Our weekly Critic’s Picks is a fully curated list of some of the best concerts going on now through the end of the week. Of course this is not to say we are the provocateurs of taste, simply seek to provide a good weekly summary. For a look at the full breadth of what’s available in and around Toronto, check out the comprehensive concert listings from our friends at Wholenote Magazine.
Canadian Opera Company Vocal Series with Colin Ainsworth and Stephen Ralls at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Noon. Free!
We’ve always been a big fan of the COC’s free noon-hour series concerts. They are a great opportunity to relax during a lunch hour break, and an opportunity to take in some culture while you’re at it. This afternoon features a performance of three song cycles by Canadian composer Derek Holman, with tenor Colin Ainsworth and pianist Stephen Ralls. Do check it out. Details here.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra with violinist Karen Gomyo & guest conductor Jakub Hrusa at Roy Thomson Hall, 6:30 pm. $39-82
Montreal born Karen Gomyo, is in town this week to perform the demanding Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, and the popular Dvořák’s New World Symphony. Gomyo is an incredibly agile violinist, and along with Jakub Hrusa, this should be a great show. Details here.
Show repeats on October 9 and 11, with the addition of Morawetz: Carnival Overture (Oct 9 only).
Group of 27 & Ensemble Made In Canada at Heliconian Hall. 7:30 pm. PWYC.
Toronto’s “all-star classical band” opens their season with a show featuring piano quintet EMIC. Works include Dvořák Piano in E-flat Op.87; Hedges: Snikt, bub!. Complimentary food provided by Cheese Magic and Wanda’s Pie in the Sky. Info here.
Cecilia String Quartet & Gryphon Trio at Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building. 12:10 pm. Free!
Another free noon-hour concert to catch this week is the Cecilia String Quartet & Gryphon Trio performing Haydn’s String Quartet Op.20 No.4, as well as selections from his piano trios. The program also includes a recent piece by Quebec-based composer, Michael Oesterle. Can’t go wrong here. Details.
St. Petersburg Quartet at Jane Mallett Theatre. 8:00 pm.$10-55
Music Toronto presents the great St. Petersburg Quartet, performing the Toronto premiere of Zurab Nadarejshvili’s Quartet No.1, alongside Shostakovich’s Quartet No.8, and Tchaikovsky’s Quartet No.1. It has been 20 years since the award-winning St. Petersburg Quartet have visited Toronto, so don’t miss it. Details here.
Tafelmusik with Davide Monti and Alessandro Bressanello at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall. 8:00 pm. $15-89
For your period orchestra fix, come see Tafelmusik’s The Canals of Venice. Works include Albinoni, Marcello, and Vivaldi, with narration by the Italian commedia dell’arte actor Alessandro Bressanello. Details here.
Opera by Request, at the College Street United Church. 7:30 pm. $20
Opera By Request hosts another opera instalment with Ambroise Thomas’s grand opera Hamlet (1868). Performers include Simon Chaussee and Norman Brown (baritones), Gerda Findeisen (soprano), Ioanna Touliatu (mezzo-soprano), and Danny LeClerc (tenor). (very little) Details here.
Canadian Opera Company, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. 4:30pm. $12-339
After a very successful season opening Falstaff –which continues to run until November 1st, the COC presents one of the best-loved operas of all time: Madama Butterfly. It first premiered in Toronto in 1990 and was then revived in 1994, 1998, 2003 and 2009. It is produced by Brian Macdonald, with design by Susan Benson, and lighting by Michael Whitfield. Looks very promising. Info here.
Cio-Cio San: Patricia Racette* / Kelly Kaduce+
Pinkerton: Stefano Secco**/ Andrea Carè++
Suzuki: Elizabeth DeShong
Sharpless: Dwayne Croft* / Gregory Dahl+
With the COC Orchestra and Chorus
* Oct. 10, 15, 18, 21, 24, 30
+ Oct. 11, 19, 22, 26, 28, 31
** Oct. 10, 15, 18, 21, 24, 26, 30
++ Oct. 11, 19, 22, 28, 31