• Anatomy of an Opera: A Masked Ball

    By Danielle D'Ornellas Posted in A Masked Ball
  • A Masked Ball Listening Guide

    By Danielle D'Ornellas

    By Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager

    A Masked Ball Listening Guide

    Of Verdi’s middle-period operas, A Masked Ball (1859) is one of the few not to undergo extensive revisions following its initial run of performances. In contrast, Simon Boccanegra (1857/1881), La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny, 1862/1869) and Don Carlos (1867/1884) were significantly reworked after they premiered, and today are most often presented in their later versions, which means that different stages of Verdi’s artistic development co-exist side by side in those works, sometimes juxtaposed all too obviously.

    A Masked Ball, on the other hand, was composed relatively quickly. And for all of its variety of musical styles, it is an opera that moves forward in a user-friendly, easy-to-follow single span (compare that with the confusing, sudden chronological leaps one finds in Simon Boccanegra).

    Posted in A Masked Ball
  • Canada's Great Diva: Adrianne Pieczonka

    By Danielle D'Ornellas

    By Jennifer Pugsley, Media Relations Manager

     (centre) Adrianne Pieczonka as Elisabeth de Valois and the COC Chorus in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Don Carlos, 2007. Photo Michael Cooper

    In recent years, the Canadian Opera Company has lured Canada’s internationally acclaimed soprano Adrianne Pieczonka from the world’s stages of New York, London, Paris, Milan, Berlin, Vienna, Bayreuth and Salzburg to the Four Seasons Centre for one riveting performance after another. This winter, COC audiences are the first to witness Pieczonka in a role she calls “more dramatic than any other Verdi role I have sung to date” – Amelia in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera.

    “I have sung more lyric Verdi parts in the past, such as Alice Ford, Desdemona, Elisabetta and Amelia in Simon Boccanegra. For a time, I considered singing Aida and Elvira, but I realized that these roles didn’t fit me quite right, vocally. Amelia in Ballo fits better as it lies in a slight lower tessitura where my voice feels more comfortable,” she says.

    Posted in A Masked Ball


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