Big conversations & interactive events that take you inside the COC's 2016/2017 season!
Free tickets required for all events. Register online or call 416-363-8231
Registration Policy: Free tickets become available as of 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 29, 2016 for our fall events and on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 for our winter events (Spring 2017 date to be announced!).
As these events are free, it is our policy to overbook. In case of a full program, your reservation may not guarantee admission. Unclaimed reservations will be released to standby customers ten minutes prior to the start of the program. We recommend that you arrive early.
Education Centre, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. (at University Ave.)
This event has reached capacity and is no longer available for registration.
Gain an exclusive glimpse into what it takes to bring an opera to the stage when COC Music Director Johannes Debus prepares the young artists of the COC Ensemble Studio for roles they are understudying in Handel’s Ariodante.
COC Music Director Johannes Debus recently conducted the company’s Siegfried, The Marriage of Figaro and Pyramus and Thisbe with Lamento d’Arianna and Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. Other COC credits include Bluebeard/Erwartung, Die Walküre, Falstaff, Don Quichotte, Così fan tutte, Peter Grimes, Dialogues des Carmélites, Salome, Tristan und Isolde, Die Fledermaus, The Tales of Hoffmann, Love from Afar, Rigoletto and, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. Recent highlights include The Tales of Hoffmann (Bregenz Festival); The Cunning Little Vixen (Oper Frankfurt); The Marriage of Figaro (Komische Oper Berlin); engagements with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, and Aspen Music Festival. Upcoming this season Mr. Debus makes his Metropolitan Opera debut conducting Salome and is at the podium for the COC's Ariodante, Götterdämmerung and Louis Riel.
Scene from Ariodante (Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, 2014). Photo: Pascal Victor/ArtComArt
Johannes Debus, Photo: Bo Huang
Take a trip back in time to 18th-century London with COC Orchestra violinists Paul Zevenhuizen and Liz Johnston, joined by musicologist and COC speaker Stephan Bonfield, as they discuss and perform works by the greatest opera composer of the Baroque era, Handel, whose Ariodante (1735) receives its COC premiere this fall.
Stephan Bonfield hails from the West and is a Calgary native where he is a music, ballet and visual arts critic for The Calgary Herald, working in the city and also covering events at the Banff Centre. He is Professor of Music and Philosophy at Ambrose University and a Research Associate in Neurophysiology at the University of Calgary. He runs a full time music studio, is a Senior Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music in both theory and history, and gives talks for Edmonton Opera, Calgary Opera and the COC.
Elizabeth Johnston has been a member of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra since 1994 and freelances with many other orchestras in the Toronto area. She has a special interest in period instrument performance, having studied baroque violin at Oberlin College, Amherst Early Music Festival and the Tafelmusik Institute. She has performed and recorded on baroque violin with Aradia Ensemble on numerous occasions since 2002. Along with her colleague Paul Zevenhuizen, Liz has appeared in the COC's Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre in 2007 and 2014, focusing on baroque repertoire.
Paul Zevenhuizen is the principal second violin of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and also a member of the orchestra of the National Ballet of Canada. Keenly interested in period performance practice and the history of the violin, he has frequently performed and recorded with groups such as the Aradia Ensemble, the Classical Music Consort and Scaramella.
Portrait of George Frideric Handel, c. 1730 by Philip Mercier, Handel House, Halle, Germany
Join Norma conductor and witty raconteur Stephen Lord in a fascinating, multimedia journey covering his work with some of the worlds’ greatest bel canto divas, from the legendary Joan Sutherland to the COC’s own Norma, Sondra Radvanovsky.
American Stephen Lord last appeared at the COC conducting A Masked Ball (2014). He also conducted the COC’s Lucia di Lamermoor (2013) and our previous production of Norma (1998). He is currently music director for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, conducting repertoire from Mozart to Salome to Sweeney Todd. Recent appearances include Norma (English National Opera), Macbeth (Michigan Opera Theatre and Opera Theatre of St. Louis) and, La Rondine (Opera Theatre of St. Louis). Upcoming engagements include La fanciulla del West (Michigan Opera Theatre) and La Traviata (San Diego Opera).
