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Canadian Opera Company Announces Free Concert Series

The Canadian Opera Company presents a FREE CONCERT SERIES IN THE Richard Bradshaw AMPHITHEATRE from March 6 – March 29, 2012 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. (at University Avenue).

The Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre is a unique opportunity to experience diverse artistic programming in what has become one of Toronto's most exciting cultural hubs. Six series concerts offer dance performances and engaging presentations that feature both up-and-coming young artists and established international stars. All performances are FREE to the public, with admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early as late seating is not available.

March 6, 2012
From 12 – 1 p.m., Vocal Series

* World Premiere of A Celebration of Canadian Art Song

This concert marks the official launch of the Canadian Art Song Project, an exciting new Toronto-based collective dedicated to the creation and performance of Canadian art song. Co-directed by tenor Lawrence Wiliford and pianist Steven Philcox, the program includes the world premiere of Sewing the Earthworm, a new cycle by Brian Harman written for soprano Carla Huhtanen, and
David Passmore's Seven "Dark Lady" Sonnets performed by mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó. The program also features Srul Irving Glick's Two Landscapes, performed by Lawrence Wiliford.

March 7, 2012
From 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., Jazz Series

My Foolish Heart

Two of Canada's undisputed jazz greats, trumpeter/flugelhornist Guido Basso and pianist/bassist Don Thompson, team up for a heart-melting hour of good old-fashioned romantic melodies. The multi-talented instrumentalists perform tunes from the golden era of jazz, as well as some of Thompson's most tender and original creations.

March 8, 2012
From 12 – 1 p.m., Chamber Music Series

The Accordion and all its Charms

One of the foremost female accordion performers of today, virtuoso Jelena Milojevic gives a rare introduction to the solo accordion repertoire. Milojevic performs pieces by the world's greatest accordion composers, such as Franck Angelis and Victor Vlasov.

March 14, 2012
From 12 – 1 p.m., Dance Series

Ballet Express!

For the past quarter century, the innovative Ballet Jörgen company has worked to advance the art and appreciation of choreography and ballet in Canada. They offer a fast-paced and brilliantly danced program of classics, cutting-edge contemporary works and intimate dance pieces celebrating the beauty of life.

March 20, 2012
From 12 – 1 p.m., Vocal Series

Northern Landscapes: Art Songs of Scandinavia

Under the direction of pianist and frequent COC vocal coach Steven Philcox, artists of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music perform an intriguing selection of art songs from Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

March 21, 2012
From 12 – 1 p.m., Piano Virtuoso Series

Pictures at an Exhibition

Award-winning Russian-Canadian pianist Alexander Seredenko showcases his passion and virtuosity with a performance of one of the masterpieces from the piano repertoire: Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

March 27, 2012
From 12 – 1 p.m., World Music Series

*Toronto Premiere of Tango! Homage to Astor Piazzolla

The sizzling Ensemble Vivant is joined by bassist Dave Young for a concert featuring tunes from their recent hit CD, Homage to Astor Piazzolla. Audiences are also treated to the Toronto premiere of Fuga con Pajarillo by Aldemaro Romero, the influential Venezuelan composer who died in 2007.

March 29, 2012
From 12 – 1 p.m., Piano Virtuoso Series

Bach and Harbison

American pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough performs the two piano sonatas of John Harbison, one of today's most important composers, and pairs them with selections from Bach's
Partita No. 4, which Harbison was studying when he wrote the sonatas. As part of the program, McCullough discusses the influence of Bach on Harbison's composition and offers some insights based on his own work with Harbison.

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