La Scena Musicale

Sunday, 13 January 2013

This Week in Toronto (Jan. 14 - 20)

Mozart @257 Festival continues this week at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

For the second and final week of Mozart@257 Festival, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is programming his Symphony No. 40 K.550 on Jan. 16 and 17 8 pm at Roy Thomson Hall.  Also showcased this week are two great TS musicians - concertmaster violinist Jonathan Crow, and principal viola Teng Li, in Sinfonia concertante in E flat major for Violin and Viola. Rounding out the program is Serenade No. 12 for wind instruments K. 384a.  On Saturday Jan. 19 1:30 pm (repeated at 3:30 pm), guest conductor David Amado leads The Magic Horn, a youth-oriented program of works by Grieg and Saint-Saens. Joining the Orchestra will be the Magic Circle Mime Company.  Go to the TSO website for details.

Meanwhile a few steps east on Queen and University, the opening of Canadian Opera Company's Tristan und Isolde is getting tantalizingly close...just another week or so!  Do attend the free noon hour concert at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre of pianist Mehdi Ghazi who is playing Bach, Beethoven, Ligeti and Liszt.  Be sure to show up an hour ahead to get a seat.

Tafelmusik is presenting Baroque London this week, Jan. 17, 18, 19, 10 at its unusual home of Trinity St. Paul Centre, and Jan. 22 at the George Weston Recital Hall. Jeanne Lamon leads the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in a program of Handel, Galliard, Guantz, Sammartini, Bononcinic and Pepusch.  An added feature is the appearance of RH Thompson who conceived and scripted the program.

Elza van den Heever and Joyce DiDonato in Maria Stuarda (Photo: Sara Krulwich)

While there's no live opera this week, but you can always attend the Met Live in HD showing of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda on Saturday Jan. 19 at certain Cineplex cinemas in town.  It stars two powerful women - mezzo Joyce DiDonato as Mary Stuart, and soprano Elza van den Heever as Elizabeth.  You may recall van den Heever wowed audiences here last fall as Leonora in Il Trovatore.  To sing the role of the Queen, the soprano shaved her head - talk about commitment to one's art!  Tenor Matthew Polenzani is Leicester and Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins is Cecil. Maurizio Benini conducts.

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