There’s quite a lot happening before the COC season kicks off again with the opening of Handel’s Hercules on April 5th. Here are some of the highlights including several rarities.
On March 22nd at 7:30pm and 23rd at 3pm the Cantemus Singers are putting on a concert performance of Purcell’s The Fairie Queene at the Church of the Holy Trinity. The cast includes Iris Krizmanic, soprano (Juno); Maria Soulis, soprano (Mopsa); and Michael Pius Taylor, tenor (Phoebus). Tickets are $20; $15(sr/st); $10(child).
Also on March 23rd (not February 23rd as originally reported here) at 2:30pm VOICEBOX/Opera in Concert are performing Verdi’s Stiffelio featuring Laura Albino, Ernesto Ramirez, Geoffrey Sirett and Guillermo Silva-Marin with Michael Rose conducting from the piano. It’s at the Jane Mallett Theatre and tickets are $40-52.
March 27th at noon sees this year’s Canadian Art Song Project gig in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Works include Rolfe: Moths (premiere); Holman: Passion Play; and Emery: Three Songs of Mourning. The performers will be Monica Whicher, soprano; Lawrence Wiliford, Colin Ainsworth and Brett Polegato with Kathryn Tremills and Steven Philcox, piano. This concert is free and is always one of the highlights of the year for art song lovers.
April 3rd sees another free noon hour concert in the RBA kicking off a very busy few days.. Claire de Sévigné, Charlotte Burrage, Andrew Haji and Gordon Bintner will sing Liz Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer with Liz Upchurch and Michael Shannon on the piano.
April 4th kicks off – no it doesn’t this show is on the 2nd contrary to the Wholenote listing – with a performance by the University of Toronto Faculty of Music of Pedro Malazarte. It’s the North American premiere of this one-act comic opera by Brazilian Camargo Guarnieri. It’s at Lula Lounge at 3pm and it’s also free.
Later, at 7:30pm Tapestry Opera present Explorations in collaboration with Volcano Theatre. Physical theatre meets opera at the Ernest Balmer Studio. Tickets are $35. This show also runs on April 5th at 7.30pm.
Also on April 4th, at 8pm, the Toronto Consort present a concert performance of Cavalli’s Il Giasone. This is now something of a rarity but was the 17th century’s most performed opera. It’s weird. See my DVD review here. The cast includes Laura Pudwell, , Kevin Skelton and Michelle DeBoer. It’s at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. Tickets are $21–$61. There are further shows on the 5th at 8pm and the 6th (matinee).
Last, but certainly not least, Peter Sellars’ production of Handel’s Hercules opens at the COC on the afternoon of April 5th. The cast is superb and it could well be the highlight of this year’s season.