TIME OF TRANSITIONS

Ensemble PolarisMusic to get you out of the post-holiday slump

The holiday season may be over, but the winter season is far from finished. Post-holiday blues can hit hard this time of year, as it’s back to work for most of us--and the slump at the start of the year can be found on our concert calendars as well, with shows taking shape slowly as ensembles return to rehearsals. Concerts take time to prep, and the interim can have would-be concertgoers feeling like the new year is off to a slow start.

Spring weather and sunny days may still be a long way away, but in the intervening weeks there are still some quick-on-the-draw ensembles with exciting musical offerings. Whether they feature wintertime classics, look forward towards the spring or just provide some musical food for thought, here are some January shows to help you cast off the old year and think ahead to bigger and better things.

This month, Ensemble Polaris is innovative as ever with a program set to ease you smoothly out of the holiday mindset. “Santa’s Gone Home!” on January 27 at Saint Bartholomew’s Anglican Church is the ensemble’s winter concert, and promises a lot more than your average Christmas carols. The program is made up of tunes from Canada, Scandinavia and Appalachia, plus some other surprises--one of which is explained only as “a tad of Nutcracker Nouveau”. If you haven’t yet had the chance to experience Ensemble Polaris’ eclectic instrumentation and “North-inspired” musical mandate (http://ensemblepolaris.com/about/), now is the time. The show will also be repeated on January 31 at 3pm, at Heliconian Hall. Details on both shows in our listings at http://www.thewholenote.com/index.php/listings/concertsgta.

The TSO has just returned from a tour to Florida--lucky--but they’re still prolific as ever, with a Mozart festival on the horizon. Mozart@260, January 15 to 23, is an annual event, and this year’s festival features the Jupiter Symphony and D-minor Requiem. The symphony will be paired with excerpts from Don Giovanni and Mozart’s “Jeunehomme” Piano Concerto, played by Alexandre Tharaud. The Requiem concerts also look promising for Mozart fans, where Mozart’s final work will be presented as a semi-staged production. Details on the festival at http://www.tso.ca/en-ca/concerts-and-tickets/2015-2016-Season/Subscription-Series/Mozart-at-260-Festival/Mozart-at-260-Festival.aspx.

Looking forward--you can get a preview of the end of Tafelmusik’s 2016 season on Saturday, January 16, at the final round of the first-ever Tafelmusik Vocal Competition. Starting at 1pm at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, nine singers will compete for three winning spots. The three winners--one each of alto, tenor and bass--will perform Zelenka’s Missa omnium sanctorum in Tafelmusik’s final concerts of the season. Admission to listen to the competition on Saturday is free--for details, check out http://www.tafelmusik.org/education/tafelmusik-vocal-competition.

SOUNDS/SIGHTS

14783677489 7662765252 zMultimedia projects in the city this month

For those who like watching music-making as much as listening to it, a number of upcoming projects may spark your visual (and musical) interest. Starting this Wednesday at the Four Seasons Centre is Opera: Faces & Words--a photography exhibit that presents portraits of opera singers alongside a selection of lyrics that they find personally meaningful. The same project will be repeated with the same singers at 5-year intervals, with the aim of capturing their growth as people and performers as time passes. From January 13 to February 27, the Four Seasons Centre will display a portion of this project, which will feature six members and graduates of the COC Ensemble Studio--Lauren Segal, Allyson McHardy, Jacqueline Woodley, Andrew Haji, Charlotte Burrage, and Karine Boucher. For details on the exhibit, visit http://www.operafacesandwords.com/.

Also on this month is Century Song, a song/dance/film/projected art hybrid presented by Volcano Theatre, in collaboration with Crooked Figure Dances and the Moveable Beast Collective. The show is soprano Neema Bickersteth’s interpretation (alongside director Ross Manson and choreographer Kate Alton) of 100 years of women’s identities, set to 100 years of music by Rachmaninoff, Messiaen, John Cage, Georges Aperghis, and Reza Jacobs. All this to say that it looks to be a powerful production, whether it’s the music, the visuals or the story that brings you there. The show runs at the Theatre Centre’s Progress Festival from January 19 to 23, as part of a cross-Canada festival circuit--consider catching it then. Details at http://volcano.ca/production/century-song/.

