Elora Festival Announces 41st Season Program and New Leadership July 10-26, 2020


Elora, ON – The Elora Festival’s Artistic Director Mark Vuorinen announces the 41st season program, offering patrons a broad range of musical experiences with world-class Canadian and international guest artists. The Festival takes place over three weekends from Friday, July 10 to Sunday, July 26 at the iconic Gambrel Barn, St. John’s Anglican Church and the Elora Centre for the Arts. Highlights include soprano Measha Brueggergosman, Canadian Brass, The Gesualdo Six, singer-songwriter Royal Wood, Canadian jazz singer and pianist Laila Biali, Scrap Arts Music, and Autorickshaw. A full description of the festival line-up follows below. 

Artistic Director Mark Vuorinen says: “I am excited to launch the next season of the Elora Festival. At its heart are experiences that will move our audiences with beauty. We celebrate Beethoven’s 250th along with the world in this year’s festival. We bring the world to Elora with performances by The Gesualdo Six, Canadian Brass, Measha Brueggergosman, and Royal Wood. We experience a world of sound with Autorickshaw and the high energy Scrap Arts Music ensemble. And at the centre of the Festival is our beloved choir-in-residence, The Elora Singers.”

The Elora Singers, one of Canada’s preeminent and versatile professional chamber choirs, will present several a cappella concerts and Evensong services at St. John’s Anglican Church during the festival, in addition to collaborating with many of the festival’s guest artists. The choir will once again present its ever-popular “Singers Unplugged 4.0” concert, and will offer the audience the opportunity to sing popular choral arrangements along with them at the “Sing-In” concert.

New to the festival this year is the inaugural Elora Singers Vocal Academy, which will take place from July 13 – 16. This program will be an opportunity for selected participants to work with The Elora Singers, and be coached by conductor Mark Vuorinen and celebrated vocal artists, tenor Lawrence Wiliford and baritone Brett Polegato, on a broad range of vocal repertoire and all aspects of ensemble singing, art song and oratorio. Academy participants will perform in a concert on Thursday, July 16 with The Elora Singers, both as soloists and as members of the ensemble. There will also be opportunities for our patrons to attend sessions for free. Check our website closer to the festival for details. For more information about the Vocal Academy and application instructions, contact [email protected] 

This season also signals a change in administrative leadership for the Elora Festival and The Elora Singers. The Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Laura Adlers to both organizations as Interim Executive Director. With over 25 years’ experience in the cultural sector in Canada, Ms. Adlers has worked primarily with performing artists and arts organizations in Canada and abroad. She is well-known in the cultural community for her leadership skills and, in particular, for her work with Canadian and international choirs. Her broad range of expertise includes program development, marketing and public relations, project management, fundraising, and stakeholder and community engagement.

From 2011 to 2014, Laura Adlers was the National Program and Community Relations Director for Business for the Arts’ flagship artsVestTM program, a corporate partnership training program which provides matching funds for successful community partnerships. In 2015, Ms. Adlers received a Master in International Arts Management through a joint program with the University of Montreal (HEC Montreal) and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. For the last three years, she has been working with the Department of Canadian Heritage and Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa on program development projects, in addition to producing ambitious creative projects with partners in the choral community under the umbrella of The Adlers Agency.

Last summer, Ms. Adlers brought the State Choir LATVIJA to the Elora Festival as part of the choir’s first tour to Canada. She has been working with the Elora Festival as Artistic Administrator since September 2019 and will join both organizations as Interim Executive Director on March 1st.

Elora Festival Board President Peter Barr says: “We are thrilled to have Laura join the executive team for both the Elora Festival and The Elora Singers. Her experience in arts administration and leadership will help realize the artistic vision of the two organizations. At the heart of Laura’s administrative work in the cultural sector are deep connections to the choral community in Canada and abroad, making her a great match for the Elora Singers and Festival.”

