The return of Drake, a Westeros-ian opera and seven other things to do this week
Drake’s victory lap
Our hometown hero swings back to the Air Canada Centre for a second set of Toronto shows as part of his Summer Sixteen tour. His What a Time to Be Alive collaborator Future will be on hand, but whether the 6 God can convince any of his higher-profile friends (i.e. Rihanna, who dropped by his last Toronto gig) to make a surprise appearance remains to be seen. Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 8. $49.50–$179.50. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., ticketmaster.ca.
A romantic opera with a bloody dose of Westeros
The COC’s interpretation of Bellini’s opera Norma has a distinct Game of Thrones vibe, set in a mythical Celtic world that calls to mind the warring factions of Westeros and the White Walkers. Direwolves aside, any staging of Norma requires a fierce soprano up to the demands of playing the histrionic title character—a Druid priestess in love with an enemy soldier of the invading Roman army. The singer must have tremendous vocal power to carry through extremes of love, jealousy, rage, betrayal and revenge. It’s becoming a signature role for Sondra Radvanovsky, who comes trailing accolades from performances in Europe and the U.S. (and who will replace superstar diva Anna Netrebko in the Met’s production next year). Thursday, October 6 to Saturday, November 5. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W., coc.ca.
After all these years, a chance to meet
Adele is that rare thing: an accessible diva. Her fans have always felt part of her career trajectory, and her 2016 tour finds her at a turning point, a year after 25 heralded the end of her age-titled trilogy. Though her tours have grown with her superstardom, she has retained her easygoing warmth, transforming sold-out arenas into intimate venues through sheer force of charisma. Monday, October 3 to Friday, October 7. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., ticketmaster.ca.
An international Indigenous theatre fest
The RUTAS Panamericanas Performing Arts Festival showcases Indigenous and Latin American theatre from as close as Toronto and as far as Colombia Venezuela and Switzerland. This year’s lineup includes a few unique takes on Shakespeare (Hamlet de Los Andes from Bolivia, and solOthello by Aboriginal artists from New Zealand); diaspora Dub, a celebration of black art, history and politics through poetry, performance and visual art; plus master classes, art exhibits, concerts, film screenings, and a conference on the intersection between performance and human rights. Wednesday, October 5 to Sunday, October 16. Prices vary; four tickets for $70. Artscape Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St. E., rutas.ca.
Sigur Rós’ atmospheric live show
When the Icelandic trio performs live, they do more than play the hits: they create an atmosphere. The moody lighting of their live shows provides a perfect match to their ethereal brand of post-rock. Their current world tour promises a mix of classics and new material, fuelling rumours that a new album—their first since 2013’s Kveikur—could be on the horizon. Monday, October 3. $79.50–$249. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., masseyhall.com.
An exhibition from an artist who’s never once lost the thread
In her nearly 60-year career, Sheila Hicks has pushed against the boundaries of textile art. Her majestic large-scale fibre sculptures and tapestries in particular are uncannily architectural. Material Voices, a career-spanning exhibition—Hicks’s first in Canada—covers everything from her most delicate woven miniatures to her gargantuan installations. Thursday, October 6 to Sunday, February 5. Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Ave., textilemuseum.ca.
A meet-and-greet with Martha Stewart
Cook. Author. Lifestyle guru. Décor dynamo. TV personality. Ex-convict. Yes, Martha Stewart is all of these things and more. The icon to generations of domestic artisans will visit Toronto to launch her new brand of Martha Stewart Bedding, and lucky shoppers will have a chance to win an autographed cookbook. Tuesday, October 4. Hudson’s Bay, 176 Yonge St., thebay.com.
A symphonic take on ABBA
High and low cultures collide as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra lends its artistry and prestige to the catchy bubblegum pop of ABBA. Whether or not you’re a fan of the Swedish supergroup (and let’s be honest—everyone is a fan), you can be sure that with the TSO’s support, songs like “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me,” and “S.O.S.” will sound better than ever. Tuesday, October 4 and Wednesday, October 5. $35.50–$102.50. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., tso.ca.
A night of stunning films from a handful of female directors
According to a recent survey by Variety, female directors created only 7 per cent of the 250 highest-grossing films of 2014. This year, TIFF attempted to improve those numbers—women-led films accounted for nearly 30 percent of the festival lineup. Now, the fest is hoping to foster the next generation of female directors with a showcase of short films from around the world, including work by such budding talents as Canadian filmmaker and visual artist Caroline Monnet, Polish-Australian director Malina Maria Mackiewicz, and experimental animator Minha Kim. Tuesday, October 4. $10–$14. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.