A Lana Del Rey concert, the Interior Design Show and six other things to see, do, hear and read this week
A lush Lana Del Rey concert
At first, no one quite knew what to make of Lana Del Rey’s unrelentingly gloomy pop and glamorous aesthetic, a throwback version of California life that exists only in Instagram posts tagged #vanlife. Critics and fans alike have since come around, embracing her as an idiosyncratic icon thanks to albums like her latest, Lust for Life, which oozes with both style and substance. Its sophisticated musings on Americana and masterful songwriting prove there’s more to Del Rey than just pin-up-perfect imagery. Monday, January 15. From $69. Air Canada Centre.
A design extravaganza
Every January, the Interior Design Show gives visitors a sneak peek at the coming year’s hottest design trends, decking the convention floor in bold new furniture lines and home décor. The 20th-anniversary edition includes a spotlight on contemporary Canadian architecture, a global marketplace and guided design tours of three iconic Toronto properties: Broadview Hotel, Bisha Hotel and Sunnylea Residence, a historic property with a modern twist. Thursday, January 18 to Sunday, January 21. $19. Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
The Gladstone’s annual art takeover
During Come Up to My Room, every inch of the Gladstone Hotel gets covered with quirky, site-specific installations, like a knitted bedroom and a scrappy skateboarder’s clubhouse. Among the 30 pieces on display this year: “First Gentrification,” suspended sculptures made from construction debris sourced from Toronto’s changing neighbourhoods; “Enhancer,” an interactive chandelier that glows and dims in response to guests’ movements; and, repeating one of the event’s most memorable installations from years past, a virtual-reality recreation of Ferris Bueller’s bedroom. Thursday, January 18 to Sunday, January 21. $10. Gladstone Hotel.
A Verdi opera fit for 2018
Rigoletto, Verdi’s tale of malevolence and misogyny, is set in Renaissance Italy. The COC’s take, however, plays fast and loose with the show’s original intentions—sometimes to stunning effect, sometimes risibly—transporting the story into a Victorian gentlemen’s club to prove that powerful men get their way no matter the era. In this case, the authority in question is the Duke of Mantua, a lecherous ruler who could pass for a 19th-century Trump or Weinstein. He has his eye on Gilda (soprano Anna Christy), the innocent daughter of the wicked-tongued court jester Rigoletto (English baritone Roland Wood). The hunchbacked fool fails to keep Gilda safe from the duke’s predatory hands, leading to one of the grimmest denouements in operatic history. Saturday, January 20 to Friday, February 23. From $35. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Bahamas’ breezy R&B album
On his latest album, carefree folk troubadour Afie Jurvanen turns to some unexpected influences, including Anderson Paak’s festive funk and Kanye West’s chaotic rap. He and two members of D’Angelo’s band holed up in an L.A. studio to record Earthtones, a hybrid of sultry R&B and Bahamas’ signature laid-back sound, all bass grooves and breathy harmonies. The night before its release, Jurvanen debuts the slow jams at an unorthodox Massey Hall show—the auditorium will be empty except for 150 spaces onstage—that will be recorded and then broadcast on SiriusXM. That show is sold out, but you can catch a free Bahamas concert at the Harbourfront Centre skating rink this weekend. Saturday, Saturday, January 20. Free. Harbourfront Centre.
A city-wide design fest
While the Interior Design Show caters to consumers, the Toronto Design Offsite Festival offers a more eclectic, artistic look at the field with exhibitions, window displays, events and classes. This year’s highlights include #ohdeer, a giant deer piñata in a St. Clair office building; Construction of the Everyday, a public art series under the Gardiner; and Hacking Black Futures, a group show of black artists. Monday, January 15 to Sunday, January 21. Prices vary. Various locations.
A magical mystery yurt
This winter, the Aga Khan Museum fills its grounds and galleries with Middle Eastern instruments, musical artifacts, concerts and video installations that span hundreds of years and dozens of countries. The centrepiece of the exhibition, Listening to Art, Seeing Music, will be a cozy Mongolian yurt in the museum’s courtyard, where visitors can grab a cup of tea and enjoy a performance in a traditional gathering place. The Aga Khan kicks off the exhibition with Welcome Weekend (January 20 and 21), during which admission is free. Saturday, January 20 to Sunday, April 8. $20. Aga Khan Museum.
A classical ode to multiculturalism
Tafelmusik are pros of period performance, but the ensemble’s technological know-how isn’t stuck in the baroque era. Safe Haven is their latest dazzling multimedia spectacle, conceived and scripted by double bass player Alison Mackay, with a theme ripped from the headlines: immigration and the plight of refugees. The program pulls works—by Lully, Hume, Corelli, Vivaldi and Bach—from 18th-century Europe, where the cross-pollination caused by immigration enriched the continent’s musical life. Thursday, January 18 to Sunday, January 21. $19–$101.85. Trinity–St. Paul’s Centre. Tuesday, January 23. $38–$81. Toronto Centre for the Arts.
Never Miss Another Great Event
An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Come Up to My Room was a free event.