Parlando: The COC Blog


From MET Live in HD... to LIVE at the COC!

By Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager

As opera lovers the world over eagerly anticipate the return of live opera with the start of the fall season, increasingly, fans are also learning to anticipate a specific date each August: the day tickets go on sale for the Metropolitan Opera’s series of live HD transmissions. 

This year those dates are Wednesday, August 14 (for Met Members, and for Cineplex Odeon SCENE cardholders) and Wednesday, August 21 for the general public. Many local HD enthusiasts still do things “old school”, lining up very early in the morning for tickets at venues across the Greater Toronto Area. You can also buy your tickets online, choosing the specific seat you want to sit in – but don’t dawdle as theatres sell out quickly.

The upcoming Met Live in HD season features a large number of artists and productions which have specific COC connections – here are some of the highlights:


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Artist Basics: Eric Owens

What he's doing with us: American bass-baritone Eric Owens makes his COC debut in Peter Sellars' contemporary take on Handel's Hercules. Eric previously performed the role for the premiere of this new COC and Lyric Opera of Chicago co-production in 2011 to enthusiastic reviews, and is reuniting with the full cast at the COC this spring. 

Where you might have seen him: Equally at home on the operatic stage and in recital, Eric is particularly well-known to Met Live in HD audiences for his performance as the scene-stealing Alberich in the Metropolitan Opera’s latest Ring Cycle. He is also a popular choice with composers looking to create new, contemporary operas! In addition to the acclaim Eric received for his performance of the title character in the world premiere of Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel, composer John Adams created both the roles of General Leslie Groves in Doctor Atomic and The Storyteller in A Flowering Tree for Eric.

His background: Would you believe that this world-famous bass-baritone was almost a pianist, or an oboist instead? In his final year of high school, Eric switched his musical focus to vocal studies and went on to earn a bachelor of music in vocal performance from Temple University. He continued his studies in the graduate program at the Curtis Institute of Music and joined the young artist program at the Houston Grand Opera.


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Artist Basics: Dimitri Pittas

What he's doing with us: tenor Dimitri Pittas made his COC debut as the Duke of Mantua in our 2011 production of Rigoletto. This fall he performs as Rodolfo in La Bohème and in the winter he makes his role debut as Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera. (Fun fact: his co-star, Adrianne Pieczonka, also makes her role debut in Ballo as Amelia!)

Where you might have seen him: Dimitri earned rave reviews for his portrayal as the Duke of Mantua when he was last in Toronto. Recently, Dimitri performed as Rodolfo in La Bohème at Frankfurt Opera, Houston Grand Opera and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In June he made his role debut as the titular character in Don Carlo at Théâtre du Capitole.

His background: Dimitri's music studies took him to the Crane School of Music, McGill University and SUNY Potsdam, and he was an apprentice artist with the Santa Fe Opera and Pittsburgh Opera. Dimitri later joined the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and made his house debut with the Met as the Herald in Don Carlo.


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