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Annual Elora Festival goes online this year

Reimagined and abridged, the annual Elora Festival (originally scheduled for July 10 – 26) runs Aug. 6 to 8 this year
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The Elora Singers. Submitted photo
ELORA – The Elora Festival’s Artistic Director Mark Vuorinen announces the inaugural Elora Festival Online, a reimagined and abridged version of the annual Elora Festival (originally scheduled for July 10 – 26), which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The online festival will take place from Thursday, Aug. 6 to Saturday, Aug. 8 with three evenings of pre-recorded concerts.

Artistic Director Mark Vuorinen says: “This has certainly been a difficult time for the cultural community around the world. Concert halls are dark, and artists have lost many performance opportunities since the middle of March. The absence of live performance during this pandemic has been deeply felt by all of us and we are looking forward to presenting some of the artists who had been engaged for this summer’s festival, but at a distance, in pre-recorded performances from their homes and studios.”

Guest artists of the Elora Festival Online include tenor Lawrence Wiliford and lutenist Lucas Harris; jazz pianist and singer-songwriter Laila Biali; opera superstar Measha Brueggergosman; Tom Allen and company in his new chamber musical The Missing Pages; Confluence Concerts and a stellar cast of artists with a new program called At the River; and of course, the heart of the Elora Festival – The Elora Singers, one of Canada’s finest professional chamber choirs. The festival also aims to bring the charm of Elora to online guests and will include cooking demos with chefs from The Evelyn and The Friendly Society, two of Elora’s many wonderful restaurants. A full description of the festival program follows below.

Tickets for the Elora Festival are on sale now! $20 for a Day Pass or $50 for the Festival Pass. They may be purchased online at, or by calling the box office at (519) 846- 0331. Due to COVID-19 safety regulations, the Elora Festival office remains closed to the public for in person box office purchases.

The Elora Festival is grateful to the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council and Celebrate Ontario for their continued support of our organization. In addition, we are grateful to the Temerty Foundation and our many sponsors and donors for their ongoing support. We could not present this festival without you!

Elora Festival Online Program

Aug. 6, 2020: Elora Festival Online – Day 1

  • 6:30 p.m.: Festival Welcome with Artistic Director Mark Vuorinen
  • 6:40 p.m.: The Elora Singers
  • 6:45 p.m.: Chat with Lawrence Wiliford and Mark
  • 6:55 p.m.: The Elora Singers
  • 7:00 p.m.: ‘Tis Nature’s Voice

Tenor Lawrence Wiliford and lutenist Lucas Harris present a recital of 17th century English songs for voice and lute, featuring works by Henry Purcell, John Blow, Henry Lawes and others. Lucas Harris performs on a 12-course lute by Travis Carey.

  • 8:00 p.m.: Festival chat with Larry Beckwith -- Confluence Concerts
  • 8:15 p.m.: At the River – presented by Confluence Concerts.

Confluence Concerts presents words and music on an enduring theme by Matthew Barber, Emily Dickenson, Nick Drake, T.S. Eliot, Peter Gabriel, Rūhollāh Khāleqi, Joni Mitchell, Franz Schubert and more.

Aug. 7, 2020: Elora Festival Online – Day 2

  • 6:30 p.m.: Festival Welcome with Artistic Director Mark Vuorinen
  • 6:40 p.m.: The Elora Singers
  • 6:45 p.m.: Tapas - Cooking demo at The Evelyn in Elora
  • 7:30 p.m.: Festival chat with Laila Biali
  • 7:45 p.m.: An Evening of Jazz with Laila Biali.

While Laila Biali continues to earn high honours in the Jazz world, her unique genre-bending sound is what sets her apart as she “masterfully mixes jazz and pop, bringing virtuosity and unpredictability to songs that are concise and catchy.” (Washington Post) The multi award-winning singer-songwriter and pianist presents a program featuring selections from her new album Out of Dust. She will be joined by George Koller on bass and Ben Wittman on drums.

Aug. 8, 2020: Elora Festival Online – Day 3

  • 6:30 p.m.: Festival Welcome with Artistic Director Mark Vuorinen
  • 6:40 p.m.: The Elora Singers
  • 6:45 p.m.: Tapas - Cooking demo at The Friendly Society in Elora
  • 7:25 p.m.: The Elora Singers
  • 7:30 p.m.: The Missing Pages Written by Tom Allen Richard Greenblatt – Director Derek Boyes

On December 16, 1825, Theodor Molt became the sole Canadian to meet Ludwig van Beethoven, but what could have happened between the two men? After Molt’s florid greeting in one of Beethoven’s notebooks, the following four pages were violently ripped out and destroyed. Betrayal? Competition? Scandal? Or just old-fashioned ego and pride? With music, song, drama, history and informed speculation, The Missing Pages investigates.

  • 8:55 p.m.: The Elora Singers
  • 9 p.m.: An Evening with Measha Brueggergosman

Internationally-acclaimed Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman has graced the stages of such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House and the Barbican Centre. She joins us in our online festival with a program of spirituals and cabaret that have inspired her throughout her life and career.

  • 10 p.m.: Closing remarks from Mark Vuorinen