Parlando: The COC Blog


Bel Canto At Its Best: David Alden Discusses Lucia di Lammermoor

By Suzanne Vanstone, Senior Communications Manager, Editorial

Gothic romance. Scottish wildness. Early-Victorian repression. Director David Alden showcases his riveting production of Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor at the COC this spring. Based on Sir Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor, the opera follows a young girl’s descent into madness. Lucia is embroiled in a conflict between her brother, Enrico, and her lover, Edgardo. Barely a woman, she is treated as a mere possession, and those who should have her best interests at heart are the same culprits who gradually chip away at her fragility.

Internationally renowned director David Alden is excited about mounting this production in Toronto and directing in our opera house for the first time. “Lucia is amazing – it’s one of the very strongest pieces in the bel canto repertoire. This production is set in the early-Victorian period, where society was very strong, rigid, hierarchical and patriarchal. Obviously underneath those rigid codes and societal structures there was passion and love and madness which burst through these very strong repressions. That’s what this opera is all about.


Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in 2012/2013 / comments (1) / permalink


A Dance Towards the Light: Robert Carsen and Michael Levine Discuss Dialogues des Carmélites

By Claire Morley, Communications Assistant

Director Robert Carsen and set designer Michael Levine created their production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites for the Netherlands Opera in 1997. Since then, it has been performed in numerous cities across the world. Carrying “overwhelming emotional force” (Chicago Tribune), this is the first time their production of Carmélites will be seen in Toronto, an exciting venture for Carsen and Levine, both Toronto-born.

According to Carsen, the unique power of Dialogues des Carmélites lies in its ability to “speak to humanity in a very particular way. You don’t have to be Catholic to be moved by the sacrifice that these 16 Carmelite nuns made. It’s very powerful because of both the spiritual and intellectual quality of the work; these are people who have dedicated their whole lives to their beliefs, and achieve some kind of good through them.”

Carsen and Levine, who have worked together for over 25 years on 26 productions, began their creative process by going directly to the score, paying careful attention to both Georges Bernanos’ libretto and Poulenc’s masterful setting, which Carsen argues is in a class of its own. “The quality of Poulenc’s writing is so beautiful and very seductive. The orchestration is brilliant, consisting of strange, electrifying moments, yet the whole work has a genuine and honest sincerity to it. It’s a very unusual piece of writing.”


Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in 2012/2013 / comments (0) / permalink


The Stage is Set: Toy Theatres at the Opera Shop

By Michelle Hwu, Retail Co-ordinator

This spring at the Opera Shop at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, we're very excited to have a special selection of toy theatres from Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop in England: one being a presentation of Le nozze di Figaro, and the other being Cinderella. Internationally renowned for their whimsical toy theatres, Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop has been widening children's imaginations since the 1880s when the brand was founded by its namesake in London's Covent Garden.


Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Opera Shop / 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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