Toronto – On May 1, 2013, English National Opera announced that its Canadian Opera Company co-productions of Die Fledermaus and Rigoletto will be featured in their 2013/2014 season. These new productions of Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus and Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto premiered at the COC in recent seasons and are staged by director Christopher Alden.
“It’s always exciting to see our productions being presented elsewhere, especially in such a cultural capital as London,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “The COC is collaborating with some of the biggest and best opera companies in the world with increasing regularity, and I look forward to continued fruitful partnerships like the one we have with ENO.”
The COC’s Die Fledermaus premiered earlier this season in fall 2012, at which time it was called “an eye and an ear opener that will thrill all adventurous opera lovers” by the Toronto Star and a “smart, sexy production [that] will make you see and hear [Die Fledermaus] in a new light” by NOW magazine, with Opera magazine saying “Hats off to Alden for the originality of his vision.” Inspired by the opera’s larger questions about a society dancing on the edge of ruin, Alden sets this production in early 20th-century Vienna and conjures up a glamorous world bubbling with extravagance and sophisticated wit, while gently mocking the duplicity of people and the larger social hypocrisies they inhabit. Die Fledermaus opens at ENO on September 30, 2013, and runs for 11 performances.
The COC unveiled Rigoletto two year ago, as part of the company’s 2011/2012 season. Set in Verdi’s own time (Rigoletto was composed in 1851), Alden’s staging unfolds within the rich, ribald surroundings of a 19th-century gentlemen’s club and brings to the fore an exploration of a patriarchal world in which powerful aristocratic men are given free rein. NOW magazine cited the direction and design as “the real stars” of the production while Opera News observed how it “brought to the fore the criticism of social and sexual hierarchies implicit in the story and set up an opulent Victorian façade only to reveal the ugliness it conceals.” Rigoletto opens at ENO on February 13, 2014, and runs for 11 performances.
The COC and ENO recently co-produced Kaija Saariaho’s Love from Afar, which was presented in Toronto in winter 2012, and the COC is currently presenting ENO’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor.
The COC’s new production of Die Fledermaus was generously underwritten by the Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation
The COC’s new production of Rigoletto was generously underwritten in part by Tim and Frances Price, Judy and Wilmot Matthews, and Gail and Bob Farquharson
About the Canadian Opera Company
Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the 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 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, visit its award-winning website, coc.ca.
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