COC Media Releases

4/11/2014

CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY ANNOUNCES CAST CHANGES FOR DON QUICHOTTE AND ROBERTO DEVEREUX

Read the PDF version here.

Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company welcomes Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili to the role of Dulcinée in Don Quichotte as well as American tenor Leonardo Capalbo to the title role of Roberto Devereux, when both productions take to the stage of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts this spring.

Rachvelishvili joins Don Quichotte in place of Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova, who has regrettably had to withdraw for personal reasons. The COC looks forward to welcoming Ms. Gubanova next May as part of its 2014/2015 season when she sings the role of Judith in the Robert Lepage-directed production of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. Capalbo will share the title role of Roberto Devereux with previously announced Italian tenor Giuseppe Filianoti, who has had to withdraw from three of the seven scheduled performances due to a family emergency necessitating a return to Italy.

Rachvelishvili has quickly become one of the most exciting singers to emerge on the opera stage in recent years since making an electrifying North American debut as Carmen with the COC in February 2010. She went on to make star turns at the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper München, Staatsoper Berlin and Carnegie Hall, among others. The New York Times had only admiration for Rachvelishvili in her recent engagement with the Metropolitan Opera as Konschakowna in the acclaimed new production by director Dmitri Tcherniakov of Borodin’s Prince Igor, singling out her “plush big voice and sultry physicality.” She added the role of Dulcinée in Don Quichotte to her repertoire in April 2012, delivering a performance with Teatro Lirico di Cagliari for which Spettacoli praised the strength of her voice and stage presence.

Capalbo is an established singer on the international opera scene who has been lauded for his rich lyric voice and dramatic intensity in engagements with the Berlin Staatsoper, the Glyndebourne Festival, l’Opéra de Lyon, Teatro Regio di Torino, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Semperoper Dresden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, New York City Opera, Hamburgische Staatsoper and the Spoleto Festival, among others. Called “dashing” by the New York Times and “lithe, sunny and effortlessly lyrical” by the Financial Times, Capalbo was singled out for his “authentic Italianate timbre” (The Telegraph) as well as “power and elegance” (The Guardian) as Roberto Devereux with Welsh National Opera this past fall. He makes his COC debut on April 25, 2014, with additional performances on April 29 and May 3.

Roberto Devereux and Don Quichotte run in repertory this spring at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, each presented in seven performances. Roberto Devereux takes place on April 25, 29, May 3, 10, 15, 18, 21, 2014, and Don Quichotte on May 9, 11, 14, 17, 20, 22, 24, 2014. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit coc.ca or call 416-363-8231.

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For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Pugsley, Media Relations Manager, tel: 416-306-2303, e-mail: jenniferp@coc.ca

Posted by Public Relations / in Press Releases / comments (0) / permalink

3/19/2014

FERRUCCIO FURLANETTO IN CANADIAN DEBUT BRINGS GREATEST LITERARY HERO TO LIFE FOR COC PREMIERE OF DON QUICHOTTE

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Toronto – The greatest operatic bass in the world today, Ferruccio Furlanetto, makes his Canadian debut this spring in the Canadian Opera Company premiere of the operatic tale of literature's famous dreamer, Don Quichotte by Jules Massenet. Known for an intensely moving portrayal of the title character, Furlanetto stars in this musically lush and romantic homage to Cervantes' iconic hero, Don Quixote. Don Quichotte is sung in French with English SURTITLES™, and runs for seven performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on May 9, 11, 14, 17, 20, 22, 24, 2014.

Massenet's autumnal outpouring of poignant melodies and Spanish dance rhythms evokes a romanticized medieval Spain. COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts his first Don Quichotte, leading the COC Orchestra and Chorus through a score that represents Massenet's tribute to the last days of noble valour as well as a farewell to the soon-to-be-lost golden age of French Romanticism.

The tale of this eccentric knight-errant and his adventures in pursuit of justice, fame and honour comes to life in an enchanting production by critically acclaimed American director Linda Brovsky. Characters spring out of giant leather-bound storybooks and windmills are fashioned from oversized quills in a set designed by Donald Eastman with costumes created by Christina Poddubiuk and lighting conceived by Connie Yun. A whimsical vision of one of the greatest literary heroes ever conceived, Brovsky calls this production of Don Quichotte from Seattle Opera “a valentine to the power of imagination – it's our love letter to it, and the power of literature.”

