This series of five sessions will concentrate on the history of opera in the recording industry. Classes will follow a chronological path while highlighting landmark opera recordings from the last century. Participants will listen to examples of the greatest voices ever to be recorded, beginning with the first attempts to record opera in the early 20th century and ending with the advent of digital recording.
Lecturer: Stephen R. Clarke (click here to read his biography)
Dates: 5 classes, Monday evenings
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. E., 2nd Floor Boardroom
Parking: Street parking on Front Street or in the parking lot on Berkeley Street
Cost: All 5 sessions – Adult: $115; Student/Senior: $95
Drop-in Rate – Adult: $25/class; Student/Senior: $20/class
President’s Council Members and Friends of the COC receive enrolment priority. For information on these annual membership programs please call 416-847-4949.
Classes tend to sell out early and are limited to a maximum of 50 individuals. To guarantee your place, full payment must be received with registration. Exchanges and cancellations must be made a minimum of 24 hours in advance. All dates, times and course content are subject to change without notice.
Full session registration is now open for President’s Council members and Friends of the COC.
Full session registration for non-members begins on: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Refund Deadlines: Friday, January 4, 2013
Please contact COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231, by e-mail, or print and mail your registration form with payment to:
COC Opera Courses
Canadian Opera Company
227 Front St. E., Toronto, ON M5A 1E8
JANUARY 14, 2013 – EARLY ATTEMPTS AT RECORDING
This class will look at how recording technology initially worked and the original format battle between cylinder recordings and lateral-cut recordings. Using a vintage gramophone, a Victor VI, examples will be played from the first attempts at live performance and studio recording: Pagliacci and Carmen (1907), Faust (1908), and Roméo et Juliette (1909). Some listening will feature Enrico Caruso, Nellie Melba, Luisa Tetrazzini, Francesco Tamagno, and Lilli Lehmann, and others from the Golden Age of Opera.
JANUARY 28, 2013 – THE ACOUSTIC ERA AND ADVENT OF THE MICROPHONE
Through a comparative analysis between acoustic and electric recordings, this class will also cover some of the extraordinary recordings that survived from Russia before the Revolution. Listening will also include samples from the first true successful live recordings: Nellie Melba’s farewell concert (1926), and Feodor Chaliapin’s Boris Godunov live from Covent Garden (1928).
NEW DATE: FEBRUARY 25, 2013 – THE INTER-WAR YEARS
This class will focus on the great recordings of the inter-war years, the advent of broadcast recordings and the introduction of magnetic tape. Listening examples will include the great Wagnerian recordings of the 1930s, the first Met broadcasts, as well as a sampling French recording from the last great period of the Opéra in Paris: César Vezzani and Marcel Journet in Faust (1928), Georges Thill in Werther (1929), and Hélène Bouvier and José Luccioni in Samson et Dalila (1946).
MARCH 4, 2013 – HI-FI AND EARLY OPERA
This class will discuss the first true High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) recording and Decca’s Full Frequency Range Recording (FFRR). Listening examples will be taken from the great monophonic recordings of RCA Victor, HMV, and Decca, the first serious attempts to record early operas, and the Wagner sets of the 1950s including Hans Knapertsbusch’s Parsifal. Singers to be highlighted in class are: Zinka Milanov, Jussi Bjoerling, Leonard Warren, Maria Callas, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Renata Tebaldi, Mario Del Monaco, Birgit Nilsson and Alfred Deller, the first great counter-tenor.
MARCH 18, 2013 – ILLUSTRIOUS SINGERS AND THE GREAT STEREO OPERA PROJECTS
This class will examine the period surrounding the recordings by Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne and Beverly Sills. Listening examples will be from the great stereo opera projects, including John Culshaw’s recording of Wagner’s Ring Cycle and a spate of recordings of bel canto operas.
Purchase tickets for $22 to all of our operas!