Thursday seems to be the big day next week. Ileana Montalbetti and Rachel Andrist have a lunchtime recital in the RBA. There’s Strauss and Mozart and Beethoven and more. Ileana has been a really impressive Gutrune in Götterdämmerung so I’m excited to see her in recital. That evening there’s a choice of the annual COC Ensemble Studio performance at the Four Seasons Centre where the Ensemble members will be offering staged scenes, with full orchestra, from Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, Bellini’s Norma and Handel’s Ariodante. The alternative is Tapestry Songbook VII featuring Krisztina Szabó, Keith Klassen and Stephen Philcox performing numbers from Tapestry’s extensive back catalogue. That’s at the Ernest Balmer Studio at 7.30pm. There are repeat shows on Friday at 7.30pm and 10pm. Looks like both 7.30pm shows are sold out but late night Friday is still available. Operaramblings’ extensive spy network (not Louise Mensch) suggests that patrons may also learn something to their advantage. The day before, Wednesday at 7.30pm, there’s a Don Giovanni in concert at Royal St. George’s Chapel. Actually seeing as how dancer Bill Coleman is involved it may not be entirely straight “in concert”. The cast includes Alexander Dobson in the title role, Katherine Whyte, Colin Ainsworth, Taiya Kasahara, Vania Chan and Matthew Li plus a “special guest”. Tickets at www.opera-is.com or on the door. There is still time to catch the COC’s winter offerings. The Magic Flute plays today, tomorrow and Friday with the last Götterdämmerung next Saturday. That last seems to be sold out but the usual rush and standing room deals may apply.
Looking out a little further there are new shows from Toronto Masque Theatre, Canadian Children’s Opera Company and Soundstreams. TMT’s piece is The Man Who Married Himself; a collaboration of Juliet Palmer, Anna Chatterton and Hari Krishnan that fuses Western classical and Southern Indian elements in a piece about gender identiuty. It plays at the Crow’s Theatre on March 10th and 11th. CCOC are offering Hans Krasa’s children’s opera Brundibár, which debuted at a Prague orphanage and was reprised in Terezín concentration camp (where Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis was also created). This is being combined with the Academy-award winning documentary The Lady in No. 6 and the choral music of Canadian composer Robert Evans’ cantata For the Children. Stage direction by Joel Ivany, music direction by Dean Burry. This one plays March 3rd to 5th at Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Finally Soundstreams are presenting R. Murray Schafer’s Odditorium, at Crow’s Theatre from March 2nd to 5th with Chris Abraham directing. Expect the usual perplexing mix of near genius and just plain weird.