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December Editor’s Picks: Entertainment

Yamato Drummers of Japan

Yamato Drummers of Japan

DECEMBER 2 Music, dance and propulsive percussion fill the city this month in a dramatic display of rhythmic prowess by the Yamato Drummers of Japan. A modern generation of energetic men and women revives an ancient Japanese art form in this unforgettable ensemble presentation featuring traditional taiko drums and thunderous odaiko barrels that are six feet in diameter. Both ingeniously innovative and intensely physical, the Yamato Drummers’ performances are influenced by the idea that the drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the very pulse of life. Massey Hall,
8 p.m., $49.50 to $69.50; for tickets call 416-872-4255.

DECEMBER 6 A classic fable of kindness and redemption is told through music when the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Canadian Children’s Opera team up to present Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Roy Thomson Hall, 3 p.m. $15 to $59; call 416-593-4828 for tickets.

The Princess and the Handmaiden (photo by iden ford)

The Princess and the Handmaiden (photo by iden ford)

DECEMBER 18 TO 27 In Disney on Ice Presents Princess Classics, pint-size viewers marvel as Cinderella, Snow White and other beloved screen characters skate through an undersea kingdom, an enchanted castle and beyond. Rogers Centre, $15 to $90; call 416-870-8000 to buy.

TO DECEMBER 30 Canadian composer and librettist Leslie Arden explores friendship and loyalty in her world-premiere musical, The Princess and the Handmaiden, a modern retelling of a fairytale about a pampered royal and her hard-working companion. Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, $10 to $20; call 416-862-2222 for times and tickets.

A 2008 performance of Bravissimo

A 2008 performance of Bravissimo

DECEMBER 31 Stand up and cheer for some of the most passionate operatic music ever written, as Bravissimo! Opera’s Greatest Hits returns to Toronto for a spectacular New Year’s Eve concert. Led by Austrian-Italian conductor Roberto Paternostro, an all-star cast of internationally renowned singers and musicians, perform an array of beloved arias, duets, overtures and more. Newcomers and seasoned aficionados alike are sure to be moved by the legendary melodies from Carmen, Madama Butterfly, La bohème and other classics from opera’s golden age. Roy Thomson Hall, 7 p.m., $75 to $155; call 416-872-4255 to purchase tickets.

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