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CRITIC'S PICKS | 10 Concerts You Should Absolutely See This Week (Jan. 22–28)

By Joseph So on January 22, 2018

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of January 22 to 28.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of January 22 to 28.

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.

Monday 22

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Musicians from Marlboro. 7:30 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto. $40/$25(sr)/$10(st)

The New Music Festival Jan. 21-28 begins today with Musicians from Marlboro (Anthony McGill, clarinet; Emile-Anne Gendron, violin; David McCarrol, violin; Daniel Kim, viola; Marcy Rosen, cello). On the program are works by Beethoven, Penderecki, and Brahms. | Listing

Tuesday 23

Canadian Opera Company | Vocal Series: My Story through Song. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre. Free. Be sure to arrive an hour early to ensure a seat.

A prize winner at the 2014 Operalia, the fast-rising lyric tenor Joshua Guerrero is making his Canadian debut with this concert, to be followed by three performances of the Duke in Rigoletto later in the run. He’s singing, among other pieces, several Zarzuelas, with Andrea Grant at the piano. He comes back next season to sing Rodolfo in La bohème. Program details here. | Listing

Music Toronto | Stephen Hough. 8 p.m. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. $55/$50/$10(st)

One of the most esteemed pianist of our time, the great British-born Australian pianist Stephen Hough returns to Music Toronto for a recital of Debussy, Schumann, and Beethoven. | Listing

Wednesday 24

Show One Productions | Brodsky/Baryshnikov. 8 p.m. Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge Street. Repeats Jan. 26, 27 at 8 p.m., 28 at 3 p.m. Sold Out.

One man show of ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov, on the poetry of Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky. In Russian with English surtitles. Directed by Alvis Hermanis.

Thursday 25

Canadian Opera Company | Meet the Orchestra Academy. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre. Free. Be sure to arrive an hour ahead to ensure a seat.

The COC Orchestra Academy is the orchestral equivalent of the Ensemble Studio for singers and pianists. Young orchestra musicians receive training under the tutelage of COC Music Director Johannes Debus and the Orchestra. This concert features members of the Academy and COC Orchestra, with Ensemble Studio mezzo Megan Quick as soloist in Respighi’s Il tramonto. It’s paired with the exquisite Verklärte Nacht by Schönberg. | Listing

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Holst The Planets. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall. Repeats Jan. 26 and 27, both at 7:30 p.m. $40.75-$154.

Finnish conductor John Stogårds returns to the TSO to conduct Stravinsky’s newly rediscovered Funeral Song, Estacio’s Trumpet Concerto (soloist Andrew McCandless), and the centerpiece of the evening, The Planets by Gustav Holst. | Listing

Saturday 27

Canadian Opera Company | Rigoletto. 4:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre. (Remaining tickets $88-$350) 8 additional performances to Feb. 23.

The COC Winter Season opens with a revival of the Christopher Alden production of Rigoletto. British baritone Roland Wood, last in town as Renato in Un ballo in maschera, returns as Rigoletto. American soprano Anna Christy, our Lucia several seasons ago, sings Gilda. My interview with her is here. American tenor Stephen Costello, Edgardo in Lucia, sings the Duke. Canadian mezzo Carolyn Sproule makes her COC debut as Maddalena. Stephen Lord conducts. | Listing

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | U of T Symphony Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. MacMillan Theatre, Edward Johnson Building. $30/$20(sr)/$10(st)

The U of T Symphony plays a program of Mozart, Strauss, Korngold and Hindemith under Uri Mayer and Francois Koh. Soprano Brittany Cann sings Strauss songs. | Details

Canadian Sinfonietta | Happy Birthday Mozart. 8 p.m. Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W. $35/$30(sr)/$20(st)

Violinist Scott St. John and violist Sharon Wei join the Canadian Sinfonietta for an all-Mozart program, including Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra, as well as Symphony No. 29. Tak Nag Lai conducts. | Details

Met Live in HD | Tosca. 12:55 p.m. Participating Cineplex locations. $28

The much hyped new production of Tosca, replacing the beloved, 30+ year old Zeffirelli production, is shown on the big screen for the first time. Wholesale cast changes since it was originally announced – every single principal plus conductor, gone! Instead of Kaufmann, Opolais, Terfel, and Levine, now it’s Yoncheva, Grigolo, Lucic, and Villaume.  Despite these changes, still a must see.

Sunday 28

Amici Chamber Ensemble | Inspired by Strauss. 3 p.m. Mazzoleni Hall, Telus Centre, 273 Bloor St. W. $45/$40(sr)/$15(under 31)/$10(st)

The Amici Chamber Ensemble (clarinetist Joaquin Valdepeñas, cellist David Hetherington, pianist Serouj Kradjian) is joined by soprano Sasha Djihanian in an All-Strauss program of his lesser known works, Piano Quartet, and the Duett Concertino, plus several Strauss songs with new arrangement by Kradjian. | Listing

Ontario Philharmonic | Mahler’s Celestial Fourth with Maija Kovalevska. 3 p.m. Koerner Hall. $60/$50/$45/$40

Celebrated Latvian soprano Maija Kovalevska makes her Canadian debut as soloist in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. She also sings Tatiana’s Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin, and the Mirror Aria from Thaïs. Marco Parisotto conducts the Ontario Philharmonic. Kovalevska also sings a concert for the Latvian community on Jan. 25. 7:30 p.m., at the St. John’s Latvian Church 200 Balmoral Avenue, Toronto. | Listing

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

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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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