Parlando: The COC Blog


Honeybee Update


The honeybees that live on the roof of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts have a great view, but they’re probably too busy to notice it. Beekeeper Fred Davis reports that about 150 pounds of honey have been collected so far from the Four Seasons Centre hives. One thing he’s noticed is that the honey that has been produced this year is darker and this indicates that it's gathered more from flowering trees and bushes and less from flowers. This same darker honey is being gathered from other downtown Toronto hives as well. 

Darker honey is very flavourful and Fred finds that it tends to have more body than the lighter honey he gathers from some of his other hives. Some say that the health benefits of the darker honey made from the nectar of flowering trees is greater than honey that comes from wildflowers.

The honey is being bottled and will be ready for sale at the Four Seasons Centre bars sometime in the new year.

A big thank you to Fred, and the honeybees!

Photo courtesy of Fred Davis

Posted by Kiersten Hay / in FSCPA Honeybees / comments (1) / permalink


Artist Basics: Russell Braun

2014/2015 marks quite a season for Russell Braun! The Toronto-based, internationally acclaimed baritone performed a full summer of concerts and recitals across North America and Europe, then made his role debut as Ford in the COC's production of Falstaff in the fall – and now he takes on Mozart’s legendary womanizer, Don Giovanni. 

What he’s doing with usRussell has already played Don Giovanni in acclaimed director Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production when it appeared at the Teatro Real Madrid in 2013. This winter at the COC, he’ll return as the drinking and angst-ridden lothario in Tcherniakov’s take on Mozart’s masterpiece. 

Where you might have seen him: Russell has been a welcome presence at the COC over the past few seasons. Most recently, he displayed his more comic talents as Ford in the COC’s hit Falstaff, and last spring, sang Nottingham in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux - both role debuts! Globally, most recently he was Valentin in Faust at Met Opera and Lescaut in Manon at La Scala, a role he reprises next year at the Metropolitan Opera, among many other international appearances.

Interviews and Profiles: A great conversation in Toronto Life with Russell and musical threatre star Louise Pitre from 2011, A Q & A with the Ottawa Citizen Russell talking with Eleanor Wachtel on Wachtel on the Arts, and two of our own video interviews for Roberto Devereux and Don Giovanni!

Listen In:
Russell sings “Avant de quitter ces lieux” as Valentin from Faust in 2001:



Photo Credit (top image): Russell Braun. Photo: Gary Mulcahey, 2013

To learn more about our upcoming production of Don Giovanni, click here.


Posted by Meighan Szigeti / in Don Giovanni / comments (0) / permalink


Free Concert Series Highlights for December

Ballet Jorgen in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre

The weather outside is certainly frightful, but our concerts this December are absolutely delightful! Make your way to Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre this month for some performances that will fill you with festive cheer. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
12 - 1 p.m.
Ballet 360
Canada's Ballet Jörgen

Canada's Ballet Jörgen, a perennial favourite, returns to the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre with an hour-long program of classical and contemporary ballet, including highlights from Cinderella, Robert Desrosiers' Bouffonia, and the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, A Canadian Tradition.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
12 - 1 p.m.
The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble

Under the direction of Brian Current, the talented young artists of The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble present the world premiere of a new work by Canadian composer Brian Harman, as well as Claude Vivier’s Lonely Child and a work by visiting Italian composer Marco Stroppa.

GGS New Music Ensemble in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Cantautore: Here and Now
Daniela Nardi's Espresso Manifesto

Award-winning singer-songwriter Daniela Nardi presents her jazz-world music project Espresso Manifesto, whose mission is to discover, showcase and re-interpret the scintillating spirit of Italian music and culture. In this special presentation, she performs selections from her three internationally acclaimed recordings, as well as a sneak preview of her upcoming album, Canto.

Thursday, December 18, 2014
12 - 1 p.m.
Gracias a la Vida: A Holiday Celebration
Amanda Martinez Quartet

Celebrate life and the joys of the season with a spicy selection of tunes from Amanda Martinez's much-lauded discography, as well as a mix of beloved seasonal songs. Her unique Mexican and South African roots blend with elements of flamenco, Afro-Cuban rhythms and Mexican folklore to create an irresistible signature sound that is very much her own.

Is there a concert you're looking forward to this month? Share it with us in the comments or on our Facebook page!

Photo Credits (top to bottom): Canada's Ballet Jörgen, 2014. Photo: Karen E. Reeves; Artists of the GGS New Music Ensemble, 2012. Photo: Chris Hutcheson

Posted by Kristin McKinnon / in Free Concert Series / 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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