COC Media Releases


Comedy, Romance and Drama in COC Production of Strauss's Madcap Melodrama Ariadne auf Naxos

Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Opera Company’s spring 2010/2011 season continues with one of Richard Strauss’s most brilliant operas, Ariadne auf Naxos. The legendary Sir Andrew Davis conducts the COC Orchestra in this masterful madcap melodrama, performed by a sublime cast led by Canadian stars, soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and tenor Richard Margison and staged by award-winning Australian director Neil ArmfieldAriadne auf Naxos runs for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on April 30, May 3, 12, 15, 18, 21, 27 and 29, 2011, and is sung in German with English SURTITLES™.

The backstage antics that make up the Prologue of Strauss’s opera-within-an-opera are just a precursor to the second half’s onstage expressions of love, loss and spiritual transformation. When an opera company and a commedia dell’arte group are forced to perform the opera “Ariadne auf Naxos” together, comedy, romance and drama clash as the rival companies pick up the tale from where the Greek myth leaves off, with Ariadne abandoned on an island, longing for death. 


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COC's Spring 2010/2011 Season Launches with Vocal Fireworks in a Storybook Production of the Beloved Fairytale Cinderella

Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Opera Company’s spring 2010/2011 season opens with Gioacchino Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola), a sparkling rendition of the cherished fairytale. This timeless story of the triumph of love comes to life in a colourful storybook production ideal for all ages, created by the Spanish artist collective Els Comediants led by director Joan Font. Leading the COC Orchestra and Chorus is rising young Italian conductor Leonardo Vordoni, recognized across the United States and abroad for his musicality and interpretation of the Italian repertoire. Sung in Italian with English SURTITLES™, Cinderellaruns for nine performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on April 23, 28, May 1, 7, 10, 13, 19, 22 and 25, 2011.

Rossini’s operatic adaptation of the classic fable is a delightful combination of the comic and the dramatic as it tells of a young woman’s longing for love and kindness, whose dreams are thwarted by an abusive stepfather and stepsisters who treat her as no more than a common servant. Last performed by the COC in 1996, Cinderella returns in a Houston Grand Opera production described as “a riot of color with sophisticated comedy, just oozing with mirth” (Houston Chronicle).


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COC's The Nightingale and Other Short Fables Soars at Brooklyn Academy of Music

Toronto, Ontario More than a year after its groundbreaking premiere by the Canadian Opera Company in November 2009, The Nightingale and Other Short Fables continues to delight and amaze audiences. This spectacular production, directed by Canadian visionary Robert Lepage, is making headlines in New York in its U.S. premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. 

Hailed by audiences and critics alike, the New York Times describes the effect of The Nightingale’s palace scene as “more splendid than the Imperial Palace scene in the Met’s popular production of Puccini’s ‘Turandot,’ a Zeffirelli extravaganza;” that “the Canadian Opera Company’s orchestra and chorus were vibrantly conducted by its accomplished young music director, Johannes Debus,” and remarks “the first half of the program employs nimble acrobats and the most affecting and intricate puppetry I have ever seen.”  The New York Post says that The Nightingale and Other Short Fables “confirms why [Robert Lepage is] one of the most imaginative directors currently active” and has created a show full of moments of “pure magic” and “childlike wonder.” The Associated Press praises the production’s “terrific” cast, singling out for praise soprano Olga Peretyatko (the Nightingale) for a “fresh, silvery sound” that “easily negotiates the tricky coloratura flights Stravinsky has given his heroine.  Tenor Lothar Odinius is a warm, sympathetic presence as the Fisherman; bass Ilya Bannik makes a pitiable Emperor; and mezzo-soprano Meredith Arwady is commanding as Death.”  Time Out New York proclaims the production “theatrical and operatic bliss.”

The Nightingale and Other Short Fables is a co-production by the Canadian Opera Company, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Opéra national de Lyon and De Nederlandse Opera, in collaboration with Ex Machina (Quebec). It has received extraordinary critical acclaim since its world premiere in 2009 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto and subsequent performances at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in France in July 2010 and in Lyon, France this past fall.  The Nightingale and Other Short Fables moves on to Amsterdam in early 2012.

The Nightingale and Other Short Fables opened at BAM on March 1, 2011, and continues its engagement at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House through to March 6, 2011.  For more information on this production and its U.S. premiere visit and

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