Parlando: The COC Blog


The Strawberry Crisis

The author Terry Pratchett, for his novel Maskerade, penned the following gem: "Opera happens because a large number of things amazingly fail to go wrong." And while our run of Death in Venice has been characterized by fantastic reviews and strong ticket sales, it is not immune to potential mishaps, this time in the form of a strawberry shortage.

One of our assistant stage managers, Tiffany Fraser, explains how strawberries are used on stage in this production:

"The Strawberry Seller in the show carries a basket of six quarts of strawberries. Five quarts are fake, and one is real. In Act I, she sells Aschenbach (Mr. Alan Oke) the real quart of strawberries, which he eats on stage while watching some dancers. Mr. Oke has been such a wonderful person to work with that I always try to get the nicest looking strawberries for him to eat, as if they are too mushy or tart he has no water to drink and is on stage for all of Act I.

There is also a small container on top of one of the fake quarts (invisible to the naked eye) for a real strawberry.  This comes into play in Act II when the Strawberry Seller returns. She feeds this lone strawberry to Aschenbach and he spits it into the water."

Tiffany usually picks the fresh strawberries up from a grocery store in Caledonia on her way in to work. The morning of Oct. 31, however, there were none to be found.


Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (0) / permalink


Behind the Scenes with Barney: The Load Out

[This is the 9th in a series of guest posts by Barney Bayliss, associate technical director at the COC. This post was written Nov. 2. To read the other posts in the series, click here]

There are only four performances left in this fall season. Two Aida, and two Death in Venice. We have been planning this weekend’s load out.

Load outs are very expensive because we have a big crew working for a long period of time.  And we have a hard deadline, in that if we are not done by 11 p.m. on Sunday night, the National Ballet will not have the crew it needs to load in on Monday morning at 8. The last Aida performance is on Friday night. Saturday morning at 8 a.m., we will come in to change over to Death in Venice for its last performance, at 4:30 p.m.. After the show, we will stay until 11 p.m. and pack up the Death in Venice set. The entire Death in Venice set fits in one shipping container, if it is packed tightly.  


Posted by Barney Bayliss / in Behind the Scenes / comments (2) / permalink


Love Letters from the Empty Bed

Tomorrow's (Nov. 3) free concert, titled Love Letters from the Empty Bed, promises to be unique: far from adhering to a traditional recital format, the concert will combine actors with acoustic and electronic musical accompaniment in an exploration of Ovid's Heroides. Director Damiano Pietropaolo and composer Constantine Caravassilis have adapted portions of the Heroides into a fusion of monologue and choral music, bringing to life the lamentations of five women whose lovers have gone off to war. The cast features members of the University of Toronto's Graduate Centre for Study of Drama and Faculty of Music (pictured at left is mezzo-soprano Marta Herman).

Some background on the literary work that inspired the recital:

The Heroides, a collection of 15 epistolary poems, are among the classical poet Ovid's earlier works. They take the form of 15 letters by well-known mythological characters (including many with their own operas, such as Ariadne, Dido, and Medea) to their absent beloveds. Ovid followed this collection with a second, known as the "Double" Heroides, which instead of single letters from a woman to a man, take the form of a pair of letters (or, a letter and its response) between mythological couples.  


Posted by Cecily Carver / in Free Concert Series / comments (2) / permalink

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



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