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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

CRITIC'S PICKS | 11 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (December 2 – 8)

By Joseph So on December 2, 2019

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of December 2 – 8.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of December 2 – 8.

Critic’s Picks (Dec. 2 – 8)

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 3

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir | Festival of Carols. 7:30 p.m. Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge St. Repeats Dec. 4.

TMC’s annual Christmas concert features the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, in a program of John Rutter’s carols, plus works by Willan, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams and others. Audiences are invited to a sing-along. David Fallis, conductor; Ezra Burke, associate conductor; Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, Simon Rivard, conductor. | Details

Against the Grain Theatre | Figaro’s Wedding. 8 p.m. Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity St. 12 performances to Dec. 20. $35-$90.

This is a revival of AtG’s adaptation of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, first seen in 2013, “modernized, translated into English and re-staged as one of Toronto’s millennial weddings…with the audience attending as wedding guests.” Bruno Roy (Figaro), Miriam Khalil (Countess), Ally Smither (Susanna), Phillip Addis (Alberto/Count), Lauren Eberwein (Cherubino), Jacques Arsenault (Basilio/Curzio), Maria Soulis (Marcellina), and Gregory Finney (Bartolo/Antonio). | Details

Wednesday 4

Tafelmusik | O Come, Shepherds. 7 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. Six performances including Dec. 10 at George Weston Recital Hall. $20-$94. Start times vary, check website for details.

The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra is joined by the Vesuvius Ensemble and Tommaso Sollazzo playing the zampogna, the Italian bagpipes played traditionally by shepherds. Program includes holiday works by Manfredini, dell’Abaco, plus traditional folk music from Southern Italy. Read our concert preview here. | Details

Thursday 5

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Operatic Showpieces. 7:30 p.m. MacMillan Theatre, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park. $30/$20(sr)/$10(st).

An evening of operatic overtures and choruses from Fidelio, Lohengrin, La forza del destino, Macbeth and Aïda, plus the world premiere of alumnus Felipe Tellez’s “Vocalize” from You and I, Here and There, sung by mezzo Nicole Percifield. Sandra Horst and Uri Mayer conduct the U of T Symphony Orchestra. | Details

Music Toronto | Gryphon Trio with Robert Pomakov. 8 p.m. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. $47.50-$52/$10(st).

The Gryphon Trio (Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin; Roman Borys, cello; Jamie Parker, piano) plays a program of Beethoven: Kakadu Variations, Op. 121a; Mussorgsky: Songs and Dances of Death (arr. Gary Kulesha) with bass Robert Pomakov; and Dvořák: Piano Trio No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 65. | Details

Friday 6

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Home Alone in Concert. 7:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. Nearly sold out, with remaining tickets $105-$185. Two more shows on Saturday Dec. 7 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Maccauley Culkin is back! Toronto audiences don’t seem to get enough of him and the Home Alone shows, with the TSO playing the John Williams score. Also appearing is the Resonance Youth Choir. Constantine Kitsopoulos conducts. | Details

Exultate Chamber Singers | Holidays with a Twist. 8 p.m. St. Thomas’s Anglican Church, 383 Huron St. $30/$25(sr)/$20(arts worker)/$10(st)

The Exultate Chamber Singers, under its new Artistic Director, Dr. Mark Ramsay, presents a concert of holiday favourites. | Details

Upper Canada Choristers | Christmas Fantasy. 8 p.m. Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road. $25.

The Upper Canada Choristers (Laurie Evan Fraser, Artistic Director) presents a concert of carols through the ages, with special guest baritone Bradley Christensen. | Details

Saturday 7

Sinfonia Toronto | Mozart and Mendelssohn. 8 p.m. Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W. $42/$35(sr)/$15(st).

Sinfonia Toronto (Nurhan Arman, conductor) presents a program of Chan Ka Nin: Salt and Vinegar; Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 with pianist Antonio di Cristofano; Burge: Port Milford Suite (Toronto premiere); and Mendelssohn: String Symphony No. 7. | Details

Sunday 8

Royal Conservatory of Music | The Tallis Scholars: Reflections. 3 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $40-$90.

A concert of plainsong from the Renaissance period to the 20th century, set to text of Salve Regina, Ave Maria, Miserere, O sacrum convivium, and Magnificat. | Details

Toronto Classical Singers | Handel’s Messiah. 4 p.m. Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge St. $30.

The Toronto Classical Singers (Jurgen Petrenko, Artistic Director), presents Handel’s Messiah, with the Talisker Players Orchestra and a quartet of soloists (Sheila Dietrich, soprano; Emma Mansell, mezzo; Cory Knight, tenor; and Michael Nyby, bass). | 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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