Over 18 seasons, the Talisker Players vocal chamber music series created dozens of enchanting and thought-provoking programmes. Combining both the sung and the spoken word, they explored subjects and ideas as diverse as the natural world, nonsense and surrealism, the urban landscape, the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, the wonder and the terror of night – and of course love, in all its many forms.

On this page is a complete library of all our productions, including links to programme notes and audio samples.


A Mixture of Madness
"There is no wisdom without a mixture of madness." Aristotle's famous dictum captures both the madness that is part of wisdom, and the wisdom that is part of madness. We explore this connection through the responses of composers and writers from across the centuries.
May 16 & 17, 2017

Land of the Silver Birch
To celebrate 150 years of Confederation, we honour the early explorers and settlers from France and the British Isles. They brought with them a rich treasury of folk songs – and wrote many more about their experiences in their new home. Our programme offers a selection, from both the old world and the new.
March 28 & 29, 2017

'S Wonderful
We've got rhythm! The great song-writing team of brothers George and Ira Gershwin was short-lived, owing to George's tragic early death, but it produced some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century. We sample the best of them.
January 29 & 31, 2017

Songs of Enchantment
Magic is all around us, if we are only open to it. The pathways include allegory, fairy tales, and the insights of visionaries and poets. We explore all of them, in words and music from across the ages.
October 25 & 26, 2016



Cross'd By Stars
From Tristan and Isolde, to Romeo and Juliet, to Catherine and Heathcliffe, we are captivated by stories of star-crossed lovers – soulmates who are fated to be torn apart.
May 3 & 4, 2016

Spirit Dreaming
What begins as a search for exoticism can end by opening new paths of understanding.
March 1 & 2, 2016

High Standards
We sample some of the great favourites from the American songbook.
January 10 & 12, 2016

Renovated Rhymes
Strictly for adults - but only those who can see the lighter side of life.
October 27 & 28, 2015


Heroes, Gods & Mortals
Encounters with Olympian gods and goddesses, in various guises
May 12 & 13, 2015

On a Darkling Plain
Songs of hope and longing, despair and redemption, and the quest for meaning
March 10 & 11, 2015

Puttin' on the Ritz
The Irving Berlin songbook
January 11 & 13, 2015

Songs of Travel
Reflections on travel, movement, departures, arrivals, and wanderlust
October 28 & 29, 2014


A Poet's Love
The romantic imagination
May 27 & 28, 2014

Creature to Creature
A 21st-century bestiary
March 16 & 18, 2014

Anything Goes
The Cole Porter songbook
January 12 & 14, 2014

City of the Mind
The beauty and the madness of cities
October 29 & 30, 2013


On The Wing
The magic and the mystery of birds.
&Wednesday May 8, 2013 • 8pm.

Time and Tide
History, memory and the meaning of lives lived.
Tuesday March 5 & Wednesday March 6, 2013 • 8pm

Mad Dogs & Englishmen
The Noël Coward songbook.
Sunday, January 13, 2013 • 3pm.

The Constant Lover
Affairs of the heart, in words and music.
Tuesday October 30 & Thursday, November 1, 2012 • 8pm


Muse of Fire
He was not of an age but for all time. William Shakespeare in words and music.
April 17, 18, 2012

Starry Night
The wonder and the terror of night, of sleep and dreams.
January 31, February 1, 2012

Rumours of Peace
Reflections on the cost of human conflict and the hope for lasting peace.
November 15, 16, 2011


The sounds and rhythms of words at play.
May 3, 4, 2011

Love Letters
An unabashed celebration of love, in all its many forms.
February 1, 2, 2011

Intimations of Heaven
The revolutionary rhythms and imagery of American poetry.
November 2, 3, 2010


A window on the world of mystics, visionaries and seers.
May 11, 12, 2010

To the Sea in Ships
Tales of sailors, adventurers and fishers the world over.
February 9, 10, 2010

The Plain Sense of Things
The revolutionary rhythms and imagery of American poetry.
October 27, 28, 2009


Carmina Nova
Ballads, legends and folk songs from ancient times, heard through modern ears.
May 5, 6, 2009

When We Were Young
Stories, rhymes and word play for the young at heart.
February 10, 11, 2009

The Lost Generation
Evocations of a world that vanished in the devastation of the First World War.
November 11, 12, 2008


The Voyage Out
Journeys of exploration - of the world, and of the soul.
May 27, 28, 2008

Perfect Propriety
The manners and mores of relationships in the urban age.
February 26, 27, 2008

The Harp of Fire
The wisdom and the passion of Rabindranath Tagore.
November 20, 21, 2007


Tyger, Tyger
A journey through the mystical, marvellous world of William Blake.
May 29, 30, 2007

True North
A celebration of Canada through its poets, painters and composers
February 27, 28, 2007

Night songs
Of sleep and dreams ... exploring the wonder and terror of the night.
October 31, November 1, 2006


an die musik
An evening of great Lieder, set amidst a rich variety of instrumental colours.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

vox humana
An exploration of the human voice as a pure instrument among equals.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006

rumours of peace
Accounts of the cost of human conflict, and the hope for lasting peace.
Wednesday, November 9, 2005


L'amour et la vie
Love and life as only the French can write about them.
Wedesday, June 1, 2005

Reflections of Eden
An exploration of the natural world, and our place in it.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A Medieval Tapestry
Enchanting tales of olden times, heard through modern ears.
Wednesday, November 3, 2004


Let Evening Come
A meditation on lives lived by people both great and ordinary.
Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Sense & Nonsense
A cure for the February blues: an off-centre look at the world through nonsense poems and tall tales.
Monday, February 23, 2004

Spirit Dreaming
A programme inspired by the stories of indigenous peoples from cultures around the world.
Wednesday, November 12, 2003


Canti Amori
Flirtation, seduction, infatuation... this is a program to enchant even the most cynical, with settings of poetry by the lovestruck down through the ages.
Tuesday June 3, 2003

Chants des Voyageurs
The early settlers and explorers from France and the British Isles brought to Canada a rich treasury of folk songs, which have inspired composers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Monday, February 10, 2003

Songs of the Soul
Mystics and visionaries of many faiths have sought to give voice to the experience of ecstatic connection with the divine. "Where words leave off, music begins..."
Tuesday, November 5, 2002

contact: words.music@taliskerplayers.ca, 416-466-6546