It’s here, it’s here! Just yesterday, we announced the 2012-2013 Season and admittedly, the Buzz is very excited. Where to begin? We’ve really and truly got something for everyone. In the big Halls, you will have the chance to see legends like Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Mariza, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Jamie Oliver is coming back to Toronto and this time pays a visit to Massey Hall in celebration of his new book Jamie’s Great Britain: Over 130 Reasons to Love Our Food (and ticket purchasers get a copy of the book on the night of the show). Gilberto Gil, The Tenors (formerly the Canadian Tenors), and Pink Martini performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra all make appearances this year and Classic Albums Live returns with three performances featuring albums by The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and Pink Floyd.
As you may already know, the National Geographic Live series is back with four great events (each for two nights) and the Canadian Voices vocal recitals series returns to Glenn Gould Studio with the impeccable young talents of Phillip Addis, David Pomeroy, Wallis Giunta, and Allyson McHardy. Jazz @ Massey Hall returns as well with performances from Grammy award winner Esperanza Spalding as well as Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, Molly Johnson and Friends, as well as a return engagement with Michael Kaeshammer, this time with special guest Kellylee Evans. Subscription and single tickets are available for each of these special evenings of entertainment.
For my part, I’m particularly excited about the Massey Hall debut of Ira Glass, host and creator of brilliant radio show This American Life, as well as The Barra MacNeils in their very special event, An East Coast Christmas, which will feature some friends from down east: Alan Doyle (of Great Big Sea), Jimmy Rankin, David Myles, and Meaghan Smith.
Around here, we’ve all been eagerly anticipating the announcement of our new addition, Canadian Songbook at the Rivoli; our new residency at the storied Queen West institution featuring a curated collection of artists who we think are really great and quite possibly on the brink of world-wide domination. Performances announced so far will feature Del Barber, Jeremy Fisher, Belle Starr, Mo Kenney, and Tanika Charles. There’s plenty of other gems in the world of Canadian Songbook including a double bill of Jenn Grant and Cuff the Duke at the Winter Garden Theatre, and the Massey Hall debut of Whitehorse (who we saw sell out both Glenn Gould Studio and the Winter Garden Theatre last Season.
Tickets are available first to our FriendsFirst members starting tomorrow. If you’re not a FriendsFirst member yet, you should consider it – you get advance notification of our shows and first buying privileges for all of our events including those announced this week. You can read all about Membership here. Tickets are available to the general public next Monday, August 20 at 10 AM.
All in all, it’s exciting times at the Halls as we gear up for the year ahead. If you haven’t already, please check out the trailer for the Season here which will give you the full flavour (in less than 2 minutes) for all the good stuff to which you can look forward in the months ahead.
Steve Earle and the Dukes (Tonight – Tuesday): Just because we’ve been busy launching the 2012-2013 Season, doesn’t mean that there can’t be good concert fun had right now. Steve Earle and the Dukes take to the Massey Hall stage tonight in what promises to be a very special celebration of Earle’s 14th Studio Album, I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive. Earle was recently featured in an interview with the Huffington Post where he gave this sage advice to artists just starting out: “I think you have to wake up in the morning and remember that you’ve committed to doing something that not everybody gets to do. If you get to make any sort of living doing a kind of art, then you are very fortunate.” Special guests, The Mastersons open the night – you can check out what they’re about including the video for their tune “One Word More” on their site, here.
Stefania Paterak is Programming Coordinator at Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall