Inaugural Season to Feature Symphonic, Pop, Opera, Jazz, Broadway, Country and World Music Concerts With Renowned Artists Including Plácido Domingo, James Taylor, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, The London Symphony Orchestra, ConductorsLorin Maazel and Marvin Hamlisch, and Classical Concerts Featuring Spoken Performances by Dame Helen Mirren,Jeremy Irons and James Earl Jones.
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TORONTO, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ – Beginning on June 4, 2011, with Plácido Domingo in concert, and with such renowned artists as James Taylor, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones and the London Symphony Orchestra to follow, the new BlackCreek Summer Music Festival will launch its inaugural season at the Rexall Centre on the grounds of York University in Toronto. The 2011 season spans 14 weeks, from June to September, and includes a wide array of programs by some of the most revered names in pop and jazz, along with rousing symphonic evenings, Broadway showstoppers, world music and iconic country artists, all performing “under the stars.”
“The Rexall Centre, with its ideal octagonal amphitheatre configuration, has been re-imagined as a brilliant new concert venue,” commented Kevin Albrecht, CEO of iSport Concerts Ltd. and the BlackCreek Limited Partnership, producers of the Festival. “It will offer excellent sightlines; state-of-the-art lighting, video, and sound design; and, most importantly, an intimate connection to the stage. The BlackCreek festival will provide a superior entertainment experience; one that is affordable, offers accessible programs from a wide-ranging menu and has been designed to appeal to music lovers of all generations and from all walks of life.”
The BlackCreek Summer Music Festival is intended to become an important cultural destination for the city of Toronto, southernOntario, and the Golden Horseshoe region. “The arts are a vital part of the everyday experience, and the outdoor summer music festival, in particular, is an essential highlight of the urban lifestyle in cities like Chicago with Ravinia, in Washington, D.C. with Wolf Trap, and in Los Angeles with the Hollywood Bowl,” stated Jeff Melanson, Cultural Advisor to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. “But despite its vast size, Toronto — with some 8 million people living in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area centered around the GTA— has not, until now, seized the opportunity to create a large scale, outdoor summer destination for audiences to see and hear an eclectic mix of the world’s leading musicians, singers and entertainers. BlackCreek changes that dynamic and at the highest level of artistry. This is a private sector initiative and an unparalleled opportunity for all of us. I for one cannot wait until opening night.”
BlackCreek’s artistic advisors and programming directors have been working for the better part of one year to create a stellar line-up for the inaugural season, and at the same time cultivate long-term relationships with artists and their managers for the years to come. The internationally esteemed conductor, Lorin Maazel has been signed to a three-year contract as Artistic Advisor, Classical Programming. Marvin Hamlisch–the multiple Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning composer and pops conductor– has been engaged to serve as BlackCreek’s Artistic Advisor for Broadway and Pops concert presentations.
Opening night on June 4 will offer a concert by revered tenor, Plácido Domingo — making his first Toronto appearance in over a decade — and special guest soprano, Sondra Radvanovsky, internationally-acclaimed star of the Metropolitan Opera, accompanied by the BlackCreek Festival Orchestra and the BlackCreek Festival Chorus under the direction of Robert Cooper. Tickets for the Plácido Domingo concert, which are expected to be in high demand, will go on sale on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 10:00 a.m., and can be purchased online at www.blackcreekfestival.com or by calling 1-888-860-7888.
An annual summer residency by Lorin Maazel, has been established that will bring the maestro’s Virginia-based Castleton Festival Orchestra to Toronto as part of its expanding international profile. The Castleton series of two concerts will include an evening of music inspired by Shakespeare, highlighted by Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream,featuring narration by Academy Award®-winners, Dame Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons.
BlackCreek will also host an exceptional series of three concerts by the illustrious London Symphony Orchestra, which has not performed a classical program in Toronto since 1980. The series of three concerts, all conducted by Lorin Maazel, will include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony featuring German bass René Pape in his Canadian debut, an evening of Russian composers and other favourites, and an all-American program featuring James Earl Jones narrating Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.
The BlackCreek Summer Music Festival will also offer performances by outstanding musical entertainers from the worlds of pop, jazz, country and beyond. June 25th will bring an intimate evening with the quintessential James Taylor and his legendary band. The great troubadour and singer/songwriter’s warm baritone is among the most recognized voices in popular music and his guitar playing has established its own standard.
On July 2nd Grammy-award winning vocalists and jazz legends, Diana Krall and Tony Bennett, will perform American popular standards in an evening that is sure to delight music fans of all ages. The two first toured together in August 2000; but this will be the first time these two artists have appeared together in Toronto.
For BlackCreek’s premiere season, Marvin Hamlisch will conduct The BlackCreek Festival Orchestra and Chorus in an evening of “The Very, Very Best of Broadway,” starring Tony Award-winners Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell, returning to Toronto for the first time since their Broadway triumph in Ragtime, together with Martin Short and other Broadway leading ladies and gentlemen to be announced shortly.
Additional artists and concert programming will be announced in the weeks to come.