After the madness of November, December is much quieter. Messiahs aside there are only a handful of events of note. On Saturday at 7.30pm at Runnymede United Church the Cantores Celestes Women’s Choir have a concert of seasonal music which includes Kim André Arnesen’s Magnificat with Adanya Dunn as soloist. On Tuesday 5th the noon recital in the RBA features Simone McIntosh and Stéphane Mayer. The program hasn’t been published yet but I’m told it includes the Berg Seven Early Songs and a number of songs by Frank Bridge. On Thursday evening at 9pm it’s Opera Pub Night at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club. The theme is Messiah Pariah. You have been warned. The operatic event of the month is Against the Grain Theatre’s Bound. This uses a mash-up of Handel’s music to explore issues related to the current worldwide refugee crisis. It plays December 14th, 15th and 16th at the COC’s Jackman Studio. As of now, it’s sold out except for the final 9pm performance on the 16th. Toronto Consort have a Spanish themed Christmas show Navidad, featuring motets by Victoria and Guerrero plus villancicos and dances from Latin America. This one is on December 8th and 9th at 8pm and 10th at 3.30pm. Trinity St. Paul’s of course. Also this weekend, more performances of Tapestry Briefs: Winter Shorts (see last post).
And so Messiahs. Not unlike the last two or three years there are basically three to choose from. First up is Soundstream’s Electric Messiah on December 4th through 6th at the Drake Underground at 8pm. Most of the culprits are the same as last year but the singers have been changed up. This year it’s Adanya Dunn, Elizabeth Shepherd, Jonathan MacArthur and Justin Welsh. Tafelmusik is the choice for the HIP crowd. This one runs December 13th to 16th at Koerner Hall at 7.30pm. Soloists are Joanne Lunn, James Laing, Rufus Müller and Brett Polegato which isn’t too shabby. There’s also the Singalong edition at Massey Hall on the afternoon of the 17th. Finally there’s the TSO. This year it’s the standard modern instruments version not the Grammy nominated Davis extravaganza. It runs December 18th to 22nd with a matinée on the 23rd, all at Roy Thomson Hall. It’s a pretty starry line up of soloists: Karina Gauvin, Krisztina Szabó, Frédéric Antoun and Joshua Hopkins. Matthew Halls conducts.