Tickets for the Elora Festival are on sale now! They may be purchased online at www.elorafestival.ca , by calling the box office at (519) 846-0331 or in person at the Elora Festival office: The Elora Centre for the Arts, 75 Melville Street, Elora, ON N0B 1S0.

For more information: 

The Elora Festival: www.elorafestival.ca Mark Vuorinen, Artistic Director: www.elorasingers.ca The Elora Singers: www.elorasingers.ca Laura Adlers, Interim Executive Director: www.lauraadlers.com 

Media Contact: Peter Barr, Board President: (519) 240-3241

The Elora Festival Program July 10-26, 2020 

Opening Night Gala: Beethoven Missa Solemnis Friday, July 10 – 7:30 pm, Gambrel Barn Mark Vuorinen, conductor The Elora Singers and chorus Leslie Fagan, soprano Krisztina Szabó, mezzo-soprano Lawrence Wiliford, tenor Brett Polegato, baritone Festival Orchestra In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the 41st Elora Festival opens with a performance of his choral masterwork. Please join us after the concert for a public reception. Price: $65 + 

Millan & Faye present: From Twinkle to Stardom Saturday, July 11 – 11:00 am, Elora Centre for the Arts Kyra Millan, soprano Christina Faye, piano From Twinkle to Stardom explores the challenges and fears that must be faced on the road to becoming a performing artist. Combining high-level artistry with meaningful storylines, this effervescent and irreverent performance uses humour to introduce young people to the wacky and wonderful world of opera. Audiences actively participate as the orchestra, the chorus and even as the heroes and antagonists in improvised opera scenes! Price: Adult $20 | Student or Child $10 | Family (2 Adult/2 Child) $50 

In Recital: COC Competition Winner Midori Marsh Saturday, July 11 – 1:00 pm, St. John’s Elora Midori Marsh, soprano Anna Ronai, piano The Canadian Opera Company’s prestigious competition is recognized as a springboard for propelling emerging vocal artists to international careers. Midori Marsh will present a programme of folk song settings by Beethoven, Barber’s Knoxville Summer of 1915, and additional repertoire from Haydn, Quilter and the golden age of musical theatre. This is a recital not to be missed! Price: Adult $25 | Student or Child $10 

Confluence Concerts presents – Celebrating Clara Schumann Saturday, July 11 – 4:00 pm St. John’s Elora Larry Beckwith, artistic producer Tom Allen, host Patricia O’Callaghan, soprano Alison Beckwith, actor Angela Park, piano Christopher Bagan, piano Ellie Sievers, violin Join host Tom Allen and the Confluence Concerts Artists in a celebration of the 19th century’s foremost female composer and pianist. The concert will feature reflections on various aspects of Clara Schumann’s life as well as diary entries and letters in her own words. Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

Autorickshaw, the Penderecki String Quartet and The Elora Singers Saturday, July 11 – 7:30 pm, Gambrel Barn East meets West in this fusion program of music led by the cutting-edge world music ensemble, Autorickshaw. The Elora Singers and Penderecki String Quartet join Autorickshaw for stunning reinterpretations of Indian folk songs, groove-driven Canadian pop, vintage Bollywood, and hypnotic south Asian traditional selections with a twist! Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

Confluence Concerts presents – At the River Sunday, July 12 – 1:00 pm, St. John’s Elora Larry Beckwith, violin, singer and artistic producer Suba Sankaran, singer Dylan Bell, piano, guitar and singer Bijan Sepanji, violin Giles Tomkins, singer Jacqueline Teh, singer Patricia O’Callaghan, singer Christopher Bagan, piano James Meade, reader members of The Elora Singers Mark Vuorinen, conductor The Confluence Concerts Artists and The Elora Singers present an evocative performance of readings and songs inspired by a rich and enduring image, featuring works by Matthew Barber, Aaron Copland, Emily Dickinson, Nick Drake, T.S. Eliot, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Franz Schubert, and others. Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

