Showcase Series

Taking place in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the Showcase Series features artists and creatives from the Asian, African and Caribbean, and Latin American diasporas, to celebrate and amplify voices of colour through creative expression, storytelling, and cultural participation.

The final cycle of the season will present four events that feature a variety of cultural identities from the Asian diasporas in Toronto. Join us as we experience performances from The National Ballet of Canada, re-imagined classical vocal music in "full colour," folkloric music from the Levant region, and Kundiman Art Song.

Performance Information

Performances take place in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. All events are FREE but require registration. Group registration for schools or community groups over five is required. Register online, through [email protected] (school groups only), or call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231 to reserve your spot.

It is our policy to overbook. In the event of reaching full capacity, your reservation may not guarantee admission. Unclaimed reservations will be released to a standby line 10 minutes prior to the start of the program. We recommend that you arrive at least 20 minutes before the event start time.

Limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis for 120 guests. Once these seats are filled, all other guests will be standing for the duration of the performance.

Thursday, May 2
12–1 P.M.

'In Motion' with the National Ballet of Canada

Join Second Soloist Kota Sato and Corps de Ballet member Nio Hirano from The National Ballet of Canada, as they share their personal journeys to becoming dancers and what it takes to achieve this dream. In this interactive session, audience members will learn about different paths to excelling in various levels of a ballet company, experience a short performance, and engage in a Question & Answer period with the artists.


Thursday, May 16
12–1 P.M.

Opéra Queens

The Opéra Queens are thrilled to present their 3rd annual Gaysian Gala celebration, spotlighting its AAPI contingent of artists, including tenor Mike Fan | 范祖铭 (they/them), sopranos Thera Barclay (she/her) and Christina Hae-Kyung Yun (she/her), and pianist Jingyi Zhou | 周婧怡 (she/her). The Opéra Queens are pleased to showcase a wide-ranging, gender-bending program in six languages spanning opera, song, and musical theatre in works old and new, including Madama Butterfly, Lakmé, The Land of Smiles, and more. As well, performers will discuss AAPI solidarity, unpacking the complexities and challenges that remain to be tackled in both the opera industry and across the globe.


Thursday, May 23
12–1 P.M.

Journeys through Filipino Kundiman

Filipina-Canadian pianist Irene Gregorio collaborates with celebrated Filipino tenor, Sal Malaki (LA Opera & LA Master Chorale) to present a concert of Philippine Art Songs, popularly known as "Kundiman"—a genre of romantic songs that arose out of encounters with Spanish rule and colonization for more than 300 years, as well as the Japanese and American occupation in the 1900s. Themes of hope and love of the motherland were expressed through metaphor in these songs as an act of resistance and awakening. In this concert, Sal and Irene will present some of the most beloved Kundiman, and explain how it has fortified their sense of Filipino identity, reconnecting them with the fascinating history through songs.


Wednesday, May 29
5:30–6:30 P.M.

Scenes from Home

Scenes from Home
is a personal glimpse into childhood stories and melodies. The concert features stories of love, resilience, hope, and celebration through songs, with repertoire provided by Dozan World, an initiative seeded in the region of the Levant, and performed by the 'Uṣul ensemble along with professional singers for an evening of unity, beauty and harmony. With every story, a song is born, and this concert will consist of a bundle of stories reflecting on the region's heritage and beautiful traditions, a blend of authenticity and modernity through an interwoven interpretation. It is the artists’ collective hope to provide you with a glimpse of them as people, a glimpse of their music, and of their stories—those that have long been told, and those which are yearning to be told.


Meet the Artists


Kota Sato was born in Tokyo, Japan and trained at the Shimura Ballet School in Japan. When he was 15 years old, he received a scholarship from Youth America Grand Prix and was also accepted at Canada’s National Ballet School.

Kota joined The National Ballet of Canada as a RBC Apprentice in 2012 and was promoted to Second Soloist in 2019.

Recently, Kota made his debut as Peter/The Nutcracker in The Nutcracker and performed in the world premiere of Wayne McGregor’s MADDADDAM and the Canadian premiere of David Dawson’s Anima Animus. He has also danced such roles as Rothbart in Swan Lake, Levin in Anna Karenina, Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, and other various contemporary works.

Kota was awarded the Patron Award of Merit in 2019.

Nio Hirano was born in Tokyo, Japan and trained at Pacific Dance Centre in Victoria, British Columbia during her childhood before moving with her family to New York at the age of eleven. There, she trained at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of ABT, Greenwich Ballet Academy, and Ellison Ballet. 

