Feature

Luminato pays tribute to Cockburn, releases music events for 2010

Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, is back for another year, and is slowly revealing its regular plethora of goodies to the public via a series of press conferences and news releases. One such event took place on Tuesday, March 9, and featured announcements around Luminato’s music lineup. The centrepiece is a concert on June 11 at Massey Hall featuring an all-star tribute to Bruce Cockburn, and in particular, an acknowledgement of his eponymous first album, released in 1970. Bruce will perform with the likes of Margo Timmins, Colin Linden, Michael Occhipinti, Michel Rivard and many others. He talks about his adjustment to fame in those early years.

Interview clips with Global Divas Alejandra Ribera and Katenen ‘Cheka’ Dioubate as well as Derek Andrews and the full press release follow .. 

Alejandra Ribera continues her quick rise in music notoriety by performing in Global Divas on June 19 at Queen’s Park. She’ll be joined by a number of other great international singers including Toronto’s Katenen ‘Cheka’ Dioubate, who originally hails from Guinea, West Africa. They talk about what audiences can expect in their respective sets.

Alejandra Ribera’s previous appearance in these pages proved to be quite popular, includes performance clips.

Derek Andrews is behind four wonderful African-themed concerts at Luminato in 2010, and talks in particular about multiple Grammy winner, Béla Fleck.

Here is the full press release describing the music events at Luminato in 2010.

LUMINATO’S 2010 MUSIC LINEUP FEATURES BRUCE COCKBURN, BÉLA FLECK, BASSEKOU KOUYATE, AND JOHN MALKOVICH

TORONTO (March 9, 2010) – Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, is pleased to announce its music programming for 2010. This year’s program features Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn, world music legends Béla Fleck and Bassekou Kouyate, and award-winning actor John Malkovich in a performance with the Vienna Academy Orchestra. The music program supports the 2010 Festival’s celebration of the Diva, East/West, and works that express human and artistic rights. Luminato takes place June 11-20, 2010. Tickets go on sale April 15.

Two-time Oscar nominee John Malkovich makes his Luminato debut starring in the true story of celebrated Austrian author and notorious murderer Jack Unterweger in The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer. The piece features a series of monologues paired with operatic arias performed by two soprano soloists accompanied by the Vienna Academy Orchestra.

Perennial favourite The Canadian Songbook returns this year paying tribute to the 40-year catalogue of Bruce Cockburn, one of Canada’s greatest guitarists and singer-songwriters. Cockburn will share the stage with friends and fellow musicians in this one-night-only performance at Massey Hall. In addition to the previously announced North American premiere of Prima Donna, Rufus Wainwright will also perform a solo concert featuring work from his new album All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu on stage at the Elgin Theatre. The oratorio Dark Star Requiem, co-commissioned by Luminato and Tapestry, tells the history of the HIV-AIDS pandemic in North America and Africa, while a free open-air concert at Queen’s Park on Luminato’s opening weekend features Grammy award-winner Béla Fleck and Mali’s Bassekou Kouyate.

“We’re very excited about this year’s lineup of artists,” says Luminato’s Artistic Director Chris Lorway. “The mix of Canadian legends, African superstars, and an award-winning actor working with one of the world’s great orchestras will make this our most exciting music program to date.”

“We’re proud to present our first full-scale commissioned opera as well as free concerts with an incredible variety of local and global musicians,” says Luminato’s CEO Janice Price. “Luminato’s musical events will fill Toronto’s concert halls and public spaces with opera, pop, and global music.”

Complete 2010 Luminato music programs:

The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer – North American Premiere

Sentenced to life imprisonment in 1976 for murdering a teenage girl, Austria’s Jack Unterweger reinvented himself as a literary celebrity with his acclaimed autobiography, Purgatory. Hailed by his country’s intellectual elite as a triumph of rehabilitation, Unterweger was paroled in 1990 – only to claim the lives of eleven more women on two continents. Baroque and Classical arias performed by sopranos Laura Aikin and Aleksandra Zamojska accompanied by the Vienna Academy Orchestra accentuate eight monologues exploring Unterweger’s life. Part theatre, part

opera, part concert, this North American premiere affords a glimpse into the heart of human

darkness. Written and directed by Michael Sturminger, The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer is produced with Musikkonzept, Vienna, in association with Ronacher Theatre, Vienna and presented by TELUS. Major media partners for this production are CTV and The Globe and Mail.

Friday, June 11 – Saturday, June 12, 8 PM at Massey Hall

$55 – 125

The Canadian Songbook

Luminato pays tribute to the music of Canadian guitar-legend Bruce Cockburn as The Canadian Songbook returns for its third year at Massey Hall. Cockburn is joined by other renowned Canadian musicians who perform classics from Cockburn’s extensive 40-year musical catalogue. Artists confirmed to date include Canadian rock sensation Hawksley Workman, Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies, Toronto-based jazz guitarist Michael Occhipinti, Quebec’s Michel Rivard, and Juno Award-winning guitarist Colin Linden. The Canadian Songbook is produced in association with Massey Hall and presented by National Bank Financial Group.

Wednesday, June 16, 7:30 PM at Massey Hall

$55 – 85

Prima Donna – North American Premiere

Composed by acclaimed singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, Prima Donna makes its North American debut at Luminato. Set in Paris, 1970, Prima Donna tells the story of Régine Saint Laurent, an aging opera singer attempting to regain her status as one of the world’s greatest sopranos. An avid opera aficionado, Wainwright is a Canadian-American citizen who spent his formative years in Montreal. The Prima Donna cast includes Charlotte Ellett, Toronto’s Colin Ainsworth and Gregory Dahl, and celebrated British soprano Janis Kelly in the title role. Prima Donna is helmed by award-winning opera director Tim Albery, and conducted by Robert Houssart with set and costume design by Antony McDonald. Prima Donna was commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Sadler’s Wells, Luminato, and Melbourne International Arts Festival in French with English SURTITLES™. Presented by The Weather Network.

Monday, June 14, Wednesday June 16, Friday June 18, Saturday June 19, 7:30 PM at the Elgin Theatre

$50 – 200

Rufus Wainwright – All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu

Rufus Wainwright begins his All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu North American tour with a solo concert at Luminato. Wainwright’s new album expresses his personal lyrical and music style through piano and voice. He has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation, carving out his particular sound in the worlds of rock, opera, theatre, dance, and film. The All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu concert will feature songs from Wainwright’s new album as well as selections from his previous recordings.

Tuesday, June 15, 7:30 PM at the Elgin Theatre

$45 – 65

Dark Star Requiem – World Premiere

Luminato presents Dark Star Requiem a dramatic oratorio on the history of HIV-AIDS in North America and Africa. In this marriage of content and form, poet Jill Battson and composer Andrew Staniland trace the twenty-five-year history of AIDS from its origins to the present day. This evocative, poetic concert work interlaces such topics as ecology, myth, politics, and family. While this text includes fragments from the Latin Mass for the Dead, the overall perspective is humanistic rather than religious. Dark Star Requiem is commissioned by Luminato, co-produced with Tapestry New Opera Works, and features four outstanding soloists and two percussionists together with two of Canada’s most lauded ensembles, the Elmer Iseler Singers and the Gryphon Trio.

Friday, June 11 – Saturday, June 12, 8 PM at Koerner Hall

$30 – 50

Global Music: Rock The Casbah & An African Prom

Luminato explores intersections between Eastern and Western musical traditions with a free all-day musical event featuring artists from around the globe. Rock The Casbah features acclaimed musicians Lo’Jo and emerging Montreal banjo maestro Karim Saada. Toronto’s Maryem Tollar Ensemble also brings their world music fusion to the stage. Rock The Casbah culminates with a set by Algerian-born rocker Rachid Taha, whose energetic musical style infuses his North African roots with the spirit of punk. As day turns to night, An African Prom presents the Toronto debut of Nigeria’s Tony Allen, one of the founding fathers of Afrobeat, plus the onstage reunion of two musical collaborators from different continents: American banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck and Mali’s Bassekou Kouyate. Major media partners for this production are CTV and The Globe and Mail.

Saturday, June 12, 1 – 11 PM in Queen’s Park

FREE

National Bank Festival: Global Divas and Global Blues

Luminato presents a free outdoor concert that celebrates the Festival’s East/West and Diva themes with the National Bank Festival: Global Divas and Global Blues. Global Divas features four female vocalists from a variety of backgrounds including Canada’s Alejandra Ribera, whose music combines her Argentinean roots, classical training, and early interest in cabaret-style jazz. Rupa and the April Fishes use English, Spanish and French to create their global sound. Cape Verde native Carmen Souza draws on her Creole origins to create a soul jazz sound while Toronto’s Katenen ‘Cheka’ Dioubate celebrates the modern African woman’s perspective through song.

Heading the bill for Global Blues is Salif Keita, a direct descendant of the founder of the Malian Empire who has been hailed as “the Golden Voice of Africa.” Keita is a world-music star known for blending traditional griot music and other West African styles with influences from Islam and the West. Direct from Havana, Mezcla is an afro-Cuban jazz and blues fusion group led by Pablo Menendez, a Havana-raised American guitarist. New York-based Razia Said performs traditional Malagasy music backed by Juno Award winner Madagascar Slim on guitar. National Bank Festival: Global Divas and Global Blues is presented by National Bank Financial Group.

Saturday, June 19, 1 – 11 PM in Queen’s Park

FREE

Orchester Wiener Akademie

The celebrated Vienna Academy Orchestra performs symphonies by Vienna’s beloved Classical composers Schubert, Haydn, and Mozart conducted by Martin Haselböck. The Vienna Academy Orchestra is frequently heard in the great concert halls of Europe, Japan, and North America, and is the ensemble in resident at Vienna’s prestigious Musikverein concert hall. This acclaimed period-instrument ensemble is also featured in The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer.

Saturday, June 12, 2 PM at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre

$40

TSO Goes Late Night: Beethoven Symphony 9

Stay up late with Beethoven as Luminato, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Roy Thomson Hall present TSO Goes Late Night: Beethoven Symphony 9. Experience the TSO’s first ever late night concert and stay after the concert for an audience-wide party with TSO musicians, guest artists, and live music. TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian conducts the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s monumental 9th Symphony featuring a full cast of soloists and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. TSO Goes Late Night: Beethoven Symphony 9 is produced in association with Roy Thomson Hall and the TSO.

Saturday, June 19, 11 PM at Roy Thomson Hall

$20 – 69

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