A cascading series of events came together to irrevocably link Tonia with renowned 19th Century Newfoundland-born opera star Georgina Stirling (1867-1935), who performed under the stage name Marie Toulinguet and had great international success.
“MARIE- Ron Hynes" was serendipitously discovered as Tonia was preparing to tour Stirling's songbook across Newfoundland in 2017, And from this song was born the album Beckon Me Home- Treasured Songs By Ron Hynes. This idea that came from a soul-searching conversation with a cousin who encouraged Tonia to explore her ancestral Newfoundland roots. Tonia says about this project and carrying on Ron's music and legacy; “Though from opposite spectrums of musical genres, in the end, whether it's opera or pop or a combination of both, we must do what speaks to us and feeds our souls. That is what I hope to do with music.”
"Georgina Stirling was the first Singer to take Newfoundland to an International stage with not only classical and grand opera but also music of her Irish and British roots with songs like, The Green Isle of Erin and Rule Britannia but also, music that sang the praises of her love of Newfoundland with such songs as The Murmuring Sea. Much of her repertoire featured on this album has been long forgotten, many songs were challenging to find the sheet music for but found it thankfully in archives. Its my hope to revive her repertoire along with her memory and legacy that we should be so very proud of for the work she did to pave the way for Newfoundland musicians on the international stages!
"In discovering one of Ron Hynes most recent songs, MARIE, before his passing I was immediately transported back to the 19th Century to the spectacular yet challenging career and journey of Marie Toulinguet (Stage name of Georgina Stirling aka Newfoundland’s Nightingale of the North). Ron’s song MARIE helps to bring the memory and legacy of Marie Toulinguet into the 21st Century so that we might appreciate what heights and triumphs she accomplished but also the burdensome aspects of being an artist of such fame which he was all too familiar with. Discovering MARIE gave me a renewed sense of pride for the poignant and profound lyrics, stories and melodies of Newfoundland’s late folk hero, Ron Hynes. It is my hope to revive the lost art of story telling through performing his repertoire and to share Ron Hynes’ music with a broader audience across Canada and beyond with my ambient and heartfelt approach to his treasured music.
My goal with the contrast of these two albums - ‘The Heart’s Obsession’ and ‘Beckon Me Home’ is to honour my own musical Newfoundland roots, to show my ability of investing in any song with authentic emotion no matter the genre or subject matter, and to
share the legacy and music of these two Newfoundland jewels while singing with my own authentic voice."
Albums available here: