La Scena Musicale

Monday, 5 October 2015

This Week in Toronto (Oct. 5 -11)

My Toronto Concert Picks for the Week of October 5 to 11

~ Joseph So

Soprano Barbara Hannigan conducts (Photo: www.barbarahannigan.com)

The remarkable Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan makes her North American conducting debut at Roy Thomson Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 7 & 8 at 8 pm. A specialist in new music, Hannigan is a champion of contemporary works and has had many pieces composed specially for her. She was last in town for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's New Creations Festival back in March in Benjamin's opera Written On Skin.  Now she's back, singing and leading the TSO in a program of the familiar and the adventurous - Mozart arias and a Haydn symphony side by side with works by Nono, Ligeti and Stravinsky. http://www.tso.ca/


Soprano Ekaterina Siurina and tenor Charles Castronovo (Photo: Joseph So)

The big news on the opera front this week is the opening of the Canadian Opera Company's fall season, with La traviata.  Based on the most recent statistics (2013-14 opera season), this Verdi warhorse is the most frequently performed opera in the world. And the COC is blessed with not one but two wonderful casts.  Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina (Violetta) and American tenor Charles Castronovo (Alfredo) are partners in life as well as in art. I've seen them on stage several times, and can say you'll be bowled over by their fabulous voices and charismatic stage personas. I had the pleasure of interviewing them a couple of weeks ago, and the article can be found in Musical Toronto this week. Bass-baritone Quinn Kelsey, who was such a memorable Rigoletto here three years ago, returns as Germont.  The alternate cast is all-Canadian, and they are equally terrific - soprano Joyce El-Khoury (Violetta), tenor Andrew Haji (Alfredo), and James Westman (Germont). At the helm is conductor Marco Guidarini. This show is a co-production with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera. October 8th 7:30 pm at the Four Seasons Centre. http://www.coc.ca/Home.aspx

Tapestry Opera is presenting Selfie, an intriguing contemporary piece on teen culture in the age of social media.  It is billed as a "workshop presentation" which I believe translates into a work in progress. The composer is Chris Thornborrow and libretto is by Julie Tepperman. Two performances on Oct. 8 and 9 at the Ernest Balmer Studio, 9 Trinity Street in the Distillery District in Downtown Toronto. https://tapestryopera.com/selfie/

At Tafelmusik this week is the last performance of Musik Mania which opened last week. Cecilia Barnardini is the guest director in a program of the familiar and the rare. Of special interest is Zelenka's Hypochondria. Also on the program are works by Bach, Vivaldi and Telemann. This last performance takes place on Oct. 6th 8 pm at the George Weston Recital Hall in North York 
http://www.tafelmusik.org/concert-calendar/concert/musik-mania





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