Free, insightful and informative chats are presented by COC Education staff and featured guest speakers, 45 minutes before every main stage COC performance.
Time/Duration: 20-minute chats, 45 minutes prior to every opera performance Tickets: No ticket necessary, free when you attend an opera. Arrive early as seating is limited.
2016/2017 Season Speakers
Stephan Bonfield is Lecturer in music, science and general studies at Ambrose University where he teaches the music history core program and advanced music theory. He is also research associate in an auditory neuroscience lab at the University of Calgary. Stephan runs his own music history and theory studio and is a senior examiner in both disciplines at the Royal Conservatory of Music. He is the dance critic for the Calgary Herald; reviews the performing arts at the Banff Centre plus new music concerts in Calgary. He now covers the National Ballet of Canada for Musical Toronto and lectures on opera for the Canadian Opera Company, Edmonton Opera and Against the Grain Theatre.
As Director of Education for Seattle Opera, Sue Elliott redesigned the company's public programs, commissioned Jack Perla’s An American Dream, and produced their most successful RingFest ever. A popular lecturer at home and abroad, she also hosted Saturday Night Opera on King-FM. At Houston Grand Opera, she created the award-winning Song of Houston initiative, including 19 new works that have served more than 400,000 people worldwide. Sue started in opera as a stage manager at the COC and worked in that capacity across the US. An accomplished clarinetist and pianist, Sue holds degrees from the University of Southern California, University of Toronto, and McGill. Currently, she directs The Royal Conservatory of Music’s new Teacher Certification and Network programs.
Wayne Gooding is a Toronto-based writer and editor of the quarterly magazine, Opera Canada. In his earlier incarnation as a business journalist, he wrote for such publications as The Financial Post, Report on Business, Policy Options and served as editor of Canadian Business, Marketing Magazine and Financial Post Magazine. Over the past decade, he has increasingly focused on a lifelong interest in opera and music theatre. Besides Opera Canada, his byline has appeared in Playbill, Opera Now and The Wagner Journal, among other publications, and he has given lectures and presentations across Canada. For the COC, he also gives the Opera Talks series at the North York Central Library.
Brian McMillan is the Director of the Music Library at Western University in London, Ontario. In addition to a Masters of Information Studies from the University of Toronto, he holds a bachelors and masters in voice performance from McGill University. He has sung professionally with several ensembles across Canada including the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, Aradia Ensemble, Quebec's Les Violons du roy, and the chorus of the Canadian Opera Company.
Gianmarco Segato is Adult Programs Manager for the COC in which capacity he writes for the company’s publications; programs and manages the Opera Insights, Opera Talks and Opera Connect programs and, has hosted the Big COC Podcast. He was previously manager of the COC’s Opera Shop. As a baritone, he has recently appeared in The Glenn Gould School’s production of Offenbach’s La belle Hélène; in Against the Grain Theatre’s Dora Award-winning Messiah (2013 and 2015) and, has sung roles with Opera by Request in Hamlet, Werther and Adriana Lecouvreur. He is an avid cyclist, cook and enjoys seeing opera wherever he travels.
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Photo Credit: COC © 2010