Stage Door News

Toronto: The Art of Time Ensemble announces its virtual 2020/21 season

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

We would first and foremost like to take a moment to thank you for your unwavering support as we have adjusted to these changing times. Your kind words and donations have been a testament to just how special the Art of Time Ensemble family is.

As it has become clear due to the current Covid-19 situation that we will be unable to share our art with you in-person this year, we have been hard at work developing a digital season of performances for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

We are pleased to announce Art of Time Ensemble's 20/21 Season, which brings two exciting new projects to our audiences: the upcoming release of our new studio album Ain't Got Longand the launch of our Virtually Live web-concert series


Scheduled for release on November 13, 2020Ain't Got Long is Art of Time Ensemble's 6th album. Featuring 10 tracks, it plays out like a Greatest Hits, with all songs arranged by longtime Art of Time Ensemble collaborator Jonathan Goldsmith. The songs on this album come from Jonathan's work on our "Songbook" series, in which popular songs were matched with skilled arrangers and adventurous singers from the world of jazz and pop. Ain't Got Long, the titular track on the album, is an original composition by Goldsmith for ensemble based on ground-breaking historic field recordings from the American South by the late Alan Lomax.

"Jonathan Goldsmith's arrangement of Robert Johnson's Love in Vain, sung by Madeleine Peyroux, is a foggy haze of sadness, mystery, confusion, that cracks open the heart. Paul Simon's The Boy in the Bubble, sung by Gregory Hoskins has a kaleidoscopic effect. Somehow Goldsmith has us seeing every aspect of the song all at once. Perhaps the most adventurous work belongs to Goldsmith's arrangement of Irving Berlin's What Will I Do, sung by Madeleine Peyroux... Radiohead's Exit Music (For a Film) is sung beautifully by Jessica Mitchell. She soars over a jet stream of strings and piano. Canadian Sarah Slean, a familiar voice for Art of Time fans, returns with the album closer, an astonishing take on Lou Reed's Sad Song." - Laurie Brown

Also featured on the album are arrangements of River by Joni Mitchell, sung by Jessica Mitchell, Madeleine Peyroux's performance of Someone to Watch Over Me by George & Ira Gershwin and After Mardi Gras by Steve Earle, featuring Gregory Hoskins.

We are thrilled to share with you the first single off the album - Jane Siberry's Calling All Angels performed by Gregory Hoskins in a brand new music video directed by Toronto Film Critics Association Award-winner Bruce McDonald. Click the link below to watch!

The digital album is available for pre-order here. We will be in touch soon with ordering options for physical CD's as well, stay tuned for more details.


Our Virtually Live season, generously supported by The Slaight Family Foundation, will see us presenting five online events, available for free streaming on YouTube. Each event will feature archival footage from some of your favourite shows over the years, interspersed with newly filmed commentary from the artists that bring these performances to life.

The season kicks off on October 26th with The Poem/The Song (2014), music inspired by poetry, in partnership with the Toronto International Festival of Authors. We then dive into the December holiday season with our beloved irreverent holiday show To All A Goodnight (2016). In February of the new year, we'll take a look back on our tribute to rock pioneer Lou Reed, titled Magic & Loss (2015), followed by What is Sacred (2013) in March - a program of song and dance which examines music's relation to faith, across time and musical genres. We conclude the season in May with A Singer Must Die (2018), a tribute to the late Leonard Cohen featuring an all-star lineup of Art of Time Ensemble collaborators, including singers Steven Page, Sarah Harmer, Sarah Slean, Tom Wilson and Gregory Hoskins.

See below for more information on the Virtually Live season and our lineup of guest artists. We will share the streaming link via our newsletter and social media in the days preceding each performance. Be sure to RSVP below to add us to your calendar so that you can receive reminders and updates for each event!

While we can't be with you in person this year, we would like to offer these free online performances as a thank you to our friends and supporters. Through your continued support we are able to carry forth in developing more ground-breaking concerts for the future. 

Virtually Live Season Lineup

The Poem/The Song
Monday, October 26, 2020 @ 7:30pm
Available online until Thursday, October 29th, 7:30pm
Presented in partnership with the Toronto International Festival of Authors

The Poem/The Song presents music inspired by poetry in a variety of contrasting musical settings. Highlights include two-time Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood reading her poem Thriller Suite accompanied by an original musical composition from Canadian composer Dan Parr, Franz Liszt's musical impression of Petrarch's Sonnets, music from the worldwide smash-hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats, which was inspired by the poetry of T.S. Eliot, a fantastical setting of Walt Whitman by composer George Crumb and songs by Leonard Cohen. Performers include singers Thom Allison, Gregory Hoskins and Carla Huhtanen

To All A Goodnight
Thursday, December 17, 2020 @ 7:30pm
Available online until Sunday, December 20th, 7:30pm

To All A Good Night is presented as a greatest hits selection of our annual holiday concerts of the past. A holiday concert like no other, it is at once humorous, nostalgic and irreverent. This event will include singers Jessica Mitchell, Liam Russell, Jackie Richardson and Tom Wilson in performances of classic carols, seasonal songs and off-beat selections. Backed by an ensemble of classical, jazz and pop musicians, highlights include songs by John Prine, The Pogues, Joni MitchellAlfred Schnittke, John Lennon & Yoko Ono and many more.

Magic and Loss: A Tribute to Lou Reed
Thursday, February 4, 2021 @ 7:30pm
Available online until Sunday, February 7th, 7:30pm

Lou Reed infused his music with an art-pop edge and paved the groundwork for alternative music for generations to come. In our show Magic and Loss: A Tribute to Lou Reed, we explore Reed's iconic songs including I'm Waiting for the Man, The Kids, Sad Song, Take a Walk on the Wild Side and many more in inventive new arrangements for a ten-piece ensemble, fronted by a host of singers including Shakura S'Aida, John Southworth, Margo & Michael Timmins (of the Cowboy Junkies), Sarah Slean, Jessica Leung and Tom Wilson.

What is Sacred
Thursday, March 18, 2021 @ 7:30pm
Available online until Sunday, March 21st, 7:30pm

What is Sacred is a program of song and dance which samples the many forms and styles of music's relation to faith, across time and musical genres - from the Renaissance to the heartland of America - from Afro-American spirituals to movements from Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time to songs by Jeff Tweedy and Steve Earle. Featured artists include Dancetheatre David EarleJackie Richardson and Choir 21 among many others.

A Singer Must Die
Thursday, May 6, 2021 @ 7:30pm
Available online until Sunday, May 9th, 7:30pm

A Singer Must Die is our tribute to the late Leonard Cohen, featuring a group of artists - singers, authors and musicians alike - with profound respect for Cohen's work, paying tribute to his legacy. Singers Steven PageSarah HarmerSarah Slean, Tom Wilson and Gregory Hoskins perform Cohen's songs in arrangements by top Canadian composers.  The program contains well known songs such as: Famous Blue RaincoatAnthem and Hallelujah, to lesser known songs like: Come HealingTreaty and Boogie Street. A cast of writers, including Giller Prize-winner Madeleine ThienMarni Jackson and Ian Brown share personal anecdotes