Parlando: The COC Blog


COC Holiday Gift Guide, 2013

New at the COC Opera Shop: I heart COC mugs and pens

It's almost the holidays! Are you still stumped for a gift for that opera afficionado in your life? Or maybe a gift for yourself? We have a few suggestions...

1. Give the gift of opera!
Our winter operas offer a great contrast in content and musical styles. Così fan tutte is a charming Mozart rom-com about young love and temptation, and A Masked Ball offers a Verdi tale about forbidden passion, unrequited love and political intrigue. But whatever your heart desires, you can purchase tickets online or let your loved one choose their own night with a gift certificate

A preliminary sketch of the COC's upcoming production of Cosi fan tutte by Debra Hansen

2. See it twice!
Is the person you're purchasing for already a subscriber? Are you? You can still double your dose of Così fan tutte and buy tickets to the special Ensemble Studio performance starring our young and talented Ensemble Studio members! Take advantage of special ticket prices for this performance and sit in a prime seat on the main floor for only $55!

Bearitone Bear, the COC bear3. Make the holiday bear-able with some branded merchandise
One of our most popular items in the Opera Shop is the charming COC bear (also known as Bearitone Bear!) dressed in our distinct COC red sweater. We also have newly designed I Heart COC mugs and pens, and our classic tote which all make great stocking stuffers. Click here to see all of our branded merchandise.

4. Music to fill their ears
The online COC Opera Shop carries a variety of CDs and DVDs from our 2013/2014 season. Give the gift of music this holiday season and revisit past favourites such as La Bohème with Angela Gheorghiu or explore upcoming operas, such as our recommended DVD of Verdi's A Masked Ball featuring Pavarotti at the Met. View the online Opera Shop for more CDs and DVDs.

A pair of our 8x magnification opera glasses

5. Opera glasses!
And last but not least, the perfect gift for an opera goer. Back just in time for the holiday season our most popular gift item: opera glasses! We offer a variety of different styles including our 8x magnification binoculars (featured in the image to the right) that now come in a COC branded pouch for $49. View our gallery of selected styles here.


If you have any questions about Opera Shop items, please e-mail our Opera Shop manager Michelle Hwu or by phone at 416-847-4945, and if you have any questions about tickets, feel free to contact our box office.

Happy Holidays!

Photos: (top) COC branded merchandise; (middle) A preliminary costume sketch from the COC's 2014 production of Così fan tutte. Sketch by Debra Hanson. (middle) Bearitone Bear; (bottom) 8x magnification opera glasses. All photos by Jeff Higgins/Michelle Hwu unless otherwise specified.

Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Opera Shop / comments (0) / permalink


Get in the holiday spirit with COC artists!

By Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager

This holiday season, many COC artists are getting into the spirit, using their vocal talents to share some truly great seasonal music.

Starting off the list are three singers with a long COC association! Ensemble Studio Alumnae Joni Henson and Virginia Hatfield together with their friend Megan Latham have just released a refreshingly different CD of holiday music, “Christmas at Casa Diva,” which can be purchased here.

While not exactly holiday music, tenor Richard Margison (Salome, 2013) sings the great songs of Italy with the Ontario Philharmonic at Koerner Hall on December 10.

Next, you can catch popular Canadian tenor Ben Heppner (Tristan und IsoldePeter Grimes, 2013) as he joins the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for their “Festival of Carols” on December 11.

Here's one for the west-coasters! You can catch Ensemble Studio baritone Cameron McPhail (La Bohème, 2013 and our upcoming February 7 Ensemble performance of Così fan tutte) and his wife, soprano Catherine Affleck for an evening of operatic bons bons with the Vancouver Women’s Musical Society on December 11.

This weekend, Ensemble Studio graduates, soprano Jacqueline Woodley, mezzo soprano Krisztina Szabó (Love from Afar, 2012) and Glencore Ensemble Studio School Tour artist, bass Geoffrey Sirett, are part of Against the Grain Theatre’s unusual staged version of Handel’s ubiquitous Messiah on December 14 and 15 – but hurry, the two-show run is already almost sold out!

Catch a 2014/2015 artist this month, as Canadian bass superstar John Relyea (The Tales of Hoffmann, 2012) sings with counter-tenor Lawrence Zazzo (Orfeo ed Euridice, 2011) in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's annual Messiah on December 17, 18, 20, 21 and 22

If at this point you need a break from all the holiday music, baritone Phillip Addis (La Bohème, 2013) will be giving a recital of German, English and French art song for Music Toronto on December 19.

To cap off the year, our sensational spring 2013 Salome, Erika Sunnegårdh appears in the New Year’s Eve gala concert, “Bravissimo” at Roy Thomson Hall along with Ensemble Studio graduate mezzo soprano Wallis Giunta (Così fan tutte, 2014) and baritone James Westman (Die Fledermaus, 2012).

And finally, Ensemble Studio alumnae Betty Waynne Alison and Neil Craighead ring in the start of the New Year with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra on January 1.

Not an exhaustive list to be sure – but lots of opportunities to hear COC artists this holiday season before we launch our winter operas in January!

Photos: (top) A scene from the Canadian Opera Company's production of Eugene Onegin, 2008; (middle-composite) Jacqueline Woodley. Krisztina Szabó, photo by Bo Huang; (bottom-composite) Erika Sunnegårdh. Wallis Giunta, photo by Barbara Stoneham. 

Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Opera Appreciation / comments (0) / permalink


The Canadian Opera Company’s third annual Ensemble Studio Competition, 2013!

Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Ensemble Studio / comments (0) / permalink

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