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CRITIC'S PICKS | 8 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (May 13 – 19)

By Joseph So on May 13, 2019

Critic's Picks, Toronto, May 13–19, 2019.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of May 13 – 19.

Critic’s Picks (May 13 – 19)

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 14

Canadian Opera Company | Vocal Series: 1001 Nights: Tales from the East. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Limited Seating

Lebanese Canadian soprano Miriam Khalil, currently the alternate cast Mimi at COC’s La bohème, sings Schubert, Ravel, Manuel de Falla, Fernando Obradors and others, in a program of music with Eastern themes. She is joined by Topher Mokrzewski at the piano. | Details

Wednesday 15

Orpheus Choir Toronto | Orpheus by Request. 7:30 p.m. Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road. $45/$35(sr)/$20(under 30)

In this year-end concert by the Orpheus Choir and Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, the audience gets to decide on the program through online voting, revealed in a live countdown at the concert. Hosted by guest conductor Howard Dyck. | Details

Canadian Opera Company | Otello. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $45-$350. Runs to May 21.

COC’s Otello continues this week, with a superlative cast of Russell Thomas, tenor (Otello); Gerald Finley, baritone (Iago); Tamara Wilson, soprano (Desdemona); Andrew Haji, tenor (Cassio); Carolyn Sproule, mezzo (Emilia); Owen McCausland, tenor (Roderigo); and Önay Köse, bass (Lodovico). Johannes Debus conducts. Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Mahler Symphony No. 7. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $40.75-$154. Repeats May 16 8 p.m.

Sir Andrew Davis leads the TSO in a program of Mahler Symphony No. 7 coupled with Cesar Franck’s Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra, with pianist Louis Lortie. The evening opens with a TSO commission: Chan Ka Nin’s My Most Beautiful, Wonderful, Terrific, Amazing, Fantastic, Magnificent Homeland: Sesquie for Canada’s 150th. | Details

Toronto Choral Society | Two French Requiems. 7:30 p.m. Eastminster United Church, 310 Danforth Avenue. $25

Toronto Choral Society performs Two French Requiems – by Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Duruflé featuring the Talisker Players, Beste Kalender (mezzo), Dion Mazerolle (baritone), and William O’Meara (organ).  Geoffrey Butler (conductor). | Details

Thursday 16 

North Wind Concerts | Sopratutto Vivaldi! 7:30 p.m. Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. $32/$25(sr)/$18(st/artsworker)

North Wind Concerts, formerly Baroque Music Beside the Grange, presents Sopratutto Vivaldi, a program of chamber concertos and trio sonatas for oboe, violin, recorder/traverso, bassoon and harpsichord, with a focus on Antonio Vivaldi, plus a taste of G. P. Telemann and J.C. Fasch. Soloists are harpsichordist Stefano Demicheli, Marco Cera (oboe), Alison Melville (recorder/traverso), Cristina Zacharias (violin) and Dominic Teresi (bassoon). Details

Tapestry Opera/Opera on the Avalon | Shanawdithit 8 p.m. Imperial Oil Opera Theatre, 227 Front St. E. $50-$150. Six performances to May 18. Check listings for dates and start times.

A Canadian-Indigenous world premiere with music by Newfoundland composer Dean Burry, libretto by Algonquin playwright Yvette Nolan, Shanawdithit tells the story of “Shanawdithit (1801-1829), thought at the time of her death to be the last member of the Beothuk Nation in what is now Newfoundland. In 1829, Shanawdithit was taken to St. John’s by William Cormack, where she created a series of ten drawings that speak of the life of her people, their encounters with the European settlers, and loneliness of survival. These detailed drawings form the basis of the opera.” First Nations mezzo Marion Newman sings the title role; Clarence Frazer is Cormack. | Details

Friday 17

Furiosi Baroque Ensemble | I Furiosi: The Opera. 8 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $25/$15(sr/st).

Furiosi Baroque Ensemble presents I Furiosi, a pastiche Baroque opera, with music by Stephanie Martin and libretto by Craig Martin, with guest artist James Johnstone (harpsichord). | Details

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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 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).
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