The Canadian Opera Company unveils its 2012-13 season of free concerts at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre

COC Ensemble Studio member Adrian Kramer sang his farewell concert at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre with accompanist Christopher Mokrzewski last May.

The most significant concert presenter in this city outside the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is Nina Draganic, the unheralded doyenne of the Canadian Opera Company’s annual 10-months of free concerts at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.

The new season kicks off at lunchtime on Sept. 18, with a concert by the COC’s Ensemble Studio and will run its combination of classical, jazz, world and new music, dance and lecture concerts through to the end of June. Continue reading

Friday night: Three small but significant concerts for different sensibilities

New Yorker Dan Tepfer riffs on the Goldberg Variations tonight.

There are three very different concerts tonight that come from three deep traditions that play to three very different sorts of sensibilities: Continue reading

A June weekend resounds with the glories of the human voice

The Victoria Scholars sing on Sunday afternoon (COC photo).

Here are some weekend suggestions with which to celebrate the glories of the human voice: Continue reading

Interview: Caitlin Smith tries to balance personal and political in new opera about war in Afghanistan

Then-Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, centre, Maj. Erik Liebert and diplomat Richard Colvin, right, in Afghanistan, in 2006 (Jim Farrell/Edmonton Journal photo).

Opera lives and dies by the force of conflict — most often on questions of love and fidelity that have nothing overtly to do with current events.

Toronto composer Caitlin Smith is merging the two in a timely take on love of truth and fidelity to the ideals of an open society in her first opera, When This War Ends (Or, Some Questions You May Have Regarding Our Recently-Concluded Engagement in the Graveyard of Empires), a journey into the dark heart of the decade-long war in Afghanistan. Continue reading

May 28: Toronto classical concert highlights for the next seven days

The opening page of Franz Schubert’s Octet, the centrepiece of a chamber concert by Toronto Symphony musicians on Monday.

MONDAY

  • Associates of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Trinity-St Paul’s Centre, 7:30 p.m.

Continue reading

Stratford Summer Music announces spectacular, piano and Glenn Gould-centric July and August

17-year-old piano sensation Jan Lisiecki will present three solo recitals at Stratford Summer Music this year.

Using the 80th anniversary of Glenn Gould’s birth as his excuse, Stratford Summer Music artistic producer John Miller today unveiled a spectactular summer season, featuring several notable pianists, as well as a long list of other classical and more popular concert guests — including Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra — for its 12th season, which kicks off on July 16, and runs almost to the end of August.

“This year we take a major leap to present the most renowned names and series we have ever offered,” said Miller, the music festival’s founder, in a press release.  “We’re adding a week and offering several special programs in tribute to Glenn Gould who would have celebrated his 80th birthday this year and who, in the 1950’s and ‘60’s, was a strong proponent of the place of music among the arts in our city.” Continue reading

April 30: Toronto classical concert highlights for the next seven days

Soprano Erin Wall sings Richard Strauss at lunchtime on Tuesday (Larry Lapidus photo).

MONDAY

One of the city’s best kept chamber music secrets is this series of five concerts presented every season by these friends and patrons of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading