From the same creative team that brought Toronto audiences to their feet night after night this past spring with the Canadian Opera Company’s Dora Award-winning production of Orfeo ed Euridice comes the COC’s 2011/2012 season opening production of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Iphigenia in Tauris. Gluck’s masterpiece has its company premiere with director Robert Carsen at the helm of an emotionally gripping production that features Susan Graham, one of the opera world’s foremost opera stars, making her eagerly anticipated COC debut in the title role. Leading the COC Orchestra and Chorus is Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, returning to the company after his thrilling debut in last season’s Nixon in China.
“This is why we go to the opera,” said the Globe and Mail of the COC’s Orfeo ed Euridice last May, and director Robert Carsen is poised to deliver again this fall with a production of Iphigenia in Tauris that has already played to great acclaim in Chicago, San Francisco, London and Madrid. Sung in French with English SURTITLES™, Iphigenia in Tauris runs for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on Sept. 22, 25, 28 and Oct. 1, 4, 7, 12, 15, 2011.
Full Media Release
About the Cast and Creative Team
Susan Graham is a leader in the international revival of Gluck’s operas, and one of the world's pre-eminent mezzo-sopranos. Her COC debut follows recent performances as Iphigenia for the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Teatro Real de Madrid, for which her “molten tone and vivid acting” (Financial Times) as well as “nobility and vibrant vocal beauty” (Chicago Tribune), has been praised in performances described as “poignant and majestic” (Opera News) and “riveting” (New York Times).
Robert Carsen, the acclaimed Toronto-born director, returns to the COC along with other members of the Orfeo ed Euridice creative team, including set and costume designer Tobias Hoheisel and co-lighting designer Peter Van Praet.
Russell Braun, who will sing the role of Iphigenia's brother Orestes, is a frequent COC artist who has also won acclaim for performances at the Metropolitan Opera, l’Opéra national de Paris, Vienna State Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, LA Opera, La Scala and the Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals.
Joseph Kaiser, another Metropolitan Opera regular who will sing the role of Orestes's best friend Pylades, is a graduate of the COC's Ensemble Studio and starred as Tamino in the Kenneth Branagh film adaptation of The Magic Flute in 2007.
Photos from the Lyric Opera of Chicago production
Iphigenia in Tauris. Susan Graham (centre) as Iphigenia in the Lyric Opera of Chicago production, 2006. Photo: Dan Rest
Susan Graham (centre) as Iphigenia in the Lyric Opera of Chicago production, 2006. Photo: Dan Rest
Posted by Cecily Carver / in Iphigenia in Tauris / comments (0) / permalink
A tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions is brought to life by some of opera’s most passionate and memorable music in the COC’s fall production of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi. The story of the tragic jester, Rigoletto, who vows to avenge his cruelly seduced daughter but ends up losing everything he loves, comes alive in a new production by the innovative team of COC Music Director Johannes Debus, American director Christopher Alden and award-winning Canadian designer Michael Levine. Sung in Italian with English SURTITLES™, Rigoletto runs for 12 performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 2, 5, 8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 2011.
About the Production
Hawaiian baritone Quinn Kelsey makes his COC debut as Rigoletto. The San Francisco Chronicle praised his voice as "a rare and welcome gift, an enormous vocal sound that he deploys with the lightness of an acrobat." Kelsey shares the role with Lester Lynch, an American baritone whose voice the New York Times praised as "magnificently forceful."
Russian soprano Ekaterina Sadovnikova makes her COC debut as Gilda, a role she recently sang in an impressive debut at Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She shares the role with Ensemble Studio member Simone Osborne, a young Canadian soprano who charmed audiences in February as Pamina in The Magic Flute.
Tenors Dimitri Pittas, described as "a huge talent, with a ringing, easy tenor voice" by Opera News, and David Lomeli, a first-prize winner of the prestigious Operalia competition, share the role of the Duke.
The COC's acclaimed Music Director, Johannes Debus, will conduct. The Toronto Star described his interpretation of Aida in 2010 as "stirring" and "richly textured," with concertonet.com praising it as "a full-bodied Verdian treat."
One of the world's foremost opera directors, Christoper Alden, has created a production that sets the opera in the male-dominated environment of a Victorian-era gaming room. He comments that the production is meant to "to lure the audience into a sumptuous, glamorous world."
The sets and costumes are designed by Michael Levine, whose previous COC collaborations include some of our most renowned and internationally acclaimed productions (Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung, Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms, the Ring Cycle)
Costume sketches by Michael Levine
Preliminary sketch of Rigoletto by Michael Levine, set and costume designer for Rigoletto.
Preliminary sketch of Gilda.
Posted by Cecily Carver / in Rigoletto / comments (0) / permalink
The Canadian Opera Company’s annual fundraising bash returns this year on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, with Operanation 8: A Muse Ball, featuring internationally-renowned singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright. Affectionately referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet”
and praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Rufus
Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists
and songwriters of his generation; his own singular sound transcending
the worlds of rock, opera, theatre, dance and film. Rufus Wainwright
will headline the music line-up for Operanation 8,
the must-attend arts fundraiser of the fall social season, which will
also showcase performances by other artists to be announced at a later
Operanation 8: A Muse Ball will be a celebration of artistic
inspiration and the mix-and-mingle of art and life, taking place in the
ideal setting of the crystalline Isadore and Rosalie Sharp City Room at
the COC’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The magical night
of dancing, live entertainment and specialty food and drink will
represent the ultimate source of inspiration, the muse, calling to mind
muses from the worlds of music, art and fashion.
Operanation 8: A Muse Ball will begin at 9 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2011. Tickets go on sale Sept. 1 and
are $150 per person. Tickets for the party portion of Operanation 8 are
available as of Sept. 1, 2011, online at coc.ca or by calling COC
Ticket Services at 416-363-8231. VIP dinner tickets may be purchased by
calling 416-306-2309. All proceeds will benefit the COC Ensemble
Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals.
Posted by Cecily Carver / in Operanation / comments (0) / permalink