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CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical Events You Absolutely Need To See This Week: May 2 – 8

By Michael Vincent on May 2, 2022

Classical music and opera events for the week of May 2 to 8.
Classical music and opera events for the week of May 2 to 8.

This is a list of amazing concerts we are attending, wishing we could attend, or thinking about attending between May 2 – 8, 2022. For more details on what’s happening around Toronto, visit our calendar here.

Looking at the events on offer, Royal Conservatory seems to have become the de facto epicentre for classical music in Toronto this week. The amount of world-class programming is a testament to how lucky we are to have so many amazing venues in our city. Get out and take advantage!

Royal Conservatory | The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble: Sometimes the Devil Plays Fate

📅 Monday — May 2, 2022, 7:30 p.m. ET
📍 LINK
💸 Free!

The talented students of The Glenn Gould School will take the stage at RCM’s Temerty Theatre for the world premiere of Paul Frehner’s Sometimes the Devil Plays Fate for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra. The premiere was originally scheduled for 2021, but was cancelled. Also on the program is a work from visiting composer Sandeep Bhagwati. | Details

Tafelmusik | Bach B-Minor Mass

📅 Thursday — May 5, 2022, 7:30 p.m. ET (repeats online May 6)
📍 LINK
💸 $52.90+

This concert is a good contender for top pick this week. 1: It’s a chance to see the newly renovated Massey Hall. 2: It’s Tafelmusik performing with Masaaki Suzuki. 3: They will be performing Bach’s Mass in B minor (BWV 232) with a stellar cast of soloists, including soprano Joanne Lunn; countertenor Tim Mead; tenor Thomas Hobbs; and baritone Jonathon Adams. Book soon before it sells out. If you can’t make it, or it sells out, there will also be a digital livestream on May 6. | Details

Royal Conservatory | ARC Ensemble: Marc Neikrug’s A Song by Mahler

📅 Thursday — May 5, 2022, 7 p.m. ET
📍 LINK
💸 $21+

The Royal Conservatory’s ARC Ensemble will be performing the Canadian debut of A Song by Mahler, a one-act opera by Marc Neikrug for string quartet, piano, and clarinet. The opera is about a celebrated soprano, famous for a particular Mahler love song, develops early onset Alzheimer’s. The drama follows her and her pianist husband as they confront their new reality. The tragedy results in an elevated understanding of their love. This has all the making of a tearjerker, so bring some tissues. | Details

Toronto Operetta Theatre | A Northern Lights Dream

📅 Thursday — May 5, 2022, 8 p.m. ET (repeats May 6 &7).
📍 LINK
💸 $32+

It’s so great that some of the concerts that were cancelled during the lockdowns are now returning to the stage again. The synopsis alone makes A Northern Lights Dream worth the wait. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream, it’s set in the village of Shakespeare, Ontario, under the magical spell of the northern lights creating havoc over the local folk, their folly, disillusions, and romance. | Details

Royal Conservatory | Sheku Kanneh-Mason with Isata Kanneh-Mason

📅 Friday — May 6, 2022, # p.m. ET
📍 LINK
💸 $45+

One of the most talked-about cellists in the world will be making his Toronto debut this week. There’s also his sister Isata Kanneh-Mason, whose debut album, Romance, hit the UK classical charts at No. 1. This extraordinary brother and sister duo will be performing a program featuring Beethoven, Shostakovich, and Britten. Not-to-be-missed. | Details

Sinfonia Toronto | Schubert & Shostakovich (Online & In-person)

📅 Saturday — May 7, 2022, 8 p.m. ET
📍 LINK
💸 $15+

Sinfonia Toronto will be serenading the future with a spring program of Shostakovich, Schubert, Puccini, and Rachmaninoff. There’s also the premiere of Toronto composer Saman Shahi’s Suspended Doorways. The work is inspired by Ojibwe artist Michael Cywink’s painting of the same name. | Details

Royal Conservatory | Gautier Capuçon with Jean-Yves Thibaudet

📅 Sunday — May 8, 2022, 3 p.m. ET
📍 LINK
💸 $60+

Ending the week is cellist Gautier Capuçon. After two sold-out performances with Yuja Wang and Jérôme Ducros, French cellist Gautier Capuçon returns to the Koerner Hall stage with Jean-Yves Thibaudet. | Details

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Michael Vincent
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