Beating the blahs

GroundhogThere’s 20cm of snow on the ground and more forecast.  The groundhog consensus is a long winter.  So, here are a few upcoming concerts and other events that may help get you through the rest of the winter.

On February 17th mezzo Janina Baechle, violist Keith Hamm and pianist Rachel Andrist are performing works by Mahler, Brahms and Leoffler in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at noon.  Also in the RBA at noon on the 19th there is the annual concert featuring artists from the Ensemble Studio and Montreal’s YAP the Atelier lyrique.  And on the 24th, but at 5.30pm Barbara Hannigan and others are presenting works by Chausson and Schoenberg.  All these concerts are free.

Peripherally operatic but intriguing, there’s a retrospective at the TIFF Lightbox until March 1st of the films Hou Hsiao-hsien.  This will include showing of a film about Chinese opera performer and puppet master Li Tien-lu.  The Puppetmaster plays on Saturday, February 21st at 6:15pm and is a free screening.

On Thursday 25th February Christian Gerhaher and Gerald Huber will be performing Schubert’s Winterreise at Koerner Hall.  That one is at 8pm and tickets run $25 to $75.

Moving into March, on the 7th at 7.30pm, the TSO are performing a concert version of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin at Roy Thomson Hall with the compose conducting.  Headlining are Iestyn Davies, Barbara Hannigan and Chris Purves.  Tickets are $33 to $145.

On Monday 9th at 7.30pm, Toronto Masque Theatre have a show called So You Want to Write a Masque: Our favourite clowns give Larry Beckwith some “creative advice”.  The team from last season’s Arlecchino Allegro, Artistic Director Nicholas Dénoument and Prima Ballerina Mina Kalishnikova, from the Gorgonetrevich Corps de Ballet National, will draw on their experience to create a masque right before your eyes. The whole thing from scratch: the music, the dance, the scenery, the costumes, the lighting, maybe some poetry. The whole thing.  Seriously.  It’s at 21 Shaftesbury Avenue (near Summerhill Subway).  Tickets: $20 regular / $15 for those under 30 and TMT season subscribers. Register through Toronto Masque Theatre website or by phoning 416 410 4561.

March also brings the annual spring productions from the UoT and the Conservatory.  First up is the University with Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco.  That’s playing March 12th-14th at 7.30pm and the 15th at 2.30pm in the MacMillan Theatre.  Leslie Dala consucts and Michael Cavanagh directs.  Tickets are $40 adults, $25 seniors and $10 students.

The Conservatory’s offering is La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach for two nights on March 18th and 20th.  It will have new English dialogue by Michael Albano with the music being sung in French.  Uri Mayer conducts, Joel Ivany directs and Jen Nicholls is responsible for the choreography.  Tickets are $25 to $40.

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