Toronto Suite

Created and Produced by David Macfarlane

Like the city that inspires it, Toronto Suite is a collaboration. Its creator and producer, David Macfarlane, has written often about the city in which he lives - in newspapers, magazines, and books. In this instance, however, he has turned to a different medium - exploring ideas of narrative and history with artists who do not deal primarily in words. "I'm not sure that written-language is the most natural way to represent something as multi-layered and dynamic as a city," says Macfarlane. "I thought it would be interesting to ask musicians to help paint a portrait of Toronto."

Created in association with the Via Salzburg Chamber Ensemble (artistic director: Mayumi Seiler), Toronto Suite is a unique combination of musical voices and electronic soundscape. It blends classical with improvisational, traditional with contemporary, sacred music with popular to give musical expression to a city Macfarlane calls "inherently cross-genre."

Performed at the Glenn Gould Theatre in Toronto, October 15th and 16th, 2009. Dedicated to the memory of Gavin Relly.

Ticket information:


A play by David Macfarlane

Sorrows come not as single spies, but in battalions. What if nothing is left in their wake but newspaper clippings?

"What a terrific evening! Many laughs, many insights, delicious commentary on the world as we live in it."
Robert Fulford

Tarragon Theatre, 2005
Starring John Jarvis
Directed by Andy McKim

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Production photographs: Cylla von Tiedemann

There. You see.
That's the ticket.

Because the freelancer is a trouble shooter, really.
An adventurer.

Cost cutting measures?


An opera by Peter Skoggard
Libretto by David Macfarlane

Click an image for a larger view of rehearsals
(Left to right: Christopher Burton, piano, and Bridget Hogan, soprano; David Macfarlane, librettist; Peter Skoggard, composer.)


A one-act play in celebration of Harold Pinter by David Macfarlane

Toronto Harbourfront Centre, 2001
Directed by Jeannette Lambermont

Read David Macfarlane's reminiscence of Harold Pinter in the Toronto Globe and Mail >


A tribute to Bernardo Bertolucci by David Macfarlane

Toronto Harbourfront Centre, 2001
Narration: Albert Schultz
Music: Phil Dwyer, Gato Barbieri

Hear Phil Dwyer's "Bernardo's Tango" on the Roberto Occhipinti CD "Yemaya" >

See Gato Barbieri perform "Last Tango in Paris" on YouTube >

The Prank

A monologue by David Macfarlane

Tarragon Theatre Spring Arts Fair, Toronto, 2003
Directed by Andy McKim
Starring Joe Ziegler

Four Nights With Mordecai

A play by David Macfarlane

McGill Faculty Club, March 2004
Symphony Space, New York City, June 2005
Directed by David Rotenberg
Music: Phil Dwyer
Starring Gil Bellows

Three Chord Johnny

See the band on YouTube >

Read "Hail, Hail Rock and Roll", David's GQ article on Three Chord Johnny, in the Articles section >

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Three Chord Johnny performs at the launch for Janice Lindsay's book "All About Colour." Right-hand image: Kevin Breit sits in.