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Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company’s 13th annual Fine Wine Auction on Thurs., April 12, 2012, will be the company’s biggest to date. For this year’s lavish and libatious fundraising event, the COC moves to the historic trading room floor at Toronto’s Design Exchange (234 Bay St.) to bring 400 wine enthusiasts together to bid on more than a quarter of a million dollars worth of hard-to-find wines.
CTV reporter Paul Bliss returns to host the annual fine wine auction, which features a tantalizing array of wines just waiting to be snatched up and added to a private cellar. A pre-auction cocktail at 6 p.m.kicks-off the festivities on April 12, with the live auction starting at 7 p.m.
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Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company’s 2011/2012 season closes with the company premiere of George Frideric Handel’s Semele in a production directed by famed Chinese visual and performance artist Zhang Huan. Joining Mr. Zhang to present Handel’s sparkling and seductive opera about the pitfalls of love affairs between gods and mortals is Italian Baroque opera specialist Rinaldo Alessandrini, who leads the COC Orchestra andChorus. Sung in English with English SURTITLES™, Semele runs for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on May 9, 11, 13, 16, 19, 22, 24 and 26, 2012.
The COC’s presentation of Semele is the first opportunity for audiences to experience Zhang’s production ofSemele outside Brussels, Belgium, where it premiered in 2009, and Beijing in 2010, where it was China’s first major staging of a Baroqueopera. Zhang made his directorial debut with Semele, conceiving a work that blends aBaroque aesthetic with the splendour of China in a production the New York Times called “scenically stunning, theatrically absorbing, musically rewarding” and “a feast for the eyes.”
Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company presents a double bill of witty one-act operas as part of its 2012 spring season with the Canadian premiere of Alexander Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy and the return of Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, last seen with the COC in 1996. The two operas are presented in a new COC production by the legendary soprano-turned-director Catherine Malfitano and world-renownedconductor Sir Andrew Davis. A Florentine Tragedy is sung in German and Gianni Schicchi is sung in Italian, both with English SURTITLES™. The double bill of A Florentine Tragedy/Gianni Schicchi runs for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on April 26, May 2, 5, 12, 15, 18, 20 and 25, 2012.
The COC’s double bill is one of the rare times that A Florentine Tragedy and Gianni Schicchi have been paired together. The two works were written just a year apart, with Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedypremiering in Stuttgart in 1917 and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at the Metropolitan Opera in 1918, and both use Florence as the backdrop for their respective stories of familial turmoil.