This Week in Toronto (Feb. 17 – 23)


This Week in Toronto (Feb. 17 – 23)

– Joseph So

Conductor Thomas Dausgaard (Photo: Ulla-Carin Ekblom)
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is very busy with week with several programs. Conductor Thomas Dausgaard is making one of his welcomed returns to Toronto, this time for Beethoven violin concerto with TSO concertmaster Jonathan Crow as soloist. Also on the program is the Nielsen Symphony No. 3.  Performances on Wednesday Feb. 19 and Thursday Feb. 20 8 pm at Roy Thomson Hall.  Jonathan Crow repeats the Beethoven on Friday Feb. 21 under the baton of conductor Rob Kapilow in a shortened program designed for new audiences, under the title What Makes it Great?  Curtain is 7:30 pm.  On Saturday Feb. 22 1:30 and 3:30 pm are two “family friendly” performances. Appropriately called Orchestra Games, it is in celebration of Canadians in the Sochi Winter Olympics. Dirk Meyer conducts. For details go to
Violinist Jonathan Crow on the cover of a 2009 La Scena Musicale
Once again, we have Collaborations, the annual joint concert of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio and the Atelier lyrique of Opera de Montreal.  By my count this is the fourth year of this joint noon hour recital that features exciting voices of tomorrow. Given that so many of the COC Ensemble Studio artists have Quebec ties, this promises to be extra exciting. Participating artists are sopranos Aviva Fortunata, Claire de Sevigne, Emma Char, Florie Valiquette, mezzo Rachele Tremblay,  tenor Andrew Haji, baritone Cairan Ryan, and bass baritone Gordon Bintner. COC Ensemble Studio pianist/coach Michael Shannon is at the keyboard. Concert at Thursday Feb. 20 at noon, Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre . Program details at This will be a very popular event so show up an hour early for a seat. 
There is another interesting noon hour concert, celebrating women composers, appropriately called Women in the Powerhouse. American pianist Kara Huber plays works by Alexina Louie, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Joan Tower, plus the world premiere of a piece by composer Natalie Draper. Complete program at
Meanwhile, this is the last week of the COC mainstage production of Cosi fan tutte (Feb. 18 & 12) Un ballo in maschera (Feb. 20 & 22). All shows at Four Seasons Centre at 7:30 pm except Feb. 22 which is at 4:30 pm.
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra is presenting Handel’s Saul at Koerner Hall for a run of three performances Feb. 21 to 23. Soloists are sopranos Joanne Lunn and Sherezade Panthaki, countertenor Daniel Taylor, tenor Rufus Muller, and baritone Peter Harvey. Ivars Taurins leads the Tafelmusik forces.
Countertenor Daniel Taylor
Tenor and classical guitarist Bud Roach is the artistic director of Capella Intima. This group and the Toronto Continuo Collective (co-directors Lucas Harris and Borys Medicky) are presenting La Dafne (1608), a work by Italian baroque composer Marco da Galiano. Feb, 22 at McNeill Baptist Church in Hamilton, and Feb. 23 at Trinity St. Paul’s in Toronto. Details at 
tenor Bud Roach
Toronto City Opera‘s presentations of Carmen (Feb. 19, 22) and Cosi fan tutte (Feb. 21, 23) continue this week at the Bickford Centre. The productions are fully staged with sets and costumes, and piano accompaniment. Mezzo Beatrice Carpino is the stage director. She will give a brief talk about the work 15 minutes prior to curtain. details at!showtimes/c3ra

About Author

Joseph K. So is Professor Emeritus at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, but his first love is music, which he studied as an undergraduate student at the State University of New York. Since seeing his first live opera – La Gioconda with Renata Tebaldi at the Met in 1967, the singing voice became his lifelong favourite instrument. In addition to his longtime contributions to La Scena Musicale and The Music Scene, he is Associate Editor of Opera Canada and a frequent contributor to Musical Toronto.

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