At 17, she moved to Amsterdam to train with the European School of Ballet on an exchange program with the National Ballet School (Toronto), after which she got a short-term contract with Capitole de Toulouse where she worked for three months before moving to Hong Kong to work for the Hong Kong Ballet in 2021. She joined The National Ballet of Canada as a Corps de Ballet member in 2023


“The most vulnerable” operatic tenor Mike Fan | 范祖铭 (they/them), whose "dramatic side is remarkable” (Barcza Blog) has performed in 11 languages “sung extremely well and acted even better” (Opera Ramblings) for organizations across North America, Europe, and Australia, including Pacific Opera Victoria, Le Monument National, and Tampere Conservatoire. Mike’s multi-disciplinary repertoire includes Mozart’s Don Ottavio, Tchaikovsky’s Tatyana, as well as film and theatre credits. Recent engagements include Mike’s COC company début in Beethoven’s Fidelio, Elder Gleaton and Sam Polk in Floyd’s Susannah with Toronto City Opera, and the world première of Chan’s Dragon’s Tale with Tapestry Opera, Luminato Festival, Soundstreams, and Harbourfront Centre. Mike is founding Artistic Director of Opéra Queens and renowned as opera’s drag diva Tanya Smania (she/them). Mike holds degrees in Biomedical Science, Opera & Voice, Speech, Arts & Drama, and Piano Performance. Stay tuned at and on socials @MikeZFan.

Opéra Queens
presents classical music in FULL COLOUR: majority QTBIPOC+ in drag, gender-bent, and queerified! This proudly Canadian indie opera company reinvents canon works such as Bizet’s Carmen and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin while commissioning new works by marginalized creators including Morgan-Paige Melbourne and Dr. Jay Marchand Knight. Live productions include A Night of 1000 Cleopatras and Tanya’s Secret while full-length films include Drama Queens and Latin Night now streaming via Vimeo on Demand. Opéra Queens recently made a sold-out Edinburgh début with the High Commission of Canada in the UK. Other collaborations highlights include engagements with Canada’s National Ballet School, Rainbow Reels Queer & Trans Film Festival, and Jeunesses musicales. Opera Queens is grateful for support from many organizations including Conseil des arts du Canada, Waterloo Public Library, Queer McGill, and more. To learn more, visit or on social media @OperaQueens!  

Born in Ottawa, Thera Barclay (she/her) is in demand as an interpreter of operatic, recital, and concert repertoire, and has graced stages across Canada, Europe, and the United States. Recent performance highlights include Esmeralda (Prodaná nevěsta), Marie (La fille du régiment), Marzelline (Fidelio), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), and Barbarina (The Marriage of Figaro). Her Opéra Queens début was creating the role of Arsinoë in Dr. Jay Marchand Knight’s newly commissioned opera Cleopatra Built presented in collaboration with the Watershed Festival and Queens University. She will be making her upcoming debut in June 2024 as Flora in Opera 5's production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. Ms. Barclay has a vested interest in curly hair products and craft beer. 

Christina Yun (she/her) is a versatile artist, educator, and administrator hailing from Mississauga. She received her Masters at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Susanne Mentzer and Bachelors at Wilfrid Laurier University with Leslie Fagan. She has performed with Musicians Without Borders Canada, Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, Halifax Summer Opera, Good Mess Opera Theatre, and the Centre of Opera Studies in Italy in a diverse range of roles from the title roles of Madama Butterfly and Suor Angelica (Puccini, Spotlight on Opera 2023) to Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart). Her many Opéra Queens performances include Lensky (Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky), creating the role of Nile (Cleopatra Built, Marchand Knight), and Theatre Direct’s 2023 Forward March Festival. She is an avid supporter of vocal physiology and its importance in the fundamentals of pedagogy through the exploration of playfulness and unique expression. Catch her next performances at

Originally from Suzhou, China, pianist Jingyi Zhou | 周婧怡 (she/her) has performed recitals and chamber music in the United States, Canada, Austria, Spain, and her homeland. She has been honoured with several awards and scholarships, including the Yamaha Competition, Asian Music Competition, Chinese Government Study Abroad Scholarship, and William Weaver’s Prize in Music and Language. Jingyi made her Opéra Queens in 2023 in a presentation of the company’s Drama Queens programme at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Music in collaboration with the Office of the Associate Vice President, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. With a Bachelor of Music from Bard Conservatory and a BA in German Studies, she recently received her Master’s degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Toronto. Alongside her musical pursuits, Jingyi works as a photographer, specializing in portrait photography.


