COC Media Releases

6/15/2011

COC Closes Landmark Fifth Season at Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Toronto  The Canadian Opera Company has completed yet another successful performance year as it closes the 2010/2011 season, an occasion that also commemorates the fifth anniversary of Canada’s first purpose-built opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.  Since the opening of the 

Four Seasons Centre in June 2006, the COC has become one of the five largest producers of opera in North America.

In the last five years, the COC has presented three world premieres, (Swoon, 2006; Isis and the Seven Scorpions, 2006; The Nightingale and Other Short Fables, 2009), three Canadian premieres (Ring Cycle, 2006; War and Peace, 2008; Maria Stuarda, 2010) and five COC premieres (From the House of the Dead, 2008; Rusalka, 2009; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2009; Nixon in China, 2011; Orfeo ed Euridice, 2011), as well as added 15 new productions to its repertoire (Das Rheingold, 2006; Swoon, 2006; Isis and the Seven Scorpions 2006; Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, 2007; Don Carlos, 2007; Tosca, 2008; From the House of the Dead, 2008; War and Peace, 2008; Fidelio, 2009; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2009; The Nightingale and Other Short Fables, 2009; Otello, 2010; Idomeneo, 2010; Aida, 2010; The Magic Flute, 2011).  Over the same period of time, 214 Canadian and international artists (singers, dancers, designers, directors, conductors, choreographers) have made their debuts with the COC.

In the last five years of performing at the Four Seasons Centre, 668,387 people have attended 332 presentations of the Canadian Opera Company’s mainstage productions, resulting in an average attendance of 98%.

The opening of the Four Seasons Centre in 2006 has also paved the way for the COC to make the performing arts in the city of Toronto more accessible with the creation of the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.  Since the Free Concert Series was launched in fall 2006, 430 free concerts comprising classical music, jazz, world music events and contemporary dance performances have taken place and been attended by an estimated 86,600 people.

“The Four Seasons Centre has been home to milestone after milestone in the COC’s most recent history, and has become a symbol of the company’s international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation,” says General Director Alexander Neef.  “The achievements of the 10/11 season are a testament to the overall success of the company this year and the past five years in the opera house, as well as a signal of the COC’s larger potential for the future.”

Reflecting on 10/11, the COC can proudly proclaim another successful opera season, recording an average attendance of 94% and a total of 45,025 single tickets sold and 79,550 subscription tickets purchased.  With $3.7 million in single ticket sales and more than $8.38 million in subscription ticket revenue, the COC generated a total ticket revenue of over $12 million for the entire season.  The 10/11 season saw 12,271 of those tickets sold to people under the age of 30, including young persons under the age of 15 and student groups.

In total, 129,450 patrons attended 66 performances of the COC’s seven mainstage productions in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts: Verdi’s Aida, Britten’s Death in Venice, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Adams’ Nixon in China, Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola), R. Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice

It was recently announced that the COC’s 10/11 season received a total of 11 Dora Mavor Moore nominations (presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts): one for Aida, one for Cinderella, one for Ariadne auf Naxos, two for Nixon in China and three apiece for Death in Venice and Orfeo ed Euridice, including nominations for Outstanding Opera Production going to Death in VeniceNixon in China,Cinderella and Orfeo ed Euridice.

The 10/11 season was equally momentous for the COC in other ways at home and abroad.  In March 2011, the COC made its second tour in 18 years to the world-renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music with the spectacular production of Robert Lepage’s The Nightingale and Other Short Fables, where it continued to be met with unabashed critical and audience acclaim.  The COC’s Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre  presented by National Bank drew close to 15,000 people of all ages to its 79 free events, with diverse programming that spanned classical music and jazz concerts to world music events and contemporary dance performances.  Also, the company’s annual Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour brought opera to a completely new audience in performing its school tour adaptation of Cinderella for the Inuit communities of Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq in northern Quebec.

See the attached COC Facts-at-a-Glance for a more comprehensive account of the variety of activities, events and initiatives presented by the COC during the 10/11 season from school tours and fundraising efforts to the expansion of the bee hives atop the Four Seasons Centre and the installation of solar panels on the roof of the COC’s scene shop, which were donated by Hatch, one of Canada’s largest consulting engineering companies.

The COC’s 2011/2012 season begins on September 22 with the company premiere of Gluck’s Iphigenia in Tauris starring the world’s leading Iphigenia, Susan Graham, in an internationally-acclaimed production directed by Canadian Robert Carsen.  On September 29, the COC unveils a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, led by the innovative creative team of COC Music Director Johannes Debus, director Christopher Alden and Canadian designer Michael Levine.  The COC’s popular Free Concert Series returns on September 20 with a noon-hour concert introducing the young artists of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio.  The 11/12 performance schedule is available at coc.ca.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Aida was generously underwritten in part by Tim and Frances Price.

Death in Venice was generously underwritten in part by David Stanley-Porter.

The Magic Flute was generously underwritten by the Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation.

The Magic Flute Production Sponsor: RBC.

Nixon in China Production Co-sponsors: CIBC and CIBC Mellon.

The production of Orfeo ed Euridice is owned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago and was made possible by generous gifts from An Anonymous Donor, The Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust/The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, Stephen A. Kaplan and Alyce K. Sigler, Sidley Austin LLP, and Howard A. Stotler with additional funding by AT&T.

Presenting Sponsor of SURTITLES™: Sun Life Financial.

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

Presenting Sponsor of the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre: National Bank.

Ensemble Studio School Tour Sponsor: Xstrata.

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.

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 celebrated 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 Canadian Opera Company, please visit its award-winning website, coc.ca. 

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