LSM Newswire

Friday, August 22, 2008

Italian Orchestra makes Toronto Debut November 3




On the occasion of the 13th edition of Italian Wine Tasting, the Orchestra Internazionale dItalia - Italys flagship ensemble will perform at Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto, as part of its Canadian debut tour, Monday, November 3 at 8 p.m. Canadian maestro Kerry Stratton will conduct the Orchestra in a concert called Gala Italia featuring operatic arias and orchestral masterworks mainly celebrating the 150th anniversary of the great Italian opera composer, Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924).

Tickets, $35; $25 seniors and students; and $20 group rate, are available through the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office, 416-872-4255, or via For more information, call 416-362-1422 or visit

The event is presented under the auspices of the Consulate-General of Italy, International Touring Productions and the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists.

Joining Maestro Stratton and the Orchestra for the tour are renowned opera singers from Italy (TBA). Award-winning Italian classical guitarist and recording artist Claudio Marcotulli also makes his Canadian debut, in the famed work for guitar and orchestra, Fantasia para un gentilhombre (Fantasy for a Gentleman) by Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo.

Among the musical highlights are Capriccio Sinfonico by Puccini and favorite arias from his operas. As well, the tour features the premieres of two new works by Italian composers, commissioned by Rai Trade, a branch of Italian Radio and Television network Carlo Boccadoros Fasi Lunari and Gianluca Podios Di Fedro il gioco nascosto.

This is the fourth tour in the International Visiting Orchestra Series, designed to bring world ensembles to the Canadian public.

With Maestro Stratton directing, the Canadian debut tour of the Orchestra Internazionale dItalia comprises performances in eight Ontario locations and a concluding concert in Montreal on November 10. Besides the November 3 Toronto concert, the Ontario dates are Port Hope (November 2), Welland (November 4), Orillia (November 5), Markham (November 6), Milton (November 7), Barrie (November 8), and Richmond Hill (November 9).


Founded in 1986, the Orchestra Internazionale dItalia grew out of the international orchestra of Jeunesses Musicales. It has gone on to perform throughout Europe, in Central and South America and in Asia, in festivals and concert halls, giving more than 900 symphonic concerts and performing for important opera festival productions. Many of the worlds greatest conductors and soloists have appeared as guests. In 1997, it received the European Prize for Culture as Symphonic Orchestra. Home base is the ancient and beautiful city of Fermo near the Adriatic Sea in central Italys Marche region. Since 2003, it has been resident orchestra of the Ventidio Basso Theatre in Ascoli Piceno.

The Orchestra comes to Canada direct from Italy, where it is giving a number of concerts under Maestro Stratton, performances that include Ascoli Piceno, October 24; Pesaro, October 25; and Fermo, October 26.


Italian guitarist Claudio Marcotulli, soloist for the Canadian tour, is considered one of the most distinguished guitarists of his generation, both for the quality of his performances and his intriguing choice of repertoire. He won the 1984 Concours Ren Bartoli in France and first prize in Spains F. Tarrega Competition. Marcotulli has enjoyed worldwide tours and recorded CDs of operatic melodies and Vivaldi concertos on the pera Tres label. Among his performances with the Orchestra Internazionale dItalia were several involving the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti.



Canadian conductor Kerry Stratton is in the midst of another busy season, making guest appearances with two European orchestras, giving performances with three Canadian orchestras, and adding more honors to his resume.

HONOURS & CONCERTS IN HUNTSVILLE This July, the Huntsville Festival of the Arts paid tribute to arts contributors, including Kerry Stratton, who was given a statuette and called leader and music director of the Huntsville Festival Orchestra and an ambassador for the festival throughout the province. The event included Mozarts Letters, in which he conducted the Festival Orchestra in music by Mozart, and read selected personal letters written by the great composer.

Saturday, August 9, Maestro Stratton returns to the Huntsville Festival in a summer pops program that includes works by Offenbach, Gershwin, Leroy Anderson, Morton Gould, Richard Rodgers, Tchaikovsky, Andrew Lloyd Webber and John Philip Sousa. The concert is sold out.

CZECH REPUBLIC This July, Maestro Stratton made a return visit to the Czech Republic to conduct the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. They gave a pair of concerts in mid-July at the Cesky Krumlov Festival, performing works by Mozart, Benda and Vivaldi. This was Maestro Strattons return engagement with the orchestra, which he conducted in Europe as well as leading the full-sized Czech Philharmonic and subsequently toured in Canada last fall. The tour followed his receipt in the spring of 2007, of the Gratias Agit Award from the Czech Republic for his significant contribution to promoting the countrys musical culture.

ITALY This October, Maestro Stratton makes his Italian debut, leading the countrys flagship ensemble, lOrchestra Internazionale dItalia. He will rehearse the orchestra and conduct it in concerts in the cities of Fermo, Ascoli Picena and Pesaro (October 24, 25, 26) in the Marche Region an area considered the jewel of Italys Adriatic coastline, and described by the New York Times as the new Tuscany.

LORCHESTRA INTERNAZIONALE DITALIA IN CANADA November 2-10, Maestro Stratton accompanies the Orchestra to Canada for its Canadian debut tour. Performances will take place in eight Ontario cities, including Toronto, November 3, and conclude in Montreal on November 10. Other tour dates include: November 2, Port Hope; November 4, Welland; November 5, Orillia; November 6, Markham; November 7, Milton; November 8, Barrie; November 9, Richmond Hill; November 10, Montreal.

Among the musical highlights are Puccinis Capriccio Sinfonico, Preludio Sinfonico and arias, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the beloved operatic composers birth; and Rodrigos famous Concierto de Aranjuez, with celebrated Italian guitarist Claudio Marcotulli as soloist. As well, the tour features the premieres of two new works by Italian composers, commissioned by Rai Trade, a branch of Italian Radio and Television network Carlo Boccadoros Fasi Lunari and Gianluca Podios Di Fedro il gioco nascosto.

MORE CZECH MUSIC OPENS TORONTO PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRAS 21ST SEASON Thursday, September 18, Maestro Stratton begins his 21st season as Music Director with the Toronto Philharmonia Orchestra. The program celebrates the 40th anniversary of Prague Spring with Smetanas iconic Ma Vlast (My Homeland).

Other highlights of the 2008-09 Philharmonia season include Beethovens Ninth Symphony, November 13, with Eve Rachel McLeod, soprano; Vicki St. Pierre, mezzo-soprano; Min Jin, tenor; and Nicolae Raiciu, baritone.

DELICIOUS FAVORITES WITH THE GRAND SALON ORCHESTRA Kerry Stratton leads his Grand Salon Orchestra in three programs that remember the elegance of the early decades of the 1900s:

Sunday, September 28 in Brockville: Puttin On the Ritz, featuring the music of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and the Gershwin brothers, among others.

Saturday, October 4 at the Markham Theatre: Tea at the Savoy, including works by Albert W. Ketelbey, Noel Coward and Eric Coates, among others.

Friday, October 17 in Perth: Puttin On the Ritz.

In addition, Kerry Stratton has his own regular program, Conductors Choice, Sundays, 3-9 p.m. on Classical 96.3 FM. He is currently completing a weekday guest host stint, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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