Assorted news and signal boosts

genderneutralHere’s the news that’s arrived in my inbox this week.

Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts announced that from 2019 the DORA awards will be gender neutral.  In categories where there has traditionally been “Best Performance by a Male” and “Best Performance by a Female” there will now be a single “Best Performance” award.

The Toronto Consort announced David Fallis’ last concert as Artistic Director.  It’s Monteverdi’s Orfeo in concert at Trinity St. Paul’s on May 25th, 26th and 27th (matinée).  The line up includes Charles Daniels in the title role, joined by Kevin Skelton as Apollo, Laura Pudwell as Messagiera, Jeanne Lamon on first violin, and Montreal’s cornetto and sackbut ensemble La Rose des Vents.

On Saturday 2nd June, Spectrum Music and Toronto Composers Collective present the world premiere of No Place Like Home, featuring an all-female musical trio; Patty Chanon the Erhu (Chinese Fiddle), Di Zhang on the Yangqin (Chinese Dulcimer), and Zimen Qinon the Gu Zheng (Chinese Harp) playing seven pieces that tell stories of home, identity and roots. Spectrum composers, using traditional Chinese instruments, have created distinctly Canadian repertoire that reflects individual stories of origin. It’s playing at 8pm at the Alliance Francaise Theatre.

The Continuum/ECM+ show Hockey Noir has dropped the May 11th matinée.  There are now two performances on the evenings of May 10th and 11th.

Following the recently announced death Of André Bourbeau, Zarin Mehta has been announced as President of the Judges for the CMIM Voice Edition.  Richard Rodzinski joins Edith Bers, Ben Heppner, Soile Isokoski, Warren Jones, François Le Roux, Dame Felicity Lott, Joseph Rouleau, and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa on the judging panel.

The headliners for Tapestry’s Songbook VIII (May 10th to 12th) has been announced.  Natalya Gennadi heads the line up of singers with Topher Mokrzewski at the fancy piano and Michael Mori MCing.

The weekend of May 11th to 13th sees the 3rd annual Toronto Bach Festival.  The line up is as follows:

  • Friday, May 11 at 8:00 pm Two Brandenburg with Love; a program of concerti and orchestral suites at  St. Barnabas-on-the-Danforth, 361 Danforth Avenue
  • Saturday, May 12 at 11:00 am Michael Marissen (Swathmore College) gives a free lecture Bach And Schűtz As Musical Religious Thinkers at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, 1372 King Street West
  • Saturday, May 12, at 2:00 pm there’s Bach’s Inspiration featuring Rachel Mahon on organ in a program of Bach and Buxtehude. also at Holy Family
  • Sunday, May 13, at 3:00 pm there’s  Cantatas and a Passion at St. Barnabas-on-the-Danforth.  Two Bach cantatas and Schütz’ St. John Passion will be sung by Ellen McAteer, Simon Honeyman, Nils Brown and Joel Alison directed by John Abberger

More details at

Also that weekend Toronto Masque Theatre have their last ever show.  It’s called The Last Chaconne and features an array of TMT favourites.  It’s at the Jane Mallett Theatre on the 12th at 8pm.

Finally, a signal boost.  It’s a request from Dr. Iain Phillips which I’m happy to pass on:

On what would have been his 66th birthday, a website was launched on 4thApril to celebrate the extraordinary visionary talent of the late stage designer Johan Engels. An ongoing project, the website aims to record and present a comprehensive overview of Engels’ body of work around the globe and provide a source for research and inspiration to future generations of theatre practitioners.

 One of the most remarkable stage designers of his generation, Engels’ design was hugely influential in productions ranging from the Royal Shakespeare Company, Vienna State Opera, Opéra de Marseille, National Theatre of Norway, Bregenzer Festspiele, and innumerable Broadway shows. He was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Costume Design in 1994, recognised for his imaginative work in Tamburlaine The Great, which starred Antony Sher; for The Boys in the Photograph, he was awarded the Naledi Theatre Award for Best Set Design in 2010.

 Anybody with any material that might be of interest (photographs, costumes drawings, clippings, personal reminiscences – anything at all!) and who would be happy to contribute to the further development of the website: please contact the developer of the website, Iain C. Phillips via

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