“It is as if she was born to sing it, or, even better, born for each other, she and Ayre.

Osvaldo Golijov, composer

CD | JAN 2018


Miriam Khalil - Soprano

Osvaldo Golijov - Composer

AYRE LIVE has received a JUNO nomination for Classical Album of the Year, Vocal or Choral. AtG Records' debut album is a critically acclaimed fusion of lush Arabic, Hebrew, Sardinian, and Sephardic folk melodies and texts. Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov’s Ayre is a brilliant example of 21st-century cultural counterpoint. This recording is the culmination of performances in Toronto for audiences at the breathtaking Ismaili Centre featuring Against the Grain Theatre founding member, soprano Miriam Khalil.

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AYRE LIVE is now available for purchase and download on the following platforms. To learn more, check out the links below.

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  • Miriam Khalil Offers a Definitive Performance of Golijov's Modern Classic

    “Miriam Khalil’s performance on this album shows her to be more than a singer: she is an elemental force. There are no missteps here as each song is performed with dramatic depth, a nuanced understanding of the range of emotions and tones required by poetry and music.”

    — Freddy Dominguez, Opera Wire
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  • Album Review: Miriam Khalil, Ayre Live

    “The fluidity on display in Khalil’s smallest ornaments is also apparent on the largest scale in her approach to the entire work. Ayre’s eclectic sources can feel blocky in their juxtapositions, like buildings from different eras of a city thrown up with no compromise or eye to overall aesthetic cohesion. In Khalil’s rendition, the impression is more of a lived-in landscape, one where tree and grass and hill and oasis have melded together into an intricate network, no one part fully extricable from any of the others. In this way, she makes Ayre feel like a piece for our time…”

    — Brin Solomon, National Sawdust Log
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  • Against the Grain Theatre makes record debut with a haunting, indefinable Ayre Live

    “Titled after the Old Spanish word for “song,” Ayre is so relentless in its storytelling that it’s almost exhausting—another emotional wave we can surely ride alongside Khalil, who sings the challenging work with her whole body. Few singers have the stamina or the stylistic palette that Khalil employs throughout Ayre, and it’s even more impressive when one remembers this is a live recording.”

    — Jenna Simeonov, The Globe & Mail
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  • Against the Grain Theatre makes record debut with a haunting, indefinable Ayre Live

    “Khalil, who speaks fluent Arabic and even grew up singing some of the songs Golijov chose, performs this cycle with a personal understanding that makes this recording a mature iteration of the work. As an opera singer, Khalil spends her voice generously in Golijov’s stretchy, hovering soprano lines. And unlike an opera singer, she sets few limits on how she uses her instrument. She begins the cycle with a sound that’s close to a Western classical voice, one that could translate into a recital of songs by Debussy or Schubert; but over Golijov’s expansive arc, she moves her voice into the technically risky sound worlds of chest voice and nasal production. As the styles intertwine, it’s astonishingly organic to hear her womanly, spinning vibrato hover over an electronic beat that is totally danceable.”

    — Jenna Simeonov, The Globe & Mail
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  • Ayre Live Launches AtG's New Record Label

    “Khalil's 2016 performances in Toronto—which make up Ayre Live—offer an energy and understanding that make hers a new definitive interpretation of the work.”

    — Jenna Simeonov, Schmopera
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  • Golijov - "Ayre: Live" - Against the Grain Theatre; Miriam Khalil

    "The superb chamber ensemble of Toronto’s Against the Grain Theatre has a wonderful synergy with the company’s co-founder, soprano Miriam Khalil, a true star of this recording. Her immense range of colours and fascinating vocal transformations made her performance on this album both spectacular and touching."

    — Ivana Popovic, The Whole Note
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  • Osvaldo Golijov: Ayre Live

    "The fluidity, grace, and seeming ease with which she executes the undulating melodies are stunning, and without wishing to downplay the magnitude of Golijov's accomplishment, it's her performance that most recommends the recording."

    — Textura
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