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CRITIC'S PICKS | 10 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Month (June 10 – 29)

By Joseph So on June 10, 2019

Concert Events, Toronto, June 10 - 29 2019.
Classical music, opera, theatre and dance events happening in and around Toronto for the week of June 10 – 29.

Critic’s Picks (June 10 – 29)

This Critic’s Picks is the last of the 2018-19 concert season. It goes into summer hiatus and returns in the third week of September for the 2019-20 season. There are plenty of exciting summer concerts worth attending in the GTA.  A preview of Toronto Summer Music (July 11 – Aug. 3), including an interview with TSM Artistic Director Jonathan Crow, will appear in the coming days. For a look at the full breadth of what’s available in and around Toronto, check out our curated concert listings here.

Monday 10

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Modern Broadway. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $59-$113.  Also June 11 8 p.m., June 12 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

TSO Pops conductor Steven Reineke leads the Orchestra and vocalists Betsy Wolfe and Jeremy Jordan in Broadway hits The Book of Mormon, Once, The Baker’s Wife, The Last Five Years, and Newsies, as well as songs from Les Misérables, Cats, Miss Saigon, and Little Shop of Horrors. | Details

Thursday 13

Ann Cooper and Errol Gay | Let’s Make a Fuss! 7:30 p.m. St. Andrew’s Church, 73 Simcoe St. Toronto. $20 (suggested donation, cash only)

Two well-known members of the Canadian music community, Ann Cooper Gay and Dr. Errol Gay, present a benefit concert featuring members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company and others, including violinist and TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow, baritone Russel Braun, vocalist Adi Braun, baritone Peter Barcza, and soprano Lauren Margison.  All proceeds to benefit Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s Focused Ultrasound (FUS) Research, currently being tested to treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. | Details

Luminato Festival | Obeah Opera. 8 p.m. Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay. $36-$68/$30-$51(student/youth/artsworker).  Runs to June 22. Check listings for details of additional performances.

Obeah Opera, conceived, written and composed by Nicole Brooks, is “a hypnotizingly rhythmic a capella retelling of the Salem witch trials, from the perspective of the Caribbean slave women who experienced it.” Performed by an all-female cast, it centers on the first woman accused, the young Caribbean slave Tituba. A multi-disciplinary show, it incorporates elements from musical theatre, opera, and dance. | Details

Saturday 15

Tafelmusik | Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Festival Grand Finale. 7:30 p.m. Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road. This event is general admission and tickets are required. Limited tickets, available on June 11, 2019, at 10 am, must be obtained in advance at the Tafelmusik Box Office (427 Bloor Street West). A very limited number of tickets will be made available online. Maximum 2 per person.

In this Grand Finale to the Tafelmusik’s Summer Festival, the combined forces of the TBSI Orchestra and Choir, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, perform a baroque extravaganza, directed by Jeanne Lamon and Ivars Taurins, in a program of music by Handel, Rameau, Charpentier, and Zelenka. | Details

Wednesday 19

Soundstreams | Hell’s Fury, The Hollywood Songbook. 7 p.m. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. $45-$95/$30-$71.25(st/youth/artsworker). Four more performances to June 23. Check website for details.

In Hell’s Fury, The Hollywood Songbook, baritone Russell Braun and pianist Serouj Kradjian perform songs by Austrian/German composer Hanns Eisler, who was exiled to America during the Nazi era. Best known for his collaboration with Bertolt Brecht and his film scores. Staged by Tim Albery with design by Michael Levine. | Details

National Ballet of Canada | The Merry Widow. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Only Rings 4 and 5 tickets remain @ $40-$139. Six more performances to June 23.

Set to the divine score by Franz Lehar and choreography by retired Australian principal dancer John Meehan, this run of The Merry Widow marks the farewell of Principal Dancer Xiao Nan Yu, after 22 seasons with the National.  She is Hanna Glawari on June 19 and 22 (eve). She will be honoured in the second performance. Partnering her as Danilo is Guillaume Côté. | Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Carmina Burana.  Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St.  $50.75-$154. Three additional performances to June 23.

Scottish maestro Donald Runnicles returns to lead the TSO in Carl Orff’s spectacular choral piece Carmina Burana. Also on the program is the exquisite violin concerto by Korngold, with James Ehnes as the soloist. The soloists in Orff are soprano Nicole Haslett, tenor Sunnyboy Dladla, and baritone Norman Garrett. They are joined by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Toronto Youth Choir, and the Toronto Children’s Chorus. | Details

Monday 24

TD Toronto Jazz Festival | Diana Ross; Rhonda Ross – Opening Set. 8 p.m. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E. $75-$200 + service charge.

Diana Ross headlines this year’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival at the Sony Centre. The Festival runs June 21-30. Check their website for all the concerts.  Another very interesting show is given by Cecile McLorin Salvant on June 27 at Koerner Hall. She received the Protégé Award from Jessye Norman at the Glenn Gould Gala back in February. | Details

Friday 28

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Gustavo Gimeno Conducts The Firebird. 7:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $42-$154. Also June 29 7:30 p.m. and June 30 3 p.m.

If you missed his previous appearance and curious about the incoming TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno, this is your chance! He’ll be in town to conduct Stravinsky’s The Firebird, paired with the Sibelius Violin Concerto (Jonathan Crow, violinist) and Prokofiev Symphony No. 1. | Details

Saturday 29

Kindred Spirits Orchestra | Iron and Steel. 8 p.m. Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W. $15-$40.

Czech conductor Jiří Petrdlik leads the Kindred Spirits Orchestra in Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis, Prokofiev Symphony No. 2, and Andre Mathieu Piano Concerto No. 4 with pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico. Pre-concert talk in the foyer (7:30 p.m.) and Intermission discussion with Christina Petrowska Quilico and Michael Berec, host. | 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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