It was inevitable that Geoffrey Butler’s lifelong passion for all forms of music would lead him to the concert stage—first in a successful international career as a tenor, and then onto the podium where he has conducted some of the greatest and most challenging works of the choral and opera repertoire.
Under Mr. Butler’s baton, the 150-voice Toronto Choral Society (where he has been artistic director since 1994) presents at least two concerts each year in performances that have included Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Messiah, Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, Haydn’s Creation, and the Music Makers andCoronation Ode by Edward Elgar, as well as many others. As part of the TCS family, he also conducts the North 44º chamber ensemble, and founded the Streethaven Women’s Choir, a group drawn from clients of Streethaven at the Crossroads in downtown Toronto.
As Co-Artistic Director of Opera York, Mr. Butler conducts up-and-coming young professionals in an outstanding range of well-received productions that have includedThe Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, The Barber of Seville, La Traviata, Carmen, Die Fledermaus, Rigoletto, and the North American premiere of And the Rat Laughed by Ella Milch-Sheriff. His rapport with young singers means he is also in great demand as a vocal instructor, clinician, and adjudicator.
Other conducting credits include a critically-acclaimed production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica; the requiems of Mozart, Fauré, and Duruflé; and serving as music director for the world premieres of The Warrior Bard, a celebration of the life and music of Thomas Moore, and David Warrack’s Piper. He has further performed as guest conductor with the Niagara Symphony, the Hart House Orchestra, the Oakville Symphony, and the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mr. Butler is also Music Director of All Saints Roman Catholic Church in Etobicoke, Ontario where, since 1983, he has served as organist and choir master.