Parlando: The COC Blog


Free Concert Series Highlights for April

Infusion Dance

Believe it or not, it's finally springtime! Escape the April showers in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre where you'll experience fresh, new talent alongside long-time Free Concert Series favourites.

Thursday, April 2, 2015
12 — 1 p.m.
Chamber Connections: Brahms
Artists of The Glenn Gould School

Three exciting, international rising stars from The Glenn Gould School (pianist Jean-Sélim-Abdelmoula, violinist Cordelia Paw and horn player Mikhailo Babiak) unite to perform one of the undisputed highlights of the entire chamber music repertoire: Brahms’ Horn Trio in E-flat major, Op. 40. The program also features Bach's Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D Minor.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
12 — 1 p.m.
elegant equations
Peggy Baker Dance Projects

Celebrated choreographer Peggy Baker presents an intimate preview of locus plot, a full evening work set to premiere in her company’s upcoming season. locus plot takes the pristine mathematical underpinnings of locus (schematic renderings of mathematic formulae) and disrupts this abstraction with explosions, collapses and slides into dramatic dance-theatre scenes that refocus the dynamics of mathematics as charged interactions on a human level. The piece also showcases thrilling music by Canadian pianist and composer John Kameel Farah.

Thursday, April 21, 2015
12 — 1 p.m.
Raagini Dance
Bageshree Vaze, artistic director

Raagini Dance creator Bageshree Vaze reveals 21st-century Kathak and Indian classical dance aesthetics in a contemporary, global reality. Bageshree's dynamic solo performances and excerpts from the world premiere Kathak trio, Paratopia, highlight signature qualities of Kathak dance: complex footwork, sparkling pirouettes, intricate facial and hand gestural language and dynamic movements. The program includes live tabla music by Vineet Vyas.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
12 — 1 p.m.
The Futile Precaution: Highlights from The Barber of Seville
Artists of the COC Ensemble Studio

The young artists of the COC Ensemble Studio present highlights from one of the most beloved and sparkling works in the operatic repertoire: Rossini’s comic masterpiece, The Barber of Seville. Don't miss this sneak preview before the Ensemble Studio's special mainstage performance of the opera on May 15!

Thursday, April 30, 2015
12 — 1 p.m.
In Praise of Women: Music for Harpsichord
Stephen Hargreaves

American pianist Stephen Hargreaves presents a richly varied program of harpsichord music composed or inspired by women. Alongside harpsichord compositions by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre and Patricia Morehead, the concert features piano music by women transcribed for harpsichord, including Stephen's own transcription of Fleurs de France by the only female member of Les Six, Germain Tailleferre. Music celebrating women in mythology rounds out the program.


Banner Credit: Infusion Dance, 2014. Photo: Kevin Lloyd Photography

Posted by Kristin McKinnon / in Free Concert Series / comments (0) / permalink


In Memory: Joan Watson


We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our Principal Horn player, Joan Watson, on Thursday, March 12. Joan was a mainstay of the COC Orchestra for over 20 years, bringing her immense talent and indomitable spirit not only to the orchestra, but to the company as a whole. Her fortitude and strength was visible to the very end, even playing the first rehearsal for the company’s performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music earlier this month. Unfortunately, she was unable to participate in the tour. All of us at the COC offer our condolences to her husband, COC tuba player Scott Irvine, her family, and her many friends and colleagues. She will be greatly missed.

"Joan’s sudden passing is a great shock and loss for all of us. It is hard to imagine, that she won't be sitting in the Principal Horn chair any more - a chair she gave special distinction and authority to. She was a great force full of energy. Her passion for everything she was doing was exemplary. Interested in passing on her vast experience to the next generations, made her a highly estimated mentor and motivator for so many young musicians. It was her idea to bring our own COC Orchestra Academy into being. Until the very end of her life she was working on that project committedly. We hope that this project will further grow and blossom, giving us all an opportunity to keep her memory alive." — Johannes Debus, COC Music Director

Joan Watson (left) performs with artists of the COC Orchestra at the company’s 2015/2016 Season Announcement on January 14, 2015. 


Joan Watson and husband Scott Irvine perform in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, 2014. 


Joan Watson and COC Music Director Johannes Debus perform in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, 2014. 


Joan Watson performs in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, 2012.

Banner: Karen E. Reeves. Photos: Chris Hutcheson; Karen E. Reeves. 

Posted by Canadian Opera Company / in In Memory / comments (2) / permalink


March Break: Ideas for Family Fun


March Break is almost here! With the kids off from school for a week, it can be hard to find activities for the whole family to enjoy (while still maintaining a budget). Have no fear, the Canadian Opera Company is here to provide you with some fun, family-friendly options to help make this March Break a breathtaking one (without breaking the bank).

March 16

Registration opens for Youth Opera Lab: Vocal Health and Diction (The Barber of Seville)

Youth Opera Labs (YOL) are FREE events for teens and young adults ages 16 to 24, and no previous experience with opera is necessary! This YOL looks specifically at vocal health and diction, and features a vocal health Q&A with Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist Dr. Jennifer Anderson, an Italian diction workshop with Italian diction coach Francesco Pellegrino, and a viewing of a working rehearsal for the COC's The Barber of Seville. YOL participants are also given 2 tickets to watch the dress rehearsal for The Barber of Seville on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.!

Registration opens on March 16, with the YOL taking place on Saturday, April 11 from 12 to 4:30 p.m., but registration fills up quickly so be sure to register here ASAP!   

March 17

Free Concert Series: iPicante! (12 to 1 p.m.)

Spice up your March Break with Humber College’s Latin Jazz Ensemble, whose unique blend of Afro-Cuban and jazz sounds is guaranteed to get your salsa on. Percussive, melodic, zesty and always inspired, Humber College’s Latin Jazz Ensemble, led by Grammy and Juno Award-winner Hilario Durán, is a performance not to be missed at the Four Seasons Centre.

Free concert seats fill up quickly, so arrive early to ensure a seat! Doors open half an hour before the performance. Learn more about this performance and the Free Concert Series here.


March 19

Free Concert Series: Opera Interactive (12 to 1 p.m.)

Join opera comedienne Kyra Millan, collaborative pianist Christina Faye and COC Ensemble Studio bass-baritone Iain MacNeil in a lively interactive concert featuring favourite operatic arias and sing-along choruses. Audience members of all ages, including families with small children, can listen to, learn about and try their hand at the fascinating art of opera!

This free concert is an annual favorite, so arrive early to ensure a seat! Doors open half an hour before the performance. Learn more about this performance and the Free Concert Series here.

Artists of the COC Orchestra

Kyra Millan leads audience members in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Photo: Karen E. Reeves

March 22

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Building Tour (10:30 a.m.)

Discover why the acoustics of the R. Fraser Elliott Hall have been rated amongst the best in the world, visit private member lounges, and take in the architecture of the magnificent Isadore and Rosalie Sharp City Room. Then step behind the curtain of Canada’s first and only purpose-built opera house and walk in the footsteps of its greatest stars. With your backstage pass you will have the opportunity to see wardrobe and wig rooms, stars’ dressing rooms, the orchestra pit, green room, Karen Kain Dance Studio, and much more.

This tour is 90 minutes long and tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets for public tours can be purchased in advance online or at the FSC Box Office, 145 Queen St. W., Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets will also be available on the morning of the tour starting at 10 a.m. at the welcome desk located in the main lobby. Learn more about the building tour here.


Photo Credit (Title Image): Amy McConnell & William Sperandei Quartet performing as part of the Free Concert Series. Photo: Kevin Lloyd.  

Posted by Kiersten Hay / in Education / comments (0) / permalink

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