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Hot Dates: What’s Happening for the Holidays

Ho ho holy moly! There’s a lot of festive events going on around town! Musical performances galore, an abundance of stage works, oodles of kid-friendly activities, and of course a plethora of places to cover your gift-giving needs. Have a look at what Toronto has planned this month for holiday-season revellers.

Tafelmusik Chamber Choir director Ivars Taurins embodies Handel at its Sing-Along Messiah show (photo by Gary Beechey)

The Messiah and Much More
Handel’s spirited classic Messiah is brought to life at Koerner Hall from December 14 to 17, courtesy of the virtuoso members of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. Then on December 18, Tafelmusik and “Maestro Handel” welcome you and your vocal cords to join its annual Sing Along Messiah performance at Massey Hall.

Not to be outdone, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Choir provide the “Hallelujahs” in their rendition of Toronto’s Favourite Messiah at Roy Thomson Hall on December 14, and December 16 to 19.

Festive music gets a southern twist on December 15 when New Orleans’s Preservation Hall Jazz Band brings its Creole Christmas to the Roy Thomson Hall stage.

Join the eight Leahy brothers and sisters on December 17 for A Leahy Family Christmas, a step-dancing, fiddle-playing, song-singing family gathering at the Sony Centre.

Traditional carols take on the trappings of gospel music in Andrew Craig’s Gospel Christmas Project at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts on December 17 and 18.

The Canadian Brass performs holiday favourites with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

The world-famous Canadian Brass and the Etobicoke School of the Arts Chorus are showcased alongside the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in a Christmas Holiday Pops performance of holiday favourites at Roy Thompson Hall, December 20 and 21.

The expressive vocal stylings of The Canadian Tenors are on full display at their Home for the Holidays concert. The group performs a mix of holiday music and songs from its upcoming album at Roy Thomson Hall on December 22 and 23.

Witness the epic energy of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s rock symphony when its winter tour blows into the Air Canada Centre for two shows on December 29.

And throughout the month, The Royal Conservatory hosts a slew of other holiday-themed concerts, including Nathaniel Dett Chorale’s Indigo Christmas on December 6, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra’s Salsa Christmas on December 9, John McDermott & Friends on December 18, and Christmas with opera star Adrianne Pieczonka on December 21.

Read on for more performances, activities and gifting opportunities!

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