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CRITIC'S PICKS | Twelve Concerts You Should Absolutely See This Week (Apr. 23 – 29)

By Joseph So on April 23, 2018

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of April 23 – 29.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of April 23 – 29.

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 23

Associates of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra | The Small Concerts: Taste of Dark Chocolate 7:30 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $22/$20(sr,st)

ATSO members (Etsuko Kimura, violin; Paul Meyer, violin; Gary Labovitz, viola; Kathleen Kajioka, viola; Marie Gélinas, cello) play Schubert’s String Quintet in C major, and Brahms’ String Sextet No. 1 in B flat major. | Details

Tuesday 24

Opera Atelier | The Return of Ulysses. 7:30 p.m. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St. $39-$157. Repeats 27, 28. Check listing for start times.

OA’s spring presentation of The Return of Ulysses continues this week. Croatian tenor Krešimir Špicer is in the title role, and Quebec mezzo Mireille Lebel is Penelope. Also features Carla Huhtanen (Fortuna/Melanto), Isaiah Bell (Eurimaco), and Christopher Enns (Telemaco).  David Fallis leads the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. | Listing

Thursday 26

Against the Grain Theatre | Orphée. 8:00 p.m. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. $42-110. Repeats 27, 28.

Against the Grain Theatre, The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Opera Columbus, and NYC’s Company XIV collaborate to present the Gluck/Berlioz masterpiece, the opera Orphée et Eurydice. This production aims to push the boundaries with mixed acoustic and electric instruments and features burlesque dancers, aerial artistry, and a global virtual chorus. Not-to-be-missed. | Listing

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Bernstein’s Candide (concert version). 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street. $35-$154. Repeats Apr. 28.

The TSO joins the Bernstein centenary celebrations with his scintillating Candide. Bramwell Tovey, who has conducted a great deal of Bernstein in his career, leads the TS forces, with soprano Tracy Dahl (Cunegonde), mezzo Judith Forst (The Old Lady), tenor Nicholas Phan (Candide), and baritone Richard Suart (Pangloss). Also featured is the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. | Listing

Friday 27

Trio Arkel | Die Forelle. 7:30 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $30/$15(st)

Trio Arkel (Marie Bérard, violin; Teng Li, viola; Winona Zelenka, cello) is joined by pianist Stewart Goodyear and bassist Jeffrey Beecher for Schubert’s Quintet “Die Forelle,” plus works by Schönberg, Boccherini and Barriere. | Details

Toronto Operetta Theatre | The Beautiful Helene (La Belle Hélène) 8 p.m. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre, 27 Front St. E. $49-$95. Repeats Apr. 28 (8 p.m.), Apr. 29 (3 p.m.)

La Belle Hélène is one of a handful of truly popular operettas, full of wonderful tunes, and at the same time a barrel of laughs. TOT has assembled a fine cast in Turkish-Canadian mezzo Beste Kalender in the title role, plus tenor Adam Fisher, and baritone Matthew Zadow. Peter Tiefenbach conducts. | Listing

Royal Conservatory of Music | Amici Chamber Ensemble 30th Anniversary Concert. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall. $35-$85.

Amici Chamber Ensemble (Joaquin Valdepenas, David Hetherington, Serouj Kradjian) celebrates its 30th anniversary with this gala concert, joined by soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and violinist Yehonatan Berick plus members of the TSO wind section, in a program of Respighi, Dohnanyi, and Bernstein. | Listing

Saturday 28

Canadian Opera Company | Anna Bolena. 4:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Remaining tickets $50-$350. 8 additional performances to May 26.

For Anna Bolena, its final production of the season, the COC has assembled a great cast, led by Canadian-American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role. She is joined by American soprano Keri Alkema (Giovanna Seymour), tenor Bruce Sledge (Percy), bass-baritone Christian Van Horn (Enrico VIII), and mezzo Allyson McHardy (Smeton). Italian conductor Corrado Rovaris is at the helm. Stephen Lawless directs. If you like bel canto singing, this is a must. | Listing

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

Pax Christi Chorale presents one of Haydn’s most glorious works, The Creation. David Bowser conducts, featuring soloists soprano Danika Lorèn, tenor Charles Sy, and bass-baritone Olivier Laquerre, as well as the Toronto Mozart Players. I understand this performance also features a “visual interpretation through live video” by Sandy Rossignol. | Listing

Royal Conservatory of Music | Gautier Capuçon with Jérôme Ducros. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St W. $40-$85

French cellist Gautier Capucon and pianist Jerome Ducros play a program of Faure, Massenet, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. | Listing

Sunday 29

Orpheus Choir of Toronto | This Thirsty Land. 3:30 p.m. St. Anne’s Anglican Church, 270 Gladstone Ave. $40/$36(sr)/$15(st)

Toronto premiere of This Thirsty Land by Canadian composer Leonard Enns, plus the combined voices of the Orpheus Choir and the DaCapo Chamber Choir in works by Bruce Sled, Eriks Esenvalds, Trond Kvemo et al. | Listing

Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto | I Saw Eternity. 4 p.m. Eglinton St. George’s United Church, 35 Lytton Blvd. $30(sr)/$20(under 30)

Amadeus Choir presents I Saw Eternity, a program of mystical music on themes of eternity by Eleanor Daley, Imant Raminsh, Hussein Janmohamed, Healey Willan, J.S. Bach and others. Joining the choir will be cellist Bryan Holt and pianist Eunseong Cho. The concert will be enhanced by a multimedia presentation of nature photography of Colin Winn. | Listing

Update: April 24, 9:00 am. A previous version incorectly stated that Against the Grain Theatre’s event on Thursday was at Hourbourfront Centre Theatre. The event is at Fleck Dance Theatre. 

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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