The COC introduces Canadian audiences to Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto, the world's leading Don Quichotte, with this production. One of opera's most sought-after singers, Furlanetto's vast range, thundering vocal power and renowned acting ability have been met with popular and critical acclaim over the course of a legendary 40-year career. Furlanetto is a regular at the world's greatest opera houses and concert halls and makes a long-awaited Canadian debut in one of his favourite roles. “The completeness of the role gives the interpreter a unique satisfaction,” says Furlanetto. “It is because [Don Quichotte] is what every man should be ideally, at least for a few moments in his life. He is a man full of humanity, love, tenderness and appreciation of life.”

Also making her Canadian debut is powerhouse Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova in a role debut as Dulcinée, the object of Don Quichotte's misplaced affection. One of the finest mezzo-sopranos of her generation, Gubanova comes to the COC after recent star turns at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Teatro alla Scala; Berlin Staatsoper; Lyric Opera of Chicago and Metropolitan Opera. She returns to Toronto for the COC revival of Robert Lepage's production of Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle in 2015.

Rounding out the principal cast is one of the most exciting young baritones emerging on the international operatic stage: American baritone Quinn Kelsey in his role debut as Sancho Panza, Don Quichotte's loyal sidekick. He returns to the COC after delivering “a stupendous performance” (Globe and Mail) in the title role of the COC's Rigoletto in 2011.

Making her COC debut in the pants role of Garcias, one of Dulcinée's prospective suitors, is Greek-Canadian Ariana Chris. She comes to the COC having delighted audiences across Canada and internationally with “a beautifully burnished mezzo-soprano voice, a fine way with a musical phrase and a strong stage presence” (Toronto Star). Singing the roles of Don Quichotte’s other rivals for Dulcinée's affections are Ensemble Studio soprano Sasha Djihanian, also in a pants role, as Pedro, and Ensemble Studio tenors Owen McCausland and Andrew Haji as Juan and Rodriguez, respectively. Canadian character tenor Michel Corbeil is Ténébrun, the bandit chief who steals the pearl necklace that Don Quichotte sets out to retrieve for Dulcinée.

In a nod to the distinctive flavour of Spain captured in the music, Spanish classical dance is incorporated into the production with choreography by acclaimed Flamenco dancer Sara de Luis and danced by four local dancers and veteran Mexican Flamenco star Raúl Salcedo. Also making featured appearances are a live horse and donkey, two essential four-legged characters who serve as the trusted companions to the opera's noble hero and his sidekick.

About Don Quichotte
Don Quichotte was first performed in Monte Carlo in 1910, just two years before Jules Massenet died at the age of 70. While Massenet was France's most celebrated opera composer during his lifetime, his operas are rarely staged today with the exception of Manon and Werther. Don Quichotte endures as a showcase work for opera's great basses, who possess the gravitas, charisma and vocalism to master the title role's considerable musical and dramatic demands.

The opera Don Quichotte is based on a play by poet Jacques Le Lorrain, Le chevalier de la longue figure, which in turn is an adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes' canonical and influential novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. Cervantes' novel has inspired numerous adaptations for film and theatre, notably the hit Broadway musical Man of La Mancha and the movie Don Quixote, starring John Lithgow.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for Don Quichotte are $12 – $332 (includes applicable taxes), and are available online at coc.ca, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.)

For more information on specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, standing room, Opera Under 30 presented by TD Bank Group, student groups and rush seating, visit coc.ca.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Presenting Sponsor of SURTITLES™: Sun Life Financial

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.

The COC Ensemble Studio, underwritten in part by Peter M. Deeb and The Slaight Family Foundation, 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 also supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, RBC Foundation, Hal Jackman 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 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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For more information or to request production photographs, please contact:

Jennifer Pugsley, Media Relations Manager, tel: 416-306-2303, e-mail: jenniferp@coc.ca

Posted by Public Relations / in Press Releases / comments (0) / permalink

3/11/2014

SONDRA RADVANOVSKY IN ROLE DEBUT AS ELIZABETH I FOR COC PREMIERE OF DONIZETTI’S TUDOR DRAMA, ROBERTO DEVEREUX

Read the PDF version here.

Toronto – World renowned American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky returns to the Canadian Opera Company this spring in the ultimate diva role, Queen Elizabeth I, for the COC premiere of Donizetti's Roberto Devereux. The tumultuous final days of the reign of the Virgin Queen are depicted in this powerful drama of show-stopping vocal fireworks, directed by Stephen Lawless and conducted by Corrado Rovaris. Roberto Devereux is sung in Italian with English SURTITLES™ and runs for seven performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on April 25, 29, May 3, 10, 15, 18, 21, 2014.

