Inaugural Season to Feature Symphonic, Pop, Opera, Jazz, Broadway, Country and World Music Concerts With Renowned Artists Including Plácido Domingo, James Taylor, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, The London Symphony Orchestra, Conductors Lorin Maazel and Marvin Hamlisch, and Classical Concerts Featuring Spoken Performances by Dame Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons and James Earl Jones.
February 23, 2011 @ 10:00AM
Toronto, ON – Beginning on June 4, 2011, with Plácido Domingo in concert, and with such renowned artists as James Taylor, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones and the London Symphony Orchestra to follow, the new BlackCreek Summer Music Festival will launch its inaugural season at the Rexall Centre on the grounds of York University in Toronto. The 2011 season spans 14 weeks, from June to September, and includes a wide array of programs by some of the most revered names in pop and jazz, along with rousing symphonic evenings, Broadway showstoppers, world music and iconic country artists, all performing “under the stars.”
“The Rexall Centre, with its ideal octagonal amphitheatre configuration, has been re-imagined as a brilliant new concert venue,” commented Kevin Albrecht, CEO of iSport Concerts Ltd. and the BlackCreek Limited Partnership, producers of the Festival. “It will offer excellent sightlines; state-of-the-art lighting, video, and sound design; and, most importantly, an intimate connection to the stage. The BlackCreek festival will provide a superior entertainment experience; one that is affordable offers accessible programs from a wide-ranging menu and has been designed to appeal to music lovers of all generations and from all walks of life.”
The BlackCreek Summer Music Festival is intended to become an important cultural destination for the city of Toronto, southern Ontario, and the Golden Horseshoe region. “The arts are a vital part of the everyday experience, and the outdoor summer music festival, in particular, is an essential highlight of the urban lifestyle in cities like Chicago with Ravinia, in Washington, D.C. with Wolf Trap, and in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl,” stated Jeff Melanson, Cultural Advisor to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. “But despite its vast size, Toronto — with some 8 million people living in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area centered around the GTA— has not, until now, seized the opportunity to create a large scale, outdoor summer destination for audiences to see and hear an eclectic mix of the world’s leading musicians, singers and entertainers. BlackCreek changes that dynamic and at the highest level of artistry. This is a private sector initiative and an unparalleled opportunity for all of us. I for one cannot wait until opening night.”
BlackCreek’s artistic advisors and programming directors have been working for the better part of one year to create a stellar line-up for the inaugural season, and at the same time cultivate long-term relationships with artists and their managers for the years to come. The internationally esteemed conductor, Lorin Maazel has been signed to a three-year contract as Artistic Advisor, Classical Programming. Marvin Hamlisch–the multiple Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning composer and pops conductor– has been engaged to serve as BlackCreek’s Artistic Advisor for Broadway and Pops concert presentations.
Opening night on June 4 will offer a concert by revered tenor, Plácido Domingo — making his first Toronto appearance in over a decade — and special guest soprano, Sondra Radvanovsky, internationally-acclaimed star of the Metropolitan Opera, accompanied by the BlackCreek Festival Orchestra and the BlackCreek Festival Chorus under the direction of Robert Cooper. Tickets for the Plácido Domingo concert, which are expected to be in high demand, will go on sale on Saturday, March 5, 2011, at 10:00 a.m., and can be purchased online at http://www.blackcreekfestival.com or by calling 1-888-860-7888.
An annual summer residency by Lorin Maazel has been established that will bring the maestro’s Virginia-based Castleton Festival Orchestra to Toronto as part of its expanding international profile. The Castleton series of two concerts will include an evening of music inspired by Shakespeare, highlighted by Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring narration by Academy Award®-winners, Dame Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons.
BlackCreek will also host an exceptional series of three concerts by the illustrious London Symphony Orchestra, which has not performed a classical program in Toronto since 1980. The series of three concerts, all conducted by Lorin Maazel, will include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony featuring German bass René Pape in his Canadian debut, an evening of Russian composers and other favourites, and an all-American program featuring James Earl Jones narrating Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.
