Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestre & Chamber Choir
Directed by Ivars Taurins
with guest soloists
Amanda Forsythe, soprano, & Thomas Hobbs, tenor

Tafelmusik’s 45th-anniversary season culminates with A Handel Celebration, a salute to one of the greatest musical dramatists of all time. Guest soloists Amanda Forsythe, soprano, and Thomas Hobbs, tenor, join the choir and orchestra directed by Ivars Taurins.
A Handel Celebration takes place on May 31 & June 1 at 8 PM, and June 2 at 3 PM at Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. Tickets are available at the Koerner Hall box office, rcmusic.com/tickets.

A true humanist, Handel responded to the beauty and chaos of the world around him, creating music that explores the full spectrum of our emotional experience—from the purest joy to the most poignant sorrow. 

Ivars Taurins has chosen some of his favourite arias, duets, and choruses from Handel’s oratorios, including Solomon, Hercules, Semele, and Judas Maccabeus. Together they weave a gorgeous tapestry that wraps up Tafelmusik’s milestone season.

“Handel’s genius as a composer of opera and of large-scale sacred choral works shines out from every page of the scores of his oratorios, musical dramas, and odes,” says Taurins. “His uncanny sense of dramatic pacing, and his ability to convey human emotions and psychological struggles in music, gleaned through years of writing for the opera theatre, are evident everywhere. The magnificent choruses reflect Handel’s talent for writing music for grand occasions with bold brushstrokes. He is able at one moment to deal with a panoply of monumental events — battles, feasts, plagues, ceremonies — and in the next to draw us into the most intimate workings of the heart and mind.”

A Handel Celebration will be recorded live for future release on the Tafelmusik Media label.


A Handel Celebration
May 31 & June 1 at 8 PM, and June 2 at 3 PM
Directed by Ivars Taurins
with guest soloists Amanda Forsythe, soprano, & Thomas Hobbs, tenorTickets start at $48.00 and are available at the Koerner Hall box office, rcmusic.com/tickets.

Website: tafelmusik.org
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Tafelmusik gratefully acknowledges the support of BMO, Presenting Sponsor of the 2023/24 concert season. We are also grateful to our government partners Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Thank you to the Azrieli Foundation for their generous support of Passions Revealed US Tour.


Recognized internationally as a leading interpreter of baroque repertoire, Amanda Forsythe has performed with the Handel and Haydn Society, Music of the Baroque, Philharmonia Baroque, Tafelmusik, Apollo’s Fire, Boston Baroque, and Boston Early Music Festival, with whom she recorded Eurydice in Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers, winning the GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording.   

She is a regular soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic, and has also performed with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, and Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Opera engagements have included major roles in the houses of Geneva, Munich, Philadelphia, Rome, Seattle, Berlin (Komische Oper), and the Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro. She has worked with conductors Laurence Cummings, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nicholas Kraemer, Nicholas McGegan, Andris Nelsons, Sir Antonio Pappano, Martin Pearlman, and Christophe Rousset. 


British tenor Thomas Hobbs is in high demand with many leading early music ensembles. Recent highlights include numerous performances of Bach cantatas with Gli Angeli Geneva, and appearances with Le Banquet Céleste, Alia Mens, Netherlands Bach Society, Montreal Bach Festival, Bach Collegium Japan, Israel Camerata, Les Arts Florissants, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Dunedin Consort, Collegium Vocale Ghent, and Tafelmusik, among others. Opera roles include Telemachus in The Return of Ulysses for English National Opera, Apollo and Shepherd in Monteverdi’s Orfeo with the Academy of Ancient Music, the title role in Albert Herring, and Ferrando in Così fan tutte. Thomas’ ever-expanding discography includes several recordings of Bach with Collegium Vocale Ghent and with Dunedin Consort, Mozart Requiem and Handel Acis & Galatea and Esther with Dunedin Consort, and Beethoven Mass in C Major with Stuttgart Kammerchor, and Handel Chandos Anthems with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. 


Every now and then a group of musicians comes along and changes the way we think about music. For over four decades, Tafelmusik has been synonymous worldwide with dynamic, engaging, and soulful performances informed by scholarship, passion, and artistic excellence. Performed on instruments and in styles appropriate to the era, 17th- to 19th-century instrumental and choral music share the stage with exciting multimedia programs, bold new commissions, and intriguing cross-cultural collaborations. From a vibrant home season in Toronto, to international tours, award-winning recordings, and inspiring education programs, Tafelmusik is a musical powerhouse with a reputation for thrilling and delighting audiences.

Media contact:
Luisa Trisi, Big Picture Communications
luisa@luisatrisi.com | 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1X7