Monday, September 27, 2010

Cirque Éloize's iD at Sony Centre on October 1!


Finishing touches are being made as the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts prepares to unveil its thrilling new renovation as part of its 50th Anniversary Season celebrations on Friday, October 1st, 2010.

“It’s been an incredible undertaking”, said Dan Brambilla, CEO of The Sony Centre For The Performing Arts. “We’re eager to welcome Torontonians into the venue to see the exciting new technologies integrated with the magnificent architectural beauty of this historic building.”

From June 2008 to October 2010, more than 200 local trades people were employed to restore the elegance and grandeur of architect Peter Dickinson’s original O’Keefe Centre which opened on October 1st, 1960. Phase Two of the Centre’s three-part renovation begins in 2011 with the construction of the new permanent backstage facilities and the “L Tower”, a 57-story residential tower designed by Daniel Libeskind. Upon completion of the tower, the final phase of the renovations gets underway, encompassing the external cityscape design and a new public plaza.

Restoration highlights

The restoration of this designated historical site eliminated a number of architectural interventions added to the theatre over the past 50 years. The process was governed by a commitment to preserve and showcase the building’s landmark modernist designs and showcase the fine quality of materials - Carrera marble, cherry wood, limestone and bronze – that were hallmarks of the original facility. Many iconic features including the marquee canopy and R. York Wilson’s lobby mural “The Seven Lively Arts” have been preserved.

Throughout the lobby, the original Carrera marble that had been hidden was uncovered, glass panels were removed to reveal the original coved ceiling, and all 189 bronze doors were removed and refinished, as were the 1016 bronze handrail pickets. Inside the theatre, the original interior finishes, including 1700 cherry veneer wood panels and the 1500 rosewood slats spanning the acoustic back wall, were painstakingly restored by hand. All 3191 seats were replaced with custom designed ergonometric seats, complete with cup holders. The thirteen washrooms have been gutted and redesigned, with more ladies washrooms added on the second floor.

New at the Sony Centre

Sony of Canada Ltd., the naming sponsor of the Centre, will further enhance the theatre’s environment by providing state-of-the-art Sony entertainment solutions throughout the venue. In addition to the latest Sony Bravia® panels, visitors can expect to see cutting-edge multimedia technologies such as the new Sony Ziris Canvas, a high end feature application where high definition digital content stretches across wall-to-wall screens. Comprised of 21 screens, this video wall is the largest installation of its kind in North America. This Ziris Canvas will greet visitors as they enter the main foyer of the Sony Centre, and in the north-west corner of the renovated building, visitors can explore more Sony technologies in a new Sony retail store. Also in the main lobby, visitors can enjoy the latest 3D technology shown on a 3D wall, just steps away from the Sony Store.

The Sony Centre has partnered with Sodexo, a world leader in food services, to create an international culinary experience that reflects and compliments the diverse programming on stage. Prior to every show, Executive Chef Stephen M. Lee will prepare an affordable menu featuring signature foods from the particular country showcased, such as Russia, Japan, or China. Beginning October 7th, patrons will be able to enjoy specialty ABSOLUT cocktails at the new Balcony Bar beginning at 4 p.m.

The Walls of Fame featuring photographs of the thousands of artists who have performed at the Centre have been scanned and will be featured on screens located in the lower lobby. New and improved art gallery spaces have been created throughout the expansive lobbies.

Opening Night October 1st

The Sony Centre embarks on its 50th Anniversary season ready to play a central role in the cultural experience of Torontonians as a nexus of arts, culture and technology. The 50th Anniversary Season reflects the diversity and sophistication of 21st century Toronto audiences with programming featuring the international stars of dance, theatre, music and popular culture that resonate with today’s audiences. To celebrate its grand re-opening and to launch the 50th Anniversary Season, the Sony Centre co-commissioned Montreal’s renowned Cirque Éloize to create iD, a spectacular new production featuring acrobats, break dancers, contortionists and eye-popping video projections. Described as a mash of “West Side Story gone hip-hop circus”, iD will run for six performances only October 1 to 9, 2010. For tickets and more information visit .

Opera Atelier Celebrates 25 Extraordinary Years

Photo: Bruce Zinger / Juri Hiraoka and Thomas Macleay / Handel's Acis and Galatea / Photographed at The Soho Metropolitan Hotel
Opera Atelier celebrates its 25th
Anniversary Season with two new productions: one pays tribute to the company’s roots, the second points
to its ambitious plans for the future.
The season opens with OA’s first fully-staged production of Handel’s pastorale Acis and Galatea. Based
on Ovid’s tale of the water nymph Galatea and her doomed love for the Arcadian shepherd Acis, it is one
of Handel’s most popular creations. Tenor Thomas Macleay, who thrilled Toronto audiences with his
performance in last season’s Iphigénie en Tauride, will sing the title role of Acis partnered with Canadian
soprano Mireille Asselin, in her company debut as Galatea. They are joined by bass João Fernandes
who appears as the giant Polyphemus and tenor Lawrence Wiliford as the spirit Damon. Acis will also
feature Artists of Atelier Ballet, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir under the
baton of David Fallis.
This production is directed by Marshall Pynkoski and choreographed by Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg.
Both sets and costumes will be designed by Gerard Gauci – a first for OA! The production will be lit by
Kevin Fraser. Acis and Galatea runs October 30, November 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7, 2010 and is sung in
English with English SURTITLES (tm).
The spring production will be North America’s first period production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito.
In Mozart’s lifetime, La Clemenza di Tito was considered “his most perfect work”, enjoying enormous
success in Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Naples, St. Petersburg, Paris and London. Desperate intrigues,
unrequited love and heart stopping reversals of fortune punctuate this thrilling story taken directly from
Roman history. This is the fourth new Mozart production of Opera Atelier’s ambitious “Mozart Six” plan
which to date includes Idomeneo (2007), The Abduction from the Seraglio (2008) and The Marriage of
Figaro (which opens April 2010). Opera Atelier has re-assembled the most famous cast in the company’s
history for this exciting production. Full casting will be announced at a later date. La Clemenza di Tito
will be sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM and runs April 22, 23, 26, 27, 30, and May 1, 2011.
The creative team for La Clemenza di Tito includes director Marshall Pynkoski, choreographer
Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, designer Gerard Gauci, and lighting designer Bonnie Beecher. David
Fallis conducts the Tafelmusik Orchestra.
Performances for Opera Atelier’s 25th Anniversary Season will take place at the Elgin Theatre (189
Yonge Street) in Toronto. Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinee performances
begin at 3:00 p.m.
Subscriptions for Opera Atelier’s 2010/11 season start at $55 and are on sale now by calling 416-703-
3767 ext. 22.For more information visit