COC Media Releases


COC traveling to Nunavik, Quebec with Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour

Toronto, Ontario � The Canadian Opera Company (COC) revealed today that its previously announced 2010 Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour trip has added two new destinations that will take it further north than it has ever been before: the communities of Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq in northern Québec.� These Inuit communities in the Nunavik region are located near Xstrata Nickel's Raglan mine.� The COC will perform its school-friendly production of Cinderella, a combination of Jules Massenet's and Rossini's musical scores, for students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 in each community, on November 16 and 17, 2010.

�This tour is a remarkable opportunity for the COC.� Xstrata has been absolutely indispensible in allowing the COC's school tour to travel further than we ever have in our history,� says Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company.� �The company is extremely excited that our Ensemble Studio singers will be performing opera for children in these remote communities, and we are equally honoured to be given the opportunity to learn as much as we can about their culture from them.� If the children's response is anything like that of the reaction the tour receives in Ontario, they will be completely enchanted with the performances.�

Xstrata, Title Sponsor of the COC's school tour, will host the COC artists and staff at its Raglan mine.� As Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq are only accessible by air, the COC team will be flown into each community from the tour's home base at Raglan: on November 16 to Pigiurvik School in Salluit, and on November 17 to Arsaniq School in Kangiqsujuaq.

Both performance days begin with workshops led by the COC's Senior Manager of Education and Outreach, Katherine Semcesen, with the participation of the singers and pianist.� A 50-minute performance of Cinderella, a mix of Rossini's and Massenet's music sung in both English and French, will follow and include a question-and-answer period.� In addition to school performances, the COC Ensemble artists will present a short program of operatic arias for the employees at Raglan mine on the evening of November 17.

�It is important to Xstrata that we expand the tour's reach north to the communities in which we operate,� says Michael Welch, Vice President, Raglan Mine.� �We strive for our Raglan operations to provide more than just jobs to our local communities � we want to create sustainable value.� This can take many forms, including art and culture, and education.� The Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour combines these two elements in a unique way and introduces opera to children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to be exposed to this art form.�

Cinderella is also traveling to northern Ontario cities of Sudbury and Timmins as part of Xstrata's continuing goal to provide cultural and educational value to those communities in which they work.� Cinderella performs in Sudbury and Timmins the week of November 8, 2010, and in schools across the Greater Toronto Area, from November 22 � December 5, 2010.� The Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour production of Isis and the Seven Scorpions, by Canadian composer Dean Burry, performs across Ontario from November 8 � December 5, 2010.� The COC's annual Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour reaches over 16,000 students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 across Ontario and displays the talents of professional singers from the renowned COC Ensemble Studio training program.� (A complete tour schedule is available upon request.)

For many children, the Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour is their first experience with opera, and it allows them to discover a new and exciting art form. �You made us very, very, very happy� the music was beautiful� we really enjoyed the show,� stated a letter from a Grade 3 student from Secord Elementary School in Toronto.� The tour also appeals to educators who appreciate the educational value of the performances.� �I wish you could have seen the enraptured look on the face of one of our Senior Kindergarten students,� said a teacher from Prince Charles Elementary School, in Brantford, Ont., after seeing The Barber of Seville in the fall of 2009.� �I know that many children are now huge fans of opera and will undoubtedly be predisposed to attend more as adults as a result of this early exposure.�


Cinderella by Gioacchino Rossini and Jules Massenet

Cast and Artistic Team
Musical Director: Andrea Grant
Director: Ashlie Corcoran
Designer: Robin Fisher
Stage Manager: Michael Lewandowski

Cinderella: Rihab Chaieb
Clorinda: Ambur Braid
Tisbe: Heather Jewson
The Prince: Michael Barrett
The King/Narrator: Michael Uloth

The COC's Ensemble Studio is Canada's premier training program for young opera professionals and provides advanced instruction, hands-on experience and career development opportunities.� The Ensemble Studio is generously supported by the Government of Canada through the department of Canadian Heritage, RBC Foundation and additional donors.

About the Canadian Opera Company
Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the five largest in North America. �The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America.� Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world's attention.� The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world's foremost Canadian and international artists.� The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world.� Designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006, and is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada.� For more information on the Canadian Opera Company, please visit its award-winning website,

Posted by / in / comments (0) / permalink

COC Blogs
Read the latest news about the COC.
Follow Us
The COC is on Twitter!
COC In The News
Read interesting articles and news from other publications about the COC