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Toronto classical concert and opera picks for January 13 to 19, 2014

By John Terauds on January 13, 2014

Chris Donnelly plays his Metamorphosis at Chalmers House on Monday afternoon.
Chris Donnelly plays his Metamorphosis at Chalmers House on Monday afternoon.

Monday

  • Pianist Chris Donnelly at the Canadian Music Centre, 5:30 p.m.

January’s installment of the On the 13th concert series (which includes a post-concert wine-tasting sponsored by Niagara’s 13th Street Winery as part of the experience) at the intimate Chalmers House concert space features this unusually versatile Toronto pianist performing his own, jazz-focused cycle, Metamorphosis. Details here.

Tuesday

  • Canada Sings at Danforth Church (60 Bowden St, at Danforth Ave.), 7 p.m.

Ask not what a choir can do for you, but what you can do for a choir. On the second Tuesday of each month, Toronto choral conductor and teacher Mark Bell convenes an hour of community singing for anyone interested in making some vocal noise together. It’s a great way to try out the experience of singing in a choir in a friendly, unthreatening and non-judgmental setting. You’ll find the season’s details here.

Wednesday & Thursday

  • Violinist Hilary Hahn with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall, 8 p.m.

There is so much to recommend this violin-and-choral programme, from a great young American violinist to the impressive array of soloists and choristers lined up to sing some of Mozart’s finest music with Toronto Symphony music director Peter Oundjian. You’ll find all the details here.

Thursday

  • Pianist Christopher Goodpasture at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, noon. Free.

This Los Angeles-born student of John Perry’s at the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould Professional School performs an enticing solo programme of pieces by Chopin, Schumann, Debussy and, for a dash of Canadian content, the late Jacque Hétu. Details here.

Friday

Brett Polegato -- not dressed for shopping at Loblaws, but as Sharpless in last year's Seattle Opera production of Madama Butterfly (Elise Blakketun photo).
Brett Polegato — not dressed for shopping at the Maple Leaf Gardens Loblaws but to sing Sharpless in a 2012 Seattle Opera production of Madama Butterfly (Elise Blakketun photo).
  • Baritone Brett Polegato, the Eybler Quartet and friends at Heliconian Hall, 8 p.m.

One of this country’s great operatic baritones is also a sensitive art song interpreter. We get a rare chance to hear him in an intimate setting, as he premieres a new string-accompanied arrangement of Robert Schumann’s cycle Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Loves) by the Eybler Quartet’s violist, Patrick Jordan. You’ll find some more details here.

Friday to Sunday

  • Theatre of Early Music and University of Toronto Schola Cantorum present Dido and Aeneas at Trinity College Chapel, 7:30 p.m. on Fri. & Sun., 4 p.m. on Sat.

In his most ambitious musical project since taking on oversight of Historical Performance at University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, countertenor Daniel Taylor has put together a three-performance presentation of Henry Purcell’s ageless, hour-long tale of love and loss. Tafelmusik’s Jeanne Lamon heads up the instrumental support, while Bill Coleman supplies dancers and choreography. Details here.

Saturday

  • Opening performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Four Seasons Centre, 7:30 p.m.

Atom Egoyan directs and Johannes Debus conducts a new, Debra Hanson-designed Canadian Opera Company production of this brilliant ensemble comedy. This is the first of 10 performances, which end Feb. 21. You’ll find all the details here.

Sunday

  • Barry Shiffman and friends at Mazzoleni Hall, 2 p.m.

CBC Radio 2 host Julie Nesrallah steps away from the microphone to sing with ever-busy violist Barry Shiffman, violinist Benjamin Bowman, cellist Desmond Hoebig and pianist Peter Longworth in a programme of music by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Details here.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
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