Parlando: The COC Blog


Post-Season Blues? Try Turn of the Screw

The Tales of Hoffmann has completed its run and there are only a handful of performances left of A Florentine Tragedy/Gianni Schicchi and Semele. But when our season is over, there's still some more opera to see - and we recommend you check out this production of Britten's The Turn of the Screw, mounted by Against the Grain Theatre.

The Turn of the Screw is an unsettling ghost-story classic based on the novella by Henry James, with a Britten score that is by turns chilling and ravishing. The cast and creative team features lots of Ensemble Studio alums and COC favourites, including Joel Ivany (director), Christopher Mokrzewski (piano), Miriam Khalil (The Governess), Megan Latham (Mrs. Grose), Michael Barrett (Peter Quint), and Betty Allison (Miss Jessel). The performances will take place May 24 to 27 at the intimate Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse on the UofT campus.

You can buy tickets here. For a sampling of the music, check out this video from LA Opera:

Posted by Cecily Carver / in Opera Appreciation / comments (0) / permalink


Thankful for Opera

Over Thanksgiving weekend, we asked our twitter followers to let us know, in tweet form, what made them thankful for opera. The incentive? A randomly-chosen winner received a prize pack of four tickets to Hansel and Gretel, a performance for children and families, in November. Here's what they had to say (tweets have been slightly edited for clarity): 

@slimmetry (Salim)
#thankful4opera for proving that Opera can survive in the digital age by keeping true to its medium.

@jgombita (Judy Gombita)
With @CanadianOpera in its gorgeous home long-time subscribers gets to see/hear world's best artists b/c they want to come! #thankful4opera.

@DeenaMarieN (Deena)
opera helped me figure out who I am as a person and made me who I am today. It saved my life #thankful4opera

@emilovadragneva (Tina D)
I am thankful for opera I get so into the shows I feel like I am in them #thankful4opera

@ameecq (Amy N.)
I am #thankful4opera because it's something I can do to get away from work and everyday life to just relax and enjoy

@m_mac (Michelle MacAleese)
I'm thankful for opera because it's gosh-darn beautiful and we all need that. #thankful4opera

@nal161 (Natalie)
#thankful4opera Because you can escape reality and enter someone's beautiful and emotional imagination.

@MichelleAshlee (Michelle Ashlee)
I'm #thankful4opera because it is both a visual and performance art which allows you to escape to a dramatic & magical place!

@mskapay (mskapay)
I am #thankful4opera because it was my first real love for music.

@ennsee (N C)
I'm #thankful4opera for reminding me to live and love life passionately!

(Aria Umezawa) - WINNER
Sometimes you need something that is truly grand: Nothing does GRAND quite like opera #thankful4opera

(Gianna Wichelow)
so many golden moments: chilling, thrilling, moving, inexpressible, transforming #thankful4opera

@CatherineBryant (Catherine Bryant)
My daughter @jl_nicegirl is an opera student. It is her joy, delight and purpose in life - it makes us all so happy #thankful4opera

Do you have any reasons of your own to be thankful for opera? Leave them in the comments!

Image: Preliminary sketch of the COC production of the Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour of Hansel and Gretel. Brent Krysa © 2005

Posted by Cecily Carver / in Opera Appreciation / comments (1) / permalink


Getting Out of Toronto: The Buxton Festival

[This is a guest post by Gianmarco Segato, our retail and editorial co-ordinator, who recently visited the Buxton Festival in England. You may recognize his name from our podcast series!]

I’ve long been curious about the enticing, off-the-beaten-track operatic offerings at England’s 32-year-old Buxton Festival, and so this July, I made the trek across the pond and spent three days in this charming town, smack dab in the middle of picture-postcard perfect Derbyshire.

Buxton itself has a long history as a spa town due to its geothermal spring which rises at a constant temperature of 28 °C. It calls itself “the gateway to the Peaks District” and is surrounded by rolling hills and public footpaths which lead to breathtaking views (see photo above) directly accessible from the town centre. The 902-seat Buxton Opera House was built in 1903 by Frank Matcham, one of Britain's finest theatre architects. He also designed two famous London theatres: the London Palladium (1910) and the London Coliseum (1904 – home of the English National Opera). The interior is charming with beautifully restored gilded stucco ornaments and most importantly, a bar on every level! Front-of-house is mainly run by volunteers, who also act as bar staff. If you haven’t finished your drink by the end of the intermission, they gladly provide you with a plastic cup to take your G & T into the theatre with you. The theatre’s acoustics are very clear – perhaps a little less resonant than we’re used to at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. 


Posted by Gianmarco Segato / in Opera Appreciation / comments (1) / permalink

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



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