Photo of Stephen Lord (top): courtesy of Schmopera.com
A unique opportunity to sing some of opera’s most popular choruses under the expert baton of the COC’s celebrated Chorus Master, Sandra Horst along with members of the COC Chorus. All levels of singers are welcome!
Sandra Horst is Chorus Master for the Canadian Opera Company. In the 16/17 season she will prepare the COC Chorus for Norma, Ariodante, The Magic Flute, Götterdämmerung, Louis Riel and Tosca. Her most recent COC credits include La Traviata, Pyramus and Thisbe, The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, Maometto II, Semele (at Brooklyn Academy of Music), Don Giovanni, Falstaff and Madama Butterfly. Also at the COC she conducted Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims. As Director of Musical Studies at UofT Opera, she most recently conducted The Machine Stops and Paul Bunyan. Ms. Horst has served as chorus master for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Edmonton Opera; a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions; and music staff of the Juilliard Opera Center, Chautauqua Institution, Boston Lyric Opera, and Banff Centre for the Arts. She was one of the 100 Alumni of Achievement honoured by Wilfrid Laurier University and is a graduate of the COC Ensemble Studio.
Participants in Opera Insights "Sing Along with La Traviata" event, October 2015. Photo: Karen E. Reeves
NOTE SPECIAL VENUE! Fifth Pubhouse, 221 Richmond St. W.
Think you know opera? Team up with fellow opera geeks and test your opera knowledge over a pint in a round of opera trivia. Trivia master Russel Harder of Trivia Club! hosts this gameshow-inspired quiz night at Fifth Pubhouse.
Russel Harder grew up in the small country town of Asquith, Saskatchewan, with an insatiable need for trivial knowledge which was at the time at least partially satiated by Disney Adventure magazines. Remember those? Good times. After studying graphic design and being left wanting, he decided to move to New York City to study theatre at the Atlantic Theatre Company Acting School (featuring the teachings of David Mamet and Buffalo Will Macy, and alumni such as Elizabeth Olsen). Russel then took to Toronto, producing and hosting what has grown to be the Greatest Game Show in the city, Trivia Club!
Photo: Bugs Bunny as Brünnhilde in Warner Bros.' "What's Opera Doc?"
Join COC Music Director Johannes Debus as he leads you through the score of the final instalment of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Götterdämmerung. No musical background necessary!
The Rhinemaidens: Allyson McHardy as Flosshilde, Laura Whalen as Woglinde and Krisztina Szabó as Wellgunde in the Canadian Opera Company's production of Götterdämmerung, 2006. Photo: Michael Cooper
A unique opportunity to sing some of opera’s most popular choruses under the expert baton of the COC’s celebrated Chorus Master, Sandra Horst. All levels of singers are welcome!
Participants in Opera Insights "Sing Along with La Traviata" event, October 2015. Photo: Karen E. Reeves
COC Tosca director Paul Curran’s productions appear at the world’s greatest opera houses including Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and, Teatro all Scala, Milan. Join us for an in-depth conversation with Curran as we explore the current state of directing in the opera world today.
Award winning director Paul Curran is a graduate in Directing of the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Sydney, and of the Finnish National Opera, Helsinki. He was Artistic Director of the Norwegian National Opera from 2007-11. Production highlights include La Donna del Lago, Metropolitan Opera; La traviata, Bucharest National Opera; La Cenerentola, Teatro Maestanza, Seville; Tristan und Isolde, Teatro La Fenice, Venice; La Donna del Lago, Santa Fe Opera; Faramondo, Göttingen Händel Festival; Die Zauberflöte, Norwegian National Opera and, Rusalka, New National Theatre, Tokyo. For the COC he has directed Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2007), Tosca (2008, 2012, 2017) and Otello (2010). Recent engagements include Death in Venice, Garsington Opera; La traviata, Opera Philadelphia; the world premiere of Becoming Santa Claus, Dallas Opera; A Midsummer Night's Dream, Palau Les Arts, Valencia; La Cenerentola,Teatro San Carlo, Naples; La traviata, Teato dell'Opera, Rome and, Man of La Mancha, Central City Opera.
