La Scena Musicale

Monday, 24 October 2011

This Week in Toronto (Oct. 24 - 30)

COC Music Director Johannes Debus (Photo: Michael Cooper)

With the COC fall opera season over and the Opera Atelier's Don Giovanni yet to start, there is a noticeable slowing down of all things vocal. However, there are still a couple of interesting events. Within an hour's drive down the QEW - if the traffic gods are merciful, Opera Hamilton's Barber of Seville is well worth seeing. It stars the fabulous Canadian mezzo Lauren Segal as Rosina. Hugh Russell as Figaro and Edgar Ernesto Ramirez is Almaviva. This is Rossini at his frothy best and with a youthful cast, it'll be a lot of fun. It already opened last Saturday, in a new venue for OH, at the intimate Dofasco Centre for the Arts. There are three more performances, Tuesday Oct. 25, Thursday Oct. 27 and Saturday Oct. 29, this last a matinee.

Even though the COC is in hiatus right now, both General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus are still in town. Neef is the special guest of the Toronto Wagner Society this evening (Monday Oct. 24) when he will talk about all things Wagnerian. The event takes place at the Toronto Arts and Letters Club at 14 Elm Street (Yonge-Dundas subway) in downtown Toronto. Non members are welcome. Maestro Debus will conduct the Royal Conservatory of Music Orchestra in a program of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 played by the Concerto Competition winner Conni Kim-Sheng. Other works include Lutoslawski's Little Suite for Chamber Orchestra, and Dvorak's Symphony No. 8. A beautiful work, Dvorak 8th doesn't get nearly as much play time as his 9th, the New World. This concert is well worth hearing for the works, but also for the wonderful young musicians who are the future of Canadian music. The concert is at the beautiful Koerner Hall.

Up and coming Canadian baritone Tyler Duncan kicks off the new Canadian Voices series at Glenn Gould Studio on Thursday, Oct. This vocal series of four concerts (Duncan plus soprano Layla Claire, mezzo Julie Bouliane, and baritone Daniel Okulitch) replaces the long-standing Roy Thomson Hall Vocal Series. While the demise of the RTH Vocal Series is lamentable, this new series gives us a chance to hear fine young Canadian singers, the best our country has to offer. More information at Click for Duncan's program

Since this is Halloween season, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is offering a Oz with Orchestra - a Wizard of Oz program that's bound to delight the young and the young-at-heart. It's a showing of the film with Judy Garland, accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra! Emil de Cou conducts. Two shows - on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Finally, this month marks the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio Service. On October 30, there will be a full day's special programming - 8 hours in total - celebrating this landmark on CBC Radio 2 and Espace Musique. There will be concerts and events from different broadcast centers across Canada. Go to CBC Radio 2 for program details.



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