Zosha Di Castri Commissioned by Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Zosha Di Castri was commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to write a song cycle for acclaimed soprano Barbara Hannigan, entitled In the Half-Light. With a libretto written by renowned author Tash Aw, the cycle received its world premiere in Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall on May 19 and 21, 2022, conducted by Gustavo Gimeno. In Di Castri's own words, "The music takes shape on the threshold between darkness and light, the moment before dawn. Hovering on the cusp of change, it opens up spaces where everything that has seemed impossible can suddenly be realized, just for a moment, before we pass into another world. As Hannigan has stated, 'It is mystery and love and heimweh (homesickness) and solitude and sehnsucht (wistful longing).'" The cycle is dedicated to the memory of Di Castri's late uncle, artist Matthew Di Castri, who unexpectedly passed away last summer. Di Castri chose a reference painting for each song to serve as an emotional canvas for the music, posting his artwork on her studio wall while composing the piece.

Read more about Di Castri's work here and learn more about the performances here.