Parlando: The COC Blog


Talking Opera at North York Central Library

Last Thursday, Katherine Semcesen (our Senior Manager of Education and Outreach) travelled to the North York Central Library to chat about opera with a near-capacity crowd of over 150 people. Intended as a basic introduction to opera for those who are just beginning to explore the art form, Katherine covered the elements of opera, the origins and history of the form, and the complex process of bringing an opera from score to stage. Aida, our upcoming season opener and a work that exemplifies the beauty and grandeur of romantic Italian opera, was used as a reference point. 

We're looking forward to the next Opera Talk, which will be on Dec. 9 at the North York Central Library. The focus of this talk will be on the differences between the well-known works of opera's "standard repertoire" and more modern works from the 20th century and later, using Mozart's The Magic Flute and Adams' Nixon in China as a reference.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in Opera Appreciation / comments (0) / permalink


Eustache de Saint Pierre Visits the Four Seasons Centre

All visitors to the
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts this season will be treated to the sight of Auguste Rodin's Eustache de Saint Pierre, a bronze sculpture now on display at the top of the Grand Staircase. The sculpture was donated to the Art Gallery of Ontario by Joey and Toby Tanenbaum and is on loan to the COC for two years.

The sculpture depicts a heroic figure from the Hundred Years War between England and France. The French town of Calais, which had been under siege by the English for over a year, had been reduced to a state of famine and desperation. Edward III, the English King, agreed to spare the city from starvation only if six of its wealthy and powerful men offered up their lives for execution and surrendered the keys to the city. Eustache de Saint Pierre, the man depicted in the sculpture, was the first to volunteer and the five others soon followed suit. In the end, they were not forced to lay down their lives—Philippa of Hainault, the English Queen, was expecting a child and, fearing that their deaths would be a bad omen for her child, pardoned the men. In Rodin's famous collection, the Burghers of Calais (to which Eustache de Saint Pierre belongs) the six emaciated men are depicted in sackcloth with nooses around their necks, their posture showing fear and resignation as they prepare for their act of self-sacrifice.

Ingrid Mida of Fashion is My Muse was also present at the unveiling and has published a selection of her own photos on her blog.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in Four Seasons Centre / comments (0) / permalink


A Look at the Aida Trumpets

What would the Triumphal March be without its trumpets? Our newest podcast features an instrument designed specifically for performances of Verdi's Aida: the elongated Aida trumpet. In this podcast, Gianna Wichelow speaks with Herb Poole, an instrument builder and member of the COC Orchestra. They discuss the history of the Aida trumpet, outline how it differs from an ordinary trumpet, and delve into the history of Herb's instrument-building practice (including his contribution to the COC's Der Ring des Nibelungen in 2006).

These trumpets are a very beautiful addition to Aida (although, unfortunately, they won't be seen on stage). We've assembled some more photos below!


Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (4) / permalink

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



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