La Scena Musicale

Sunday, 12 December 2010

This Week in Toronto (Dec. 13 - 19)

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky (photo courtesy of www.sondraradvanovsky.com)





With Christmas fast approaching, this is the week to have a delectable holiday musical feast. However, top on my list is a free Canadian Opera Company noon-hour recital given by Sondra Radvanovsky at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre. In my book she is the foremost Verdi soprano of our time. She is singing selections of arias from her extensive repertoire, with Liz Upchurch at the piano. This is going to be the hottest ticket this week, and if you entertain the thought of getting a seat, be there to line up at least one hour ahead. In the same venue on Thursday Dec. 16 at noon, mezzo Krisztina Szabo with collaborative pianist John Hess will give a free noon hour recital of a Tribute to Gyorgy Kurtag. For details of these two concerts, go to http://coc.ca/Home.aspx

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is presenting its Messiah. Billed as Toronto's Biggest Messiah, which it certainly is given the size of the orchestra and choral forces, it boasts a stellar lineup of soloists include soprano Andriana Churchman, mezzo Jill Grove, tenor Toby Spence, and bass John Relyea, backed by the great Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. TSO Conductor Laureate Andrew Davis is at the helm. Opening night is Thursday Dec. 16 8 pm. There will be a pre-curtain chat with Rick Phillips. The concert is repeated Saturday Dec. 18 at 8 pm and Sunday Dec. 19 at 3 pm. On Friday Dec. 17, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra under the brilliant Alain Trudel will offer its "winter concert" with a program of Mozart, de Falla, Khachaturian, and Tchaikovsky, with violinist Ema Nikolovska playing the first movement of Khachaturian's violin concerto. For details and tickets, go to http://www.tso.ca/Home.aspx

If you prefer a more intimate Messiah, be sure to attend the Tafelmusik version. It features an equally excellent cast of soloists in soprano Christine Brandes, countertenor Daniel Taylor, tenor Rufus Muller and baritone Brett Polegato. Performances on Dec. 15, 16, 17, 18 7:30 pm at Trinity St. Paul Centre. As usual, it's the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra under Ivars Taurins. Details at http://www.tafelmusik.org/concerts/TSPmessiah.htm


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