Festival’s opening night Friday includes reception and fireworks

The opening night of the 30th Elora Festival is July 10, and the festival will welcome David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, as its guest of honour.

Opening Night has always been special at the Elora Festival. From the first one in 1979 – an evening of Hayden with the Amadé Trio – to Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Handel’s Solomon, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, it is always an extraordinary night. And 2009 is no exception with Berlioz’s Requiem.

“This year we’re pulling out all of the stops,” said artistic director Noel Edison. “The Requiem is one of the largest works we’ve ever performed. We’re delighted to bring back tenor Lawrence Wiliford for the Requiem. We have a full orchestra, four brass ensem­bles, one on each corner of the stage, and full chorus. The work itself is one of the grandest scores ever penned, with large-scale, full move­ments, and quiet, intimate mom­ents. It’s the perfect work for such a celebratory year.” 

Edison recorded Berlioz Requiem in 1998 with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and soloist Michael Schade.

The opening night ticket  includes a reception after the performance, and a fire­works show.

“It’s the full package and you just can’t beat the en­chantment of the gambrel barn,” said Edison, “Not only is it acoustically perfect, the barn only holds 700 people, making the experience so intimate, so up close and personal. You can’t get this in Toronto. Rogers Centre, for example, seats 55,000, and Massey Hall holds 2,753. Ticket costs are twice as high as they are here, and then there’s the issue of find­ing a parking spot – not to mention its cost.

“In comparison, the Gambrel Barn is more like an intimate house party than a concert hall.”

Tickets for Opening Night and all other concerts are available at 846-0331 or 1-888-747-7550, in person at 33 Henderson Street in Elora, or at elorafestival.com. The Elora festival runs from July 10 to August 2.