Event tickets go on sale April 16 for the
much-anticipated inaugural of Luminato, a festival of the arts in
Toronto June 1 through 10 that will showcase world premieres in
theater, classical and contemporary music, the visual arts, art,
architecture, design, film and literature.
More than 90
events are scheduled for Luminato, including free public activities
as well as ticketed shows that will feature the works of local,
regional and international artists, playwrights, performers and
The festival is
the newest and largest multigenre arts festival in North America,
according to Charis Heelan, a spokeswoman for Luminato.
launch of Luminato coincides with the opening of the Michael
Lee-Chin Crystal, the new Daniel Libeskind-designed, $182 million
wing of the Royal Ontario Museum. The launch will be marked by free
museum access during and after an evening ceremony celebrating the
occasion that will be highlighted by an outdoor concert.
government, Tourism Toronto and individual organizations have
invested heavily in Luminato," Heelan said, "seeing it as a legacy
event that will continue to attract and grow visitor numbers to
Toronto for many years to come. In fact, Luminato has already
confirmed many of its key acts for 2008 and 2009."
She added that
Luminato was expected to generate millions of dollars in additional
revenue for arts institutions, the historical Distillery District
(which will be linked by shuttle boats to the bustling Lake Ontario
Harbourfront Centre), hotels and restaurants.
impact should be significant, both during the festival and at other
times of the year," Heelan said.
Luminato and the
Michael Lee-Chin Crystal are two of the more obvious manifestations
of an ongoing cultural renaissance in Toronto, where more than $1
billion has been invested in recent years in the city's arts
infrastructure and the renovations of cultural facilities such as
the National Ballet Center, the Ontario Science Centre, the Royal
Conservatory of Music, the Canadian Opera Company and the Art
Gallery of Ontario.
Among the most
eagerly awaited events scheduled to have their debuts during the
inaugural Luminato is "Not the Messiah," an oratorio from the
creators of the Broadway hit "Spamalot," Eric Idle and John Du
Messiah," which will be performed at the recently renovated Roy
Thomson Hall June 1 to 4 by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and
guest soloists, has been archly described by Idle, a veteran of the
Monty Python comedy troupe, as "funnier than Handel, though not as
In addition to
"Not the Messiah," other world premieres scheduled during Luminato
include "Book of Longing," an original concert work by Philip
Glass, who was nominated last year for an Academy Award for his
score for the film "Notes on a Scandal." Glass, who will perform on
keyboards with a seven-piece instrumental ensemble, based "Book of
Longing" on Leonard Cohen's first collection of poems in more than
20 years. Performances are scheduled June 1 to 3 at the Elgin
Also slated for
its world debut here is "An Evening With Glenn Gould," a play with
music about the last night of the celebrated Canadian pianist's
life written by Toronto filmmaker John McGreevy.
To be presented
in tandem with a screening of McGreevy's documentary, "Glenn
Gould's Toronto," the play is booked into the Young Centre for the
Performing Arts June 3 to 10.
Danza Cuba, one
of Havana's most popular dance companies, will premiere "Vida!" at
the Royal Alexandra Theater throughout the run of Luminato. In
"Vida!" a woman revisits her life in Cuba from childhood to the
include the Muhtadi International Drumming Festival, a free outdoor
extravaganza in Queen's Park June 2 and 3 that will feature
drummers and drum groups from around the world; the Summer of Love,
which on June 2 will re-create in the upscale Yorkville district
the Toronto folk scene of 1967, when artists such as Joni Mitchell,
Gordon Lightfoot and Ian & Sylvia got their starts; and
Carnivalissima, a celebration capturing the carnival traditions of
the world and the city's many ethnic neighborhoods.
information on Luminato, go to www.luminato.ca.
To contact reporter Joe Rosen, send e-mail to [email protected].