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CRITICS PICKS | 10 Concerts You Should Absolutely See This Week

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For the week of June 12–18

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of June 12 to 18. (Photo: Wallis Giunta)
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of June 12 to 18. (Photo: Wallis Giunta)

Musical Toronto’s weekly Critic’s Picks are a fully curated list of some of the best concerts happening now through the end of the week. This is not to say we are the provocateurs of taste, but simply seek to provide a good weekly summary. For a look at the full breadth of what’s available in and around Toronto, check out our curated concert listings here: Musical Toronto Datebook.

Tuesday 13

LARK Ensemble | Elsewhere.  Corkin Gallery, 7 Tank House Lane, Toronto. 7:30 p.m. $35 (with intermission refreshments)

As part of its Skylight Series concert at the Corkin Gallery, the LARK Ensemble (with Beverley Johnson, percussion) performs the music of Christos Hatzis, Gideon Klein, Gareth Farr, Frederic Rzewski, Mario Diaz de Leon and Alice Ping Yee Ho. The program, titled Elsewhere, “takes the audience on a far-ranging sonic journey inspired by Inuit throat singers, Balinese gamelan, and earth itself.”  | More info here.

Toronto Concert Orchestra | Che Bell Voci.  Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace. 7:30 p.m. $25

Every Tuesday evening from June 6 to August 29, the Toronto Concert Orchestra under the baton of Kerry Stratton performs in Casa Loma, a prime tourist attraction in Toronto. It offers a different program each week. This week is Che Belle Voci, with works by Verdi, Rossini, Puccini, Donizetti, and Bellini. Sopranos Sara Papini and Luiza Zhuleva, mezzo Sarah Christina  Seinert, tenor Romulo Delgado and baritone Andrey Andreychik are the soloists. | More info here.

Wednesday 14

Luminato Festival | Tributaries: Luminato Opening Event. David Pecaut Square. 6 – 11 p.m. Free.

Luminato Festival is Toronto’s international multi-arts, multi-platform festival dedicated to performance, visual art, music, theatre, dance that cuts across traditional art form boundaries. With the new artistic director Josephine Ridge, the 2017 edition runs from June 14 to 25. It opens with Tributaries, paying tribute to the “immeasurable power, passion, beauty, and resilience of Indigenous women, featuring over 60 artists.  Other events this week include King Arthur’s Night (June 15); Charlotte: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music (June 16); and Life Reflected (June 18). | Full details found here.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | The Seven Deadly Sins. Roy Thomson Hall. 8 p.m. Repeats June 15 8 p.m. $39.75-$154.

As part of its Decades Project, the TSO presents Kurt Weill’s “sung ballet”, the satirical and gritty The Seven Deadly Sins, here juxtaposed with Samuel Barber’s exquisitely lyrical Adagio for Strings and Bartók’s astringent Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste. The opening piece is Kiwetin-acahcos (North Star) by Andrew Balfour (June 14 only). The Weill piece is semi-staged by Joel Ivany, featuring mezzo Wallis Giunta, tenors Isaiah Bell and Owen McCausland, baritone Geoffrey Sirrett, bass-baritone Stephen Hegedus, and dancer/choreographer Jennifer Nichols. Peter Oundjian conducts. | Listing details and more found here.

Thursday 15

National Ballet of Canada | Swan Lake. Four Seasons Centre. 7:30 p.m. $39-$265. Repeats June 16, 17 18 this week and continues next week until 25.

The perennial favourite Russian ballet, Swan Lake, set to Tchaikovsky’s divine score, is back!  This 1999 version is choreographed by James Kudelka, with sets by Santo Loquasto.  Opening night principals are Heather Ogden (Odette/Odile); Guillaume Côte (Siegfried); and Piotr Stanczyk (Rothbart).  | Check the listing for time and casting details.

Angelwalk Theatre | Everybody’s Got a Story: A Celebration of Canadian Women in Music.  Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St. 8 p.m. $44. Runs to June 17.

Conceived by Katie Edwards with musical direction by Jeannie Wyse, Everybody’s Got a Story pays tribute to Canadian women in music. It features Kelly Holiff, Elena Juatco, Sabryn Rock, Michelle Bouey and Sarite Harris. | Complete listing details here.

Friday 16

Luminato Festival | Charlotte: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music. The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen Street W. $20. Repeats June 17 8 p.m. and June 18 4 p.m.

Currently in the final stages of development, Charlotte: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music is a chamber musical based on the life and art of Charlotte Salomon. Canadian soprano Adanya Dunn plays Charlotte – “It’s based on the true story and life of painter Charlotte Salomon (1917-1943). She painted over 1000 pieces when in exile in the South of France before she was taken to Auschwitz at the age of 26 – and five months pregnant! It’s a very empowering and moving story.” | Details here.

Saturday 17

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Carly Rae Jepsen. Roy Thomson Hall. 7:30 p.m. $95. Sold Out.

Three-time JUNO winning singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen makes her TSO debut. Lucas Waldin conducts. The show is announced as sold out, but do check with the box office for returns. | Details found right here.

Sunday 18

Orchestra Toronto | Concert For Peace. George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St. 3 p.m. (Pre-concert chat 2:15 p.m.) $43

To celebrate Canada’s Sesquicentennial, Orchestra Toronto, in its 63rd season, is presenting Concert for Peace, under the baton of conductor Kevin Mallon. It features The Iranian Composers of Toronto, soprano Miriam Khalil and others. The program includes Barber’s Adagio for Strings; Arabic Folksongs arranged by Mallon, Telemann’s Concerto in D for three trumpets; Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, and Sibelius’ Finlandia. | Full listing details found here.

Luminato Festival | Life Reflected. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. 7 p.m. From $39.

The National Arts Centre Orchestra commissioned four works by Canadian composers Zosha Di Castri, Jocelyn Morlock, Nicole Lizée, and John Estacio to create compelling musical portraits of four exceptional Canadian women: Roberta Bondar, Rita Joe, Alice Munro and Amanda Todd. The staging includes projections, motion picture, photography, and graphic design. Alexander Shelley conducts the NAC Orchestra.  | See here for all the details.


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Joseph So

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
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