Parlando: The COC Blog


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


In Tribute


The COC is saddened to learn that Brian Macdonald, one of Canada’s pre-eminent theatre and opera directors, passed away over the weekend. Although Brian directed the COC’s 1991 production of La Traviata, he was best-known to COC audiences for his classic production of Madama Butterfly, first created for the COC in 1990. 



“Brian’s Madama Butterfly has been a pillar of the Canadian Opera Company’s repertoire since 1990 and it was a privilege to get to know him this past fall for our revival of the production. He was able to inspire two casts to deliver two very different interpretations of this classic work, while still honouring the integrity of his personal vision. The affection and warmth he showed the artists was extraordinary to behold. His Madama Butterfly will be his legacy to the COC.”

– Alexander Neef





As we launched this year’s season with his sixth revival of Madama Butterfly, Brian spoke with us about his production in the video clip below.

Brian Macdonald’s other opera work took him all over the world where he staged productions for Teatro all Scala, Opera Australia, and New York City Opera, among others. He is a Canadian legend.

“Brian Macdonald is one of those all-too-rare opera directors who serve the composer, not his own ego.”

Now Toronto, 2009

For a more complete biography:


Photo Credits (top-down): Kelly Kaduce as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly (COC, 2014). Photo: Michael Cooper. (l-r) Cornelis Opthof as Sharpless and Yoko Watanabe as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly (COC, 1990). Photo: Michael Cooper.

Posted by Canadian Opera Company / in In Tribute / comments (0) / permalink

Previous << 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30  >> Next 

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



Subscribe to our blogs and the COC e-mail newsletter.
Contact Kiersten
Got a question? Want to share a link? Submit a comment!