Dr. Irene Gregorio enjoys a diverse and active musical life as a pianist, music director and educator. She has collaborated in recital with members of the LA Phil, San Francisco and Toronto Symphonies, and served as pianist for the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, LA Opera, the University of Southern California Chamber Singers and the Mendocino Music Festival. Currently she is Pianist/Musical Assistant of the esteemed Toronto Mendelssohn Choir - one of Canada's largest and oldest choirs, and has served as pianist of the Ontario Youth Choir and the National Youth Choir of Canada. She has also appeared on PBS, CBC Radio 2, and on film soundtracks in the LA area.

She believes that music is a powerful agent for social justice, and has been actively involved in community outreach programs with groups such as Street Symphony in Los Angeles, a non-profit organization that creates musical connections with underserved and incarcerated communities in Skid Row and beyond. A proud Filipina-Canadian, she has served her community as a board member of the Centre for Filipino Studies and the Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles.  Her doctoral study centered around post-colonial perspectives of the Filipino art song form called the kundiman, and she intends to publish a performing edition of these works. 

Acclaimed Filipino tenor Sal Malaki beams with pride and joy being a Hinunangnon and an outstanding son of Southern Leyte. He is one of the most seasoned artists of the Los Angeles Opera Company and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. He is an esteemed member of both the LAOC and the LAMC in more than 29 seasons, performing in more than 150 opera productions since joining the LA Opera in over 80 different operas presented in their original languages.

Sal graduated with two degrees from the University of the Philippines College of Music (BM - Voice Major; TD - Flute Major). He was a faculty at the UP College of Music and was a Voice Department chairman at St. Scholastica’s College, Manila. During his UP days, he became a member and soloist of the UP Madrigal Singers. He is the only Filipino (or Asian for that matter) who sings regularly in both the LA Opera Company and the LA Master Chorale for 29 seasons and counting.

José Molina grew up in a musical family. His father saw to it that the entire family, including cousins, received music lessons. His brother Arturo conducts the Manila Symphony and his sister is a professional cellist. José attended the University of Victoria on a full scholarship, was a winner of the University Concerto Competition, and upon graduation, was invited to join the Faculty String Quartet.

A seasoned orchestral musician, José has played with the Victoria, Thunder Bay, Kitchener, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick Symphony Orchestras. He has also served as an adjunct instructor of violin at Lakehead University. Jose is the concert-master of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra, the first violinist of the Artelli String Quartet, and a member of SAA. A self-described "violin-freak," José regularly travels to Cremona, the violin capitol of the world.

Seeded in the rich soil of the Levant, rooted in the Middle East and flowering far beyond geographical barriers, Dozan World gathers artists unified in preserving the music of what we call home and keeping the stories of our cultures alive. Our aim is to honor the past while moving up with times, blending tradition with the modern. We congregate to celebrate the stories in our songs and the movement in our melodies and to give voice to the voiceless.

We nurture music creation, promote indigenous, folkloric, and modern choral and instrumental music, and deepen the world's knowledge and appreciation of music through performances, teaching, composition arrangements, recording, and publishing.

Dr. Shireen Abu-Khader is a Palestinian-Jordanian Canadian composer and educator with degrees in music education and choral conducting from the University of Toronto, the University of Southern California, and Oberlin Conservatory. After working with the National Conservatory of Music in Palestine from 1998 to 2000, she returned to Jordan and in 2002 founded Dozan wa Awtar Music Establishment. Her CD "Introducing Dozan" was released in 2008. Based in Toronto now, Shireen composes and collaborates with performers in introducing music from her native region. She has recently founded Dozan World, which aims to increase international access to this repertoire through music publishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

All events are free but registration is strongly recommended. Group registration for schools or community groups over 5 is required. Register online, through [email protected] (school groups only) or call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231 to reserve your spot.
As this program in free, we do anticipate a number of ticket holders will not be able to join us. For that reason, unclaimed reservations will be released to a standby line 10 minutes prior to the start of the program.
There is no late seating for performances in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre and re-admittance during the performance cannot be accommodated.

We recommend that you arrive at least 20 minutes before the event start time and remain for the duration of the performance.


Phone: 416-363-8231

Toll Free: 1-800-250-4653

Contact Page

Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube