabulous repertoire and cast TBA, directed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière.

Harbourfront Centre, theatre, arts, entertainment, theatre plays, performing arts, opera, operetta, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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