Orchestra Toronto partners with Essential Opera to present Gianni Schicchi


An Operatic Partnership

January 23, 2018

Season banner: A Night at the Opera. Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, in partnership with Essential Opera

Orchestra Toronto today announced that it will partner with Essential Opera to present a concert performance of Gianni Schicchi, to be presented April 22, 2018.

Orchestra Toronto is Toronto’s oldest and best-loved community orchestra, comprising 80 community musicians under the baton of Maestro Kevin Mallon.

Essential Opera brings together talented singers to perform operatic works at their most essential: great singing, great works, and nothing extra.


On April 22, 2018, as part of its five-concert season, Orchestra Toronto will partner with Essential Opera to present “A Night at the Opera,”: Orchestra Toronto’s first-ever performance of a full-length opera, Gianni Schicchi, in concert.

“This performance represents an exciting step into new Classical repertoire for this Orchestra” said Orchestra Toronto’s Music Director Kevin Mallon, “I am delighted to be presenting it with the crack singers of Essential Opera. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do together.”

Essential Opera is thrilled to join Orchestra Toronto in this terrific venue to present Puccini's hilarious classic. Its stunning music takes our breath away! Our production features soprano Maureen Batt as Lauretta, singing the famous aria "O mio babbino caro," and baritone JP Décosse in the title role of Gianni Schicchi. The cast also includes returning EO favourites Erin Bardua and Beth Hagerman, sopranos, and mezzo-soprano Catharin Carew.

A Night at the Opera, April 22
Comic hi-jinks and operatic intrigue in our first-ever opera in concert.
Concert performance of Gianni Schicchi (Puccini)

The performance will take place at 3:00 p.m. (pre-concert chat starting at 2:15) in the George Weston Recital Hall of the Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street, Toronto. Visit www.orchestratoronto.ca for directions and programming updates.

Tickets: $45 adults, $39 seniors, and $19 patrons up to 29. Three-concert subscriptions are available at a discount by calling 416-733-0545.  Single Tickets are available in person at the Toronto Centre for the Arts box office or through Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-2787  www.ticketmaster.ca

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the TD Bank Group, the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Foundation, Long & McQuade Music and Civic Theatres Toronto.



Welcome to Maestro Michael Newnham: Guest Conductor

Introducing Guest Conductor Michael Newnham
Conductor Michael Newnham
Michael Newnham will join Orchestra Toronto to conduct our March 4 light classics concert, America the Beautiful (and all rehearsals leading up to the performance).

Maestro Newnham is best known for his intense and inspiring conducting style, based on a deep knowledge of the score and informed by a strong interest in languages, cultures and history. A born communicator, his open and direct contact with musicians and audiences creates performances full of expression and energy.
Music Director of Symphony New Brunswick, Camerata NB and the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, Newnham has been instrumental in bringing these ensembles to new artistic heights and raising their profile on the provincial and national level.
Along with his appearances in his native Canada, Newnham has also appeared at the helm of many orchestras and opera companies throughout Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Italy and South Korea.
Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Newnham studied at Indiana University School of Music, Chopin Academy of Music (Warsaw) and U of T. Before taking up the baton, he began his musical career as a trombonist, playing with the Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies, as well as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
A resident of Peterborough, Ontario, Newnham lives with his wife, cellist Zuzanna, two daughters,  and four cats. He is an accomplished home barista (not for the cats, though).

OT is excited to welcome Maestro Newnham to the podium to conduct our symphonic tribute to the American Dream. 

2017-18: A Symphonic Tour with Orchestra Toronto


Orchestra Toronto, Canada’s largest and most admired community orchestra, today announced details of our exciting 2017-18 season. This season’s concert series developed by Maestro Kevin Mallon, features a symphonic tour of Germany, Scandinavia and the United States, as well as our first-ever opera in concert, and a world premiere of Canadian composer Michael Maxwell’s “Fanfare for Canada.”

It is a season you won’t want to miss, with Beethoven’s monumental Fifth Symphony and Copland’s soaring Fanfare for the Common Man, as well as an intense and thrilling viola concerto, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and much more.