The Gesualdo Six presents – The Wishing Tree Sunday, July 12 – 4:30 pm, St. John’s Elora Comprising some of the UK’s finest young consort singers, The Gesualdo Six returns to The Elora Festival for what is sure to be another memorable performance. From the roots of choral singing to the flowering of a tradition, The Gesualdo Six presents consort works from Renaissance and modern-day composers. Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

Vocal Academy Showcase Concert with members of The Elora Singers Thursday, July 16 – 7:00 pm, St. John’s Elora The Elora Singers presents its inaugural Vocal Academy, led by tenor Lawrence Wiliford, baritone Brett Polegato and The Elora Singers’ Artistic Director Mark Vuorinen. Vocal students are coached in ensemble singing, art song and oratorio. Join us at the conclusion of the academy, when they will perform with The Elora Singers, both as members of the ensemble and as soloists. Note: Selected Vocal Academy sessions will be open to the public. Check our website for more information closer to the festival. Price: Adult $25 | Student or Child $10 

The Elora Singers at Twilight Thursday, July 16 – 9:00 pm, St. John’s Elora Last summer’s twilight concert was so popular that The Elora Singers decided to make it a tradition! Join us to hear the ethereal voices of The Elora Singers in a concert of tranquil music by candlelight, including several movements of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers. Price: Adult $30 | Student or Child $10 

An Evening with Royal Wood and The Elora Singers Friday, July 17 – 7:30 pm, Gambrel Barn Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Royal Wood has established himself as a true musical talent. Since being proclaimed “Songwriter of the Year” by iTunes, Royal has completed wildly successful and sold-out tours with legendary artists Bonnie Raitt and David Gray. The Elora Singers join Royal in a not-to-be-missed collaboration. Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

Birthday Wishes from Wolfgang to Ludwig Saturday, July 18 – 1:00 pm, St. John’s Elora James Mason, oboe Brian Seaton, oboe Peter Shackleton, clarinet Barbara Hankins, clarinet Ian Hopkin, bassoon Sebastien Malette, bassoon Martin Limoges, horn Katherine Robinson, horn Anna Ronai, piano

Beethoven heard Mozart perform once in his life. He wasn’t impressed, writing that he felt Mozart’s phrasing to be “too choppy.” However, like many composers of his time, Beethoven tried to imitate Mozart’s incredible gifts of composition. Some would argue, Beethoven surpassed those gifts! Our Beethoven 250th celebration continues with performances of chamber music for piano and winds by both composers. Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

The Elora Singers presents – Baltic Voices Saturday, July 18 – 4:00 pm, St. John’s Elora The three Baltic nations, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, have choral traditions that are central to their national identities and have produced some of the world’s most inspiring and beautiful music. The Elora Singers explores this rich repertoire with music by Arvo Pärt, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Ugis Praulinš, Imant Raminsh, Rytis Mazulis and others. Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

An Evening with Measha Brueggergosman and The Elora Singers Saturday, July 18 – 7:30 pm, Gambrel Barn Internationally-acclaimed Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman has graced the stages of such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House and the Barbican Centre. She returns to The Elora Festival this summer with a program of spirituals and cabaret that have inspired her throughout her life and career. She will be joined on stage by The Elora Singers. Price: Adult $45+ | Student or Child $10 

When I was One and Twenty: Life and Love in the Time of War Sunday, July 19 – 2:00 pm, St. John’s Elora Lawrence Wiliford, tenor Brett Polegato, baritone Steven Philcox, piano Pocket Concerts String Quartet Tenor Lawrence Wiliford and baritone Brett Polegato perform song settings of English war poets. The centrepiece of the program will be Ivor Gurney’s two outstanding works for voice and piano quintet – The Western Playland and Ludlow and Teme. Also included will be songs by Gerald Finzi, John Ireland, Derek Holman and James Moffett. Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

