COC Media Releases


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™, Cinderella runs 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).

A fairytale cast of Rossini specialists comes together for this Cinderella to supply the cascades of vocal fireworks that define the opera’s animated and sparkling music. American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong sings the lead role, Angelina (Cinderella), with a “stunningly rich and powerful voice” (Toronto Star) that wowed audiences as Hermia in the COC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2009. American sensation Lawrence Brownlee, one of the most prominent bel canto tenors on the international stage, makes his COC debut as her Prince, Don Ramiro – a role he sang in a recent Metropolitan Opera HD broadcast. Ramiro’s valet, Dandini, is sung by COC favourite, baritone Brett Polegato (2009’s Madama Butterfly and 2008’s Don Giovanni). American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, (2001’s The Girl of the Golden West) returns to sing Ramiro’s tutor, Alidoro, who befriends Angelina. Italian bass Donato DiStefano (2007’s The Marriage of Figaro) is the evil stepfather Don Magnifico. Angelina’s wicked stepsisters, Clorinda and Tisbe, are played by two rising young stars of the COC Ensemble Studio, soprano Ileana Montalbetti, whose Elettra in last season’s Ensemble performance of Idomeneo was highly praised, and mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb, most recently seen as one of Chairman Mao’s secretaries in the COC’s critically-acclaimed Nixon in China.

Italian conductor Leonardo Vordoni makes his COC debut with this production. A former staff member of the Metropolitan Opera, Vordoni made his conducting debut in 2008 at the internationally renowned Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy, followed by what critics have called a “scintillating” debut performance at the prestigious Wexford Opera Festival. Also making its COC debut is the Spanish theatre troupe Els Comediants led by director Joan Font. Working with Font are set and costume designer Joan Guillén, choreographer Xevi Dorca and lighting designer Albert Faura, collaborating to create a visually arresting production. Els Comediants premiered this production with Houston Grand Opera in 2007, a co-production with Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Welsh National Opera and Grand Théâtre de Genève.

Rossini composed Cinderella over the course of 24 days, following the success of The Barber of Seville, and it was first performed in 1817 at Rome’s Teatro Valle.


Tickets for Cinderella are available online at, by calling 416-363-8231 or in person at the
Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W., Toronto). Ticket prices range from $62 to $281, plus applicable taxes.

NEW THIS SEASON: Standing Room
Standing Room tickets for only $12 go on sale at 11 a.m. on the morning of each performance at the
Four Seasons Centre Box Office. Limit of two tickets per person. Subject to availability.

Young People
Special young people’s tickets are priced from $31 to $95, plus applicable taxes. These ticket prices apply to those who are 15 years of age or under, accompanied by and sitting next to an adult.

Opera for a New Age
Patrons between the ages of 16 and 29 may purchase $22 Opera for a New Age tickets as of Sat., April 9, 2011 at 10 a.m., online at or in person at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office. Opera for a New Age is presented by
TD Bank Financial Group.

Student Group Tickets
Student group tickets are $22 per student and may be purchased by calling 416-306-2356.

Rush Seats
Rush seats, starting at $22 and subject to availability, go on sale at 11 a.m. on the morning of each performance at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office.


Presenting Sponsor of SURTITLESTM: Sun Life Financial

Official Automotive Sponsor of the COC at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts:
Jaguar Land Rover Canada

Broadcast Partner: CBC Radio 2

Official Media Sponsors: CTV and The Globe and Mail

Digital Marketing Sponsor: Delvinia

The COC 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 supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, RBC Foundation and other generous donors.


BMO Financial Group Pre-Performance Opera Chats
Free to ticket holders, the COC offers 20-minute introductions to the opera and its themes in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts 45 minutes prior to every performance.

Cinderella Outfit Challenge
This spring, the COC holds the Cinderella Outfit Challenge, asking participants to create a doll’s hand-crafted costume inspired by Cinderella. The Cinderella Outfit Challenge opens March 15 and closes April 3, during which time contest participants must take a photo of their doll in its Cinderella-inspired garb and upload the image to the COC’s Facebook page, A short-list of entries will be judged by a celebrity panel made up of CTV Fashion Television host Jeanne Beker, design and style experts Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman of CBC TV’s Steven & Chris, Canadian designer David McCaffrey of McCaffrey Haute Couture and COC General Director Alexander Neef. The grand-prize winner will be announced by the COC on April 15 and receive an opera prize pack worth more than $3,000, including tickets to the opening night performance of the COC’s Cinderella, overnight accommodation at the Hilton Toronto and a special meet-and-greet with the Cinderella cast. For more information on the Cinderella Outfit Challenge, visit

COC Book Club Explores Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
This spring, the COC Book Club reads Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. Best known for his series of Oz-inspired novels, Maguire once again takes a familiar story and shows it in a new light with Confessions. In this instance, the cherished fairytale Cinderella is set in 17th-century Holland and one of the stepsisters is the narrator. COC Ensemble Studio members, soprano Ileana Montalbetti and mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb, who sing the roles of the stepsisters in the COC’s Cinderella, will be reading along and commenting with readers at the Book Club blog at, as well as taking part in a podcast.

Cinderella (La Cenerentola) Interactive Features on
The COC hosts a podcast series sponsored by Decca: The Opera Label. Hosted by the COC’s Gianna Wichelow and Gianmarco Segato, the podcasts explore the opera and its background, and feature interviews with singers and members of the creative team. All podcasts are available for downloading or streaming at

The Canadian Opera Company’s award-winning website,, contains information on all productions and programs and allows visitors to enjoy a wide variety of interactive features available for downloading and streaming.

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. The COC celebrates its 61st anniversary during the 2010/2011 season. 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 COC, please visit its award-winning website,

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For more information or to request production photographs, please contact:
Jennifer Pugsley, Media Relations Manager, tel: 416-306-2303, e-mail:

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