Sing-along Messiah, The Nutcracker and five other virtual events to stream this holiday season
Live holiday concerts and awkward office parties are out this year — but that doesn’t mean the season has to be joyless. Some of the city’s holiday favourites and a few newer events have gone virtual this year for cozy at-home streaming. Here’s how to indulge in the festivities this season while you’re stuck at home.
A sing-along classic
1For more than three decades, Tafelmusik has performed Handel’s famous Messiah in an interactive sing-along rendition led by founding director Ivars Taurins. This year, it’s streaming a performance of Sing-Along Messiah, recorded in 2010 at Koerner Hall, for free. To December 26, YouTube.
A winter serenade
2The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s annual holiday performance, Holiday Pops, is happening this year on your schedule. The 60-minute show features classic Christmas carols like “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World,” as well as original songs by Métis singer Andrea Menard (pictured above). Plus, for the little ones who missed a mall Santa visit this year, a certain bearded visitor from the North Pole is rumoured to make a guest appearance. To January 3, tso.ca.
A livestreamed Christmas special
3Chilly Gonzales’s 75-minute musical program, A Very Chilly Christmas Special, was filmed in a Parisian theatre earlier this year and features musical performances from his new holiday album, with guests like Feist and Jarvis Cocker and a skit about a Santa Claus who needs therapy after a particularly hard year. December 23, ChillyGonzales.com.
A private Zoom concert
4When Covid-19 put live Toronto Symphony Orchestra performances on hold, musicians Clare Semes and her colleague Kelly Zimba took matters into their own hands. The pair formed a flute and violin duo called Sonority Sisters, and they’re are offering private virtual holiday concerts on Zoom. Performance run times are customizable, and potential customers can DM the duo for pricing. Various dates, Zoom.
An annual ballet tradition
5This is the first year since 1955 that the National Ballet of Canada will not perform their signature Nutracker live. Instead, a previously recorded live performance of the celebrated Tchaikovsky ballet is available for virtual viewing. To January 2, cineplex.com.
A virtual holiday show
6Playing on the pandemic stay-at-home orders, Ross Petty’s hour-long virtual holiday show, There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays, features actors Dan Chameroy and Eddie Glen and combines holiday musical performances with interactive virtual entertainment. December 19 and 20, rosspetty.com.
An at-home concert
7Retirement residence Amica Senior Lifestyles paired up with Roy Thomson Hall to host A Holiday from the Heart, a concert featuring performances by local musicians Liz Lokre, Amanda Martinez, Royal Wood and Shakura S’Aida. December 20, amica.ca.