Saturday, September 27, 2014
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. West, Toronto

Tickets distributed: 6 p.m.*
Doors open to the lobby: 6:30 p.m.
Falstaff Rehearsal: 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (approx.)

The Canadian Opera Company offers an exclusive insider’s glimpse into the rehearsal process of its new production of Verdi’s Falstaff. Observe a portion of a working rehearsal and gain behind-the-scenes insight into the process of bringing an operatic production to the stage.

*Tickets/Seating: Up to 500 FREE tickets, limited to two tickets per patron, will be distributed at the main doors of the Four Seasons Centre starting at 6 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the event. The tickets will have seat allocations in Rings 3 and 4 only.


Will the event be popular? When should I line up to ensure that I get a ticket?

It is hard to say how early individuals should arrive to line up for the tickets. In past years, the lineups for Culture Days have started as early as 12 p.m. or as late as 4 p.m.

Will patrons have to wait outside?

A portion of the line will be inside the double doors at the front entrance (before the doors to the main lobby) and the remainder of the line will extend outdoors. We cannot guarantee that everyone will be waiting in a covered area.

How long will I have to wait to get a ticket? Can I get my ticket in advance?

Tickets will be distributed by COC staff to individuals waiting in line starting at 6 p.m. the day of the event. Tickets are not available in advance.

I will arrive earlier than my group of friends. Can I get their tickets for them even if they haven’t arrived?

Up to two tickets only will be distributed per person.

Where will I sit during the rehearsal?

The audience is invited to sit in Rings 3 and 4 only. These seats allow for optimal viewing of the stage and a birds-eye view of the orchestra and COC staff working on the production.

I require accessible seating. What should I do?

Accessible seats are available on Rings 3 and 4 (the same location where the rest of the public will be seated). Please inform the COC staff members distributing tickets in the line that you require accessible seats and they will provide you with the appropriate tickets(s).

If you require accessible seating and are coming with a friend, the COC staff member will provide your companion a ticket to seat next to or close by you.

Will food and/or drinks be available for purchase?

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks will be available for purchase (cash only) at the bar on Ring 3. The bar will be open prior to the rehearsal and all food and drink must be consumed before entering the auditorium.

When will the rehearsal actually start? When will it end?

The rehearsal will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. The audience is invited to stay until the break in the rehearsal. The break will occur at approximately 9 p.m.

What will I see or hear at the open rehearsal?

The rehearsal itself will last approximately an hour and a half. This event is treated as a genuine rehearsal experience and therefore we won't know until closer to the date which part of the opera the director, Robert Carsen, will want to rehearse that evening. Carsen may want to rehearse the opera from the very top or he may choose to rehearse an act or scene from the middle or at the end of the opera. There may be some stopping and starting and/or repetition of scenes or music.

Singers may choose to “mark” their parts. Marking is a vocal technique used by singers in which they sing in a lighter voice to prevent voices from overtiring. This technique helps keep singers’ voices in top shape and ready for opening night and the upcoming performances. The opera is sung in Italian but you can follow the English translation in the SURTITLES™ projected above the stage.

As you can tell, the rehearsal will be very different from a final polished performance. And that’s the best part!  It takes a year or two to build an opera, and three weeks of intense rehearsals to have it up and running for the stage. You’ll get the first look at the production before opening night and a glimpse of how opera is reimagined from the page to the stage.

Individuals who want to see the full production of Falstaff are encouraged to visit to purchase a subscription or single tickets.

Can I take pictures at the rehearsal?

Photography is not permitted in the auditorium while the rehearsal is in progress. Individuals are invited to take photos in the City Room (lobby), or in the auditorium before the rehearsal begins.

I need to leave during the rehearsal. Will I be able to get back in?

Audience members are asked to remain in their seats for the duration of the rehearsal. Anyone who needs to leave the auditorium to use the washrooms will be re-admitted during an appropriate time or pause in the rehearsal. There is no re-entry after an individual has left the building.

Where can I learn more about the opera?

The COC has a wide variety of resources on our production of Falstaff and the opera in general:

Study Guide
Listening Guide 
Cast and Creative Team
Production Photo Gallery
Subscriptions and Single Tickets

Under 30?

Purchase tickets for $22 to all of our operas!


Falstaff generously underwritten in part by

BMO Logo


Production of Falstaff and The Barber of Seville 
supported in part by


Production Sponsor, The Barber of Seville