6962101707_0297217950_z.jpgIt’s a story that’s been a long time in the making.

After years of preparation, Wednesday, October 28 sees the world premiere of David Warrack’s oratorio Abraham, at Metropolitan United Church. Tenor Richard Margison sings the title role.

The production of this oratorio is in many ways a group effort, and brings together artists and faith-based groups from across the GTA. Joining Margison and his five fellow principal vocalists (Ramona Carmelly, Meredith Hall, Hussein Janmohamed, George Krissa and Theresa Tova) are the Elmer Iseler Singers, the Jarrahi Sufi Choir with Whirling Dervishes, and the Bach Children’s Chorus. The production is a joint project of the Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI) GTA, Metropolitan United Church, Toronto Area Interfaith Council and Holy Blossom Temple. David Warrack himself, who is perhaps best known as one of Canada’s leading creative minds in the music theatre world, will be at the piano.

This coming together is key to Warrack’s compositional vision. “Abraham is at the base of three of the world’s great faiths,” Warrack says on the production’s website. “This oratorio is reminding us that we all come from the same place and we must find a way to share this world. We need to get past a lot of the things that have divided us.”

Warrack defines an oratorio as “an epic story”—and by tracing key moments of the Old Testament story and casting the founding father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in a unique and dramatic light, he hopes to present a message of cooperation and peace.

Proceeds from the premiere of Abraham will go towards the Syrian Refugee Program at Metropolitan United Church. For tickets and more information, check out or phone 416-809-6044.


Exclusive contests from The WholeNote

sultans-quintet-close.jpgIN THIS ISSUE: Chances to win free concert tix, and a lot of them. Tickets to hear shows featuring the Canadian Opera Company (in productions of La Traviata and Pyramus and Thisbe), the Talisker Players, Tafelmusik, Sultans of String and Renée Fleming are all up for grabs this week!

Follow the links below to enter. Feel free to enter as many as you like (or all five!):

Talisker Players: Renovated Rhymes, Tuesday October 27

Tafelmusik: Baroque Masters feat. Elisa Citterio, Friday November 6

*24 HOURS TO ENTER* Canadian Opera Company: La Traviata, Wednesday October 21 and Pyramus and Thisbe, Wednesday October 28

Sultans of String: ‘Subcontinental Drift’ CD Release + 4-CD box set, Friday October 30

Renée Fleming:  Renée Fleming at Roy Thomson Hall, Friday October 30


News of special initiatives from Tafelmusik and appearances by Tafelmusik folk abound this month. To start, Sunday, November 1 is a date you’ll want to bookmark—The Sound Post has organized a matinée salon concert, featuring none other than the lovely Jeanne Lamon (plus some of her very talented friends). The show is free, and although program details haven’t been released yet we’re willing to bet it will be a concert worth hearing. The space at The Sound Post is limited, so you’ll want to call ahead to reserve seats. Phone 416-971-6990 x244, and find all the details below in our HalfTones listings.

In other news, Tafelmusik has announced two exciting new projects of late. The first is the inaugural Tafelmusik Vocal Competition, an international contest for altos, tenors and baritones/basses under the age of 35. Applications close today, and we’re excited to follow the process as the orchestra selects its winners. The three prizewinners will appear as soloists in Zelenka’s Missa omnium sanctorum with the orchestra in April and May of 2016, and will be mentored by soprano soloist Dorothee Mields. They also each will receive $2000 in prize money. You can learn more about the competition online, at

Meanwhile, while we wait for Tafelmusik to announce the competition winners, there’s always “Taste of Tafelmusik” on October 28. The orchestra promises to get “up close and personal,” bringing baroque chamber music to the Gladstone Hotel on Queen West. The show will feature performances by Chris Verrette, Julia Wedman, Stefano Marcocchi, Christina Mahler and Charlotte Nediger, and food from the Gladstone kitchen, which will be paired with the music, is included in the ticket price.

Less than 50 tickets are left for this event, so if you’d like to get a taste of Tafelmusik it’s best to act quickly. Find all the important info on the Tafelmusik website, at


FEATURED LISTING: Book Launch for From Kitchen to Carnegie Hall: Ethel Stark and the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra

Published by Second Story Press, From Kitchen to Carnegie Hall tells the story of the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra, an all-women ensemble that became the first Canadian orchestra to perform at Carnegie Hall. The book launch, on Wednesday, October 28 at Another Story Bookshop (315 Roncesvalles Ave.), will include a reading, live music, food, a photography exhibit and a book signing with the author Maria Rachwal. Details on the event are available below in our HalfTones listings or at

Other new/corrected October concert listings added online since our last print issue are as follows:

New In the GTA Listings, October 17-November 1

Oct 17 7:30: In ConcertSongs of the Soul: The Music of Sri Chinmoy. Sahadeva Ensemble; Mandu & Visuddhi; Shamita's Strings; and others. St. Michael's College School, 1515 Bathurst St. 647-748-8513. Free.

