Parlando: The COC Blog

6/2/2011

The Season Doesn't Have to be Over: La Boheme

Some of you may be experiencing opera withdrawal now that the curtains have come down on the trio of Cinderella, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Orfeo ed Euridice. But the end doesn't have to be quite so sudden! Against the Grain Theatre (which we last wrote about back in November) is back with their first full production of a fully-staged opera: 

La Bohème, opening its four-performance run tonight at the Tranzac Club

There are plenty of reasons to see it, and to bring along your opera-shy friend: It's an accessible, classic love story with some of Puccini's most beautiful music, and it's performed in English, so newcomers will have no trouble following along. The setting, The Tranzac Club, is central, relaxed and casual, and, unlike at the Four Seasons Centre, you're encouraged to enjoy the refreshments on offer during the performance. 

Those who follow the Ensemble Studio program will recognize many of the names: Laura Albino (Mimi), Adam Luther (Rodolfo), Justin Welsh (Marcello) and Christopher Mokrzewski (Music Director) are all recent graduates. And you'll be seeing real-life chemistry on stage: the singers playing the ardent young couple will be getting married next week!

More info can be found on the Against the Grain website.  

Photo: Lindsay Sutherland Boal as Musetta and Justin Welsh as Marcello in Against the Grain Theatre’s La Bohème. Photo © Gene Wu, 2011


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

5/19/2011

Saturday Afternoon at the Opera

There are only a handful of mainstage performances remaining in the 2010/2011 season (and what a season it's been) but there will be plenty of chances to hear, if not see, the action a second time. Each opera in our 10/11 season—plus a few from 2009/2010—will be featured in an upcoming broadcast on CBC Radio 2's Saturday Afternoon at the Opera

Also, the broadcasts will feature interviews with the season's artists, including Sondra Radvanovsky, Alan Oke, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Robert Orth, Lawrence Brownlee, and Sir Andrew Davis. 

The first COC opera to be broadcast in 2011 will be The Magic Flute on May 28featuring Isabel Bayrakdarian (whom you can see on stage now as Euridice) and Michael Schade. 

The full list of upcoming broadcast dates and scheduled interviews is available on our website.

For the twitter-inclined: Follow Saturday Afternoon at the Opera on twitter at cbcr2opera

Photo: Rodion Pogossov as Papageno in a scene from the COC production of The Magic Flute. Photo © 2011 Michael Cooper

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

2/3/2011

Launching the ArtsWay Concert Series

[This is a guest post by Caitlin Coull, communications manager, special initiatives]

Yesterday the COC participated in a very important beginning: the launch of the Health Arts Society of Ontario and its ArtsWay Concert Series. Health Arts is a Canadian charity that dedicates itself to providing artistic and cultural programming to people who are isolated in long-term care, particularly frail elders. Increasing the accessibility of professionally performed music is a priority for the COC, and the opportunity to partner with the Health Arts Society has been a rewarding experience for all.

The inaugural concert, held at the Castleview Wychwood Towers long-term care residence, featured cast members from The Magic Flute: Simone Osborne (Pamina), Frédéric Antoun (Tamino), Aline Kutan (Queen of the Night), Rodion Pogossov (Papageno) and Lisa DiMaria (Papagena). The group performed lively excerpts from the opera, led and accompanied by COC music director Johannes Debus. Vija Mallia, an administrator at the residence, commented, “I was very moved as I observed how absolutely mesmerized the residents were by the performance. They were absolutely transfixed. I was hearing comments like 'That was wonderful,' 'This was the very best,' 'When will we have some more?' and 'I am still vibrating!'"

Other organizations involved with this initiative include the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. This signals an ever-strengthening commitment to ensure that anyone can access the musical arts.

www.haso.ca

Photo: (l - r) Rodion Pogossov and Lisa DiMaria. © Canadian Opera Company 2011

Posted by Caitlin Coull / in Opera Appreciation / 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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