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CRITIC'S PICKS | 12 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto (Nov. 4 – 10)

By Joseph So on November 4, 2019

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of November 4 to 10.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of November 4 to 10.

Critic’s Picks (November 4 – 10)

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 4

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

Last performance of this interesting show in conjunction with Holocaust Education Week. 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

Wednesday 6

Canadian Opera Company | Music of Exile: Mieczyslaw Weinberg. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Arrive early to secure a seat.

Students from the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto join forces to perform music of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s Piano Trio Op.24, and Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s String Quartet No.1. | Details

National Ballet of Canada | Giselle. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. $41-$265. Six more performances Nov. 7, 8, 9, 10. Check website for start times.

Giselle, the iconic Romantic ballet set to the music of Adolphe Adam, is back at the National. The title character is a great vehicle for many a celebrated prima ballerina, including the recently passed Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso. Jillian Vanstone of the National celebrates her 20th anniversary in this current revival as Giselle. The National’s production is staged by Sir Peter Wright after Marius Petipa. | Details

ProArteDanza | The 9th. 8 p.m. Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre. $22-$50. Three more performances Nov. 7, 8, 9. 207 Queen Quay West.

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, ProArteDanza is presenting The 9th, a “21st century perspective on Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Award-winning choreographers Robert Glumbek and Roberto Campanella explore social and political themes through the visceral experience expressed by Beethoven’s music…” | Details

Thursday 7

Music Toronto | Vision String Quartet. 8 p.m. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. $47.50-$52/$10(st).

The Berlin-based Vision String Quartet makes its Toronto debut in a program of Bacewicz: Quartet No. 4 (1951); Haydn: Quartet in G, Op. 77 No.1 (Hob. III:81); and Schumann: Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3. | Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Opera in Concert: Thaïs 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $51-$154. Repeats Nov. 9, 8 p.m.

This Massenet opera has glorious music — is there a more beautiful violin solo than “Meditation”? It’s a shame that it’s not staged more often, but now we can experience its magic in concert form, with Sir Andrew Davis leading a stellar cast — soprano Erin Wall (Thaïs); baritone Josh Hopkins (Nathanael); tenor Andrew Staples (Nicias); and bass-baritone Nathan Berg (Palémon). Not to be missed. | Details

Friday 8

Opera Atelier | Don Giovanni. 7:30 p.m. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria St. $39-$194. Repeats Nov. 9 4:30 p.m.

Your last two chances to see this beautiful production of Don Giovanni, starring American bass-baritone Douglas Williams in the title role. He is 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

Royal Conservatory of Music | Ray Chen with Julio Elizalde 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $35-$90.

The young Chinese-Australian violin virtuoso Ray Chen is joined by American pianist Julio Elizalde in a program of chestnuts of the violin repertoire — Grieg: Violin Sonata No. 2 in G Major, op. 13; Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, op. 75; Bach: Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D Minor; Debussy: Clair de lune; and Ravel: Tzigane. | Details

Sinfonia Toronto | Mozart and Tchaikovsky 8 p.m. Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W. $42/$35(sr)/$15(st) Sold Out. Check with box office for returns.

Nurhan Arman conducts the Sinfonia Toronto, with soloists Marc Djokic (violin) and Christina Petrowska Quilico (piano) in a program of Mozart: Salzburg Symphony K 138; Ichmouratov: Letter from an Unknown Woman (North American premiere); Kuzmenko: “Skartaris” Duo Concerto (world premiere); and Tchaikovsky: Serenade. | Details

Tongue in Cheek Productions/Opera 5 | Eight Singers Drinking. 8 p.m. Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren Avenue. $35/$25 (arts workers).

Hand it to Tongue in Cheek Productions for innovative programming! In this show, each singer presents a set of songs inspired by a cocktail, and each is required to finish the drinks by the end of the set. The audience can enjoy their choice of the presented cocktails. Program details. Trevor Chartrand (piano) and soprano Rachel Krehm, mezzo Catherine Daniel, soprano Sonya Harper Nyby, tenors Ryan Downey and River Guard, baritones Michael Nyby and Aaron Durand, and mezzo-soprano Beste Kalender. Sounds like fun? | Details

Saturday 9

Orpheus Choir of Toronto | One Small Step.7:30 p.m. St. Anne’s Anglican Church, 270 Gladstone Ave. $45/$35/(sr)/$20(st)

Orpheus Choir celebrates the 50th anniversary of moon landing with this choral concert, including the premiere of Canadian composer Tawnie Olson’s That’s One Small Step… as well as works by Leonard Enns, Ola Gjeilo, Voces8, and others. Vaso String Quartet; Amanda Bolger (horn); Amelia Shields (horn). | Details

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

The iconic Puccini tearjerker is back at Met in HD, in the evocative production by the late Anthony Minghella. It stars Chinese spinto soprano Hui He in the title role. Andrea Care, who has sung to acclaim at the COC a few seasons back, is Pinkerton. Brilliant mezzo Elizabeth DeShong is Suzuki. One singer who will be missing is Placido Domingo, originally announced as Sharpless. Pier Giorgio Morandi conducts. | Details

This post has been updated; the original version of this post did not include the Met Live in HD.

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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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