This Week in Toronto (Nov. 24 - 30)
For those of you with a taste for the unusual and the eclectic in classical music - especially Second City fans! - the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is presenting the Second City Guide to the Symphony on Nov. 28 and 30. It promises to be, uh, different, and entertaining for sure. I had to laugh when I saw this statement in bold print on the TSO website - "This presentation includes adult language and situations and is intended for mature audiences." I think in 2014, even the most sheltered classical music lover wouldn't be shocked by the comedic antics of Second City. TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian conducts. http://tso.ca/
A frequent guest of Music Toronto, Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski is making a welcome return this season for a recital on Tuesday Nov. 25 at the Jane Mallett Theatre, in a program of Schubert, Brahms, Ravel and Poulenc. For more information on this terrific pianist whom I've had the pleasure of hearing several times in recent years, go to http://www.trpceski.com/simon/ For more information on his Toronto recital, go to http://music-toronto.com/piano/Simon_Trpceski.htm
The Canadian Opera Company is in hiatus at the moment, but that doesn't mean there's no fine singing to be had. Here's CentreStage: the Second Annual COC Ensemble Studio Competition. It is advertised as a competition and a gala event, where for a cool $1500 you can have a gourmet dining experience on the stage of the Four Seasons Centre! I do believe the gala dinner part of it is all sold out, but there might be tickets still available for the public competition. Do visit their website for details. http://coccentrestage.ca/ Retired Canadian tenor Ben Heppner is the MC. Long time opera fans will know that Heppner burst onto the scene after winning the 1988 Metropolitan Opera Auditions as well as the Birgit Nilsson Prize. Competitions are a great way to get noticed, and in this case, it may lead to a spot on the COC Ensemble Studio roster. There are seven finalists this year, and I am familiar with the voices of only two of them. They are soprano Eliza Johnson, mezzos Michelle Siemens and Zoe Band, tenors Aaron Sheppard and Charles Sy, and baritone Dimitri Katotakis and bass-baritone Nathan Keoughan. They will be accompanied by the full COC Orchestra under the direction of COC Music Director Johannes Debus. I look forward to hearing them tomorrow!