Parlando: The COC Blog


Artist Basics - Kelly Kaduce

Kelly Kaduce comes to the Canadian Opera Company full of the passion needed to portray one of Puccini's most iconic, and tragic, characters. 

What’s she doing with us? This is Kelly's debut with the COC, sharing the title role with Patricia Racette in the COC’s acclaimed production of Madama Butterfly. Like Patricia, she has sung Cio-Cio San in several productions, with Santa Fe Opera, West Australia Opera, and Portland Opera.

Where you might have seen her:  On the Canadian front, she recently performed the title role in Rusalka with L’Opera de Montréal, and Kelly is a mainstay in American opera houses. She’s known for performing some of the richest roles in the lyric-soprano repertoire that, in addition to Cio-Cio San, include Mimì in La Bohème, Nedda in Pagliacci, and the title character in ​Suor Angelica, just to name a few.

She has also sung many world premieres in contemporary American opera, including: Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath (Minnesota Opera); Bright Sheng's Madame Mao (Santa Fe Opera debut in 2003); and the American premieres of Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul (Santa Fe Opera) and Michael Berkeley’s Jane Eyre (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis).  She also sang the title role in the world premiere of the David Carlson opera Anna Karenina in 2007 (Florida Grand Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis), so she’s no stranger to contemporary opera.

Interviews and profiles:  Kelly talks about her Cincinnati Opera debuther career so far, and returning to opera after becoming a mother for the first time.  

Sneak peek: Watch Kelly as Liu in Turandot below with Minnesota Opera. 

You can follow Kelly Kaduce on Twitter, through her official fan page on Facebook and on her website.


Madama Butterfly runs from October 10 to 31, 2014 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, and Kelly performs  Oct. 11, 19, 22, 26, 28, and 31. Learn more at

Photos: (top) Kelly Kaduce; Photo by Devon Cass.


Posted by Meighan Szigeti / in Madama Butterfly / comments (1) / permalink


Artist Basics: Patricia Racette

Patricia Racette


This fall, two singers make their Canadian Opera Company debuts in the role of a teenage girl whose passion, heartbreak and sorrow requires the power and emotions of a rich soprano. Singing six of these performances is a woman who has built her career upon this role and made it her own: Patricia Racette!

What she's doing with us: American soprano Patricia Racette makes her COC debut as the tragic Cio-Cio San in one of the best-loved operas of all time, Puccini's Madama Butterfly. 

Where you might have seen her: Patricia has performed at many of the world's great opera houses including Covent Garden; English National Opera; Teatro alla Scala, Opéra national de Paris, Wiener Staatsoper and Gran Teatre del Liceu, and you might have seen her in the Met HD broadcast of Anthony Minghella's Madama Butterfly in 2009.

In addition to regular appearances with the Metropolitan Opera, she frequently performs with the San Francisco Opera, the company that helped launch her career. Patricia recently saved the day for San Francisco Opera's world premiere of Dolores Claiborne when she stepped into the title role at the very last minute after the original singer left the production.

After singing Cio-Cio San with the COC, she takes the role to Bueños Aires for her debut with Teatro Colón.

Interviews and profiles:  She earned rave reviews for a recent San Francisco Opera Butterfly production; chats with Curve Magazine about Madama Butterfly and her decision to publicly come out as a lesbian; and talks to the Wall Street Journal and Contra Costa Times about performing Dolores Claiborne on very short notice.

Sneak peek: See Patricia perform her signature role in the Met's 2009 production of Madama Butterfly, directed by Anthony Minghella. (Watch closely for Dwayne Croft as Sharpless, who will reunite with Patricia in the COC's production!)


You can follow Patricia Racette on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and learn more about her on her website.


Madama Butterfly runs from October 10 to 31, 2014 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, and Patricia Racette performs Oct. 10, 15, 18, 21, 24 and 30. Learn more at


Photos: (top) Patricia Racette; Photo by Gary Mulcahey


Posted by Kristin McKinnon / in Madama Butterfly / comments (0) / permalink


#UncleJohn live at Banff!

by Gianmarco Segato
Adult Programs Manager

The COC's Adult Programs Manager Gianmarco Segato was lucky enough to see Against the Grain's #UncleJohn in Banff a few weeks ago! He shares some of his experiences below. 


On Saturday August 2, I made the trek to Banff to see Against the Grain Theatre’s latest production, #UncleJohn, produced in collaboration with The Banff Centre and the Canadian Opera Company as part of the centre’s new program, Open Space: Opera in the 21st Century.  The program hosted eight young opera professionals for a four-week intensive residency which resulted in the creation of #Uncle John, a modern interpretation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The adaptation featured a new English libretto written by Against the Grain Theatre's artistic director Joel Ivany. The creative process was extensively documented with blog posts and behind-the-scenes videos on Schmopera courtesy of none other than former COC Ensemble member and erstwhile Big COC Podcast guest, Jenna Douglas.

The setting for this unique production was the Cave and Basin, a National Historical Site within Banff National Park — the geographical birthplace of Canada’s National Park system. 


I visited the site in the afternoon, a beautiful 20 minute walk from Banff town centre. You can enter the cave where three railway workers discovered warm water springs above what would become the town of Banff, which led to the establishment of a reserve around the hot springs in 1885. Two years later the Canadian government made the area a national park – the country’s first. The cave was hot, steamy and, due to the sulphurous odours, stinky! There’s also an outdoor hot pool where you can see the healing waters bubbling up from below.

AtG performed #UncleJohn outdoors although on the night I attended they were rained out and had to quickly improvise the staging in an indoor space. The cast did an amazing job adjusting their blocking in the moment, adding an extra frisson of excitement to the proceedings! The new English text was witty and completely of our times – texting and cellphone calls were integral to the concept. #UncleJohn was another success for AtG in its continuing quest to present opera in fresh ways, in unusual spaces, to new audiences. After the show I caught up with three of the cast members, all of them former COC Ensemble members: Betty Waynne Allison, Cameron McPhail and Miriam Khalil, as well as director Joel Ivany (you’ll hear them speak in that order in the audio clip below). Listen as we talk about the significance of performing at this unique venue, what it’s like to sing a new English version of Don Giovanni, and hear their individual takes on Anna, Uncle John and Elvira!

Posted by Meighan Szigeti / in Against the Grain / 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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