Critic’s Picks (Apr 29 – May 5)
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 of the Ukraine. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Limited Seating.
Ukrainian-Canadian soprano Andriana Chuchman, currently making a welcome return to the COC as Musetta in La bohème, is giving a noon-hour concert of Ukrainian songs, plus an aria or two, like Susanna’s calling card “Deh vieni non tardar” from Nozze. Hyejin Kwon is the pianist. | Details
Canadian Opera Company | Otello. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $45-$350. Seven more performances to May 21.
Otello, the final production of the COC season is a terrific show. A wonderful cast that includes Russell Thomas (Otello), Tamara Wilson (Desdemona), and Gerald Finley (Iago). It also benefits from David Alden’s atmospheric and intense staging, a bit quirky but par for the course. Johannes Debus conducts the COC Orchestra and Chorus. | Details
Royal Conservatory of Music | Luca Pisaroni & Thomas Hampson. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall 273 Bloor St. W. $55-$115. Pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.
What? No tenors allowed???! When the recital is given by these two great baritones, you won’t miss the tenor. Besides they are keeping it in the family, as Luca is Tom Hampson’s son-in-law! They are singing a fun program from Mozart to Irving Berlin, including “Anything You Can Do” — probably the first time this duet is tackled by two guys. Not to be missed! | Details
Tongue in Cheek Productions | Democracy in Action. 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. $35/$25(arts worker).
Hand it to Tongue in Cheek Productions for innovative programming. Ever since this group was founded about a year ago, it has attracted much attention – Winterreise sung by 24 men, one per song? Check. Verbotenlieder – songs that women are not supposed to sing? Check. Now the audience gets to call the shots in Democracy In Action. Natalya Gennadi, Teiya Kasahara, Krisztina Szabo, Julie Nesrallah, Romulo Delgado and others. | Details
Canadian Opera Company | Chamber Music Series: TSMF 2019 Preview. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Limited Seating.
A sneak peek at what Toronto Summer Music has in store this July-August. AD Jonathan Crow, who is also the TSO Concertmaster, is joined by pianist Philip Chiu, in a program of Cesar Franck, Brahms, Prokofiev, Gershwin and Rachmaninoff. | Details
Women’s Musical Club of Toronto | Rolston String Quartet. 1:30 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. $45
WMCT’s final concert of the season features the Rolston String Quartet (Luri Lee, violin; Emily Kruspe, violin; Hezekiah Leung, viola; Jonathan Lo, cello) in a program of Mozart, Beethoven, and Murray Schafer. | Details
Opera by Request | Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night and Waterbird Talk. 7:30 p.m. College St. United Church, 452 College St. $20
Dominick Argento’s one-act opera, Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night, is the revised and shortened version of Miss Havisham’s Fire, which I saw at the New York City Opera forty years ago starring coloratura soprano Rita Shane. It’s based on the character in Dicken’s Great Expectations. Here it’s paired with Argento’s Waterbird Talk. Soprano Brianna DeSantis is Miss Havisham, and baritone Parker Clement is The Lecturer. | Details
Sinfonia Toronto | Hatzis and Beethoven. 8 p.m. George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge St. $42/$35(sr)/$15(st)
Sinfonia Toronto (Nurhan Arman, conductor) performs Canadian composer Christos Hatzis’s Arabesque for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra with violinist Andrea Tyniec and pianist Todd Yaniw; and Beethoven’s Sinfonia Op. 18 No. 6a. | Details
Tallis Choir of Toronto | Light Divine 7:30 p.m. St. Patrick’s Church, 131 McCaul’s Street. $30/$25(sr)
From the Tallis Choir website: “A light, shining in the darkness. It is a common metaphor, often used to represent goodness and truth, and has been an inspiration to composers throughout history. In our final subscription concert of the season, Tallis Choir examines the use of this metaphor in music over the last 10 centuries, from Gregorian and Byzantine chant to contemporary settings, including works by Victoria, Elgar, Harris and Whitacre.” | Details
Toronto Classical Singers | A Whirlwind to Heaven. 4 p.m. Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge St. $30
The Toronto Classical Singers (Jurgen Petrenko, Artistic Director) and Talisker Players Orchestra perform Mendelssohn’s sublime oratorio, Elijah. Soloists are Lesley Bouza, Danielle MacMillan, Zachary Rioux, Matthew Zadow and Sarah Schmidt-McQuillan. | Details