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CRITIC'S PICKS | 10 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto (Feb. 3 - 9)

By Joseph So on February 3, 2020

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of February 3 to 9.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of February 3 to 9.

Critic’s Picks (February 3 – 9)

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 4

Canadian Opera Company | The Barber of Seville 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $125-$350. Last performance Feb. 6.

Your last two chances to see this Rossini gem, conducted by Italian Maestra Speranza Scappucci, who is taking the Toronto opera scene by storm, not to mention a terrific cast: Emily D’Angelo, mezzo (Rosina); Vito Priante, baritone (Figaro); Santiago Ballerini, tenor (Almaviva); Renato Girolami, bass (Bartolo); Brandon Cedel, and bass (Basilio). Don’t miss it! | Details

Wednesday 5

Canadian Opera Company | Vocal Series: Brandon Cedel 5:30 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Free.

American bass-baritone Brandon Cedel, currently Basilio in Barber of Seville, performs “An Evening of Song,” a program of Purcell, Handel, Brahms, and Aaron Copland, with Sandra Horst at the piano. Note that this recital is at 5:30 p.m. instead of the usual noon hour. | Details

Thursday 6

Canadian Opera Company | Hansel and Gretel 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $45-$350. Seven performances running to Feb. 21. Start times vary, check website for details.

The second production of COC’s winter season is Hansel and Gretel, in an unorthodox take on the fairy tale by Joel Ivany. Emily Fons, mezzo (Hansel); Simone Osborne, soprano (Gretel); Russell Braun, baritone (Peter); Krisztina Szabó, mezzo (Gertrude); Michael Colvin, tenor (The Witch); Anna-Sophie Neher, soprano (Sandman/Dew Fairy); Johannes Debus, conductor. | Details

Tafelmusik | Dreaming Jupitor. 8 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $20-$99. Repeats Feb. 7 and 8 at 8 p.m., Feb. 9 at 3:30 p.m.

Viola da gamba virtuoso Vittorio Ghielmi is the guest director of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in a program of French baroque, featuring the works of Rebel, Forqueray, Rameau, Lully, Marais, and the world premiere of Jupitor (Forqueray/Ghielmi). | Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Joshua Bell with NACO 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $45-$185.

Violinist Joshua Bell plays the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the National Arts Centre Orchestra conducted by Alexander Shelley. The program also features works by Boulanger, Morlock, and Debussy. | Details

Friday 7

Nathaniel Dett Chorale | Voices of the Diaspora – Harriet Tubman: The Opera. 7:30 p.m. Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. $30/$25(sr)/$15(st)/Free(under 12)

Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom is an opera about Harriet Tubman, a young girl born into slavery who became the legendary Underground Railroad conductor. “Based on recent Tubman biographies, the story is told in the context of Tubman’s tight-knit family of lively characters. It carries the universal themes of sisterhood, courage, sacrifice and doing what is necessary to keep a family together.” | Details

Saturday 8

Amadeus Choir | Songs From a Celtic Heart. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Jubilee United Church, 40 Underhill Dr. North York. $50/$40(sr)/$25(st).

Amadeus Choir’s annual fundraiser this year is Songs From a Celtic Heart, featuring well-loved pieces from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Maritimes, plus a silent auction, fun games, cash bar, and complimentary refreshments. | Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Singin’ in the Rain – Film with Orchestra 2 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $47-$131. Repeats 7:30 p.m.

Jack Everly conducts the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in a screening of Singin’ in the Rain, one of the top 25 Hollywood musicals of all time. | Details

Royal Conservatory of Music | Discovery Series: Glenn Gould School Vocal Showcase. 7:30 p.m. Mazzoleni Hall, Telus Centre, 273 Bloor St. W. $20.

This concert is ideal for voice fans keen to hear up-and-coming singers, in the RCM/GGS Vocal Showcase, featuring opera arias and art songs on the program. | Details

Sunday 9

The Piano Lunaire | Snow Moon “Phases” with the Happenstancers. 7:30 p.m. Bunker Lane Press, 1001 Bloor Street West (Rear), Toronto.

Adam Sherkin and the Piano Lunaire celebrate Snow Moon, featuring The Happenstancers (Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh, violin & viola; Brad Cherwin, clarinet;Lisa Tahara, piano) in Mozart Trio in Eb, ‘Kegelstatt,’ K. 481; Augusta Read Thomas Dancing Helix Rituals; Beethoven Trio in Bb, ‘Gassenhauer,’ Op. 11; and Bram van Camp Music for 3 Instruments. | 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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