Music Composed by Dario Marianelli with Piano by Víkingur Ólafsson
23 January 2018 (Toronto, ON) – The official soundtrack to the six-time Oscar nominated film, Darkest Hour, is available now via Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. Featuring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour is a commanding cinematic depiction of the weeks leading up to the Dunkirk evacuation. Key to the film’s original score, written by multi-award-winning composer Dario Marianelli, is its piano writing. Pianist Víkingur Ólafsson plays a central role in conveying Churchill’s restless and driven spirit. Listen to the official soundtrack HERE.
The film deals with the story of a nation threatened with extinction and the leader who inspires its people. With the energy of an action thriller and the tension of a suspense film, it is the story of a 66-year-old politician only recently recalled from the fringes of power. Winston Churchill is set to capture the imagination of a new generation with his mix of public fortitude and private doubts. Ólafsson’s charismatic performance on Dario Marianelli’s original score adds to the compelling drama of Darkest Hour.
In the early summer of 1940, Britain faced the prospect of defeat by Nazi Germany. Writer George Orwell noted in his diary that people were unwilling to accept that “the invasion of England may be attempted within a few days.” “They will,” he continued, “grasp nothing until the bombs are dropping.” One man did grasp the situation. Winston Churchill, appointed Prime Minister at the beginning of May, had stood resolutely against German rearmament for many years against the majority view of the House of Commons. Reaction to his appointment, as Wright’s film shows, was generally hostile and rarely supportive.
“There was a denial at play, given Hitler’s invasion of western Europe in May 1940,” observes Ólafsson. “In our darkest hours we lie to ourselves and hope that things will be OK. But sometimes they’re not OK. The score to Darkest Hour is rich in its piano writing but it’s also one of the most minimalistic soundtracks Dario Marianelli has created. The music expresses what Joe Wright wanted to say about Churchill’s state of mind.” The director suggested to Marianelli that Ólafsson might take part in the project after he had heard Víkingur’s critically acclaimed Philip Glass solo album for Deutsche Grammophon. “Joe wanted the piano to provide motoric rhythms and a clarity to symbolize Churchill’s mental energy and inner drive. I was so impressed to hear that from him and by his total involvement in every aspect of this Gesamtkunstwerk.”
Ólafsson’s innate curiosity led him to accept the composer’s invitation to perform on the soundtrack. He admits, however, that he had reservations about being part of a major film project. “It was outside my comfort zone to record a movie soundtrack, but your curiosity will go if you don’t step out of that zone. It was very moving to hear Gary Oldman’s remarkable delivery of Churchill’s ‘We shall fight on the beaches’ speech to the House of Commons in my right headphone and to match Dario’s rising and falling arpeggios to the rise and fall of his voice. I felt quite united with Oldman and, through him, with Churchill. Those were special and surreal moments – I felt like I was playing a part in defeating Hitler!”
Wright, recalls Ólafsson, brought smart insights to the score’s interpretation. The tense scene between Churchill and George VI, for example, is accompanied by Marianelli’s Schubertian “Winston and George”. “I played it as if it were Schubert’s Second Piano Trio, in a free, rhapsodic style,” says Ólafsson. “Joe said, ‘That’s great, but it should be more awkward, more formal.’ He wanted to emphasize the formality of the conversation between the office of Prime Minister and the Crown. I was very impressed by this depth of detail. I’m so happy I agreed to record Dario’s music. It was a gift for me to gain insight into how a big-budget film works when done at the highest level of creativity and imagination. Now I see movies differently!”
Marianelli underlines the value of the creative collaboration between director, composer, and pianist. “One of the great pleasures of working on this score was to discover Víkingur Ólafsson’s transparent and soberly poetic playing,” he notes. “He reminds me of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli: the joy of savouring every single note he plays. Víkingur was the perfect team player.”
Embedded in the soundtrack is a significant wartime musical quotation. In 1941, the BBC began using the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – often interpreted as fate knocking at the door – to introduce the broadcasts made to occupied Europe by news editor Douglas Ritchie (using the pseudonym “Colonel Britton”) after it was realized that they echoed the Morse Code signal for the letter V: three dots and a dash. Both this musical motif, solemnly tapped out on timpani, and Winston Churchill’s emblematic two-fingered salute were part of the “V for Victory” campaign. Dario Marianelli notes how his father heard the BBC radio drum strokes as a child. “Many Italians would listen to the BBC war bulletins to get some news that bypassed the official ‘truth’. It has to count as one of the most brilliant examples of British wit, irrepressible even in their darkest hour.”

