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.
Critic’s Picks (June 4 – 10)
National Ballet of Canada | Frame By Frame. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. $65-$265. Repeats to June 10 for an additional six performances.
This new creation by Robert Lepage and Guillaume Côté on the life and work of Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren had its world premiere on June 1 to tumultuous ovations. I was in the audience and found it completely deserving of the audience accolades for its directorial brilliance and dazzling special effects. The dancing, especially near the end of the two-hour show (no intermission) was wonderful too. | Listing
Here’s a taste on Youtube:
Soundstreams | The Little Match Girl Passion. 8 p.m. June 6 & 7, Crow’s Theatre, 345 Carlaw Ave. $42.04-$67.50 Repeats June 7.
The Little Match Girl Passion is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s famous tale. David Lang has written his own text and set to music. Also on the program is a new work by James Rolfe for voice and accordion. | Listing
Luminato Festival | Swan Lake/Loch na hEala. 8 p.m. Bluma Appel Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. Runs to June 10. $50.07-$94.62/$31.25(st/youth/artworker).
Luminato 2018 (June 6 – 24) presents Swan Lake/Loch na hEala, a “magical contemporary adaptation from the imagination of one of Ireland’s most original and celebrated dance and theatre-makers.” Created by Michael Keegan-Dolan, this new interpretation of Swan Lake is rooted in the midlands of Ireland where ancient mythology and the modern world collide. | Listing
Tapestry Opera | Queers Crash The Opera. 7 p.m. Ernest Balmer Studio, 9 Trinity Street, Distillery District. $25. Repeats June 8 7 p.m.
In partnership with Pride Toronto, Tapestry Opera is presenting Tap This: A Queerated Opera Series (June 7-9) at the Ernest Balmer Studio. Queers Crash The Opera is a selection of queer-themed opera curated by David Eliakis featuring soprano Teiya Kasahara, tenor Derek Kwan, mezzo Catherin Carew, bass Alain Coulombe, with Eliakis on the piano. Other shows include Cocktales with Maria (June 8,9) composed by Canadian tenor Isaiah Bell, featuring tenor Joel Klein. Also Queer of the Night with coloratura soprano Teiya Kasahara. Check website for details. | Listing
Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. 7:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $40.75-$154 Repeats June 9 (no Wagner).
Guest conductor Thomas Dausgaard leads the TS forces in Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (violinist Vadim Gluzman) and Dvořák Symphony No. 8. | Listing
Opera by Request | Anna Bolena. 7 p.m. St. Andrew’s United Church, 117 Bloor St. E. $20. Phone 416 455-2365 for reservations and information.
If you managed to miss the COC’s production this spring, or if you still want more Bel Canto fix, here’s your chance! The cast is not as starry, but these singers are still worth hearing – Antonina Ermolenko (Anna), Monica Zerbe (Giovanna), John Holland (Enrico), and Paul Williamson (Percy). Bill Shookhoff, pianist/conductor. | Listing
Lowville Festival | Ben Heppner in Concert. St. George’s Hall, 7051 Guelph Line (north of Derry Road), Milton, ON. $60.
This is not in the GTA, but given that hearing Ben Heppner is worth ttravellingfor, here it is! Heppner in Concert, with the Lowville Festival Choir, in a program of musical theatre favourites, folksongs, and spirituals. | Details
Gallery 345 | Artis Duo. 2 p.m. Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren Ave. $25/10(st). Cash only at the door. Reserve tickets at firstname.lastname@example.org
Violinist/composer Oleksandra Fedyshyn and pianist Anna Shalaykevych play a recital of works by Franck, Ravel, Bartok, Myroslav Skoryk, Oleksandra Fedyshyn, and Piazzolla. | Listing
Orchestra Toronto | Skǿl Scandinavia! 3 p.m. George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St. 2:15 p.m. Pre-concert chat with conductor Kevin Mallon. $19–45.
The final concert of Orchestra Toronto’s 2017-18 season features works by Sibelius, Nielsen, and Grieg, with conductor Kevin Mallon and soloist Laura Chambers, flute. | Listing
Lark Ensemble | Prelude to Summer. 7:30 p.m. Corkin Gallery, 7 Tank House Lane, Distillery District, Toronto. $35/$20(st)
The Lark Ensemble (Les Allt, flute; Aaron Schwebel, violin; Roberta Janzen, cello; Keith Hamm, viola) present a program of Beethoven, Debussy, Dohnanyi. and David Jaeger. | Listing