November 10–12, 2016

A lush fusion of Arabic, Hebrew, Sardinian, and Sephardic folk melodies and texts, Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov’s Ayre is a thrill to experience and a brilliant example of 21st-century cultural counterpoint. We first presented the celebrated song cycle at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and then took it on the road to the Ottawa International Chamber Festival. Now, we’re bringing it home to Toronto audiences for three nights only at the breathtaking Ismaili Centre.

Lebanese-Canadian soprano and AtG Founding Member Miriam Khalil sings this technically challenging and deeply moving song cycle with accompaniment by 11 world-class instrumentalists. The performance is staged by AtG Founder and Artistic Director Joel Ivany, and an evocative setting praised by audiences and critics alike is lit by AtG Resident Lighting Designer Jason Hand.


What You Need to Know About the Performance

Doors open 7:30pm. At 8pm, the Glenn Gould School String Quartet and sopranos Ellen McAteer and Adanya Dunn will open the first half of the program with Golijov’s Lúa Descolorida, Yiddishbbuk and Tenebrae. There will be a 30-minute intermission, and then at 9:30pm we begin Part II of our evening: the presentation of Ayre.

Read the house program

Read the libretto

Click here for more information about parking, tickets, and what to read


Ayre is presented in partnership with the Aga Khan Council for Canada, and the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Sung in Arabic, Hebrew, Sardinian, and Sephardic, with translations. The performance is 2.5 hours including a 30-minute intermission.

Photos: Darryl Block


November 10, 11, 12, 2016


This event is off-sale


The Ismaili Centre
49 Wynford Dr, Toronto, ON M3C 1K1

Free parking on-site


"An evening of power and resonance, the kind of which deep memories are fashioned."

− The Globe and Mail

"This performance was that rare thing that raises the hairs on the back of your neck."

− Opera Ramblings

"Shocking, brilliant, thrilling. It's all conquering, a concert production of major importance, a flawless synchronicity of music and theatre."

− Opera Going Toronto

"Ayre is a perfect and tremendously satisfying example of cultural transcendence."

− The Globe and Mail

"Khalil's performance is stunning, and to hear her sing Golijov's work adds a new level of admiration for her versatility."

− Schmopera

"Miriam Khalil is spellbinding, her voice at turns lustrous and radiant, savage and snarling."

− Opera Going Toronto

"Along with the quality and verve that we have come to expect from AtG, this music is fertile ground for a clever, young company on the rise."

− Musical Toronto

"The stars aligned with this project... Miriam's authenticity is palpable, whether in the romantic songs or the call to uprising."

− barczablog

"It felt like you had stumbled upon a camp of exceptionally talented world-travellers, trading age-old songs and stories around a bonfire."

− The Ottawa Citizen

"Like the whole audience, I was suspended in this stasis of stirred emotion — the repercussions of which were felt long after the final bows were taken."

− Schmopera

Part I: Cast & Glenn Gould Ensemble

Adanya Dunn

Soprano (Lúa Descolorida) 

Ellen McAteer

Soprano (Tenebrae)

Violin – Jennifer Murphy
Violin II – Barry Shiffman
Viola – Laila Zakzook

Cello – Drew Comstock
Clarinet – Brad Cherwin

Part II: Ayre Cast & Orchestra

Miriam Khalil

Miriam Khalil


Flute – Joanna Wu
Clarinet – Juan Gabriel Olivares
Horn – Gabe Radford
Percussion – Dave Burns

Guitar/Ronroco – Elmer Ferrer
Harp – Kristan Toczko
Accordion – Alexander Sevastian
Electronics – Jeremy Flower

Viola – Carol Gimbel
Cello – Raphael Weinroth-Browne
Double Bass – Roberto Occhipinti

Creative Team

Osvaldo Golijov

 Osvaldo Golijov

Composer & Musical Consultant

Joel Ivany

Joel Ivany

Stage Director

Jason Hand

Jason Hand

Lighting Designer

Anna Treusch

Anna Treusch

Costume Designer

Pouya Hamidi

Pouya Hamidi

Sound Engineer

Christopher Mokrzewski

Topher Mokrzewski

Musical Consultant

Taryn Dougal

Taryn Dougall

Stage Manager

Peter Eaton

Peter Eaton

Production Manager

Barry Shiffman

Musical Consultant

 Jareth Li

Associate Lighting Designer

 Robyn Clarke