October 23, 2015, 7:30 pm: Dueling Divas Present . . . “A Night at the Opera”


Allison Cecilia Arends, soprano

Allison Cecilia Arends

Join Heliconian member, soprano Allison Cecilia Arends, mezzo-soprano Kathleen Promane, and pianist Maika’i Nash for an evening of the most beautiful opera arias and duets.

The ladies will be accessorised by French artist and haute couturière Catherine Sequalino-Poititer, owner of Toronto’s own CSP Arts Embroidery.

Reception to follow, along with a presentation outlining our Mini Mozarts Music Camp initiative, a camp for underprivileged children in one of Jamaica’s most destitute neighbourhoods.

October 23 at 7:30pm Heliconian Hall 35 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto Tickets: $25 at the door, $20 if pre-ordered by calling 647-833-5400 or emailing allison[at]allisonarends[dot]com

November 21, 2014, 7:30pm: “Autumn Leaves” Heliconian Concert Series

Please  join us on Friday, Nov 21, at 7:30 pm for the Heliconian Music Concert Series’ second concert of the 2014-2015 season.

We will hear music to warm the soul as the days get shorter and the air gets chillier. Janet Catherine Dea, soprano, and Maria Soulis, mezzo soprano, join their voices in solos and duets with collaborative pianist, Brahm Goldhamer in an evening of Classical, Broadway and Jazz.

The first half of the programme is bookended with Mendelssohn’s charming Op 63 duets. Julian Knight joins Maria and Brahm for Johannes Brahms’ moving Op. 91 for viola, mezzo and piano and the singers then each take solo turns with autumnal songs by Tosti, Fauré and Richard Strauss to create an introspective and evocative atmosphere.

Symbolizing the brilliant colours of autumn, new Music Section member, Suzanne Yeo delights with Liszt’s sparkling “Paraphrase de concert sur Rigoletto, S. 434.” before we are transported with Jazz standards from “Autumn in New York” to Paris with “Les Feuilles Mortes” (Autumn Leaves).

Ending with a sizzle we find ourselves in sunny Spain with Saint-Saëns’ duet “El Desdichado” General admission $25; member/senior/student $20.

 Click here for tickets.


Friday October 17, 2014; 7:30 pm, An Evening with Jane Austen

An illustration of two Regency Ladies at the pianoThe Toronto Heliconian Club will open its 2014-2015 concert series with “An Evening with Jane Austen”, featuring a selection of music found in the Austen family collection. Musical items will be complemented by readings from Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion and Emma.

Performed in period costume, the programme, featuring Barbara Fris (soprano) and Dorothy de Val (piano) along with a côterie of musical collaborators, draws you into Jane Austen’s world, with a selection of musical favourites of the time, ranging from chamber works by Johann F. X. Sterkel and Ignaz Pleyel to the hugely popular and bombastic Battle of Prague by Frantisek Kotzwara.  In addition to violinist/violist Velma Ko and cellist Kye Marshall, violinist Susanna McCleary will round out the program with a performance of a sonata by Austen’s contemporary Jane Mary Guest. Songs and operatic duets by Stephen Storace, James Hook, William Jackson, Tommaso Giordani and Joseph Haydn, will be sung by Barbara Fris and Allison Cecilia Arends, with piano accompaniment by Jane Blackstone and Louise Morley, who will read from Austen’s novels between musical selections.

An informal Regency-style reception will follow the performance.


Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 students/seniors, available online or for purchase at the door.

Heliconian Club Announces its 2014-2015 Concert Series

The Music Section is happy to launch the sixth annual Heliconian Club concert series. The 2014-2015 concert series will showcase diversity in its collaborations with actors and artists, some of whose work is featured below.  All concerts will be held at historic Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue
Toronto, (Bay subway)

Concerts begin at 7:30 (doors open at 7:00)

Regular tickets: $25 or $90 for 4 concerts
Member/Senior/Student: $20 or $70 for 4 concerts
Buy online or call 416-922-3618

10% off “Early Bird” subscription before July 31, 2014

Click here for Tickets.

An Evening with Jane Austen
Friday, October 17, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Dorothy de Val, a specialist in music of the Regency era, invites you to join her and a côterie of musical collaborators to take us on a musical journey back to the times of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. The concert will feature music from Jane Austen’s collection and by her contemporary Jane Mary Guest.



Autumn Leaves
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:30pm

Music to warm the soul as the days get shorter and the air gets chillier. Janet Catherine Dea, soprano, and Maria Soulis, mezzo soprano, join their voices with an eclectic ensemble of musical collaborators in an evening of Classical, Broadway and Cabaret songs.


The Music in Our Lives
Friday, March 6, 2015 at 7:30pm

Author Ann Elizabeth Carson reads from her book We All Become Stories.  Peggy Mahon, vocalist, and panist Danny McErlain delight with Jazz selections.  They are joined by dancer and mime artist Noriko Yamamoto.


Schubert Abend
Friday, April 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm

An intimate evening of all Schubert music featuring pianists, Jane Blackstone and Louise Morley, soprano Barbara Fris with Rita Greer, clarinet the Encore String Quartet with violist Velma Ko, and the fine musicianship of other club members. Enjoy audience favourites for voice, piano and strings, including “The Shepherd on the Rock” for soprano, clarinet, and piano.


To download an e-brochure for easy printing please click here.


Concert Series: “Two Men, Two Worlds, Two Centuries” on Oct 25

Two Men, Two Worlds, Two Centuries
Friday, October 25, 2013 at 8pm

“How’s the water?” by Tatjana Hutinec

To celebrate the 200th birthdays of Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi, we feature both musical titans in a commemorative concert that honours their musical legacies.

Hear soprano Barbara Fris sing Wagner’s Mathilde Wesendonk Lieder, Susan Tsagkaris as Brünnhilde sing “Hai Jo To Ho!” from Die Walküre, baritone Stuart Graham perform Wotan’s Abschied, “Leb’wohl”, and Joan Zarry perform Franz Liszt’s piano transcription of Liebestod.

Feast on Verdi arias and duets with sopranos Leigh-Ann Allen and Deanna Hendriks, and tenor Derek Kwan. Embrace Verdi’s grandeur and verismo with Nataliya Lepeshkina performing a piano rendition of “Aïda’s Triumphal March”, and a special sing-along of “Va, pensiero” (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco).

Concert Series: “Tangos & Tapas” on Sept 27

The 2013-2014 concert series (click here for PDF brochure) features chamber performers, diverse programs, and collaborations with artists, actors and guest performers. Works of art that will be showing in the hall at our concerts are also featured in the brochure.

Tangos & Tapas
Friday, September 27, 2013 at 8pm

“Apple Orchard” by Bronwyn Fitz-James

A fiesta of Hispanic music, dance, food and wine, this wonderful program opens our 2013-2014 concert series. This concert features musical duo flutist Jaye Marsh and guitarist Lawrence Barley; pianists Joan Zarry and Ruth Kazdan; soprano Barbara Fris with guitarist Drew Henderson; and the Arriaga String Quartet with violinists Velma Ko and Edna Wolteger, violist Lea Kirstein, and cellist Kye Marshall.

We are also excited to present guest poet Beatriz Hausner, who will give a bilingual reading of a work by the poet Frederic Garcia Lorca.

Listen and watch the melancholy and excitement of the sounds and rhythms of Hispanic culture. Music by Ginastera, Albeniz, Piazzola, Turina, Bizet and much more. Bring your castanets and join the fun!

May 4, 2013: Visions

The complete books of  Rhapsodies and Fantasias by Constantine Caravassilis for solo piano performed by internationally renowned Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska-Quilico are visions in sound, transcending lyrical poetry to passionate drama in an opera for the keyboard. Experience a world of intense and hypnotic soundscapes accompanied by projections on a screen of over 70 paintings created by Christina Petrowska-Quilico and inspired by the music. Driven by deep emotions and spirituality composer Constantine Caravassilis is intimately connected to his Hellenic roots, drawing inspiration from ancient Greek mythology and Byzantine music. His work also reflects his strong affinity to classical music  ranging from the Baroque to impressionism. These virtuosic piano works are synaesthetically linked to colour and movement.

Tickets are $10 (general admission) and can be purchased by phone through the Kindred Spirits Orchestra Box Office at  905.604.8339, in person at the Kindred Spirits Orchestra administration office at 4981 Highway 7, Unit 8, Markham ON L3R 1N1 (Monday through Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) or at the door of Cornell Recital Hall, 1 hour prior to the concert. For more information, visit Kindred Spirits Orchestra.

Presented by Markham Contemporary Music Festival in association with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra.

Ensemble Polaris recording “Definitely NOT the Nutcracker”

ENSEMBLE POLARIS, featuring fellow Heliconian Alison Melville and Margaret Gay in their midst, was founded to create a distinctively Canadian voice for the music of the north – Scandinavia, Canada, the Baltics and, most recently, Russia. With musicians from richly diverse traditions and backgrounds, they have a colourful, unusual instrumentation that ranges from cello and bass clarinet to nyckelharpa, bazouki and the musical saw. they play category-defying arrangements of northern traditional music, as well as original tunes by Polaris members and other Canadian and international musician/composers.

Two years ago they wanted to create an antidote to the festive season’s musical clichés, and got the idea to arrange Tchaikovsky’s quintessential ballet music for their unusual instrumentation. Definitely Not the Nutcracker was born and premiered at our own Heliconian Hall!

As a natural extension to their ‘northern’ rep, they added some Russian folk tunes to the mix; these are also a perfect complement to Tchaikovsky, who loved and made arrangements of his country’s folk music. The show in 2011 was a huge hit, so they expanded the rep and played for an even bigger, enthusiastic crowd in a larger venue last December.

Show them your support here. Campaign ends May 11, 2013.