Jenna Douglas is a pianist and voice coach based in London, UK, and she is the editor-in-chief of the online opera publication Schmopera.com. She has also contributed to Opera Canada and Musical Toronto, La scena musicale, and the Canadian Opera Company's Parlando blog. She is a graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio Program (Iphigénie en Tauride, Tosca, Semele, Die Fledermaus, Il trovatore, La clemenza di Tito, Lucia di Lammermoor), and returned to the COC as a member of music staff for Pyramus and Thisbe (2015), Madama Butterfly (2014) under Patrick Lange, and Peter Grimes (2013) under Johannes Debus. Jenna was a répétiteur and harpsichordist for AtG’s Messiah with Against the Grain Theatre (2013, 2015), and she joined AtG at The Banff Centre as a pianist and coach for #UncleJohn (2014), and Music Director of James Rolfe’s Crush (2015). Jenna has coached at Opera on the Avalon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Die Zauberflöte), Highlands Opera Studio, and Toronto Operetta Theatre (The Merry Widow). She held a staff coaching position at Oberlin College Conservatory, and apprenticed at San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program (L’elisir d’amore) and the Crested Butte Music Festival (Carmen, I Capuleti ed i Montecchi). As a freelance voice coach, Jenna works with singers of all ages, including several of the COC’s Ensemble Studio School Tours (The Bremen Town Musicians, Hänsel and Gretel, La serva padrona), and the COC’s Summer Youth Intensive Program.
Mark Delavan as Scarpia (downstage, left) in a scene from the Canadian Opera Company production of Tosca, 2012. Photo: Michael Cooper
Join COC Ensemble Studio singers Emily D’Angelo, Lauren Eberwien and Megan Quick as we explore the mezzo soprano voice in all its fascinating facets.
Italian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo won First Prize and Audience Choice Award at the Canadian Opera Company’s 2015 Ensemble Studio Competition and is a winner of the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Finals. She made her European debut in 2016 at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro under the baton of James Conlon. She received her bachelor of music in performance from the University of Toronto in 2016 where she was the recipient of the Jim and Charlotte Norcop Prize in Song and the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award. Additionally, she is a 2016 grant recipient of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation. This season with the COC, she sings the role of Second Lady in The Magic Flute.
Qualicum Beach, BC native Lauren Eberwein placed second in the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio Competition in 2016. She studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and was a member of Opera Philadelphia’s Emerging Artist Program. Her credits include Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress, The Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Mère Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites, Second Lady in The Magic Flute, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas (Curtis Opera Theater); Sorrel and Dodo in Double Exposure, Olivia in Cold Mountain and Clairon in Cappriccio (Opera Philadelphia). She made her Carnegie Hall debut singing Handel's Israel in Egypt with the New York Choral Society. This season with the COC she sings the role of Wellgunde in Götterdämmerung.
Mezzo-soprano Megan Quick is a native of Brockville, Ont. and recently completed her diploma in operatic performance at the University of Toronto. Her credits include Third Lady in The Magic Flute (Chautauqua Vocal Academy), Moppet in Paul Bunyan, Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, Baba in The Medium, and roles in The Fatal Gaze and The Art of the Prima Donna (UofT Opera); Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Eva in Comedy on the Bridge and Zita in Gianni Schicchi (Dalhousie University). While at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, pursuing a masters in performance, Ms. Quick was part of the opera choruses in Our Town and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Other engagements include performances of Elgar’s Sea Pictures and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra. She will sing in the chorus of Norma at the COC this fall.
(left to right) Iain MacNeil as Figaro, Jacqueline Woodley as Cherubino and Gordon Bintner as the Count in the Ensemble Studio performance of the Canadian Opera Company’s production of The Marriage of Figaro, 2016. Photo: Michael Cooper
Marco Berti as Pollione and Sondra Radvanovsky as Norma in Norma (San Francisco Opera, 2014). Photo: Cory Weaver
Purchase tickets for $22 to all of our operas!