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Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company’s popular Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, generously underwritten by Peter A. Allen, returns with 10 months of captivating programming that reflects the richness of Toronto’s cultural fabric and showcases established artists and rising stars from Canada and around the world. The inaugural concert of the 2012/2013 season on September 18, 2012 at 12 p.m. is the annual audience favourite introducing the young artists of the COC Ensemble Studio in a program of their favourite operatic arias.
The 2012/2013 season features over 400 artists in 77 concerts and dance performances, including world premieres of newly commissioned works by the Canadian Art Song Project and Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, and exciting new creations by Ballet Creole and Nova Bhattacharya. First-time Free Concert Series performances include appearances by: coloratura soprano Anna Christy; the perpetually inventive Against the Grain Theatre; acclaimed pianist John Kameel Farah; Italian saxophone sensation Francesco Cafiso; the dance stylings of Jade’s Hiphop Academy; and unique instrumentations such as the Kaleidoscope Recorder Ensemble and Aruna Narayan, the only woman in the world to professionally play the sarangi, an ancient North Indian bowed instrument considered one of the most difficult to master. Also featured for the first time in the Free Concert Series are the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards, in a special early evening presentation in May 2013.
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Toronto – Johann Strauss II’s popular operetta, Die Fledermaus, returns to the Canadian Opera Company after an absence of more than 20 years with a new production this fall. Strauss II outdid his own reputation as the “waltz king” of Vienna with Die Fledermaus by composing some of opera’s most enduring dance music for this hilarious comedy with its screwball plot of elaborate revenge, disguises and mistaken identity. A largely Canadian cast, led by internationally renowned tenor Michael Schade in a role debut, comes together in this new COC production by innovative director Christopher Alden with COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducting. Die Fledermaus is sung in German with English SURTITLES™ and runs for 11 performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on Oct. 4, 9, 12, 14, 17, 20, 24, 27, 30, Nov. 1 and 3, 2012.
Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company’s 2012/2013 season opens with the quintessential Italian opera, Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore, featuring internationally renowned Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas and acclaimed Canadian baritone Russell Braun in role debut performances. A staple of the operatic repertoire, Il Trovatore has mesmerized audiences since its premiere in 1853 with its fiery, melodramatic tale of the vengeful gypsy Azucena, her son Manrico’s romance with the noblewoman Leonora, and his rivalry with Conte di Luna. Last performed by the COC in 2005, Il Trovatore returns with director Charles Roubaud’s acclaimed production from Opéra de Marseille and celebrated conductor Marco Guidarini leading the COC Orchestra and Chorus through Verdi’s rich score. Il Trovatore is sung in Italian with English SURTITLES™ and runs for 10 performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on Sept. 29, Oct. 2, 5, 10, 13, 19, 21, 25, 28, and 31, 2012