Parlando: The COC Blog


The Magic Flute Opens Today!

The Magic Flute opens this weekend, and we're all anticipating a fantastic opening night. Here's what you can do to get ready: 

And if/when you see the production, report back and let us know what you thought!

  • For twitterers: we'll be tweeting under the hashtag #MagicFluteCOC (our twitter account is @CanadianOpera). 
  • For Facebookers: we'll have a discussion going on our Facebook page
  • And, as always, feel free to leave a comment here on Parlando or on Alexander Neef's blog.

And, of course, toi toi toi to the artists, creative team, and crew!

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (0) / permalink


Behind the Scenes: The Hedgehogs

[Behind-the-Scenes, a series of guest posts by associate technical director Barney Bayliss, has returned for the winter run! This post was written Jan. 26. To see all Behind the Scenes posts, click here]

Tonight is the Dress Rehearsal for The Magic Flute. Today we changed the set and lighting over from Nixon in China, and spent some time this afternoon rehearsing with the crew. Magic Flute is the kind of show where the crew needs rehearsal time. During Act II, the action is set in a labyrinth of hedges which move magically from scene to scene.

The hedges have wheels and run in tracks on the deck, but are operated by stagehands. Four of the hedges are closed on all four sides, so the operator inside has to work blind. They have headsets to get their cues from the stage manager, and spike marks on the floor so they know where to stop. Those four guys are stuck inside their hedges for all of Act II. We call them the hedgehogs. In total, we have spent about 14 hours working on the staging of the hedge moves, making them so that the timing is right, avoiding collisions. Two of the hedges have to pivot around on a single point, and do it in unison. The effect is quite magical.


Posted by Barney Bayliss / in Behind the Scenes / comments (2) / permalink


Be The Best-Informed Person at Nixon in China

Two events are coming up that will help you get a richer, deeper understanding of Nixon in China, the most politically charged of our operas this season. 

The first, the morning of Feb. 6, involves a tasty brunch and the chance to meet one of today's foremost historical writers. Margaret MacMillan, the author of Paris 1919 and Nixon in China: The Week that Changed the World will be joining Globe and Mail columnist Marcus Gee and a small number of COC patrons for a chat over brunch. Tickets to the event are $165 per person and include brunch, an orchestra-level ticket to Nixon in China (choice of eight dates), and a copy of MacMillan's book. If you've already got your opera ticket, tickets to the brunch alone (including the copy of the book) can be purchased over the phone for $65, at 416-363-8231 or 1-800-250-4653 long distance.

Once you've got a copy of her book, make sure to share your insights at our ongoing online book club, running through Feb. 26.  

The following Sunday on Feb. 13, our Opera Exchange series will continue with three experts weighing in on the operatic, musical, and historical context of Nixon in China. William Germano from New York City's Cooper Union will discuss "Opera as News: Nixon in China and the Contemporary Operatic Subject," followed by Louis W. Pauly from the Munk School of Global Affairs, who will talk about Nixon in China's political resonance. The morning will be rounded off by musicologist Robert Fink from the University of California, who will take an in-depth look at the opera's musical structure. The price of the symposium ($20 including tax) will also include a backstage tour of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

If you're planning on coming to Nixon in China (and of course you are!), these events will help you enjoy it even more.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (0) / permalink

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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001



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