La Scena Musicale

Monday, 18 February 2013

This Week in Toronto (Feb. 18 -24)

Soprano Nathalie Paulin sings in Tafelmusik's Mozart Requiem (Photo: Sebastien Ventura)

Top on my list this week is Tafelmusik's presentation of the Mozart Requiem. Acadian soprano (and now Torontonian) Nathalie Paulin doesn't sing here all that often, so this is a great opportunity to hear her in Mozart. She leads a fine quartet of soloists - others are mezzo Laura Pudwell, tenor Lawrence Wiliford, and baritone Nathaniel Watson. Ivars Taurins leads the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in four performances at Koerner Hall on Feb. 21, 22, 23 8 pm and 24 at 3;30 pm.

If you have missed attending the Canadian Opera Company's winter season of Tristan und Isolde and La clemenza di Tito, this week is your absolute last chance to catch these two fine works. Ben Heppner, the greatest Canadian heldentenor since Jon Vickers, is in marvelous voice and his singing in Act 3 moved me to tears. He is partnered by German soprano Melanie Diener as a wonderful Isolde. You can hear them on Feb. 20 at the Four Seasons Centre. The alternate cast of tenor Michael Baba and soprano Margaret Jane Wray can be heard on Feb. 23, the last performance of the run. Johannes Debus conducts.

Several of the 2012 Ensemble singers to perform on Thursday noon hour concert (photo: Chris Hutcheson)
On Valentine's Day, I attended the joint recital given by artists of the COC Ensemble Studio and the OdeM Atelier lyrique. It was a very enjoyable experience, hearing the beautiful, fresh, youthful voices, clearly voices of the future. (I will have more to say in a full review to come) COC Ensemble Studio members will be giving a recital of the songs of Richard Strauss, a fantastic composer for the singing voice - particularly sopranos! On Thursday, in a program called Strauss and Friends, they will be singing songs by Strauss, Brahms Wolf and Korngold. These young singers are wonderful and this is a very worthwhile concert to attend. Be sure to show up an hour ahead for a seat.

Conductor Steven Reineke (

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is presenting a pop concert this week conducted by the TSO pops conductor, Steven Reineke. In the program called Love Will Keep Us Together, soprano Betsy Wolfe and tenor Mike Eldred will sing selections by Porter, Berlin and Mancini. Three shows, on Feb. 19 at 8 pm, repeated on Feb. 20 matinee and evening. On Feb. 23 1:30 and 3:30 pm, the TSO is presenting a kids-friendly concert of Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky (arr. Ravel) complete with puppeteers!  TSO Resident Conductor Shalom Bard is at the helm.
Tenor David Pomeroy makes recital debut at Glenn Gould Studio (

Tenor David Pomeroy, a former COC Ensemble Studio member who has gone on to a fine career, is giving his recital debut at the Glenn Gould Studio on Sunday Feb. 24 2 pm as part of the Canadian Voices series. I don't have program details at the moment but David will be singing songs by Handel, Beethoven, Duparc, Quilter, and De Curtis.  Sandra Horst is at the piano. I wonder if he's going to sing a Newfoundland ditty or two as encores - just wondering...

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