Parlando: The COC Blog


The First Free Concert of the Season

[This is a guest post from Caitlin Coull, Communications Manager, Special Initiatives]

Officially, this Wednesday is the fall equinox. However, we will be happily celebrating the first day of autumn a day earlier with the first free concert of the season on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at
12 p.m.

The Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre presented by National Bank was launched in October 2006, and since its inception has attracted thousands of audience members of all backgrounds and ages to hundreds of free events ranging from classical, jazz, world music, contemporary dance, and interactive workshops.

Named by an anonymous donor for the COC’s late general director, the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre is a beautiful, airy space overlooking the busy intersection of Queen Street West and University Avenue. It’s the perfect place for an hour’s respite from the daily grind. Its namesake had a deep and abiding conviction that artistic excellence should be available to everyone, a principle that the COC continues to embrace.


Posted by Caitlin Coull / in Free Concert Series / comments (0) / permalink


Rehearsals for Death in Venice Have Begun!

The rehearsals for Death in Venice kicked off on Saturday with a concept discussion by assistant director Rob Kearley. He assured us that the director Yoshi Oida is "lovable" and that we will adore him. This October's production of Death in Venice has been mounted to great acclaim in Lyon, Prague, and Aldeburgh, and many credit Oida's impressionistic and haunting concept with the feat of making audiences fall completely in love with Benjamin Britten's final opera.

In his production notes, Oida writes that he seeks to answer three fundamental questions about von Aschenbach: Why did he go to Venice? Why did he choose to stay after learning the truth about the disease? And why did he become fascinated with Tadzio, the beautiful young boy (You can read the plot synopsis here)? Oida's approach to these questions is to present everything from von Aschenbach's point of view, transforming the Lido into an impressionistic dreamscape.


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


Glimpses of Aida: Costume Room

I recently had a chance to take a look at the costume rooms of the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, where the costumes for Aida are being sewn and fitted. I'm very excited to be able to show you some of the photos today, along with a glimpse of the process of taking a costume from an idea to a finished product.

In approaching Aida, director Tim Albery has taken note of how many private, intimate scenes are placed in the context of a society of great power, wealth, expansiveness, and nationalism—and has considered how these characteristics are reflected in the societies of our own times. He has chosen to set the opera in a luxurious and ostentatious palace in an unspecified war-torn country. The sets and costumes are meant to convey a society governed by the "nouveau riche," with lots of money and power but somewhat vulgar and outdated tastes. The lavish opulence of the surroundings will stand in contrast to the fundamental intimacy of many of the opera's most important scenes.

Using these ideas as a guideline, the costume designer, Jon Morrell, assembled a "costume bible," full of sketches, inspirational photographs, and fabric samples. Here's a peek inside!


Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (12) / permalink

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



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