Finally, while not multimedia, strictly speaking, a concert on January 18 by the Associates of the TSO deserves an honourable mention. “Colours in Music: Composers with Synaesthesia” features chamber music by well-known composers who have also identified in some way as synesthetes. It has piano and string works by Liszt, Sibelius, Messiaen, Duke Ellington and Amy Beach on the program, and seems like a promising show. More info on this concert and on the Associates of the TSO can be found at http://www.associates-tso.org/5small.html.

PRIZES, PRIZES!

Free tickets to the COC’s Siegfried

IN THIS ISSUE: The Ring is back. The second half of the COC’s 2015/16 season opens with Siegfried, part three of Wagner’s four-part cycle. Click here for a chance to win free tickets.

JUST IN: CORRECTED AND NEW LISTINGS

FEATURED LISTING: ONE NIGHT ONLY: THE GREATEST MUSICAL NEVER WRITTEN, January 27 to February 14

From January 27 to February 14, the Factory Theatre is host to ONE NIGHT ONLY: THE GREATEST MUSICAL NEVER WRITTEN. This two-act musical comedy is completely improvised, dictated by audience suggestions, bringing together local improvisers and sketch comedy performers to create a brand new musical every performance. The music-meets-comedy production stars Canadian Comedy Award-winners alongside singers Miriam Drysdale and Kevin Vidal--and hints at a special guest appearance by Colin Mochrie. For details on the show, look at our listings below or visit https://www.factorytheatre.ca/what-s-on/one-night-only/.

Other new/corrected January concert listings added online since our last print issue are as follows:

CONCERTS

Friday January 15

7:30: The Royal ConservatoryTony Yike Yang and Charles Richard-Hamelin. Chopin piano works performed by International Chopin Competition medallists. Mazzoleni Concert Hall, Royal Conservatory, 273 Bloor St. W. 416-408-0208. $50.

Saturday January 16

8:00: Acoustic HarvestA Pre-Winterfolk Showcase. Brian Gladstone, Tony Quarrington, HOTCHA!, David Storey, and others. St. Nicholas Anglican Church, 1512 Kingston Rd. $25(door); $22(adv).

Sunday January 17

2:00: Living Arts CentreCavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci - Opera Film Series. Film screenings of two Italian operas, in a production by the Royal Opera under Antonio Pappano. 4141 Living Arts Dr., Mississauga. 905-306-6000. $20.

Tuesday January 19

12:00: Department of Music, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing ArtsRBC Foundation - Music @ Noon. Faculty Recital: Patricia Dydnansky, flute. Cairns Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St Paul St., St. Catharines. 905-688-0722. Free.

Thursday January 21

12:00: University of GuelphThursday at Noon - Faculty Showcase. Goldschmidt Room, 107 MacKinnon Bldg., 50 Stone Rd. E., Guelph. 519-824-4120 x52991. Free.

2:00: OrchardviewersA Concert of Newfoundland. Toronto Public Library, Northern District, 40 Orchard View Blvd. 416-393-7610.

Friday January 22

7:30: Department of Music, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing ArtsENCORE! Professional Concert Series presents: Canadian Guitar Quartet. Partridge Hall, First Ontario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul St., St. Catharines. 905-688-0722. $29; $23(sr/st); $5(eyeGo).

Saturday January 23

7:00: Hart HouseChamber Strings Pop Concert. Original singer-songwriter compositions and popular music. Hart House Great Hall, 7 Hart House Circle. 416-978-2452. Free.