  • World premiere of Fanfare for Canada by Toronto composer Michael Maxwell (October 22)
  • Walton’s Concerto for Viola, featuring violist Lynn Sue-A-Quan, winner of the 2017 Marta Hidy Concerto Competition (December 10)
  • Orchestra Toronto’s first Night at the Opera concert performance of Giacomo Puccini’s beloved comic opera Gianni Schicchi (April 22)
  • Celebrated flutist Laura Chambers in Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto (June 10)

Season’s performances:

Deutsch Musik, October 22
Celebrating Germany’s influence on symphonic music.
Violin Concerto in E-Minor (Mendelssohn) with soloist Corey Gemmell
Symphony No. 5, “Fate” (Beethoven)
Also World Premiere of Fanfare for Canada (Maxwell)

Holiday Music Magic, December 10
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, featuring storyteller Trevor Rines
Seasonal singalong of Chanukah and Christmas classics
Concerto for Viola (Walton), featuring 2017 Marta Hidy Concerto Competition winner Lynn Sue-A-Quan
Fun for the family with Long & McQuade Instrument Petting Zoo

America the Beautiful, March 4
Guest conductor: Michael Newnham
Fanfare for the Common Man
Appalachian Spring (Copland)
Rhapsody in Blue (Gershwin), featuring [PIANIST?] Philip Thomson
Silver screen selections from Danny Elfman
Caribbean Medley (Badelt)

A Night at the Opera, April 22
Concert performance of Gianni Schicchi (Puccini)

Skøl Scandinavia, June 10
A musical journey to the dark forests, steep fjords and long sunlit summer days of Scandinavia, with music from Finland, Norway, and Denmark.
Flute Concerto (Nielsen), featuring flutist Laura Chambers

All performances take place at 3:00 p.m. in the George Weston Recital Hall of the Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street, Toronto. Visit www.orchestratoronto.ca for directions and programming updates.

Tickets: $43 adults, $37 seniors, and $15 patrons up to 29. Five and three-concert subscriptions are available at a discount by calling 416-733-0545.  Single Tickets are available starting September 2nd in person at the Toronto Centre for the Arts box office or through Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-2787  www.ticketmaster.ca

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the TD Bank Group, the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Foundation, Long & McQuade Music and Civic Theatres Toronto.



For more information or to arrange interviews with Maestro Mallon, please contact:

Jennie Worden, Executive Director

June 22, 2017 - Please Join Us for a Beer-Tasting Fund-raiser

Please join us on June 22, 2017, to celebrate the end of our 2016-17 concert season with a fund-raising beer tasting event, graciously hosted by Labatt Brewery.

Labatt's Beer Sommeliers will select a flight of beers from the brewery's offerings. These will be presented with  accompanying gourmet food pairings by Sublime Catering.

Event Details:

Date and time: June 22, 2017   |   6:30-9:30 p.m.
Venue: Labatt's Brewery Pub      |    207 Queen's Quay West

Individual ticket : $75.00
Couples ticket: $135.00
"Six-pack": $390.00
Group of ten:  $625.00

Ticket Type

March 2017 - Marta Hidy Prize Low Strings Winner

We are proud to announce that the 2017 Orchestra Toronto Marta Hidy Concerto Competition Prize has been awarded to violist Lynn Sue-A-Quan. In 2011, Orchestra Toronto established The Orchestra Toronto Concerto Competition in memory of Marta Hidy, one of Canada’s foremost violinists.

The competition is an annual event for Canadian virtuosos aged 23 and younger that focuses on a different instrument every year. It offers a scholarship of $1,000 and an opportunity to perform as a soloist with Orchestra Toronto at its popular December youth-oriented concert at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. The 2011 prize was for violin, the 2012 prize for cello, the 2013 prize for piano, the 2014 prize for brass, the 2015 prize for woodwind, and the 2016 prize was for percussion.

2017 Marty Hidy Prize Low Strings Winner press release

March 2017 - Orchestra Toronto Welcomes New Executive Director

TORONTO, ON – March 17, 2017 Orchestra Toronto is delighted to announce our next Executive Director, Jennie Worden. Ms Worden was selected from a wide field of very qualified candidates and will formally take over at the end of this season after a transition period with outgoing Executive Director Samantha Little.

