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CRITIC'S PICKS | 10 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (Oct. 21 – 27)

By Joseph So on October 21, 2019

Critic’s Picks (October 21 – 27)
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of October 21 – 27.

Critic’s Picks (October 21 – 27)

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.

Monday 21

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Jonathan Crow and Joseph Johnson. 7:30 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. $40/$25(sr)/$10(st).

TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow and TSO Principal Cello Joseph Johnson join forces to perform Gliere: 8 Pieces, Op. 39, No. 1; Hong: The Current and Those Who Ride It; Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Cello; and Kodály: Duo for Violin and Cello. | Details

Tuesday 22

Canadian Opera Company | Chamber Music Series: Myths and Legends. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Arrive early to secure a seat.

Violinist Sandra Baron and members of the COC Orchestra play Karol Szymanowski’s Three Mythes for Violin and Piano. | Details

Canadian Opera Company | Rusalka 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. Repeats Oct. 24 and 26. $45-$350. Start times vary.

Your last three chances to see Antonin Dvořák’s highly dramatic and melodically inspired opera, Rusalka. The beautiful and evocative production by Sir David McVicar is a legitimate hit. It stars soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role. Tenor Pavel Černoch is the Prince, bass Stefan Kocan is Vodnik, mezzo Elena Manistina is Ježibaba, and soprano Keri Alkema is the Foreign Princess. COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts. | Details

Wednesday 23

Canadian Opera Company | Turandot. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. $80-$290. Repeats Oct. 25 and 27. Start times vary.

The last three performances of Puccini’s Turandot, in a production by stage director Robert Wilson. This evening’s performance features the alternate cast Turandot, the young American dramatic soprano Marjorie Owens. I heard four years ago in Richard Strauss’s Daphne at the Semperoper Dresden – an up and coming major voice. Calaf this evening is the Bulgarian tenor Kamen Chanev, last heard at the COC as Cavaradossi three seasons ago. Liu is Colombian American soprano Vanessa Vasquez. Carlo Rizzi conducts. | Details

Friday 25

Amici Chamber Ensemble | Komitas: A Canadian Tribute. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall

Co-presented by the Royal Conservatory of Music and celebrating the 150th birthday of Father Komitas, the Amici Chamber Ensemble performs Komitas’s Divine Liturgy, Folk Songs, Dances and Children’s Songs (arr. Serouj Kradjian); Tigran Mansurian’s Agnus Dei for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano; and Debussy’s Noël des enfants qui n’ont plus de maison. The Amici Chamber Ensemble (Joaquin Valdepeñas, clarinet; David Hetherington, cello; Serouj Kradjian, piano) is joined by baritone Russell Braun and the Elmer Iseler Singers. | Details

Toronto Consort | Countryside & Court. 8 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $20-$72. Repeats Oct. 26.
Toronto Consort (Katherine Hill, artistic director) opens the season with “the popular “voix de ville” songs and exquisite courtly music of Claude Le Jeune and his contemporaries, combined with the magic of guest traditional fiddler and dancer Emilyn Stam.” | Details

Saturday 26

Cineplex Canada | Met Live in HD: Manon 12:55 p.m. Select Cineplex Cinemas. $28

The second 2019-20 Met Live in HD presentation is Manon, Jules Massenet’s version of the Abbé Prevost novel, a counterpart to Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. This production by Laurent Pelly stars soprano Lisette Oropesa in the title role, and tenor Michael Fabiano as her lover Des Grieux. Artur Rucinski is Lescaut. Canadian baritone Brett Polegato, in his Met debut, sings Bretigny. Maurizio Benini conducts. With five acts and four hours given the length of Met intermissions, this is a bit of a marathon, but it’s well worth it! | Details

Royal Conservatory of Music | András Schiff. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. SOLD OUT but check with box office for possible returns.

As part of the Beethoven 250 Festival, Hungarian pianist András Schiff returns to perform a program of Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 12 in A flat Major, op. 26; Schumann: Piano Sonata No. 1 in F sharp Minor, op. 11; Schumann: Fantasy in C Major, op. 17; and Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Major, op. 53 (“Waldstein”). If you are not lucky enough to have a ticket, Sir András is giving a public masterclass on October 25, 3-6 p.m. at the Mazzoleni Hall. Free to the public but you must contact the box office in person or call (416) 408-0208 to secure an assigned seat. | Details

Sunday 27

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Young People’s Concert: Symphony Spooktacular. 2 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $31-$44. Repeats 4:00 p.m.

In anticipation of Halloween, the TSO’s Young People’s Concert under guest conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser is performing a spooky program of popular pieces by Grieg, Stravinsky, Mozart (soprano Teiya Kasahara sings Queen of the Night’s aria), Gounod, John Williams, Weber, Wagner and others. Audiences are encouraged to come dressed in costume! Concert is one hour with no intermission. | Details

Orchestra Toronto | Freude! 30 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall. 3 p.m. George Weston Recital Hall, Meridian Arts Centre, 5040 Yonge St., North York. $28.25-$52.25.

November 9 marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In celebration, Orchestra Toronto presents a concert of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A-major, with 14-year-old pianist Elijah Orlenko, winner of the 2019 Marta Hidy Prize for Piano, followed by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, with soprano Lesley Bouza, mezzo Andrea Ludwig, tenor Andrew Walker, and baritone Bradley Christensen. Choral forces are supplied by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, all under the baton of conductor Michael Newnham. | Details

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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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