8:00: Music Gallery/AIMTorontoAdam Rudolph - Go: Organic. Adam Rudolph, direction; SlowPitch, electronics/turntables; Tova Kardonne, vocals; Zoe Alexis-Abrams, vocals; Jackson Welchner, vocals, and others. Music Gallery, 197 John St. 416-204-1080. $20; $15(adv); $10(members). Pre-concert interview by Nilan Perera at 7:15pm.

Sunday January 24

2:00: Canzona Chamber PlayersTRIO INK. Works by Mozart, Bach and Brahms. Yosuke Kawasaki, violin; Wolfram Koessel, cello; Vadim Serebryany, piano. St. Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church, Cibola Ave.,Toronto Island. 416-822-0613. $20. Also Jan 25 at the Music Gallery.

Monday January 25

7:30: Canzona Chamber PlayersTRIO INK. Works by Mozart, Bach and Brahms. Yosuke Kawasaki, violin; Wolfram Koessel, cello; Vadim Serebryany, piano. St. George the Martyr Church, 197 John St. 416-822-0613. $20. Also Jan 24 on Toronto Island.

Tuesday January 26

12:00: Department of Music, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing ArtsRBC Foundation - Music @ Noon. Faculty Recital: Tim White, trumpet and Lesley Kingham, piano. Cairns Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St Paul St., St. Catharines. 905-688-0722. Free.

Wednesday January 27

12:30: University of Waterloo Department of MusicNoon Hour Concerts: Everett Hopfner: Sounds Like Canada. Enns: Piano Sonata No. 1; and other Canadian works. Everett Hopfner, piano. Conrad Grebel University College, 140 Westmount Rd. N., Waterloo. 519-885-0220 x24226. Free.

8:00: Factory TheatreOne Night Only: The Greatest Musical Never Written. Two-act improvised musical comedy, dictated by audience suggestions. 125 Bathurst St. . $32.40-$60.65. Also Jan 28, 29, 30, 31(mat), Feb 2, 3, 4, 5, 6(mat/eve), 7(mat), 9, 10, 11, 12, 13(mat/eve), 14(mat).

Thursday January 28

12:00: University of GuelphThursday at Noon - A Feast for the Ears. Sheila Dietrich, soprano. Goldschmidt Room, 107 MacKinnon Bldg., 50 Stone Rd. E., Guelph. 519-824-4120 x52991. Free.

Sunday January 31

2:00: Hamilton Conservatory for the ArtsHCA Concert Series presents: André Laplante. Schubert: Sonata in A major D 664; Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales and Sonatine; Liszt: Ballade No.2 in b; Chopin: Nocturne. Op.62 No.1in B; Polonaise Fantasy in A-flat. 126 James St. S, Hamilton. 905-528-4020. $15-$27.

2:00: Pocket ConcertsMendelssohn in Cabbagetown. A living room concert with music, food and wine. Mendelssohn: Piano Trio in c; and others. Emily Rho, piano; Aaron Schwebel, violin; Britton Riley, cello. 647-896-8295. $45; $30(age 19-35); $15(under 18). The exact address will be provided when tickets are purchased.

7:00: Melos Choir and Period InstrumentsBaroque Idol. Final competition round for local young singers performing baroque music. St. George's Cathedral (Kingston), 270 King St. E., Kingston. 613-767-7245. $10.

Tuesday February 2

12:00: Department of Music, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing ArtsRBC Foundation - Music @ Noon. Recital: Voice Students. Cairns Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St Paul St., St. Catharines. 905-688-0722. Free.

Wednesday February 3

12:30: University of Waterloo Department of MusicNoon Hour Concerts: Music of the Future. Eric Ross, theremin; Mary Ross, video art. Conrad Grebel University College, 140 Westmount Rd. N., Waterloo. 519-885-0220 x24226. Free.

8:00: Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music SocietyPenderecki String Quartet. Beethoven: Op.18, No.2; Schubert: Impromptus, D899; Louis Vierne: Piano Quintet in c, Op.42. Penderecki String Quartet; Leopoldo Erice, piano. KWCMS Music Room, 57 Young St. W., Waterloo. 519-886-1673. $35; $20(st).

