La Scena Musicale

Monday, June 22, 2009

This Week in Toronto (June 22 - 28)

Well, the classical music scene in Toronto has definitely hit a lull! The opera companies (COC, OA, plus OIC, OH) are now in hiatus; the National Ballet of Canada has just concluded its spring season. Even the ubiquitous Toronto Symphony Orchestra is in its last week of performances. Summer festivals like Elora, Festival of the Sound, and Westben have not yet started for the most part, and unfortunately the Guelph Spring Festival is no more. The last COC event was the Ensemble Studio Cosi fan tutte that concluded yesterday. (Incidentally I attended the third performance and it was definitely worth seeing. The vocal standout was mezzo Lauren Segal as Dorabella - what a terrific voice she has!) The free concert series at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre had its last how on June 18th. I think I'm suffering from opera withdrawal....

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is offering a pops program of movie music the likes of Gone with the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Rocky etc., conducted by the "king of pop" Erich Kunzel. The shows are on Tuesday June 23 at 8 pm, and Wednesday June 24 (2 pm and 8 pm). If you happen to be a jazz fan, the Toronto Jazz Festival starts June 26 and extends to July 5. Go to for event listing and ticket details.

Further afield - a short drive down the QEW - is the Brott Music Festival. On July 27 is Beethoven and Brott in Burlington, featuring Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 7. The soloist is Shoshanna Telner. It takes place as the St. Christopher's Anglican Church, at 662 Guelph Line, Burlington. Call 905 525-7664 for details.

Also of note is a recital given by mezzo Krisztina Szabo on Sunday, June 28, at the Sharon Temple, a short drive up the 404 towards Newmarket. It is part of the Music at Sharon series. Szabo will sing Britten, Mahler, Kodaly, de Falla, Ravel, and Canadian composer Ridout. Sharon Temple is at 18974 Leslie Street, in Sharon, Ontario. Call 416 597-7840 for more information.

Finally, if you have missed some of the Met in HD shows from past seasons, Cineplex is having a summer "re-run" of six of the most popular operas, at a bargain price of $9.95. Children between 3 and 13 get in free - understandably they don't want any babies in the audience! All shows are on Saturdays at noon Toronto time. It begins this Saturday June 26 with I Puritani starring the incomparable Anna Netrebko, followed by Magic Flute (July 11), Eugene Onegin (July 25), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Aug. 9), La fille du Regiment (Aug. 22), and La boheme (Sept. 5). Eight Ontario locations will carry these shows, with Scotiabank Theatres downtown, Cineplex Odeon Queensway and the Sheppard Grande in North York the three locations in the GTA. Other locations include Oakville, Newmarket and Peterborough. For advance ticket sales, go to

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