Stephen Lawless (Maria Stuarda, 2010; Il Trovatore, 2005) returns to the COC with a riveting interpretation of Roberto Devereux. Created by Lawless for Dallas Opera as part of its presentation of the Donizetti Tudor trilogy (Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, Roberto Devereux), the intrigue of the Elizabethan court comes to life with this production's Shakespearean-inspired Globe Theatre set design by Benoît Dugardyn (first seen by COC audiences in 2010's Maria Stuarda) and sumptuous period costumes by Ingeborg Bernerth, with lighting design by Marc McCullough.

Roberto Devereux is a showcase for brilliant singing, demanding a cast capable of scaling the heights of vocal athleticism. Leading the voices at the heart of this production is superstar soprano Sondra Radvanovsky (Aida, 2010) making her role debut as Elisabetta (Queen Elizabeth I). With this role, Radvanovsky realizes a rare and significant career achievement for a soprano by having sung all three of the Donizetti “Tudor queens.”

Today's leading interpreter of the great 19th-century Italian prima donna roles, Radvanovsky has won accolades from critics and audiences alike for the sincerity and intensity of her performances in every major opera house in the world. The Washington Post has described her singing as “outright gorgeous, poignant and silvery,” with the New York Times recently lavishing praise on Radvanovsky’s “expressive shadings and heartfelt delivery” with her “top notes ringing and powerful, her middle range velvety, her coloratura nimble and phrasing elegant.

Celebrated Italian tenor Giuseppe Filianoti makes his COC and role debut as Roberto Devereux, whose life hangs in the balance for having betrayed his Queen's affections by falling in love with the wife of one her courtiers. One of the preeminent lyric tenors of his generation, Filianoti has won widespread critical and popular praise for the beauty of his voice, the passionate lyricism of his artistry, and the dramatic fervor of his approach to the stage. A regular at Europe's leading opera houses, Filianoti's starring with increasing frequency at the Metropolitan Opera where he has “soared to virile, commanding form” (New York Post) and earned praise from the Associated Press for his “rich-toned and fluent” singing and from the New York Times for the “melting sound” of his voice.

Also making role debuts are two internationally acclaimed Canadian stars: baritone Russell Braun and COC Ensemble Studio graduate mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy. Braun has been celebrated for his “vocal warmth, nuanced phrasing” (New York Times) and called “a model of style and grace” (Opera Now) and “one of this nation’s operatic treasures” (Toronto Star). He returns to the COC after a critically acclaimed and Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning performance in 2012's Il Trovatore to sing the Duke of Nottingham, Roberto Devereux’s friend. McHardy has been called “a revelation” (Financial Times), singled out for her “velvety and radiant mezzo” (Chicago Sun-Times) and, in her most recent outing with the COC in 2012's Semele, was described as “all creamy, dark magic” (Globe and Mail) and praised for her “believable emotion and theatrical detail” (NOW Magazine). She returns to sing Sara, the Duchess of Nottingham, a woman torn between loyalty to her queen and an ill-fated love for Roberto Devereux.

Rounding out the cast is Ensemble Studio tenor Owen McCausland as Lord Cecil, American bass Matt Boehler as Sir Gualtiero Raleigh (Sir Walter Raleigh), Ensemble Studio bass-baritone Gordon Bintner as a Page and Ensemble Studio graduate bass-baritone Neil Craighead as a Servant of Nottingham.

Donizetti's dazzling and breathtaking melodies are directed by acclaimed Italian conductor Corrado Rovaris. The music director of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the principal conductor of the Italian chamber orchestra I Virtuosi Italiani, and music director of the Artosphere Festival, Rovaris is also a regular guest artist in Italy's historic opera houses. He makes his COC debut leading the COC Orchestra and Chorus through Donizetti's emotional score.

About Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux is the last of three bel canto operas Donizetti wrote illustrating the Tudor court, the first two being Anna Bolena, and Maria Stuarda. The opera was performed repeatedly in the years immediately following its premiere in 1837. Roberto Devereux features some of Donizetti’s best vocal writing. The opera is considered a dramatic and musical showcase for those cast in its roles, especially the soprano.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for Roberto Devereux are $12 – $332 (includes applicable taxes), and are available online at coc.ca, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.)

For more information on specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, standing room, Opera Under 30 presented by TD Bank Group, student groups and rush seating, visit coc.ca.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Presenting Sponsor of SURTITLES™: Sun Life Financial

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.

The COC Ensemble Studio, underwritten in part by Peter M. Deeb and The Slaight Family Foundation, 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 also supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, RBC Foundation, Hal Jackman 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 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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For more information or to request production photographs, please contact:
Jennifer Pugsley, Media Relations Manager, tel: 416-306-2303, e-mail: jenniferp@coc.ca

Posted by Public Relations / in Press Releases / comments (0) / permalink

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