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CRITIC'S PICKS | 10 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (May 6 – 12)

By Joseph So on May 6, 2019

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of May 6 – 12.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of May 6 – 12.

Critic’s Picks (May 6 – 12)

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.

Tuesday 7

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Queens of Soul. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $54.25-$118. Repeats May 8 (2 p.m. and 8 p.m.)

For jazz/soul/R&B fans – a program in tribute to legendary soul/R&B singers Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, and Adele. Jeff Tyzik (conductor); Brie Cassil, Melissa McMillan, and Shayna Steele, vocalists. | Details

Thursday 9

Canadian Opera Company | Otello. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $45-$350. Four more performances to May 21. Check website for start times.

The riveting Otello from the COC continues this week, with American tenor Russell Thomas in the title role. American soprano Tamara Wilson is Desdemona, and Canadian baritone Gerald Finley is Iago. Also in the cast are tenor Andrew Haji (Cassio), mezzo Carolyn Sproule (Emilia), and tenor Owen McCausland (Roderigo). Johannes Debus conducts. | Details

Art of Time Ensemble | Bests of Words and Music. 8 p.m. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W.  $25-$64 Check website for details. Repeats May 10, 11.

Art of Time Ensemble celebrates 20 years of mixing music, theatre, poetry, and words with this show of scenes from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing presented alongside music by Erich Korngold; Ophelia’s Mad Scene from Hamlet paired with Heggie’s Lieder for Soprano. Richard Greenblatt and Reza Jacobs perform excerpts from 2 Pianos 4 Hands and more. | Details

Tafelmusik | Bach: Magnificat. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $38-$110. Repeats May 10, 11, 12 (mat.).

Tafelmusik ends it season with Bach’s oratorio Magnificat, paired with Jan Dismas Zelenka’s lesser-known Missa Divi Xaverii, a Tafelmusik debut. Jana Miller, soprano; Meg Bragle, mezzo; Colin Ainsworth, tenor Tafelmusik Chamber Choir; conducted by Ivars Taurins. | Details

Show One Productions | Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg. 8 p.m. Sony Centre, 1 Front St. E. $62.75-$166.50. (Repeats through May 11.)

The renowned Eifman Ballet is returning to Sony Centre for an evening of Tchaikovsky: Pro And Contra, choreographed by Boris Eifman, to musical selections from Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker. | Details

Friday 10

Upper Canada Choristers | 25th Anniversary Concert. 7:30 p.m. Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. E. $25

The Upper Canada Choristers (conductor Laurie Evan Fraser) perform How Can I keep From Singing, celebrating its 25th anniversary of community service. Audience members are encouraged to bring a non-perishable item for the Daily Bread Food Bank. | Details

Saturday 11

Kindred Spirits Orchestra | Prokofiev’s Second. 3 p.m. Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, 10268 Yonge St., Richmond Hill. $15-$40.

Kristian Alexander conducts the Kindred Spirits Orchestra, featuring Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska-Quilico in Andre Mathieu’s Piano Concerto No. 4. The rest of the program contains Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 2, and Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis. | Details

Elmer Iseler Singers | Bach: Mass in B Minor. 7:30 p.m. Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge St. $25-$50.

The Elmer Iseler Singers, in collaboration with the Amadeus Choir, present J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass in celebration of Artistic Director/Conductor Lydia Adams’ 35 years with the Amadeus Choir. An excellent quartet of soloists: soprano Leslie Fagan, mezzo Catherine Wyn-Rogers, tenor Andrew Haji, and baritone Alexander Dobson. | Details

Met Live in HD/Cineplex | Dialogues of the Carmelites 12 p.m. Select Cineplex Cinemas in the GTA. $28

I admit I have a soft spot for Poulenc’s Les dialogues des Carmelites, which I first saw in 1977 at the Met, starring Shirley Verrett, Maria Ewing and Regine Crespin. The powerful John Dexter production is still in service. A great cast starring Isabel Leonard (Blanche), Karita Mattila (Croissy), Adrianne Pieczonka (Lidoine), and Erin Morley (Constance), conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Not to be missed. | Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Beethoven Symphony No. 5. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall. Repeats Sunday 3 p.m (George Weston Recital Hall). Both performances sold out, but do check with the box office for possible returns.

British conductor Nicholas Collon makes his TSO debut conducting a program of Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 featuring pianist Shai Wosner. | Details

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

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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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