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CRITIC'S PICKS | 7 Concerts You Should Absolutely See This September

By Joseph So on September 4, 2018

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for September 3 – 23.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for September 3 – 23.

Ludwig van Toronto’s Critic’s Picks are a fully curated list of some of the best concerts in Toronto. This is not to say we are the provocateurs of taste, but simply seek to provide a good 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 (September 3 – 23)

Labour Day marks the traditional end of summer, and for Toronto music fans, the focus turns to the start of another music season. Usually, it takes a couple of weeks for the concert calendar to fill up, but this year there are several eye-catching early events well worth attending:

Wednesday 5

Tongue in Cheek Productions | Schubert: Winterreise. 7 p.m. Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., $35/$25 (arts workers)

Twenty-four basses/baritones join forces in Schubert’s Die Winterreise, the Mount Everest of German song cycle. A mix of veterans and newcomers: (in alphabetical order) Andrew Adridge, Bradley Christiansen, Parker Clements, Alain Coulombe, David Diston, Aaron Durand, Clarence Frazer, Alexander Hajek, Jason Howard, Johnathon Kirby, Keith Lam, Olivier Laquerre, Kyle Lehmann, Jeremy Ludwig, Doug MacNaughton, Dion Mazerolle, Michael Nyby, Michael Robert-Broder, Cairan Ryan, Andrew Tees, Giles Tomkins, Janaka Welihinda, Justin Welsh, and Dylan Wright. Trevor Chartrand is the pianist. | View Event

Friday 7

Opera by Request | Donizetti: Anna Bolena. 7:30 p.m. College St. United Church, 452 College St. $20. Call (416) 455-2365 for reservations and information.

If you haven’t had your fill of this Donizetti gem last spring, here’s your chance! Antonina Ermolenko (Anna); Monica Zerbe (Giovanna); John Holland (Enrico); Paul Williamson (Percy); Meghan Symon (Smeton). William Shookhoff, music director and pianist, in a concert performance. | View Event

Sunday 9

Native Earth Performing Arts | I Call Myself Princess. 2 p.m. Aki Studio Theatre, 585 Dundas St. East. $20/$15 (sr, st, aw) Performances Sept. 9 – 30, Tues -Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Previews (Sept. 9, 11, 12)

Paper Canoe Projects and Cahoots Theatre in association with Native Earth Performing Arts present the world premiere of I Call Myself Princess. Written by Jani Lauzon, this show is inspired by Shanewis: The Robin Woman, an opera about the Creek/Cherokee mezzo Tsianina Redfeather. First Nations mezzo Marion Newman sings the central character. Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate is music director, and Marjorie Chan is director and dramaturg. | View Event

Friday 14

Opera by Request | Mozart: Don Giovanni. 7:30 p.m. College St. United Church, 452 College St. $20. Call (416) 455-2365 for reservations and information.

A concert Don Giovanni with piano accompaniment, with baritone Norman Brown in the title role. Others in the cast include baritone John Holland (Leporello), soprano Alexandra LeBlanc (Anna), soprano Deena Nicklefork (Elvira), tenor Colin Frotten (Ottavio), soprano Danie Friesen (Zerlina), and bass-baritone George Ossipov doing double-duty as Masetto and Commendatore. Pianist/music director is William Shookhoff. | View Event

Saturday 15

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Mysterious Barricades. 2 p.m. Walter Hall, University of Toronto. Free.

A series of 13 concerts across Canada, in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day. This initiative is the brainchild of President and Co-founder of Mysterious Barricades, mezzo Elizabeth Turnbull, whose husband died by suicide in 2015. The goal is to help raise public awareness of mental illness and the importance of prevention. All concerts are free and will be live-streamed, but the artists would appreciate a full house. The Toronto concert features baritone Russell Braun, mezzo Norine Burgess, violinist Marie Berard, pianist John Greer, harpist Judy Loman, and the Mysterious Barricades Toronto Chorale. Soprano Monica Whicher is the host. | View Event

Thursday 20

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $40.75-$154. Repeats Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 22, 8 p.m.

The TSO opens its season with Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, led by Sir Andrew Davis, who is returning as its interim Music Director. Also on the program is Fantasy on Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Berlioz) and Variations concertantes Op. 74 (Hetu). | View Event

Tafelmusik | Mozart 40. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. Repeats 21 & 22 at 8 p.m., 23 at 3:30 p.m. $36-$139/$54-$134(sr)/$30(under 18).

In the season opener, violinist/conductor Elisa Citterio leads the Tafelmusik forces in an all-Mozart program, including a perennial favourite, Symphony No. 40 in G Minor. Dominic Teresi is the bassoon soloist. | View Event

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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