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

Davin Leivonen-Fok, Communications Coordinator
[email protected]
416-306-2330


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PRESS RELEASES

  • A MOZART MASTERPIECE DIALS UP THE DRAMA IN THE COC’S THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO

    By Public Relations
    Read the PDF version here.

    Toronto
    – On the night before the wedding, what could possibly go wrong? Just about everything in The Marriage of Figaro by W.A. Mozart. When a rich Count attempts to seduce his wife’s chambermaid just 24 hours before she walks down the aisle, Susanna and her fiancé Figaro join forces with the spurned Countess to deliver an unforgettable lesson in love. The satisfyingly subversive story of servants toppling nobility fittingly debuts at the Canadian Opera Company on the master composer’s birthday, with The Marriage of Figaro running for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on January 27, 29, February 2, 4, 10, 12, 16, and 18, 2023.

    The acclaimed Claus Guth production was originally commissioned by the Salzburg Festival to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth and was immediately labelled a “masterpiece” (Bloomberg). Inspired by the modern plays of August Strindberg and probing films of Ingmar Bergman, Guth’s concept strips away the farcical comedy often associated with opera buffa, opting instead for barbed humour, styled in a subdued palette that plays up the abstract drama of human relationships.

    Marcelo Buscaino of Brazil joins the creative team as Revival Director, alongside German set and costume designer Christian Schmidt, whose sparse and crumbling, monochromatic manor sets a surreal tone for the plot twists ahead. The opera’s action all leads up to a dramatic showdown in the garden, cleverly created here with shadows by video designer Andi A. Müller and lighting by Olaf Winter. In conversation with the Toronto Star, Schmidt has reflected the overall effect for audiences is that “everything is possible. But also, a little bit wrong.”

    Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni returns to Toronto as Figaro, following his stellar performance in the COC’s Maometto II (2016) which The Globe and Mail hailed as a “triumph.” Pisaroni is joined by two artists making COC debuts: American soprano Andrea Carroll, who brings her “vibrant, expressive singing” (Opera News) to the role of Susanna, and Australian soprano Lauren Fagan, who Opera Magazine has praised for “sing[ing] luminously,” as the Countess. Canadian bass-baritone and Ensemble graduate Gordon Bintner as the Count; Bintner most recently delighted COC audiences as Papageno this past spring in The Magic Flute and, previously, as the proud and callous title character in Eugene Onegin.

    Also returning to the COC mainstage are: American mezzo-soprano Emily Fons as the mischevious young page Cherubino, Canadian bass Robert Pomokov as Dr. Bartolo, American mezzo-soprano Helene Schneiderman as the housekeeper Marcellina, and Irish-Canadian tenor Michael Colvin as music teacher Don Basilio. Canadian baritone Doug MacNaughton and Canadian-American soprano Mireille Assselin round out the list of vocalists returning to Toronto, as the gardener Antonio and his daughter Barbarina, respectively, while Acadian tenor Jacques Arsenault makes a COC debut in the role of the judge Don Curzio. This particular production features the creation of Cherubim, an additional silent character seen throughout the opera, often manipulating other characters and representing love’s forceful push and pull; he is played by German actor Uli Kirsch, who reprises the role from 2016.

    One full century after Figaro’s creation, the prolific composer Johannes Brahms remarked, “It is totally beyond me how anyone could create anything so perfect.” Since then, music from the opera has featured in several films and television shows including Mad Men, The Shawshank Redemption, and The King’s Speech. British conductor Harry Bicket, current Music Director with Santa Fe Opera, returns to the COC podium to lead the company’s acclaimed COC Orchestra through one of Mozart’s most brilliant and powerful scores, alongside the COC Chorus guided by Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst.

    The Marriage of Figaro is sung in Italian and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.

    Cast and Creative Team

    Figaro

    Luca Pisaroni

    Susanna

    Andrea Carroll

    Count

    Gordon Bintner

    Cherubino

    Emily Fons

    Dr. Bartolo

    Robert Pomokov

    Marcellina

    Helene Schneiderman

    Don Basilio

    Michael Colvin

    Antonio

    Doug MacNaughton

    Barbarina

    Mireille Asselin

    Don Curzio

    Jacques Arsenault

    Cherubim

    Uli Kirsch

     

     

    Conductor

    Harry Bicket

    Assistant Conductor

    Simon Luti

    Original Director

    Claus Guth

    Revival Director

    Marcelo Buscaino

    Set & Costume Designer

    Christian Schmidt

    Lighting Designer

    Olaf Winter

    Video Designer

    Andi A. Müller

    Choreographer

    Ramses Sigl

    Price Family Chorus Master

    Sandra Horst

    Stage Manager

    Kate Porter

     

     

    With the COC Orchestra and COC Chorus


    TICKET INFORMATION

    Single tickets for The Marriage of Figaro range from $35 – $250 for adults, with Grand Ring seats available at $290 and $350, and $22 tickets available for guests between the ages of 16 and 29 through the COC’s Opera Under 30 program. Tickets can be purchased online at coc.ca or by calling the Four Seasons Centre Box Office at 416-363-8231. For more information on booking student groups, standing room, and rush tickets, as well as other specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, please visit coc.ca.

    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    Season Sponsor: BMO Financial Group

    Production underwritten in part by Howard & Sarah D. Solomon Foundation in honour of Alexander Neef.

    Production originally built by the Salzburg Festival in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth.

    The COC Orchestra is generously sponsored, in part, by:
    W. Bruce C. Bailey, in honour of Christie Darville, COC Deputy General Director, and Johannes Debus, COC Music Director

    Thank you to the entire COC community, including our COC Board of Directors, our Corporate Sponsors and Foundation Supportersgenerous public fundersunion partners, and — most critically — our audience. Your inspiring support ensures that opera flourishes, uniting global audiences and paving the way for a vibrant future.

    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. General Director Perryn Leech joined the company in 2021, forming a leadership team with Music Director Johannes Debus and Deputy General Director Christie Darville. The COC enjoys a loyal audience, including a dedicated base of subscribers, and 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 company is an incubator for the future of the art form, nurturing Canada’s new wave of opera performers and creators with customized training and support. The COC’s purpose-built opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, is 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, email: [email protected]
    Davin Leivonen-Fok, Communications Coordinator, email: [email protected]

    Posted In Press Releases

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