By Francisco Salazar
The Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre is set to return for the first time in three seasons on Sept. 20, 2022.
The company’s 15th season as Toronto’s go-to venue for diverse cultural programming will feature 70 concerts, from September to June, that showcase global and local artists across a variety of genres and disciplines.
In a statement, Meaghan Froh Metcalf, in her first season as Free Concert Series Manager said, “The Free Concert Series has become a destination for people to come together, enjoy and reflect on human experiences shared through music and dance. Following more than two years of lockdowns and social distancing, we believe that audience members will be eager to engage with stories that reflect the various communities that comprise this great city.”
Among the highlights of this year’s concert series is Luca Pisaroni, who will deliver an afternoon of works by Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, Gounod, and Saint-Saëns, and British baritone Roland Wood, who will demonstrate to audiences the professional life-cycle of a baritone.
The series will also include concerts with mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule, bass and frequent COC artist Önay Köse, the LARK Ensemble–compromised of members of the COC Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, pianist Ishay Shaer, Duo Concertante, cellist Anita Graef, and Indigenous Enterprise.
Some returning artists include tenor Miles Mykkanen, harpsichordist Christopher Bagan, Canada’s Ballet Jӧrgen, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, artists of the COC Orchestra, the Mike Downes Trio, Padideh Ahrarnejad (tar) and Ali Massoudi (tombak), accompanied by the beautiful voice of Mahnaz Raad, Ballet Creole, and Toronto-based, mixed East/West PhoeNX Ensemble and celebrated tenor Lawrence Wiliford.