Critic’s Picks (Oct. 22 – 28)
Ludwig van Toronto’s weekly Critic’s Picks are a curated list of some of the best concerts happening now through the end of the week. For a look at the full breadth of what’s available in and around Toronto, check out our curated concert listings here.
Canadian Opera Company | Vocal Series: Songs from the Heart. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Limited seating – be sure to show up early.
American mezzo Helene Schneiderman, in town to sing Madame Larina in Eugene Onegin, gives a recital of Yiddish, German, and English songs, many drawn from her CD, Makh tsu di Eygelekh (Yiddish Songs) on the German SWR2 label. Her pianist is Christopher Bagan, who will contribute a few solo piano pieces. | Details
Canadian Opera Company | Hadrian. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $45-$350. Repeats Oct. 25, 27 (last)
Hadrian, the first full-length COC commission of a Canadian Opera since The Golden Ass in 1999, concludes its run this week. It stars American baritone Thomas Hampson (Hadrian), Canadian tenor Isaiah Bell (Antinous), Finnish soprano Karita Mattila (Plotina), and Canadian soprano Ambur Braid (Sabina). Canadian heldentenor Ben Heppner comes out of retirement to sing the cameo role of Dinarchus. Johannes Debus conducts, and Peter Hinton directs. | Listing
Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $35.50-$131.75 Repeats Oct. 25, 27 (8 pm), Oct. 28 (3 pm).
Russian conductor Andrey Boreyko returns to the TSO in a program of Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Korndorf. Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova is the soloist in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. | Listing
Esprit Orchestra | For Orbiting Spheres. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $20-$65/$45-$60(sr)/$27-$37(<30/$25-$30(st)
Canada’s only full-sized professional orchestra devoted to new music, the Esprit Orchestra is presenting “a program with celestial connections” featuring works by Mazzoli, Chin, Ives, and Keuris. | Listing
Canadian Opera Company | Vocal Series: Harawi — Song of Love and Death. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Limited Seating. Be sure to arrive early for a seat.
Harawi is a song cycle by Olivier Messiaen for soprano and piano, inspired by Yaravi, a genre of Andean love songs where the lovers invariably die, not unlike Tristan und Isolde. Indeed, Messaien draws his inspiration from the Wagner opera, and Harawi is the first part of Messiaen’s Tristan Trilogy. Mezzo Simone McIntosh and pianist Rachael Kerr. | Details (PDF)
Opera Atelier | Acteon and Pygmalion. 7:30 p.m. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St. $46-$192. Repeats Oct. 27, 28, Nov. 2, 3. Start times vary.
OA’s fall season is a double-bill of Charpentier’s Actéon and Rameau’s Pygmalion. It has an excellent Canadian cast, starring tenor Colin Ainsworth, soprano Mireille Asselin, mezzo Allyson McHardy, baritone Jesse Blumberg, tenor Christopher Enns, and soprano Meghan Lindsay. David Fallis conducts the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. | Listing
Art of Time Ensemble | Best of Dance and Music. 8 p.m. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. $64/$43/$25(arts worker)/$15(st) Repeats Oct. 26, 27 8 p.m.
This first performance of Art of Time Ensemble’s 20th anniversary season features music by Beethoven, Gregorio Allegri, Prokofiev, and Cage, as well as the choreography of Kudelka, Baker, and Earle.| Listing
Canadian Opera Company | Eugene Onegin. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $45-$350. Repeats Oct. 30 and Nov. 3.
This celebrated Met production of Eugene Onegin by the Canadian duo of Robert Carsen (director) and Michael Levine (designer) finds new life at the COC. It opened on Sept. 30 to uniform praise for its terrific singing and evocative staging. Gordon Bintner (Onegin), Joyce El-Khoury (Tatiana), and Joseph Kaiser (Lensky) lead a superlative cast. Johannes Debus conducts. A must-see. | Listing
Pax Christi Chorale | Slavonic Devotion 7:30 p.m. Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd. $45/$40(sr)/$25(st) Repeats Oct. 28 3 p.m.
The season-opening concert features Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise and All-Night Vigil, with soprano Natalya Gennadi and pianist Lisa Tahara.| Listing
Met Opera Live in HD / Cineplex | La Fanciulla del West. 12:55 p.m. At Select GTA Cineplex Cinemas. $28
Puccini’s horse opera is back! And so is German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, after a four-year absence from the Met. He sings Dick Johnson, opposite Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek as Minnie. Serbian baritone Zeljko Lucic is Jack Rance. Marco Armiliato conducts.| Details
Mooredale Concerts | Dorian Wind Quintet. 3:15 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. $30/$20 (under 30)
Dorian Wind Quintet (Gretchen Pusch, flute; Gerard Reuter, oboe; Benjamin Fingland, clarinet; Adrian Morejon, bassoon; Karl Kramer-Johansen, horn) plays a chronological program from the 15th century to 21st century. | Listing