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CRITIC'S PICKS | 10 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (February 10 – 16)

By Joseph So on February 10, 2020

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of February 10 – 16.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of February 10 – 16.

Critic’s Picks (February 10 – 16)

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 10

Associates of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Beethoven: Kreutzer and the Archduke. 7:30 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $25/$23(sr &st) plus $2.54 fee.

The Small Concerts Series of the Associates of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, now in its 47th season, presents an all-Beethoven program — the ‘Kreutzer’ sonata for violin & piano in A major, Op. 47 #9; and the ‘Archduke’ piano trio in B flat major), Op.97. Atis Bankas (violin), Joseph Johnson (cello), and Victoria Kogan piano. | Details

Tuesday 11

Canadian Opera Company | Chamber Music Series: Schumann and Ravel 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Limited seating.

Artists of the COC Orchestra (Aya Miyagawa and Clara Lee, violin; Joshua Greenlaw, viola; Naomi Barron, cello) perform Schumann’s String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 41 and Ravel’s String Quartet in F major. | Details

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | What Makes It Great?: Mendelssohn String Octet. 7:30 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. $40/$25(sr)/$10(st)

Conductor Rob Kapilow, Wilma and Clifford Smith Visitor in Music, presents Mendelssohn’s String Octet with the Rolston String Quartet and U of T Strings, featuring Timothy Ying and Erika Raum, violins; Masumi Rostad, viola; and Shauna Rolston, cello. Maestro Kapilow gives talks on the works we hear in concert halls. He’ll be signing copies of his book Listening for America: Inside the Great American Songbook from Gershwin to Sondheim immediately following the concert in the Walter Hall lobby. | Details

Canadian Opera Company | Hansel and Gretel 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $45-$350. Repeats Feb. 16, 2 p.m.

In this new production of Hansel and Gretel directed by Joel Ivany, the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale has been time and place-shifted to present day Toronto. 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

Thursday 13

Canadian Opera Company | Hansel and Gretel: Special Performance for Young Audiences. 10:30 a.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Tickets half price for under 16. Repeats Feb. 15, 2 p.m.

This special performance is suitable for young people Grade 4 and up. The opera is sung in English and is 90 minutes in length without intermission. Jamie Groote, mezzo (Hansel); Anna-Sophie Neher, soprano (Gretel); Joel Allison, bass-baritone (Peter); Simona Genga, mezzo (Gertrude); Matthew Cairns, tenor (The Witch); Lauren Margison, soprano (Sandman/Dew Fairy); all current or former members of the COC Ensemble Studio. Derek Bate, conductor. | Details

Friday 14

Opera by Request | Ring Cycle: Das Rheingold. 7:30 p.m. College St. United Church, 452 College St., Toronto. $30/$25(adv.) $70(cycle of 4 operas). Die Walkure, Sat. 15 6 p.m.; Siegfried, Sun. 16 2 p.m.; Gotterdammerung, Mon. Feb. 17, 3 p.m. A second cycle to take place in Belleville, Ontario May 22-24.

Kudos to Opera By Request for their most audacious undertaking yet — Wagner’s Ring Cycle, with piano accompaniment, joined by the Berlin Wagner Gruppe. Miriam Gordon-Stewart/Susan Tsagkaris (Brünnhilde); Michael York/Andrew Tees (Wotan); Robert Martin (Siegfried); Vanessa Lanch (Sieglinde /Freia /Gutrune); Peter Bass/John Holland (Alberich); Lenard Whiting (Loge); Erin Armstrong/Jilian Yemen (Fricka); Oliver Dawson (Mime); John Holland/Michael Robert-Broder (Donner); Francesca Corrado (Erda); George Ossipov (Fafner); Dylan Wright (Fasolt) and others. William Shookhoff, music director. | Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Rachmaninoff & Scheherazade. 7:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $51-$154. Repeats Feb. 15 (8 p.m.) and 16 (3 p.m.)

A Maestra new to me, Elim Chan, conducts the TSO in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Stephen Hough pianist, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. The concert opens with the Canadian premiere of Elizabeth Ogonek’s as though birds. | Details

Royal Conservatory of Music | Johannes Debus Conducts The Royal Conservatory Orchestra 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $25-$60. Pre-concert chat at 7:15 p.m.

As part of RCM’s Beethoven 250 Festival, COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in a program of Richard Strauss Don Juan, op. 20; Keiko Abe Prism Rhapsody; and Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A Major, op. 92. | Details

Saturday 15

Toronto Operetta Theatre | Glamorous Nights — A Tribute to Ivor Novello. 4 p.m. Edward Jackman Centre, 947 Queen St. E., 2nd Floor, Toronto. $45.

This cabaret features the music of British songwriter Ivor Novello, famous for his two wartime songs — “Keep the Homefires Burning” and “We’ll Gather Lilacs in the Spring.” Guillermo Silva-Marin is the host, and singers include Lynn Isnar, Holly Chaplin, Michael Barrett, Cian Horrobin and Ian Backstrom with Peter Tiefenbach as pianist and music director. | Details

Sunday 16

Voicebox/Opera in Concert | Kamouraska. 2:30 p.m. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. $20-$50.

Voicebox/Opera in Concert presents Kamouraska, a rarely performed work by Canadian composer Charles M. Wilson. A story of the “classic and tumultuous love triangle played out near a village in Quebec, brought to life by the profound artistry of Anne Hebert…resounding in its musical re-imagining for the lyric stage.” Performers are soprano Jennifer Taverner, tenor Matt Chittick, and baritone Cairan Ryan. Robert Cooper conducts. | 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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