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Starting today, a weekend of musical riches for every Torontonian's taste

By John Terauds on October 12, 2012

Patricia O’Callaghan appears in multiple performance of two different shows at the 5th annual Global Cabaret Festival, which starts today.

Just because it was Thanksgiving last weekend doesn’t mean there are fewer concerts and shows in Toronto. It’s just that they’re crowded into fewer days.

This is one of those weekends where there is a bit too much going on, so, to help ease the burden of choice, here are some picks by taste:

CABARET IN MANY FORMS

The Young Centre in the Distillery District hosts its 5th annual Global Cabaret Festival. The choices are many — from an Elvis-themed cabaret to dancer Robert Glumbeck channeling Fellini. If I actually had time to go, I would check out:

  • What Was I Saying? — mezzo-soprano (and Classical 96 FM morning host) Jean Stilwell’s latest collaboration with fabulous accompanist and co-creator Patti Loach. Today at 7:15 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m.
  • A Night at the Popera — with characters like CBC Radio 2′s Tom Allen, creative minds like pianist Gregory Oh and actor/director/musician Mike Ross, not to mention a great cast and a choir, this should be a blast. Tomorrow at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3:15 p.m.
  • Patricia O’Callaghan’s Heart of the Song — folk meets art song in a collaboration featuring some talented and inventive artists.

You can find the full list of shows, performers (there are about 100 people participating in this weekend extravaganza) and other details here.

ART SONG

Franz Schubert gets his due on Sunday afternoon at the Glenn Gould Studio as Off Centre Music Salon presents its annual Schubertiad. The programme includes Lieder sung by tenor Lawrence Wiliford and soprano Allison Angelo, and Boris Zarankin’s haunting interpretation of the final Piano Sonata. You’ll find all the details here.

CHAMBER MUSIC

  • The lauded Jerusalem Quartet presents a rich programme of Beethoven, Borodin and Bartók at the Markham Theatre tonight at 8. You’ll find the details here.
  • Toronto’s own Windermere Quartet offers a period-instrument take on quartets by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven at St Olave’s Anglican Church in Bloor West Village on Sunday afternoon. Details here.

ESPRIT CELEBRATES 30 YEARS

Is it, or isn’t it a coincidence that both Soundstreams and Esprit Orchestra celebrate their 30th anniversaries with concerts in the same venue (Koerner Hall) during the same week?

There clearly was something in the air in 1982, and both organizations have build themselves and their audiences up on diets of carefully curated new music both Canadian and international.

Esprit Orchestra, founded and still led by artistic director Alex Pauk, is the country’s only orchestra devoted to new music. Its Sunday-night celebration opens with two new commissions, one from R. Murray Schafer in time for his 80th birthday (and publication of his memoirs) and another from Montreal-based veteran John Rea.

We will also hear three pieces from the orchestra’s repertoire: Torontonian Alexina Louie’s musical response to the death of Glenn Gould, O Magnum Mysterium, and works by new music pioneers Iannis Xenakis and Colin McPhee.

The evening starts at 7 p.m. with the launch of Schafer’s book, My Life on Earth and Elewhere. The concert begins at 8 p.m. You’ll find all the details here.

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