Barrie Concerts & Georgian Music

Toronto Concert Orchestra

March 18, 2023, 7:30pm - Hiway Church

Toronto Concert Orchestra

A Night at the Opera was a night to remember

They’re back! On Saturday night, March 18, people streamed into Hiway Pentecostal Church to take in Barrie Concert Association’s first concert since covid wrecked havoc with live music. Originally planned to take place in March of 2020, ticket-holders were pleased to finally have their “Night at the Opera”, featuring the Toronto Concert Orchestra with Soprano Sara Papini, and Tenor Romula Delgado.

The opening of the concert was bitter-sweet, as BCA board member, Daryl Yaeger, acknowledged the absence of Bruce Owen, who passed away just over a year ago and whose leadership, passion for music and presence at every concert will be missed. But the moment taken, before the performance started, to recognized young musicians in our community who have recently won prestigious awards with the Royal Conservatory of Music, seemed just the thing he would have liked to see, that, and the fact that the Barrie and Georgian Concert Series are back.

“A Night at the Opera” began with the “Overture to The Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart, the bustling energy of the piece reflecting the excited anticipation of the audience. Conductor, Marcus Scholtes, reflected briefly on how good it was to be back performing live, although the TCO has also suffered the loss of their founder and previous conductor, Kerry Stratton, who was well-known and well-loved. However his legacy lives on in skilled and evocative music-that TCO continues to make.

The program continued with Sara Papini and Romula Delgado, both internationally recognized artists, singing arias and duets from well-known operas, interspersed with short orchestral works featuring the orchestra alone.

Highlights of the concert include “Caro Nome” from Verdi’s “Rigoletto”, in which Papini captivated the audience with her seemingly effortless enactment of this challenging coloratura aria, sung with stunning agility and accuracy. The “Italian in Algiers Overture” by Rossini, with its kaleidoscope of textures, colours and dynamics was met with audible gasps of delight, so interesting were its many details, so skillfully played. Delgado’s fluid, expansive rendition of the sweeping “Nessun Dorma” from “Turandot” by Puccini lifted the audience to their feet. The evening ended with the waltz-like duet, “Libiano” from “La Traviata” by Verdi, a finale that most certainly sent the audience home with hearts and spirits dancing. “A Night at the Opera” was a night to remember, reminisce, and roll out a new concert season!

By Sandra Ruttan

Musician and Music Teacher

Barrie Concerts Logo
VENUE: Hiway Church,
50 Anne Street North (MAP)
TIME: Saturdays 7:30pm


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Contact Info

Barrie Concerts & Georgian Music
P.O. Box 452 Barrie, ON L4M 4T7
Phone: (705)-436-1232. or (705)-726-1181 Email:
Official Website: