COC Media Releases


Gluck's triumphant tale of Love, Orfeo ed Euridice, closes COC's 2010/2011 season

Toronto, Ontario – The power of love takes centre stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts this May when the Canadian Opera Company premieres its first production of an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck – the masterpiece Orfeo ed Euridice.  Canadian Robert Carsen, one of the most prominent names in the international opera scene today, makes his much-anticipated return to the COC to direct his highly-acclaimed production.  Carsen is joined by renowned opera and concert conductor Harry Bicket and opera stars American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo and Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian.  Orfeo ed Euridice is sung in Italian with English SURTITLES™, and runs for eight performances on May 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 24, 26 and 28, 2011.

Orfeo has lost his wife Euridice and goes – literally – to hell and back to find her in this operatic adaptation of the Greek myth.  When Orfeo is granted permission by the god of love to lead Euridice out of the underworld, it is with one stipulation: he cannot look back upon his beloved's face until they reach Earth.  The resulting tale in which love confounds death, set to a score of unsurpassed beauty, is one of opera's greatest masterpieces.  Equally momentous is the production that brings Orfeo ed Euridice to the COC.  Carsen's staging has been described as "magical" and a "revelation on several levels" (Chicago Sun-Times) as well as "a vivid demonstration of why this exquisite work has endured in the international repertory for centuries"(Opera News) at its Lyric Opera of Chicago premiere in 2006. 


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Raise a Glass to COC's 12th Annual Fine Wine Auction

Toronto, Ontario –The Canadian Opera Company’s 12th annual Fine Wine Auction brings 300 enthusiasts together to bid on almost a quarter of a million dollars worth of hard-to-find fine wines on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at the trendy Crush Wine Bar (455 King St. W.) in Toronto. 

CTV reporter Paul Bliss hosts this year’s lavish, libatious event which features an impressive assortment of wines that have a total value of more than $212,000.  A pre-auction cocktail at 6 p.m. begins the April 7th festivities and the live auction starts at 7 p.m.  Leading the charge will be Stephen Ranger, Toronto’s best known auctioneer, negotiating the bidding over these exquisite wines from private collections including:

  • 1966, 1970, 1976, 1983 Château Lafite Rothschild
  • 1970, 1976, 1981, 1983 Château Latour
  • 1966, 1982, 1986, 1995 Château Margaux
  • 1999 Château d’Yquem
  • 1994, 2003 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1995, 1998, 2003 Harlan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2004 Ornellaia Masseto

In addition to bidding on exclusive wines, guests can indulge in an irresistible array of culinary delicacies, chocolates, cheeses and tasting wines, and can participate in a silent auction featuring items such as theatre experiences, restaurant gift certificates, winery tours, hotel accommodations, a helicopter tour of Niagara, a Christian Louboutin clutch, a private Mombacho Cigar tasting and a session with one of Canada’s leading portrait photographers, V. Tony Hauser.

The annual wine auction is a great night out for wine aficionados and novices alike, with desirable selections   for those adding to already-established wine cellars as well as those just starting their collections.  Tickets to the wine auction are $85 and can be purchased online at or by calling 416-363-8231.   All proceeds benefit the COC.

The COC’s 12th annual Fine Wine Auction is presented in part by Crush Wine Bar and Restaurant, Stephen Ranger Fine Art Valuation and Consultancy, The Cheese Boutique and Rheo Thomson Candies as well as CTV and The Globe and Mail.

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Comedy, Romance and Drama in COC Production of Strauss's Madcap Melodrama Ariadne auf Naxos

Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Opera Company’s spring 2010/2011 season continues with one of Richard Strauss’s most brilliant operas, Ariadne auf Naxos. The legendary Sir Andrew Davis conducts the COC Orchestra in this masterful madcap melodrama, performed by a sublime cast led by Canadian stars, soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and tenor Richard Margison and staged by award-winning Australian director Neil ArmfieldAriadne auf Naxos runs for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on April 30, May 3, 12, 15, 18, 21, 27 and 29, 2011, and is sung in German with English SURTITLES™.

The backstage antics that make up the Prologue of Strauss’s opera-within-an-opera are just a precursor to the second half’s onstage expressions of love, loss and spiritual transformation. When an opera company and a commedia dell’arte group are forced to perform the opera “Ariadne auf Naxos” together, comedy, romance and drama clash as the rival companies pick up the tale from where the Greek myth leaves off, with Ariadne abandoned on an island, longing for death. 


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