La Scena Musicale

Monday, 17 September 2012

This Week in Toronto (Sept. 17 - 23)

Canadian violinist James Ehnes opens TSO's new season (Photo: Benjamin Ealovega)

For classical music lovers, September is an exciting time of year as various organizations are gearing up for a new season of music-making. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra opens this week with Canada's leading violinist James Ehnes in two performances at Roy Thomson Hall (Sept. 20 and 22 8 pm.) The centerpiece is Brahms' ever-popular Violin Concerto with Ehnes as the soloist. The other two works on the program are the overture to Verdi's La forza del destino, and John Adams' Harmonielehre, this last piece I believe was heard last season when Adams was in town. It's a work well worth hearing again. TSO music director Peter Oundjian is at the helm.

The Canadian Opera Company's season doesn't open until September 29, but its popular noon-hour Free Concert Series starts up this week. Of particular interest to opera fans is the Meet the Young Artists concert on Tuesday September 18 at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Audiences will get to hear this year's full complement of COC Ensemble Studio artists - sopranos Mireille Asselin, Ambur Braid, Sasha Djihanian and Claire de Servigne, mezzo Rihab Chaieb, tenors Christopher Enns and Owen McCausland, baritone Cameron McPhail and bass-baritone Neil Craighead, plus pianists Jenna Douglas and Timothy Cheung. If past years are an indication, each artist will briefly introduce himself/herself followed by a single aria. This is a tremendously popular event and be sure to line up at least an hour ahead to ensure a seat.  Also on the calendar this week are a Jazz Series featuring the saxophone of Phil Dwyer and the piano of Don Thompson (Sept. 19), and a Chinese traditional instrument concert featuring the pipa, erhu, and zheng of the China Court Trio, as part of the World Music Series. For more information, go to

An intriguing event to opera lovers is the concert performance of Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chenier, put on by Opera By Request. This is an 'artist-driven' company, where the singers are responsible for choosing the repertoire.  When was the last time Chenier was performed in Toronto?  You'll have to go back to 1989 at the COC, with Aprile Millo and Ermanno Mauro - that's 23 years ago!  So if you are at all interested in this terrific verismo piece, it's well worth attending. The performance takes place the College Street United Church at 456 College Street on Saturday Sept. 22 at 7:30 pm.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home