– Starz and Bell Media to Rebrand pay TV channel TMN Encore –

– Multi-year agreement also features first pay window of future Lionsgate theatrical releases –

TORONTO, and SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 23, 2018 -- Bell Media, Canada's leading content company, today joined with global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) and Lionsgate's Starz premium pay television platform to announce an exclusive, long-term alliance to bring Starz to Canada and distribute the first pay window of Lionsgate's future theatrical releases in the territory.
Courtesy of Bell Media
The multifaceted agreement is a ground-breaking move by Starz and Bell Media to compete for premium subscribers on all platforms, and dramatically increases the value of Bell Media's suite of premium subscription services, including pay television network The Movie Network Encore (TMN Encore), which Starz and Bell Media will rebrand next year.
The collaboration marks the first international launch of Starz since Lionsgate acquired the network in December 2016 as well as the first time it will be available in Canada. Starz content will be introduced across Bell Media platforms, including TMN Encore and Canada's premium streaming service CraveTV.
TMN Encore will be rebranded in early 2019, with a slate of premium Starz programming and a broad selection of Lionsgate hit films and television series facilitating its transformation into a world-class platform. The newly branded service will also be available on a direct-to-consumer basis.
Starz, one of the most highly viewed premium pay television platforms in the U.S., features over 7,000 feature film and television titles and an original programming roster led by hits such as POWER and GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE and highly anticipated upcoming series including VIDA and SWEETBITTER. 
"We're delighted to bring Starz to Canada as part of our international channel rollout," said Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht.  "Bell Media is one of North America's elite content companies, and they bring great brand recognition, a massive consumer base, and unparalleled distribution skills to our alliance. This agreement creates the perfect foundation for the growth of Starz in the territory."
"Bell Media is thrilled to be on board as Starz's first international partner," said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. "Starz is making waves with bold, fresh content that's resonating with audiences around the world. We're delighted to introduce this premium brand to Canadians as well as partner with Lionsgate on the distribution of their film properties going forward."
Bell Media's collaboration with Lionsgate also encompasses future exclusive first-window access to the studio's slate of hit Hollywood movies. All Lionsgate films will also be available to subscribers of Bell Media's French-language Pay TV service, Super Écran.
"Bell Media is the ideal partner to introduce Starz to Canadian audiences," said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer.  "The Canadian marketplace offers tremendous opportunities for growth, and this multifaceted agreement enables us to deliver the robust slate of Starz premium programming as well as the future first pay television window for Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment films to Bell Media platforms."
"Starz series and Lionsgate films add hundreds of hours of premium content every year to our already-rich offering," said Tracey Pearce, President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media. "We can't wait to introduce the evolution of TMN Encore as it transforms into a newly-rebranded premier pay TV platform."
The deal was negotiated by Lionsgate EVP & Managing Director of Worldwide TV Sales Canada Susan Hummel under the direction of Packer and Lionsgate SVP Corporate Development & Strategy Miles Delaney, Starz VP of Corporate Strategy & Development Brad Worthington, and Starz international executive Superna Kalle. For Bell Media, the deal was negotiated by Jeff Hersh, Vice-President, Strategy and Distribution and Justin Stockman, Vice-President, Pay and OTT Services, under the direction of Tracey Pearce, President, Distribution and Pay, and Randy Lennox, President.
About Bell MediaBell Media is Canada's leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada's highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada's largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral, an out-of-home advertising network of more than 30,000 faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit
About LionsgateThe first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate is a global content platform whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world.  In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, gaming, virtual reality and other new entertainment technologies.  Lionsgate's content initiatives are backed by a 16,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global licensing infrastructure.  The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company's worldwide consumer base. 
About StarzStarz ( a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), is a leading global media and entertainment company that provides premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television networks and produces and distributes content for worldwide audiences, including its investment in the STARZ PLAY Arabia OTT service. Starz is home to the flagship STARZ® brand and STARZ ENCORE channels and provides high-quality, entertaining premium subscription video programming with 17 premium pay TV channels and associated on-demand and online services, including the STARZ app. Sold through U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, telecommunications companies, and other online and digital platforms, Starz offers subscribers more than 5,000 distinct premium television episodes and feature films every year and up to 1,500 every month, including STARZ Original series, first-run movies and other popular movie and television programming.
For more information, please contact:Scott Campbell, Bell Media
416.384.4235 or
Peter D. Wilkes, Lionsgate
310.255.3726 or

