A Concert to Die For
We open at a lavish reception. The who’s who of Toronto’s arts scene is celebrating the formation of the city’s new symphony orchestra. But the festivities prove to be short-lived when the ensemble’s founding music director, Victor Serrano, is found dead—strangled in his office! Whodunit? Was it his wife? Or his mistress, perhaps? There’s only one thing we know for certain: with Detective William Murdoch on the case, the maestro’s murderer will be revealed before the end credits roll—and the TSO stands for applause.
On March 10 and 11, we present Murdoch Mysteries—Murder in F Major, a brand-new episode of the popular and long-running Canadian TV series, screened at Roy Thomson Hall while the TSO performs composer Robert Carli’s score live. Toronto’s own Lucas Waldin conducts these Special Performances, which will also include guest appearances—by Murdoch himself, Yannick Bisson, and Jonny Harris, who plays the upstanding Constable George Crabtree on the show—as well as a few delightful surprises.
While we’ve collaborated with the creative teams at Murdoch Mysteries and its production company, Shaftesbury, before—in 2020, on a special episode entitled “A Music Lover’s Guide to Murdoch Mysteries” (and an episode of its sister series, Frankie Drake Mysteries)—this concert marks the very first time a primetime television show will première a new, never-before-seen episode in front of a live audience with the accompaniment of a full orchestra. Though screenings of previously released films with live orchestra have become popular in recent years, what makes “Murder in F Major” unique is that the audience will have the opportunity to see the episode before it airs on CBC Television on March 20, 2023.
The creative partnership that led to this buzz-worthy event was envisioned years ago by Shaftesbury Chairman & President Christina Jennings, who knew that there was a crossover audience of orchestral music lovers and Murdoch Mysteries fans. Following pandemic-related delays, the time to move ahead with this collaboration presented itself, and the teams all worked closely to weave elements of the TSO’s past into the episode, creating a compelling story that reflects the rich history of both early-20th-century Toronto and the early days of the Orchestra. The episode was filmed in January 2023, and Robert Carli will craft two versions of the score this month—one for the broadcast and one for the live concert, written for full orchestra.
After our performances, Shaftesbury plans to take the show on the road to other cities in Canada and, potentially, the US, where there’s a significant Murdoch Mysteries fan base as well. So, if you join us for the exciting première, remember—no spoilers!
Watch a special message from Yannick Bisson below.