Canadian Brass with The Elora Singers Sunday, July 19 – 4:30 pm, Gambrel Barn Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Canadian Brass continues to thrill audiences around the world – and they don’t look like they’re letting up anytime soon! Join the wildly entertaining Canadian Brass as they come together with The Elora Singers. Two world-class ensembles on one stage! Price: Adult $45+ | Student or Child $10 

Singers Unplugged 4.0 Sunday, July 19 – 8:00 pm, Gambrel Barn Back by popular demand, The Elora Singers presents a brand new program of popular songs, including Broadway show tunes, folk songs, jazz and anything else they want to sing for their festival fans! Directed by The Elora Singers’ Michael Cressman, this is the fourth edition of this wildly popular concert. Don’t miss it! Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

The Elora Singers presents – Light Revealed Thursday, July 23 – 7:30 pm, Gambrel Barn Be prepared to be transfixed by The Elora Singers in a captivating, immersive concert experience. With music by Eric Whitacre, Carlo Gesualdo, James MacMillan, JS Bach, R. Murray Schafer and Ēriks Ešenvalds, the Elora Singers surround and envelop the audience in a stirring program of music and movement. Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

Children of Metropolis by Scrap Arts Music Friday, July 24 – 7:30 pm, Gambrel Barn With a sci-fi vibe that takes inspiration from Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic film, Metropolis, this is a fast-paced, all-acoustic percussion bonanza. These musicians don’t just play music, they perform action-choreography on Scrap Arts Music’s signature invented instruments with gymnastic agility and percussive drive. They bring their original score to heart-pounding life in a production that chronicles one musician’s whimsical quest for identity, reinvention and a sense of place in a world that’s been forever changed. Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

Scrap Arts Music Workshop Saturday, July 25 – 11:00 am, Gambrel Barn Following their performance on Friday night, Scrap Arts Music presents a workshop designed for kids of all ages, recommended from age 9 to 99! Participants are given an up close and personal, hands-on experience of what it takes to create instruments and music from scrap. Due to the nature of the workshop, space is limited to 30 people. Price: Adult $20| Student or Child $10| Family (2 Adult/2 Child) $50 

New Zealand String Quartet with Alexander Tselyakov, piano James Campbell, clarinet Saturday, July 25 – 1:00 pm, St. John’s Elora Presented in collaboration with the Festival of the Sound, this world-class ensemble will perform chamber music by Beethoven and Mozart, and “The Raven and the First Man” by Canadian composer Timothy Corlis. Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

Sing-In with The Elora Singers! Saturday, July 25 – 3:30 pm, Gambrel Barn The Elora Singers will present a concert of uplifting folk song arrangements and popular choral repertoire and will invite the audience to join them in singing a few songs. Here is your chance to lift your voice and sing along with The Elora Singers in a mass audience choral experience! Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

An Evening with Laila Biali Saturday, July 25 – 7:30 pm, Gambrel Barn While Laila Biali continues to earn high honours in the Jazz world, her unique genre-bending sound is what sets her apart as she “masterfully mixes jazz and pop, bringing virtuosity and unpredictability to songs that are concise and catchy.” (Washington Post) The multi award- winning singer songwriter and pianist performs at the Elora Festival for the first time in a program featuring selections from her new album. Price: Adult $45 | Student or Child $10 

Poetry and Song with The Elora Singers, Festival Strings and Benedict Campbell, actor Sunday, July 26 – 2:00 pm & 4:30 pm, St. John’s Elora Our festival concludes with two performances of words and music with renown Canadian actor Benedict Campbell and The Elora Singers. Jake Runestad’s gorgeous cycle, The Hope of Loving and Tarik O’Regan’s The Ecstasies Above are married to text by Poe, Shakespeare, and Rossetti. Vaughan Williams’ Three Shakespeare Songs, and Hubert Parry’s Songs of Farewell complete the program. Price: Adult $45 per show | Student or Child $10 per show 


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