Courtesy of Lionsgate. (PRNewsFoto/Lionsgate)
SOURCE Lionsgate; Bell Media
Band Announces Massive 60-City Co-Headlining North American Tour with Journey, Includes Two Canadian Dates
19 JANUARY 2018 (Toronto, ON) – Beginning today at 12:01am local time around the world, legendary British rock icons Def Leppard debut their full recording catalogue worldwide via streaming and download platforms. One of the last multi-platinum selling acts to be made available on streaming and download, music fans from all corners of the globe can now enjoy tracks and albums from Def Leppard who have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide to become one of rock’s most enduring and influential bands.
Said Joe Elliott, “It is with a mixture of relief & euphoria that we now see our entire catalogue finally getting a digital release. Having embraced every other format with open arms, especially & more recently the reemergence of vinyl, we’re now going to be available to everyone everywhere and honestly, it’s as exciting as the original releases were.”
Added Rick Savage, “Finally the wait is over! Our music is now available on all digital formats. Very excited. Thanks for your patience and continued support.”
Phil Collen also said, “We felt we’d been left out of the digital party but it’s a thrill to us to finally accept the invitation and to be able to say ‘yeah, you can stream us, download us and get us great on all of these digital outlets’.”
As a cornerstone of rock and roll’s history, Def Leppard’s substantial career includes numerous hit singles including their first early chart hit “Wasted” — to their radio and MTV staples “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak”, “Photograph”, “Rock of Ages”, “Too Late”, “Animal”, “Armageddon It”, “Love Bites”, “Rocket”, and “Let’s Get Rocked.” Their ground-breaking multi-platinum albums—including two of the best-selling albums of all time with sales of more than 10 million copies each in the U.S. alone, Pyromania and Hysteria, captured some of the group’s legendary tracks, bringing together classic Leppard hits such as “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Hysteria” and “Foolin’.”  The group continued their success expanding into the world of film, covers, and new collaborations including “Two Steps Behind” from the film Last Action Hero, “No Matter What”/”Waterloo Sunset” and “Nine Lives” with Tim McGraw as well as straight ahead Def Leppard hits “When Love and Hate Collide”, “Slang”, “Work It Out”, “Promises” and “Now.” Finally, all of Def Leppard’s awe-inspiring music is available for everyone around the world, from the band’s eponymous debut EP through to their most recent album.
In conjunction with the release of their catalogue, Def Leppard also announced they will embark on a massive co-headlining tour with Journey. Comprised of stadiums and arena venues around the US and Canada, the 60-city run includes dates in Toronto (June 1) and Vancouver (October 1), with full tour details at
  • The Def Leppard EP (1979)
  • On Through The Night (1980)
  • High ‘N’ Dry (1981)
  • Pyromania (1983)
  • Hysteria (1987)
  • Adrenalize (1992)
  • Retro Active (1993)
  • Vault (1995)
  • Slang (1996)
  • Euphoria (1999)
  • X (2002)
  • Yeah! (2006)
  • Songs From The Sparkle Lounge (2008)
  • Mirror Ball – Live & More (2011)
  • Def Leppard (2015)
Def Leppard – Joe Elliott (vocals), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick “Sav” Savage (bass), Vivian Campbell (guitar) and Rick Allen (drums) – continue to be one of the most important forces in rock music. Over the course of their career the band has produced a series of classic ground-breaking albums that set the bar for generations of music fans and artists alike. The group’s spectacular live shows and arsenal of hits have become synonymous with their name, leading Def Leppard to be heralded as an institution in both the music and touring industry. The band’s most recent self-titled studio album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Top Independent Albums charts. The album also took the #5 spot on Billboard’s Top Current Albums and #10 spot on the Top 200, as well as claiming 15 top 10 debuts around the world.

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