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CRITIC'S PICKS | 12 Concerts You Should Absolutely See This Week (Dec. 11–17)

By Joseph So on December 11, 2017

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of December 11 to 17.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of December 11 to 17.

Ludwig van Toronto’s weekly Critic’s Picks are a fully curated list of some of the best concerts happening now through the end of the week. This is not to say we are the provocateurs of taste, but 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 our curated concert listings here.

Tuesday 12

Hannaford Street Silver Band | Christmas Cheer. 7:30 p.m. Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. E. $45/$35(sr)/$15(st)

Tenor Ben Heppner is host and soloist, joined by the Elmer Iseler Singers (Lydia Adams, Artistic Director) in a Christmas concert. | Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Canadian Brass Christmas 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall. $43.90-$123.35. Repeats Dec. 13 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The venerable Canadian Brass joins the TSO and the Etobicoke School of the Arts Chorus in celebrating the Christmas season. Lucas Waldin conducts. | Listing

Wednesday 13

Against the Grain Theatre | Bound. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre. Preview Free. Show opens at Jackman Studio, 227 Front St. E. Dec. 14, 15, 16. $35.

For something a little different – Against the Grain Theatre is presenting Bound, a “Handel Mashup,” with Handel’s music set to texts and stories drawn from real-life news articles and world events. See a free preview at the RBA, and then catch the full show at the COC Headquarters’ Jackman Studio. Singers include Danika Lorèn, Michael Uloth, Justin Welsh, Asitha Tennekoon, Miriam Khalil and others. | Listing

National Ballet of Canada | The Nutcracker. 7 p.m. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. Runs to Dec. 30. $39-$160. Some performances sold out. Check website for details.

Opened last week to enthusiastic audience response, the National Ballet’s Nutcracker continues this week and on to Dec. 30. Check website for start time and casting information. | Listing

Tafelmusik | Messiah. 7:30 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. From $30. Repeats Dec. 14-16. Sing-Along Messiah at Massey Hall Dec. 17 2 p.m.

The Tafelmusik period-instrument Messiah is back, with soloists soprano Joanne Lunn, countertenor James Laing, tenor Rufus Muller, and baritone Brett Polegato. Ivars Taurins conducts. Don’t forget the very fun Sing-Along Messiah at Massey Hall on the last day of the run. | Listing

Nathaniel Dett Chorale | An Indigo Christmas…Parranda. All Saints Kingsway Anglican Church, 2850 Bloor St. W. $30

Nathaniel Dett Chorale’s Christmas concert this year features the lively folkloric music of Trinidad and Venezuela played by the parang band Maestre & Friends, in addition to the regular seasonal selections. | Details

Thursday 14

Art of Time Ensemble | To All A Good Night 3 8 p.m. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. $25-$64 Repeats Dec. 15, 16.

Billed as “The Different Holiday Concert,” the Art of Time presents a program featuring singers Jackie Richardson, Liam Russell, Jessica Mitchell, Tom Wilson, David Wall and the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. | Listing

Friday 15

Orpheus Choir of Toronto | Welcome Christmas 7:30 p.m. Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. E. $45/$40(sr)/$20(st)

Bob DeAngelis Big Band and jazz pianist John Sherwood join the Orpheus Choir (Robert Cooper, artistic director) to perform Nils Lindberg’s Christmas Cantata. | Listing

Saturday 16

Toronto Children’s Chorus | The Fire Within 2 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall. $35.50-$45.50

For its 40th-anniversary holiday concert, the Toronto Children’s Chorus is joined by the Toronto Youth Choir, TCC Alumni Choir and dancers for the Swan Studio to perform Vivaldi’s Gloria and other seasonal favourites. Soloists are TCC alumnae mezzo Krisztina Szabo and soprano Lesia Mackowycz, as well as friends from the TSO and organist Michael Bloss. | Details

Pax Christi Chorale | Gloria. 7:30 p.m. Grace Church-on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road. $45/$40(sr)/$25(st) Repeats Dec. 17, 3 p.m.

An all-French program performed by Pax Christi Chorale (David Bowser, conductor) – Poulenc Gloria; Duruflé Four Motets; Fauré Cantique de Jean Racine; Gounod Noël, plus classic French carols. Soprano Andrea Nuñez and organist Daniel Norman. | Details

Mississauga Symphony Orchestra | Highlights from Messiah. 8 p.m. Hammerson Hall, Living Arts Centre, Mississauga. $35-$45/$31-$40(sr)/$30(16-26)/$25(<15)

MSO’s Christmas concert features soprano Sara Schabas, mezzo Beste Kalender, tenor Zachary Rioux, baritone Christopher Dunham, and the Mississauga Festival Chamber Choir in selections from Handel’s Messiah. | Details

Sunday 17

Toronto Masque Theatre | Peace on Earth: A Christmas Salon. 7:30 p.m. The Atrium at 21 Shaftesbury Avenue. $25 Repeats Dec. 18.

The Christmas Salon includes a performance of excerpts from The Birth of Christ by Canadian composer Clarence Lucas. Also on the program are Baroque carols and Messe de Minuit by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Soloists are soprano Janelle Lapalme, mezzo Rebecca Claborn, tenor Jean-Philippe Lazure, and bass Keith Lam. Seasonal readings and audience sing-along carols. | Details

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Joseph So

Joseph So

Joseph So is Professor Emeritus at Trent University and Associate Editor of Opera Canada.He is also a long-time contributor to La Scena Musicale and Opera (London, UK). His interest in music journalism focuses on voice, opera as well as symphonic and piano repertoires. He appears regularly as a panel member of the Big COC Podcast.He has co-edited a book, Opera in a Multicultural World: Coloniality, Culture, Performance, published by Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group).
Joseph So
Joseph So

Joseph So

Joseph So is Professor Emeritus at Trent University and Associate Editor of Opera Canada.He is also a long-time contributor to La Scena Musicale and Opera (London, UK). His interest in music journalism focuses on voice, opera as well as symphonic and piano repertoires. He appears regularly as a panel member of the Big COC Podcast.He has co-edited a book, Opera in a Multicultural World: Coloniality, Culture, Performance, published by Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group).
Joseph So
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