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CRITIC'S PICKS | 10 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (Oct. 29 – Nov. 3)

By Joseph So on October 28, 2019

Critic’s Picks (Oct. 28 – Nov. 3)
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of October 29 – November 3.

Critic’s Picks (Oct. 28 – Nov. 3)

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 29

Canadian Opera Company | Old Songs, New Songs. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Arrive early to ensure a seat.

Tenor Matthew Cairns, the First Prize winner of the 2018 COC Ensemble Competition and currently a member of the Ensemble Studio, gives a recital of songs by Duparc, Handel, Bernstein and Harry Somers. The performance of these songs is a preview of a CBC recording of Cairns to happen soon. Rachael Kerr is the pianist. | Details

Thursday 31

Opera Atelier | Don Giovanni. 7:30 p.m. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria St. $39-$194. Repeats Nov. 2, 3, 8, 9. Start times vary.

Canada’s premiere Baroque opera company opens its season with a perennial favourite, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, in a revival of the lovely 2011 production. American bass-baritone Douglas Williams, last in town as Neptune in Idomeneo, sings the title role, joined by Colin Ainsworth, Gustav Andreassen, Mireille Asselin, Stephen Hegedus, Carla Huhtanen, Olivier Laquerre, Meghan Lindsay, and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of David Fallis. | Details

TO Live/Attila Glatz Concert Productions | Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince In Concert. 7:30 p.m. Meridian Hall (formerly Sony Centre), 1 Front St. E. $55-$101. Repeats Nov. 1 & 2.

If you like your hit movies accompanied in real-time by a great band, this is for you!  And you can’t get a better band than the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in this, part 6 of the J.K. Rowling saga.  | Details

Friday 1

Royal Conservatory of Music/Glenn Gould School | Fall Opera: Siren Song. 7:30 p.m. Mazzoleni Hall, Telus Centre, 273 Bloor St. W. $20. Repeats Nov. 2.

Voice students from the Glenn Gould School, the professional arm of RCM, present Jonathan Dove’s Siren Song, led by Music Director Peter Tiefenbach. “The 70-minute work for five singers, an actor, and an orchestra of ten is a bizarre, true story of a young sailor who exchanges letters with a beautiful and successful model. Over time a romantic and passionate relationship develops, but a meeting proves increasingly difficult to arrange.”  Sounds intriguing? | Details

Trio Arkel | Après un Rêve. 7:30 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $35/$20(sr)/$10(st).

Trio Arkel – minus violist Teng Li – performs Ravel, Boulanger, Vieuxtemps, & Fauré. With special guests: pianist Francine Kay and violist Victor Fournelle-Blain. | Details

Opera York | La Traviata. 7:30 p.m. Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. $25-$50. Repeats Nov. 3 2 p.m.

Opera York, the opera company north of the 401, opens its season with the tried and true, Verdi’s La Traviata. Soprano Natalya Gennadi is Violetta, tenor Kijong Wi sings Alfredo, baritone Diego Catala takes on Germont. Penelope Ceookson directs and Denis Mastromonaco conducts. | Details

Royal Conservatory of Music | Karina Gauvin with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $40-$90.

Soprano Karina Gauvin joins conductor Alexander Weimann and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in a program of operatic rarities from the 18th century by Yevstigney Ipat’yevich Fomin, Dmitri Stepanovich Bortniansky, Domenico Dall’Oglio, Johann Adolph Hasse, Maxim Sozontovich Berezovsky,Dmitri Stepanovich Bortniansky, Giovanni Paisiello, and Christoph Willibald Gluck. | Details

Saturday 2

Pax Christi Chorale | The Sun, the Wind, and the Man with the Cloak. 7:30 p.m. Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge St. $50/$45/$25.

Pax Christi Chorale presents the world premiere of its commission, the cantata The Sun, the Wind, and the Man with the Cloak by Stephanie Martin, its Conductor Emeritus. It’s paired with the great Serenade To Music by Vaughan Williams. Allison Walmsley, soprano; Catherine Daniel, mezzo-soprano; Asitha Tennekoon, tenor;  Brett Polegato, baritone; Christina Faye, piano; Daniel Norman, organ; Stefan Kitai, percussion; and The Intermediate Chorus of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. | Details

Loose Tea Music Theatre | Singing Only Softly. 7:30 p.m. Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue. $35/$25(student & arts workers). Repeats Nov. 3 & 4.

This is Holocaust Education Week, and Loose Tea Music Theatre is presenting the world premiere of Singing Only Softly, inspired by the original, unedited texts of the diary of Anne Frank. The title character is portrayed by sopranos Sara Schabas and Gillian Grossman, with Music Director Cheryl Duvall. | Details

Sunday 3

Show One Productions | Hibla Gerzmava. 7 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $46-$120.

Russian soprano Hibla Gerzmava first appeared in Toronto with conductor Vladimir Spivakov two years ago. She is returning for a solo recital of songs and opera arias by Verdi, Bellini, Donizetti, Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Rachmaninoff. Ekaterina Ganelina is the pianist. | 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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