Community music enthusiast, singer, and sometime-flutist Jennie Worden knows first-hand the joy of making excellent Classical music as part of a community of devoted and talented musicians. She grew up singing in the Toronto Children's Chorus, attending rehearsals and performing excellent classical music under the batons of Jean Ashworth Bartle, Sir Andrew Davis, Dr. Elmer Iseler; performing Mahler’s 8th Symphony a dozen times before she graduated from high school. She worked her way through university as a church-choir soloist, and was an enthusiastic flutist and recorder player in a variety of chamber ensembles. A degree in Classics from Queen’s University, in Kingston, led to a first career in publishing, where she honed her organizational skills and her love of communication, while continuing to perform in choirs and wind ensembles in her spare time. More recently, she brought her background in communication and her passion for music to the role of Marketing and Development Coordinator for the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, where she continues to sing. A zealous community builder, capable arts administrator, and effective organizer, Jennie is delighted to be bringing her flair for music and arts to the role of Executive Director for Orchestra Toronto.

Orchestra Toronto New Executive Director Press Release

January 2017 - A fond farewell to Samantha Little, Executive Director

Orchestra Toronto is sad to announce that our Executive Director, Samantha Little is leaving us. Samantha has been presented with an opportunity that will allow her to further develop her professional skills and interests in the arts community.

Under her administrative stewardship, Orchestra Toronto has re-asserted itself as ‘the crown jewel’ of Canadian community orchestras – driven by passion and excellence.

“Samantha has been a key driving force behind the success we’ve enjoyed at Orchestra Toronto over the past number of years. We will miss her energy and insights and wish her all the best in her new adventure, ”says Orchestra Toronto’s Board Chair, Sharyn Goldberg. “Now, we must turn our attention to finding the right person who can build on Samantha’s achievements.”

Samantha will support a committee of the Board in the search for a new Executive Director. She will stay on through a transition period until the end of the 2016-17 season at the end of June.

Official Press Release PDF

Septembre 2016 - City Life Magazine has featured our student fellow trumpeters Matisse and Aled Blundell!


Aled and Matisse (photo courtesy of mycitylife.ca)


We couldn't be prouder of this dynamic duo!  Read the full article here.


2015-16 Concert Master Selection

Corey-GemmellWe are delighted to announce Corey Gemmell as our new concertmaster!
We are proud to announce that after two rounds of auditions, numerous applicants and five wonderful finalists who each performed a concert with us this past season we have selected Corey Gemmell as our new permanent Concertmaster!

Corey Lyle Gemmell, violinist, has distinguished himself as a soloist and chamber musician across Canada, Germany, the United States and China. Mr. Gemmell is concertmaster of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Orchestra, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Symphony on the Bay and the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra.  He has performed in this role with the Boris Brott National Academy Orchestra, Elora Festival Orchestra and Esprit Orchestra.  An avid chamber musician Mr. Gemmell has toured and recorded extensively as a member of Ensemble Vivant.  He is also a member of the Elgin String Quartet and the National Piano Trio.  He often performs with New Music Concerts, including their 2016 tour to Beijing, and Array Music.  Mr. Gemmell taught at the University of Western Ontario, the Royal Conservatory of Music and is a member of the Royal College of Examiners.  He is on faculty at the National Music Camp of Canada. Corey Gemmell can be heard in recordings of Brahms, Ravel, Robert A. Baker and works by David Eagle and Hope Lee.  He was one of the contributing artists to record the Royal Conservatory of Music’s 2013 release of their Violin Syllabus on compact disc.

In celebration of his appointment, Mr. Gemmell will perform Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8 “Winter” at our December 11th, 2016 season concert; “Youth at the Holidays”.

We are delighted to have Corey on board and look forward to our upcoming season with him.
For the Press Release;
OT New Concertmaster Announcement 2016 PR

Media Appearances

Orchestra Toronto's Maestro Kevin Mallon and the Orchestra Toronto Brass Quartet appeared on Rogers TV Daytime Toronto May 26th, 2015

Media Information

Maestro Kevin Mallon-Music Director