Parlando: The COC Blog


An Unexpected Evening of Shakespeare

Tickets for our winter operas went on sale Monday morning, for performances in late January and February. The winter run may seem far away, but there are plenty of opportunities for operatic fun in the meantime! This Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m., Against the Grain Theatre, a brand-new theatre company, will be presenting An Unexpected Evening of Shakespeare at Heliconian Hall (35 Hazelton Ave). The program will include theatrical and operatic selections inspired by Shakespeare (meaning lots of Verdi), and beer is available to sip during the performance. The cost is Pay-What-You-Can, with a suggested donation of $20.

Many of the performers have worked closely with the COC, including: 

  • Joel Ivany (the founder and artistic director), a COC assistant director of productions including La Bohème and our upcoming Orfeo ed Euridice
  • Miriam Khalil, soprano and Ensemble Studio alumna 
  • Adam Luther, tenor, also a graduate of the Ensemble Studio
  • Christopher Mokrzewski, also an Ensemble Studio graduate and the current music director of Isis and the Seven Scorpions
  • Gene Wu, a current member of the COC Chorus
  • Carol Gimbel, a violist who has played with the COC Orchestra
  • Keith Klassen, who has performed in our Free Concert Series

This promises to be a very laid-back, fun, and unique night of music and theatre . . . especially if you've ever found yourself wishing that the practice of enjoying a nice beverage during performances hadn't fallen out of fashion.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in Opera Appreciation / comments (2) / permalink


Take a Bite!

In the 19th century it wasn't unusual for audiences to eat during an opera, and performances at Bayreuth even now allow enough time between acts for a substantial meal. While we don't encourage bringing snacks into the theatre, that doesn't mean that eating and opera don't make for a delightful pairing.

As part of our Opera for a New Age program, we're offering the under-30 crowd a unique experience at the hip Gladstone Hotel. After feasting on a delicious brunch with people from the creative team, Bite-ers will head East on Queen Street to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts to catch an Aida matinee. The $42 price tag includes both your meal and your opera ticket.

Here's the official Bite Series page, with all the information you need to save your spot. As readers of our blog will know, there are plenty of reasons to see Aida; as for the brunch, I'll let the menu speak for itself:


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


Joan Sutherland, 1926-2010

As many of you may have heard, legendary Australian soprano Joan Sutherland died yesterday (Oct. 11) at the age of 83. Named La Stupenda by her admirers, she could navigate florid coloratura passages with remarkable ease and excelled in difficult bel canto roles such as Lucia and Norma. Luciano Pavarotti called her "the greatest coloratura soprano of all time."

Joan Sutherland performed with the COC in four roles during Lotfi Mansouri's tenure as General Director: in Norma (1981, with Tatiana Troyanos as Adalgisa), Anna Bolena (1984, with Judith Forst as Giovanna Seymour), Hamlet (1985, as Ophelia) and Adriana Lecouvreur (1987). Her COC performances as Anna Bolena and Norma survive on DVD. Here's a scene from the COC's 1984 production of Anna Bolena, where her gifts as one of the foremost bel canto interpreters of the 20th century are fully in evidence:     


Posted by Cecily Carver / in Opera Appreciation / 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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