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CRITIC'S PICKS | Eleven Concerts You Should Absolutely See This Week (May 7 – 13)

By Joseph So on May 7, 2018

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of May 7 – 13.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of May 7 – 13.

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 8

Canadian Opera Company | Piano Virtuoso Series: Impromptus and Improvisations. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre. Free. Be sure to show up an hour ahead for a seat.

Pianist/lawyer Linda Ippolito intended to pursue a solo career as a pianist until she was sidelined by a hand injury. It led her to study law at Osgood Hall, but she has remained a performing pianist.  She gives a program of works by Poulenc, Gieseking, Fauré, and Gershwin.  | Listing

Canadian Opera Company | Anna Bolena. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Remaining tickets $50-$350.  Repeats May 11 + four additional performances to May 26. Check website for start time.

To my eyes and ears, this Anna Bolena is the biggest hit of the COC season, with magnificent singing by Canadian-American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as Anna.  Equally terrific are 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 opera, be sure to catch this. | Listing

Thursday 10

Canadian Opera Company | Chamber Music Series: Beautiful Minds. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre. Free. Be sure to show up an hour ahead for a seat.

Glenn Gould School’s New Music Ensemble (Brian Current, Director; Maeve Palmer, soprano; Christopher Mayo, composer) presents works by Toru Takemitsu, Murray Schafer, and Christopher Mayo. | Listing

Canadian Opera Company | The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, $50-$350. Repeats May 12 (4:30 p.m.), 13 (2 p.m.) + two more performances ending May 19.

A revival of the innovative and visually striking Robert Lepage production continues this week. Premiered in 2009, this production remains fresh and visually striking. It is best to have a seat not too far from the stage, given the peculiarity of the staging. Jane Archibald (Nightingale), Owen McCausland (Fisherman), Oleg Tsibulko (Emperor). Johannes Debus conducts. | Listing

Eybler Quartet | Late Masterpieces. 7:30 p.m. Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. $30/$25(sr)/$15(st/artsworkers)

The Eybler Quartet (Aisslinn Nosky and Julia Wedman, violin; Patrick Jordan, viola; Margaret Gay, cello) presents Late Masterpieces, a program of late works by Mozart and Beethoven. Guest artist is clarinetist Tindaro Capuano. | Listing

Tapestry Opera | Songbook VIII. 8 p.m. Ernest Balmer Studio, 9 Trinity Street, Studio 315, Distillery District. $25. Repeats May 11 8 p.m.; May 12 4 & 8 p.m.

A concert of “highlights from Tapestry’s 38-year collection of absurd, tragic, and beautiful Canadian repertoire.” Topher Mokrzewski conducts and Michael Mori directs, with sopranos Natalya Gennadi, Annie Ramos, Gina Hanzlik, Irina Medvedeva, Maeve Palmer, Megan Micelli, Rebecca Gray, and Vanessa Oude-Reimerink; mezzos Camille Rogers and Alexandra Hetherington; tenor Ryan Downey; and bass-baritones Alex Matthews and Dominic Veilleux. Deborah Hui and Mattthew Whitfield at the piano. | Listing

Friday 11

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | What Makes It Great? 7:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall. Repeats May 12. $46.75-$89.75.

Conductor and host Rob Kapilow is back, this time exploring all facets of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. The concert features two (“Spring” and “Summer”) of the four concertos with violinist Timothy Chooi. | Listing

Toronto Bach Festival | Two Brandenburg With Love. 8 p.m. St. Barnabas-on-the-Danforth, 361 Danforth Ave. $40/$35(sr)/$15(30 & under).

This concert opens the Toronto Bach Festival (May 11- 13), featuring John Abberger, oboe d’amore; Julia Wedman, violin; Alison Melville, recorder; and Scott Wevers, natural horn. | Listing

Saturday 12

Tallis Choir | Milestones. 7:30 p.m. St. Patrick’s Church, 141 McCaul St. $30/$25(sr)/$10(st)

Tallis Choir ends its 40th anniversary season by commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Canadian composer Healey Willan; and celebrating Canada 150 by performing works of Canadian composers Daley, Larkin and Ager. Peter Mahon conducts. | Listing

Tafelmusik | Bach Motets. 8 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $19-$97.

Tafelmusik Chamber Choir (Ivars Taurins, director) performs works by Johann Sebastian Bach and his cousin, Johann Christoph Bach. Also featured is violinist Cristina Zacharias playing movements from Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin. | Listing

Toronto Masque Theatre | The Last Chaconne: A Celebration. 8 p.m. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre, 27 Front St. E. $60

This is it, folks!  This is the farewell performance of the Toronto Masque Theatre, featuring a huge lineup of artists including sopranos Monica Whicher, Shannon Mercer, Vania Chan, and Agnes Zsigovics; mezzo Laura Pudwell; countertenor Daniel Cabena; tenors Lawrence Wiliford and Colin Ainsworth; bass-baritones Alexander Dobson and Clarence Frazer; actors Derek Boyes and Martin Julien; dancers Marie-Nathalie Lacoursiere and Stepanie Brochard. Larry Beckwith leads the TMT forces in works by John Blow, Dean Burry, Handel, Alice Ping Yee Ho, Purcell, James Rolfe, and a new work by Andrew Downing. | Listing

Sunday 13

The Royal Conservatory of Music | Invesco Piano Concerts: Yuja Wang. 3 p.m. Koerner Hall.  SOLD OUT

The sensational Chinese pianist Yuja Wang returns for her fourth appearance at Koerner Hall, in a program of Rachmaninov, Ligeti, Prokofiev, and Scriabin. If you don’t have a ticket, you are out of luck!  It’s sold out. But do call the box office – you’ll never know if you don’t try!

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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