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Sunday, 23 May 2010

This Week in Toronto (May 24 - 30)

Photo: Igor Stravinsky








There are a number of high profile concerts this week. For voice fans, the disappointment is the postponement of Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja's Roy Thomson Hall Vocal Series recital to November 19th. Originally scheduled for mid November 2009, it was postponed once already, to this coming Friday. A few days ago, I got word that Mr. Calleja decided to postpone the Toronto recital yet again, due to a "minor surgical procedure" he was going to undertake on his nose. For singers, anything to do with the face - especially the nose - is not to be taken lightly, and he needs a certain down time to recover before his next engagement, as Gabriele Adorno in the Covent Garden Simon Boccanegra in late June. The good news for voice fans is the announcement of next year's vocal series, with four sopranos, headed by Romanian diva Angela Gheorghiu in concert with orchestra, her Toronto debut. Also appearing next season are sopranos Measha Brueggergosman, Sumi Jo, and Nicole Cabell, all returnees to Roy Thomson Hall.

The Canadian Opera Company's spring season comes to an end this week, with performances of Maria Stuarda (May 26, 28, 30) and Idomeneo (May 25, 27, 29). The COC is selling rush tickets for $20 before the show, subject to availability. At this super-bargain price, it is a great opportunity to catch the shows if you have not already done so. On Tuesday May 25, those members of the COC Ensemble Studio who are ending their tenure will be giving a farewell noon hour recital, Les Adieux, at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. The concert is free, and as usual, you'll need to show up 45 minutes ahead of time to ensure a seat. At noon on Thursday, also at the Amphitheatre, pianist and Glenn Gould School alum Stephane Sylvestre plays the fourth and last of Albeniz' Iberia, B47, Book 4. Also on the program is Six Pieces, Op. 118 by Brahms.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents an eclectic mixed program this week - Stravinsky's Petrouchka (1947 version) with Falla's Suite No. 2 from The Three-Corner Hat. Also featured is Piazzolla's The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. The ever-electric Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, a frequent visitor to Roy Thomson Hall, is the solo violinist. Robert Spano, conductor of the Atlanta Symphony, makes his TSO debut. The show is on Wednesday 8 pm at Roy Thomson Hall, and repeated the following evening (May 27). On Saturday May 29 at 7:30 pm (repeated on May 30 3 pm), the TSO celebrates Spain with Espana! in its Light Classics Series - a mixed program of Chabrier, Copland, and de Falla's Nights in the Garden of Spain for Piano and Orchestra, with pianist Cecile Licad, an infrequent visitor to Toronto. Carlos Miguel Prieto conducts. [Note: In a press release received from the TSO an hour ago, it was announced that conductor Robert Spano has withdrawn due to a slipped disc. Carlos Miguel Prieto, who is arriving for the Saturday evening performance of an all-Spanish program, will now do double duty by taking over the two performances on Stravinsky.]

If baroque is more your thing, Tafelmusik presents Handel's Israel in Egypt on Saturday May 29, with soprano Teri Dunn, countertenor Matthew White, tenor Lawrence Wiliford, and baritone Sumner Thompson. Ivars Taurins leads the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. Please note that this takes place NOT in its usual Trinity St. Paul Centre but in the new Koerner Hall. This concert is repeated on Sunday May 30 at 2 pm.

The chamber group, Via Salzburg, presents a concert of Britten, Elgar and Michael Oesterle, in a show that combines sound and image. Award-winning animator Christopher Hinton provides a visual interpretation of the music of Canadian composer Michael Oesterle. This takes place on Thursday May 27 and Friday May 28, at 8 pm at the Glenn Gould Studio.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale presents And Still we Sing - Steel Singin', a program spanning classical to calypso.The concert takes place on Wednesday May 26, 8 pm at the Glenn Gould Studio, and repeated on Saturday May 29 at 8 pm.

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