Parlando: The COC Blog


Opera comes alive at the COC with new family-friendly production of The Magic Victrola

COC’s new Opera for Young Audiences is for kids-and for kids at heart!

On December 2 and 3, opera’s youngest fans can experience a production created just for them with the Canadian Opera Company’s new, family-friendly presentation of The Magic VictrolaThe story is about siblings Gracie and Sam, as they discover a mysterious trunk in their grandfather’s attic, full of costumes, opera recordings, and an old-fashioned record player—a Victrola. As they begin to play it, scenes from great operas by Bizet, Mozart, Puccini and more magically come to life before them. 

The production features current and former artists of the COC Ensemble Studio as characters from famous operas brought to life by a magical Victrola phonograph.  Many of opera's greatest hits  (Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Delibe’s Lakmé, and Bizet’s Carmen just to name a few) are sung in this magical production, bringing kids into the wonderful world of opera and opening their imagination to new and exciting stories! 

Opera for Young Audiences hopes to reach out to the next generation of opera-goers with fully staged productions that are accessible to children and youth. Tickets to the public performances are free for children under 12 (to a maximum of two free children’s tickets for each adult ticket sold), making the operatic experience more accessible to young people! The program leap frogs from the Ensemble Studio School Tour that brought fun and inventive productions to kids like The Bremen Town Musicans and Second Nature to name a few.

Past Ensemble Studio School Tour productions from left to right: Second Nature, and The Bremen Town Musicians

Before the performance, immerse yourself in the world of The Magic Victrola, and participate in free hands-on activities related to the opera’s themes! Composer and artist-educator Chris Thornborrow will also lead an interactive opera creation workshop, guiding participants through some elements of creating an opera, in advance of the afternoon performances on December 2 and 3. 

Kids enjoying last year's pre-show activities before Second Nature!


Want to know more info about the cast creative team? Head over to the The Magical Victrola page here!

Ticket Information 

All performances take place in the Imperial Oil Opera Theatre at the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre (227 Front St. E., at Berkeley Street). Tickets are FREE for children under 12 (maximum of two free children’s tickets for each adult ticket sold). Tickets for adults are $30 and additional children’s tickets are $10 each. To purchase tickets, visit, call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231, or visit the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.).

Four performances of The Magic Victrola, taking place on November 29 and December 1, are open to student audiences and community groups. School groups attending these performances at the Imperial Oil Opera Theatre are also offered a complimentary in-school workshop, led by a COC artist-educator, that explores the opera’s themes and further deepens the students’ understanding of the art form. 

Banner: COC; Second Banner: Left: Lauren Eberwein and Charles Sy in Second Nature (COC, 2016), photo: Chris Hutcheson; right: Iain MacNeil and Aviva Fortunata in The Bremen Town Musicians (COC, 2015), photo: Chris Hutcheson; Third banner: Pre-show activities before Second Nature (2016), all photos: Gaetz Photography. 


Posted by COC Staff / in Opera for Young Audiences / comments (0) / permalink


Announcing the 2017/2018 Free Concert Series Season!

Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre 

The Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre is back! Our 2017/2018 season begins on September 26, 2017 with a performance by the rising stars of the COC Ensemble Studio. Join over 400 artists from Canada and around the world, from headlining stars to emerging young talent, to celebrate Toronto’s rich artistic and cultural diversity in 76 concerts across six series—vocal, chamber, piano, dance, jazz and world music.

Click here for the complete 2017/2018 season schedule.
You won't want to miss a concert!


Photo credit: Sae Yoon Chon performs in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, 2017, photo: Karen E. Reeves.

Posted by COC Staff / in Free Concert Series / comments (0) / permalink


Shooting Opera: Part 1


Before shooting for the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre and eventually, mainstage productions and opera events, I was primarily a fine art landscape photographer. The COC gave me an opportunity to broaden my skills, meet great people, and of course, gain a greater appreciation for opera and a wide variety of performance genres!

Above: Jane Archibald in the COC's 2012 production of Semele

Above: Eric Margiore and Joyce El-Khoury in the COC's 2013 production of La Bohème

Above: a scene from the COC's 2015 production of La Traviata

Above: members of the COC Ensemble Studio performing as part of the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre

Above: members of Canada's Ballet Jörgen performing as part of the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre

Banner image: Anna Christy in Lucia di Lammermoor (COC, 2013); all photos by Chris Hutcheson.

Posted by Tanner Davies / in TOTCML / 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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