Thursday February 4

12:00: University of GuelphThursday at Noon - Music from the Future. Multimedia Concept Boulevard d'Reconstructie (Op. 54). Eric and Mary Ross. Goldschmidt Room, 107 MacKinnon Bldg., 50 Stone Rd. E., Guelph. 519-824-4120 x52991. Free.

Friday February 5

8:00: group of 27Beauty Packs a Punch Basket. Finzi: A Severn Rhapsody, Op.3; Lalo: Aubades; Dubois: Cavatine for Horn; Massenet: Valse Tres Lente; Frehner: Apollo X. Gabe Radford, horn; Nadina Mackie Jackson, bassoon. Centre for Social Innovation, 720 Bathurst St. 416-323-1292. $30; $25(st); $10(under 18). $5 off when you buy your ticket in advance online.

MAINLY CLUBS, MOSTLY JAZZ

Friday January 15

9:00: Jazz at Oscar'sJazz Night - Sarah Jerrom. Arbor Room, 7 Hart House Circle. Free.

10:00: Kevin MorrisThe Man I Love. Cabaret featuring songs about men in love with men. Works by Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter, Nina Simone, and others. Kevin Morris, vocals; Chris Tsujiuchi, keyboard and vocals; Matthew Karaś, bass; Robert Purcell, drums. Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St. 416-975-8555. $20(door); $15(adv).

Saturday January 16

1:00: TafelmusikTafelmusik Vocal Competition. Final round of the inaugural Tafelmusik Vocal Competition. Baroque arias by Handel, Bach and Zelenka. Nine vocal soloists; Christopher Bagan, harpsichord and organ. Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. 416-964-9562 x221. Free.

Sunday January 17

2:00: Beverly TaftBeverly Taft. Jazz, bossa, blues and originals. Beverly Taft, vocals; David Restivo, piano. Morgans on the Danforth, 1282 Danforth Ave. 416-461-3020. No cover.

Friday January 22

8:30: Hugh's RoomPoor Angus. Original and traditional Scottish, Irish and East Coast themed pieces. 2261 Dundas St. W.416-531-6604. $25(door); $22.50(adv).

9:00: Jazz at Oscar'sJazz Night - Sam Broverman. Arbor Room, 7 Hart House Circle. Free.

Friday January 29

9:00: Jazz at Oscar'sJazz Night - Mark Kazakevich. Arbor Room, 7 Hart House Circle. Free.

Sunday January 31

4:30: Beverly TaftBeverly Taft. Jazz, bossa, blues and originals. Beverly Taft, vocals; Nathan Hiltz, guitar; Artie Roth, bass. The Local Gest, 424 Parliament St. 416-961-9425. No cover.

Friday February 5

9:00: Jazz at Oscar'sJazz Night - Harley Card. Arbor Room, 7 Hart House Circle. Free.

ETCs

Wednesday January 20

7:30: Toronto Welsh Male Voice ChoirCall for Members/Open Rehearsal. Guests welcome to meet the choir, sing along or just listen. Dewi Sant Church, 33 Melrose Ave. 905-474-6045. Free.

Wednesday January 27

6:00: Istituto Italiano di CulturaInternational Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016. Literature and music dedicated to Italian-Jewish writer and chemist Primo Levi. Excerpts from Primo Levi’s literary work “If This is a Man” read by actor Michael A. Miranda; Musical intermissions featuring classic Klezmer repertoire performed by Robbie Grunwald, pianist and Drew Jurecka, violinist. Alliance Francaise Theatre, 24 Spadina Rd. 416-921-3802 x221. Free.

THANKS FOR SUBSCRIBING

The next issue of HalfTones, Vol 3 No 6, will be out on Thursday, February 11, 2016. Our current print issue is a special DOUBLE ISSUE covering December 1-February 7; the February print issue will be on the stands at the end of the month.

Please contact halftones@thewholenote.com with any HalfTones inquiries.

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