Oct 17 7:30: Toronto Concert OrchestraAn Evening with Beethoven. Beethoven: Gratulations Minuet; Piano Concerto No.3 in c; Symphony No.8 in F. Younggun Kim, piano; Kerry Stratton, conductor. Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, 230 St. Clair Ave. W. 1-800-222-6608. $40; $25(sr/st).

Oct 18 2:30: ORMTA Central Toronto BranchORMTA 2015 Young Artist Concert: Johann Derecho, pianist. Works by Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Liszt. Canadian Music Centre, 20 St. Joseph St. 416-532-1539. $20; $12(adv). Discounts for ORMTA members. Supports music student scholarships.

Oct 20 7:30: Toronto Masque TheatreBen Jonson and the Masque. Atrium, 21 Shaftesbury Ave. 416-410-4561. $20; $15(under 30).

Oct 22 12:00 noon: Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of MusicMusic at Noon. Guy Few, trumpet/piano; Stephanie Mara, piano. Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, 75 University Ave., Waterloo. 519-884-1970 x4439. Free.

Oct 23 8:00: Sanderson Centre for the Performing ArtsClassic Albums Live. Supertramp: Crime of the Century. 88 Dalhousie St., Brantford. 519-758-8090 or 1-800-265-0710. $38; $20(uGO); $5(eyeGO).

Oct 24 7:00: Nisbet Lodge-McClintock Manor FoundationNorthern Lights Chorus. Calvary Church Toronto, 746 Pape Ave. 416-469-1105. $30; $45(concert & reception). Reception and Silent Auction 5:45. Doors open for concert at 6:15.

Oct 24 8:00: Guitar Society of TorontoCarlo Marchione. Works by Schumann, Mauro Giuliani, Ferdinand Rebay; and others. Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. 416-964-8298. $30; $25(sr/st).

Oct 24 8:00: Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of MusicWLU Symphony Orchestra. Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, 75 University Ave., Waterloo. 519-884-1970 x4439. $15; $7.

Oct 28 7:00: Second Story PressBook Launch: From Kitchen to Carnegie Hall: Ethel Stark and the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra. Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles, Ave. Free.

Oct 29 12:00 noon: Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of MusicMusic at Noon. Leslie Fagan, soprano; Lorin Shalanko, piano. Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, 75 University Ave., Waterloo. 519-884-1970 x4439. Free.

Oct 31 8:00: Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of MusicWLU Wind Orchestra. Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, 75 University Ave., Waterloo. 519-884-1970 x4439. $15; $7(sr/st).

Nov 1 2:00: The Sound PostJeanne Lamon and Friends. 93 Grenville St. 416-971-6990 x244. Free; please call to reserve.

New In the Clubs Listings, October 16-30

Oct 16 9pm. Sam Broverman & Bernie Senensky. PAL Celebrity Club, 110 The Esplanade. 416-886-5465. No cover. PWYC.

Oct 18 7pm. Monica Chapman, voice; Igor Babich, sax; Rebecca Hennessy, trumpet; Christopher Butcher-trombone; Nathan Hiltz, guitar; Bill King, piano; Dave Young, bass; Mark Kelso, drums. Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. 416-363-5299. $12.

Oct 24 3:30pm. The Mississauga Big Band Jazz Ensemble. “Back at The Rex”. The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar, 194 Queen St. W. 416-598-2475 or 905-270-4757

Oct 25 7pm. Judith Lander Celebrates “From My Life”. Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. 416-363-5299. $20

Oct 25 7:30pm. Sam Broverman, Mark Kieswetter, Jordan O'Connor, bass. Jester's Court, 279 Queen St., Port Perry. $15 cover.

Oct 26, 7:30pm. Cover One Another. Alex Pangman, Barbra Lica, Denielle Bassels, George Koller, Genevieve Marentette, Sam Broverman and Tyler Yarema. Musical direction by Eric St. Laurent. Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. 416-588-0307.

Oct 28 8pm. Toronto Blues Society’s Hump Day Series.  Andria Simone & Some of Those Guys. Dave Kirby, guitar; Mark Wilson, bass. Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. $10; $8(Toronto Blues Society Members).

Oct 28 9pm. Your Mess Album Release Concert. Melissa Lauren; Nathan Hiltz and Eric St-Laurent, guitars; Tyler Emond, bass; Sly Juhas, drums and percussion; and guests. The Burdock Music Hall, 1184 Bloor St. W. 416-546-4033. $12; $10(adv)

Oct 29 9pm. Sunnie Paxson, jazz pianist, keyboardist, composer and producer; Laura Robinson; Rich Brown, bass; Steve Heathcote, drums. The Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. 416-363-5299. $20. Also Oct 30.

CANCELLED: Oct 26 7pm A Tribute Evening Remembering Ray Jessel. Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. 416-886-5299.

CANCELLED: Oct 31 7pm Lea DeLaria. The Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave.


The next issue of HalfTones, Vol 3 No 3, will be out on Tuesday, November 17, 2015. The next print issue of our 2015/16 season, covering November 1-December 7, will be on the stands at the end of October.

Please contact with any HalfTones inquiries.

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