MEDIA CENTRE

Welcome to the Canadian Opera Company Media Centre. It contains resources for the media including media releases and downloadable photos of COC leadership and productions for publication where relevant.  The images are available to members of the media for print and online promotion of the Canadian Opera Company and its events only.

For general inquiries, including interview requests, please contact:

Avril Sequeira, Director of Public Relations
[email protected]
416-306-2387

Kristin McKinnon, Publicist and Content Producer
[email protected] 
416-306-2383


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PRESS RELEASES

  • CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY TO STREAM HADRIAN IN FREE, ONE-NIGHT-ONLY PRESENTATION, FEATURING LIVE Q&A

    By Public Relations
    Read the PDF version here.

    The
    Hadrian Watch Party is part of Montréal Pride Festival’s digital lineup

    Toronto
    – For the first time ever, audiences around the world will have a special opportunity to watch the Canadian Opera Company’s 2018 world premiere production of Hadrian, in full, online. On Monday, August 10 at 6:30 p.m. ET, in partnership with Montréal Pride Festival, the COC is hosting a free, one-night-only digital stream of the modern grand opera. The Hadrian Watch Party helps kick off one week of virtual Pride events and will feature a live Q&A session with both the composer and celebrated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright and librettist Daniel MacIvor, a giant in Canadian theatre.

    “This is the first time that Hadrian is being shared in its entirety online and the first time that the COC is presenting one of our operas using high-quality digital footage,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “It feels particularly fitting for a production that was also the first COC-commissioned opera to debut on our stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.”

    “Beyond Rufus’ natural connection to Montreal, the city where he grew up, having Hadrian featured as part of Montréal Pride Festival this year is especially meaningful,” adds Neef. “In bringing this opera to our stage, we wanted the world to know Hadrian and Antinous’ story. By sharing it once more through this digital collaboration, we hope that it will reach a global audience, helping to reclaim this long-forgotten piece of history.”

    The ground-breaking production puts an overdue spotlight on one of history’s greatest romances between Hadrian, ruler of the Roman Empire, and his beloved Antinous. The opera’s all-star cast is headlined by American baritone Thomas Hampson as Hadrian, Canadian tenor Isaiah Bell as Antinous, Finnish soprano Karita Mattila as Plotina, and Canadian soprano Ambur Braid as Sabina. Director Peter Hinton is joined by an accomplished Canadian creative team; striking sets, paired with dramatic lighting and rich costume design, create an ethereal experience, fully transporting a 21st-century audience into this ancient, and important, story.

    With its blend of history, political intrigue, and fantastical invention, woven into a heartbreaking love story, Hadrian gives one of history’s greatest queer romances the full, grand opera treatment. The evening’s streamed performance will feature cinematic, multi-camera footage, bringing audiences closer than ever to the production’s blockbuster soloists, the renowned COC Orchestra, led by COC Music Director Johannes Debus, and the COC Chorus, led by Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst.

    This digital event is free but requires advance registration at coc.ca/Hadrian.

    Throughout the performance, audience members can tweet questions for the live Q&A to follow, using the hashtag #HadrianWatchParty.

    Hadrian is sung in English and Latin and will be streamed by the COC with English subtitles.

    Critical Praise for Hadrian

    “A gay love story that speaks to our time.”
    - The New York Times

    “It was a truly grand spectacle, with stunning visuals from the set, costumes, video projections, and positioning of cast, chorus and five male dancers.”
    - Toronto Star

    “The orchestra bubbles with eclectic sounds and stunning, pared-down moments of chamber music. The score makes nods to Satie, Debussy, Puccini and Mahler… There’s a fun sextet that feels like a modern version of the sexy Carmen quintet.”
    - The Globe and Mail

    What Our Audiences Shared

    “Saw the @CanadianOpera and @rufuswainwright’s incredible Hadrian today, a wonderful ode to passionate and ancient LGBT love (with such exquisite design). 10/10 do recommend.”
    - Sasky Stewart (@Sasky)

    “Hadrian deserves to be widely heard. In dark and challenging times, light and beauty in music makes a difference. Unafraid to wear his love for the genre on his sleeve this a composer worth hearing.”
    - Gill Graham ‏ (@gg43)

    “Yesss to @CanadianOpera for commissioning #Hadrian. Stunning opening night performances! Bravi tutti!”
    - Colleen Renihan (@musicolleen)

    “Fantastic music Rufus Wainwright, fantastic libretto Daniel MacIvor, the singing + acting!!! An important and deeply moving opera.”
    - John Ralston Saul ‏ (@JohnRalstonSaul)


    CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM

    Hadrian

    Thomas Hampson

    Plotina

    Karita Mattila

    Trajan

    Roger Honeywell

    Turbo

    David Leigh

    Sabina

    Ambur Braid

    Antinous

    Isaiah Bell

    Hermogenes

    Gregory Dahl

    Lavia

    Anna-Sophie Neher

    Fabius

    John Mac Master

    Nervous Senator

    Thomas Glenn

    Sycophantic Senator

    Samuel Chan

    Superior Senator

    Joel Allison

    Dinarchus

    Ben Heppner

    Angelic Boy/Herald

    Madelaine Ringo-Stauble*+ and Josh Fralick*

     

     

    Conductor

    Johannes Debus

    Director

    Peter Hinton

    Set Designer

    Michael Gianfrancesco

    Costume Designer

    Gillian Gallow

    Lighting Designer

    Bonnie Beecher

    Projection Designer

    Laurie Shawn-Borzovoy

    Choreographer

    Denise Clarke

    Dramaturg

    Cori Ellison

    Price Family Chorus Master

    Sandra Horst

     

     

    Dancers

    Rodney Diverlus

     

    Robert Halley

     

    Gavin Law

     

    Jack Rennie

     

    Brett Andrew Taylor

     

     

    *Members of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company
    +This performance features Madelaine Ringo-Stauble

    ABOUT THE CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY
    Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience including a dedicated base of subscribers. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the company has an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation. Its diverse repertoire includes new commissions and productions, local and international collaborations with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracts the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC Academy is an incubator for the future of the art form, nurturing Canada’s new wave of opera creators with customized training and support. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. For more information, visit coc.ca. 

    - 30 -

    For more information, please contact:
    Avril Sequeira, Director of Public Relations, tel: 416-306-2387, email: [email protected]
    Kristin McKinnon, Publicist and Content Producer, tel: 416-306-2383, email: [email protected]

    Posted In Press Releases

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