Stage Door News

Toronto: Events of interest for opera-lovers in Koerner Hall’s 11th concert season

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

24 classical and 9 jazz concerts more than 100 planned concerts have been announced for the 11th concert season in Koerner Hall and two events.

Already there are at least two that will be of interest to opera-goers:

• On January 17, 2020, Philippe Sly and the Chimera Project present a staged version of Schubert’s Winterreise.

A fresh theatrical take on Schubert’s final masterpiece - 24 songs based on poems by Wilhelm Müller that recount the tale of a lonely traveller who ventures on a winter journey in the snow to rid himself of his lost love. Philippe Sly’s version is dramatically staged and lit, and includes an on-stage ensemble with all musicians playing from memory.

French-Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly has gained international notoriety for his “beautiful, blooming tone and magnetic stage presence” (San Francisco Chronicle). Mr. Sly was the first prize winner of the prestigious Concours Musical International de Montréal and a grand prize winner Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions singing the varied repertoire of Mozart, Bach, Handel, Stravinsky, and Wagner. Recently, he was awarded Concert of the Year in Romantic, Post-Romantic, and Impressionist Music at the 16th annual ceremony of the Prix Opus in Québec.

• On February 1 and 2, 2020, the Los Angeles Master Chorale presents Orlando di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro as staged by Peter Sellars.

The MUST-SEE performance of the season! From the creative mind of acclaimed director Peter Sellars comes his very first a cappella staging and most personal work to date.

Lagrime di San Pietro (The Tears of St. Peter) is a ground-breaking production of Renaissance master Orlando di Lasso’s final work, a collection of 27 madrigals sung a capella in seven parts by the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Di Lasso knew that Lagrime was to be the last piece he would ever compose, so he filled every measure with an emotionally charged texture that channeled all of his pain and remorse into a towering work of beauty.

21 singers transform this 75-minute sweeping Renaissance masterpiece – committed to memory and dramatically staged and lit – into an overwhelmingly emotional performance piece. Set to the poetry of Luigi Tansillo (1510-1568), “I accept responsibility” is the fundamental theme of this work, depicting the seven stages of grief that St. Peter experienced after disavowing his knowledge of Jesus Christ on the day of his arrest and prior to Jesus’s crucifixion. Sellars translates Lagrime through a contemporary lens, suggesting a powerful allegory that by taking responsibility and facing our past head-on, we can forge a more resolved and fulfilling future.

Lagrime is a major accomplishment for the Master Chorale, which sang and acted brilliantly. It’s also a major accomplishment for music history.” (LA Times)

“Many in the audience, I am sure, will never hear Renaissance music or polyphony the same way again.” (Classical Voice)

• On February 14, 2020, Johannes Debus, Music Director od the Canadian Opera Company, conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra.

Johannes Debus has been Music Director of the Canadian Opera Company since 2009. Recent highlights include engagements with the Cleveland, Boston, Houston, Baltimore, and Toronto symphonies, and abroad with the Tasmanian and West Australian symphonies, as well as opera engagements with Frankfurt Opera and Komische Oper Berlin. At home in both contemporary music and the core repertoire, he has conducted a wide range of world premieres and works of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The Glenn Gould School (GGS)’s Royal Conservatory Orchestra (RCO) is widely regarded as an outstanding ensemble and one of the best training orchestras in North America. Part of the Temerty Orchestral Program at the GGS, it consists of instrumental students in the undergraduate and graduate programs of The Glenn Gould School. Graduates of the RCO have joined the ranks of the greatest orchestras in the world.

Please join us! Each Royal Conservatory Orchestra concert is preceded by a short performance by talented students of The Glenn Gould School, and a fascinating pre-concert talk about the repertoire being performed. Prelude Recitals start at 6:45pm and Pre-concert Talks start at 7:15pm.

SUBSCRIPTIONS go on sale Friday, February 8, 2019
CONCERT TICKETS & SUBSCRIPTIONS are on sale starting Friday, February 15, 2019

For more information, visit

 Photo: Philippe Sly. © 2017 Adam Scotti.