The BlackCreek Summer Music Festival will also offer performances by outstanding musical entertainers from the worlds of pop, jazz, country and beyond. June 25th will bring an intimate evening with the quintessential James Taylor and his legendary band. The great troubadour and singer/songwriter’s warm baritone is among the most recognized voices in popular music and his guitar playing has established its own standard.
On July 2nd Grammy-award winning vocalists and jazz legends, Diana Krall and Tony Bennett will perform American popular standards in an evening that is sure to delight music fans of all ages. The two first toured together in August 2000, but this will be the first time these two artists have appeared together in Toronto.
For BlackCreek’s premiere season, Marvin Hamlisch will conduct The BlackCreek Festival Orchestra and Chorus in an evening of “The Very, Very Best of Broadway,” starring Tony Award-winners Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell, returning to Toronto for the first time since their Broadway triumph in Ragtime, together with Martin Short and other Broadway leading ladies and gentlemen to be announced shortly.
Additional artists and concert programming will be announced in the weeks to come.
ABOUT THE VENUE
Situated on the campus of York University, adjacent to the Black Creek Conservation Area, the Rexall Centre was built in 2004 as the main tennis venue of the Canada Masters tournament and is also the home of the Toronto offices of Tennis Canada and the Ontario Tennis Association. “The Rexall Centre is excited to host Toronto’s next great entertainment attraction, the BlackCreek Summer Music Festival,” said Michael S. Downey, President, and CEO of Tennis Canada. “We can’t wait to demonstrate the versatility of our facility in staging world-class concerts. With rental proceeds benefitting our mission to grow tennis in Canada, tennis players around the country should also be very pleased that another form of live entertainment is coming to our tennis centre.”
For the BlackCreek Summer Music Festival concerts, the amphitheatre will seat between 11,000 and 14,000 spectators — including 41 private luxury boxes — depending upon seat and stage configuration for the individual performances. The open-view stage has been designed by celebrated architect and acoustician, Mark Fisher, who has designed all of the last decades’ Rolling Stones and U2 concert tours, as well as projects for Cirque du Soleil and the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
The venue will be highly congenial to symphony orchestras, while state-of-the-art lighting (for both the stage itself, as well as ambient lighting of the venue), along with up to six jumbo video monitors and sound reinforcement by top acousticians, will ensure that audiences can savour the music being performed from any seat.
NEW “OUTBOX” TICKETING SERVICE
and ON SALE INFORMATION FOR PLÁCIDO DOMINGO TICKETS
The BlackCreek Summer Music Festival is pleased to feature a web-based computerized ticket purchasing system provided by Outbox Technology whereby tickets are sold by the venue directly. Ticket purchasers simply click on an artist profile on the BlackCreek website and they are immediately directed to an easy to use ticketing page that allows them to select tickets based on an interactive seating chart showing available locations and price levels.
Outbox Technology’s intuitive, innovative and ground-breaking platform manages and processes multi-language and multi-currency world-wide ticket sales for Cirque du Soleil, as well the Montreal Canadiens, the Bell Centre in Montreal, and the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. Outbox recently entered into a partnership with AEG Entertainment, one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment presenters in the world, to provide the ticketing software for over 100 arenas and venues worldwide beginning in June 2011.
Fredric Rosen, Outbox’s co-CEO and the former builder and CEO of Ticketmaster, commented that “I am excited about launching our ticketing service in Toronto with the BlackCreek Festival. Our system will provide patrons with secure, reliable and easy access to all of the great concerts that have been assembled for the inaugural season, as well as for those in the years to follow.” He added that “with Outbox, the transaction resides with the venue; and the venue is the destination and the brand. It’s the best customer service experience that can be offered and we look forward to forging a long-term relationship with the client.”
Tickets for the Placido Domingo concert will go on sale on Saturday, March 5, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.blackcreekfestival.com or by calling 1-888-860-7888. The BlackCreek Summer Music Festival Box Office at the Rexall Centre will open for single-ticket sales on Saturday, May 7, 2011, with box office hours from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Groups of 14 or more may receive discounts on single-ticket prices for select concerts. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general information, or to sign up for the BlackCreek Summer Music Festival alerts, please visit our website at http://www.blackcreekfestival.com.
Programs, dates, and artists subject to change.