Paul Frehner, Lieke van der Voort & Chan Ka Nin Headline Soundstreams’ 40th Anniversary Season

By Chris Ruel

Toronto’s Soundstreams has announced its 40th anniversary season filled with music, dance, and film. The season will feature over 100 artists, both local and international.

“Our 40th anniversary is a time of reflection – where we came from really does matter – but first and foremost, it’s an opportunity to re-imagine possibilities in a post-pandemic world,” said Founder and Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney. “We will continue to build legacy for Canadian music past, present and future by creating new opportunities for an ever-greater diversity of artists. Our aim is to embrace new compositional voices as a crucial step towards building trust and engagement with an ever-broadening spectrum of communities in Toronto, in Canada, and internationally.”

For this article, only vocal performances are listed. Visit Soundstreams’ website for the complete lineup.

The season’s first main stage presentation will be Choral Splendour: Music Of Arvo Pärt & Paul Frehner. Estonian conductor Tõnu Kaljuste leads a performance of Pärt’s “Stabat Mater,” featuring the Soundstreams’ Choir 21, Ensemble Soundstreams, soprano Meghan Lindsay, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Cuddy, tenor Owen McCausland, and bass Alain Coulombe. Also on the program is the world premiere of a newly commissioned large-scale oratorio, “Lex,” by Canada’s Paul Frehner. “Lex” features religious, poetic, and even scientific text—including Newton’s three Laws of Motion.

Performance Date: Sept. 21, 2022

What’s a holiday season without Händel’s “Messiah?” Soundstreams will present for the second year in a row “Electric Messiah,” a reimagining of the oratorio integrating multiple musical genres to delight curious audiences. This latest iteration interpolates world premiere music by Canadian composer Lieke van der Voort. Titled “Body,” Van der Voort’s work shifts the focus of “Messiah” from the spiritual to the visceral. The program also includes new music composed and improvised by all the artists. Soloists include soprano Lindsay McIntyre and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Shepherd.

Performance Dates: Dec. 22-24, 2022

Soundstreams will present “Dragon’s Tale,” a new Canadian opera in partnership with Tapestry Opera features music Juno Award-winning composer Chan Ka Nin with a libretto by Mark Brownell. The opera relates the story of a Chinese-Canadian woman who time travels to discover the history and mythology of dragon boating. Performing will be Soundstreams’ Choir 21.

Performance Dates: June 15-18, 2023