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Artist Basics: Gerald Finley

Gerald Finley

Gerald Finley

Upon first glance, you may be a bit skeptical that the fit baritone who is tackling Mount Kilimanjaro this summer, could convincingly play opera's most famous glutton, but recently appointed Officer of the Order of Canada's Gerald Finley is more than up to the challenge!

What he's doing with us: Gerald Finley returns to the Canadian Opera Company for the first time in over 20 years to make his role debut as the slovenly, hedonistic and hilarious Falstaff in a co-production with Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Teatro alla Scala; Metropolitan Opera and Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam. 

Where you might have seen him: In Europe! Grammy and Juno-award winner Gerald Finley is one of the most recognizable baritones on the international opera scene. While he spends a lot of his time in Europe at houses like the Royal Opera House, Bavarian State Opera and Venice State Opera, he crosses the pond occasionally to appear at the Metropolitan Opera and has an upcoming role in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Tannhäuser in early 2015. 

While he's known for his interpretations of basically all of Mozart's baritone roles, Gerald has also made a name for himself in creating some of most popular leading roles in contemporary opera, most notably, the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer in John Adam’s Doctor Atomic, and more recently, Howard K. Stern in Mark Anthony Turnage's world premiere of Anna Nicole. Gerald is also a popular recitalist and released a new album this spring, tackling Schubert's winter song cycle Winterreise with pianist Julius Drake.

Interviews and profiles: Gerald shares stories about his experiences as a recitalist and soloist with Opera News in 2012; he discusses one of his biggest roles, Don Giovanni, with The Telegraph; the Financial Times reveals the 'secret' behind his operatic rise; and in the Examiner, he discusses his career and his love for opera and song. 

Sneak peek: Watch Gerald as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Doctor Atomic below.

You can follow Gerald Finley on Twitter, through his official fan page on Facebook and on his website.


Falstaff runs from October 3 to November 1, 2014 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Learn more at

Photos: (top) Gerald Finley; (middle) Photo by Sim Canetty-Clarke.

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


Happy Father's Day! Here are some of the best & worst fathers in opera.

Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Opera Appreciation / comments (2) / permalink


Give to the COC's Year-End Campaign

By Diana Bradshaw

Year-End Campaign

Reproduced below is the Year-End Matching Campaign letter penned by Diana Bradshaw, who draws on her experience with the Joan Baillie Archives at the COC to remind us that growth and artistic excellence rely not only on a forward-looking vision but a mindful preservation of the past.

"At the Canadian Opera Company, as our season concludes each spring, we embark on the Year-End Matching Campaign. The concept is simple: any gift you make before June 30, 2014, will be completely matched in value by an anonymous donor. This instantly doubles the impact of your gift and goes a long way towards helping the COC with its annual operations.

Funds from the campaign will support key COC programs, including the Joan Baillie Archives, where I have worked for four years, alongside five knowledgeable and hard-working volunteers. Here, we collect, catalogue and preserve objects and documents from decades of the company’s history. These include administrative records, audio and video recordings of COC performances, set and costume designs, slides and photographs, as well as newspapers, journals, periodicals and gifts by long-time subscribers of memorable opera performances.

Ontario Certificate

As a repository of public history, the Joan Baillie Archives are a living record of how operatic performance has evolved in Canada over the last 64 years and where it is heading today. Furthermore, these archives are essential to the COC’s sense of identity as an artistic institution. The question of who we are is as much about how the company got here as it is about where we are going. Did you know that even the COC’s logo (take a look at the top of this page) is designed to symbolize this? As a palindrome-figure, it is open on both sides at once, suggesting that the present is framed by the continuing interaction between our storied past and our bright future.

The same is true of our experience at the opera house. Each production is part of a perpetual conversation between tradition and innovation, between our past and our future, out of which emerges the vital, contemporary present. By giving to the Year-End Campaign, you will be supporting that process on the stage, as well as in the archives.

I hope we can count on your help with the Year-End Matching Campaign this year. With your support we will be able to ensure that the past continues to inform our present and inspire our future.

Many thanks.

Diana Bradshaw

Help us collect, archive and preserve the history of the Canadian Opera Company. Maximize your gift by giving before June 30, 2014.

Call us at 416-847-4949 or Donate Now!

Photos: (middle) Provincial incorporation documents for the Canadian Opera Company; (bottom) Poster for a 1958 production of The Barber of Seville. Images from the Joan Baillie Archives.

Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Opera Appreciation / 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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