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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

CRITIC'S PICKS | 5 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (December 23 – January 5)

By Joseph So on December 23, 2019

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto from December 23 to January 5.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto from December 23 to January 5.

Critic’s Picks (December 23 – January 5)

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 24

National Ballet of Canada | The Nutcracker. 1 p.m. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. Twelve performances running to Jan. 4. $50-$198. Start times vary, consult website for casting details.

The last two weeks to catch The Nutcracker, the National Ballet’s holiday blockbuster. Tchaikovsky’s scintillating score paired with James Kudelka’s distinctive choreography means excellent family entertainment. Not to be missed. | Details

Saturday 28

Toronto Operetta Theatre | The Gypsy Baron. 8 p.m. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. Repeats Dec. 29, 31, Jan. 3, 5. Check website for start times. $55-$95.

There’s always a dearth of classical music around Christmas and New Year, so it’s great to have TOT filling the void. This year’s its Johann Strauss’s The Gypsy Baron, starring a fine young cast — soprano Meghan Lindsay, mezzo Beste Kalender, and tenor Michael Barrett. Derek Bate conducts and Guillermo Silva-Marin directs. | Details

Tuesday 31

Attila Glatz Concert Productions/Roy Thomson Hall | Bravissimo! Opera’s Greatest Hits. 7 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $55-$145.

The 2019 New Year’s Eve operatic extravaganza stars Armenian soprano Karine Babajanyan, Russian mezzo Maria Kataeva, Canadian tenor Luc Robert, and Hungarian baritone Michele Kálmándy. Michelangelo Mazza conducts the Opera Canada Symphony and Chorus. You’ll hear selections from Rigoletto, Tosca, La boheme, Aida, and Carmen. And you can be relatively sure that ‘Nessun dorma’ will make an appearance. | Details

Wednesday 1

Attila Glatz Concert Productions/Roy Thomson Hall | Salute to Vienna. 2:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $65-$155.

This is the granddaddy of Holiday programming from Attila Glatz, with concerts in 26 North American cities, from December 28 to January 5. Its combination of waltzes, operettas, ballroom dancing and ballet oozes Old World Charm, a perfect tonic after the New Year’s Eve revelry. The Toronto concert this year features soprano Micaëla Oeste, tenor Tilmann Unger, the Kiev-Aniko Ballet of Ukraine, and the International Champion Ballroom Dancers. Michael Zehetner conducts the Strauss Symphony of Canada. | Details

Sunday 5

Canzona Chamber Players | Trio Ink. 2 p.m. St.-Andrew-by-the-Lake Church, Cibola Ave., Toronto Island. Repeats Jan. 6, 7:30 p.m., St. George the Martyr Anglican Church, 197 John St., Toronto.

Now in its seventh season, the Canzona Chamber Players presents Trio Ink (Yosuke Kawasaki, violin; Wolfram Koessel, cello; and Vadim Serebryany, piano) in a program of Beethoven Trios. No additional program details available. | 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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