Parlando: The COC Blog


Inside the Scene Shop

While the smaller prop items for The Magic Flute 

are being constructed in the COC's Prop Shop, the larger set pieces are the domain of the Scene Shop.

UPDATE: Commenter Bruce McMullan below, former technical director at the COC, gives a corrected history of the building: 

"Just to correct your history about the former use of the Melita Street shop. The COC initially rented and ultimately purchased this facility in 1983 from a Mr Weinstein (not the NY producer). Mr. Weinstein was the "melon king of Toronto" and used the building for storage of all sorts of melons from around North America and then sold/distributed said melons to various chain stores in the GTA. (Much like the food warehouse on the Queensway.) At that point it had four truck bays for all the in and out movement. We closed off two of those bays in 1983 and the next year tore out the refrigerated rooms to open up the space. Overhead there is a 15 ton crane which still worked when we bought the place and it was helpful in transferring lumber etc. directly from trucks at the Northern loading doors to where it was needed in the shop. In 1987 we used the remaining funds raised to renovate 227 Front St to add a high bay in the centre of the shop to erect and test tall pieces of scenery. Unfortunately the crane was taken out of service as it had exposed electrical wires at 600 volts. (Think trolley cars) It was a very wise decision (on the part of John Leberg) to locate this building and convince the Board to buy it. One would have a hard time locating as suitable a structure in downtown anymore at the price we paid 27 years ago!"

The Scene Shop is where the sets and large pieces of stage furniture are built and where the scrims and backdrops are painted.

This maquette (miniature set mock-up) from The Magic Flute shows a large gate. 


Here's the gate as it appeared last month, mid-construction.


Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (7) / permalink


Gifts for the Opera Lover

[This is a guest post by Gianmarco Segato, our retail and editorial co-ordinator]

As the holiday season approaches, don’t forget that the COC’s online Opera Shop offers an array of items for the opera lover on your gift list! Even though the brick and mortar version of the Opera Shop is only open when the COC is in production at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, many of our items are available for purchase online.

If it’s a CD or DVD you’re after, check out our selection of COC season-related recordings (for example: The Magic Flute and Nixon in China).

We also offer a fine selection of opera glasses, without a doubt our most popular gift item. COC souvenirs include posters and mugs, and a baseball cap.

Gift certificates can be purchased in any denomination and are redeemable either for merchandise at the shop, or for tickets. Get your orders in early to ensure delivery in time for the holidays! If you don’t see what you’re looking for online, contact us directly by phone (416-306-2308) or by e-mail to ask about other operatic CDs, DVDs, books and gift items which we have in stock. Happy holiday shopping!

Posted by Gianmarco Segato / in Opera Shop / comments (0) / permalink


Aida Live Chat this Saturday

Did you miss Aida during its run, or did you see it and wish you could hear the beautiful music again? Would you like the chance to talk with the artists about Aida and the experience of bringing it to the stage? This Saturday, avoid the malls and treat yourself to some Verdi instead. 

Accompanying this Saturday's broadcast of Aida on CBC Radio 2 at 1 p.m. EST, we'll be hosting a live chat on our website with members of the creative team. The exemplary Sondra Radvanovsky, whose role debut as Aida met with unanimous critical acclaim, will be joining the chat and answering questions from chatters. Also joining the chat and answering questions are Jill Grove (Amneris) and conductor Johannes Debus. Gianna Wichelow, the voice of the COC on our radio ads and podcasts, will host the conversation.

Whether you're excited to chat with the artists and your fellow opera-goers or would like to simply sit back and listen to the music, we hope you'll tune in. The chat will be hosted on the Aida broadcast page on our website, along with live audio streaming. 


Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / 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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