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Orpheus Choir of Toronto celebrates "Athalia" as final concert of 45th season

Location: Ontario, Canada
Choir type: Community Choirs
Voicing: Mixed

Toronto, ON - The Orpheus Choir of Toronto and Artistic Director Robert Cooper, C.M. (Order of Canada) are pleased to announce Athalia, the fourth concert of the choir's 45 th season, on Saturday May 8, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. at Eglinton St. George's United Church, 35 Lytton Blvd, Toronto. This season is also the 20 th anniversary of the creation of the John and Mary Sidgwick Scholarship Programme, and this season's Sidgwick Scholars will be the featured Soloists in the culminating performance of a most successful season.

The Sidgwick Scholars are young emerging artists, from the University Of Toronto, Faculty Of Music and the Royal Conservatory of Music Glenn Gould School, who are pursuing professional singing careers. The Sidgwick Scholarship Programme enables the Orpheus Choir to benefit from their fine vocal talent as section leads and soloists, while providing for the young singers valuable solo performance opportunities with Orpheus.

Athalia was Handel's first great English oratorio with a libretto by Samuel Humphreys, based on the play 'Athalie' by Racine. Athalia is the daughter of King Ahab and Jezebel. She takes over the throne of Judah after the prophet Jehu kills her son and mother, and orders the remaining children of the Jewish royal house to be put to death. One child, the boy Joas, is secretly kept safe by his aunt Josabeth. He is brought up in the temple at Jerusalem under the guardianship of the high priest Joad. When the boy is old enough to assume kingship, Athalia is overthrown, she and the followers of Baal are slain, and Joas is installed as the rightful king of Judah.

All this Handel captures in a series of majestic choruses and lyrical arias of thrilling theatricality. This is the second in the Orpheus Choir's cycle of rarely-heard Handel oratorios.

With orchestral support by the Talisker Players, this Toronto premiere performance features sopranos Laura Klassen as Athalia, Meghan Fleet as Josabeth, Cassandra Warner as Joas, mezzo-soprano Leigh-Anne Martin as Joad, tenors Michael Ciufo and Patrick Jang sharing the role of Mathan, the Chief Priest, and baritones Phil Kalmanovitch, Michael Robert-Broder and David Ross as Abner, the Commander-in-Chief. Biographical information on the Sidgwick Scholars appears on our website.

Don't miss this unique and stirring choral event!

Tickets are $30; $25 for seniors; $15 for students.

Order tickets online at or call 416-530-4428

For Media information: W. Ian Walker, Emlian Communications Group 905-813-9927 or

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