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Avril Sequeira, Director of Public Relations
[email protected]

Davin Leivonen-Fok, Communications Coordinator
[email protected]


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    By Public Relations
    Read the PDF version here.

    – A dance–perhaps the most famous one in history–precedes a macabre kiss and untimely demise in Richard Strauss’ Salome, on stage this winter at the Canadian Opera Company. Under the direction of Academy Award nominee Atom Egoyan, the ground-breaking thriller that’s shocked audiences since its 1905 world premiere has been transformed into a powerful fusion of opera, dance, and film, starring Canadian soprano Ambur Braid in the demanding title role. Salome runs for seven performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on February 3, 5, 9, 11, 17, 19, and 24, 2023.

    Adapted from the Oscar Wilde play of the same name, the opera recounts the Biblical story of Salome, a tempestuous young princess whose obsession with the prisoner Jochanaan (John the Baptist) turns deadly when her feelings are roundly rejected. Hell-bent on revenge, she offers her lecherous stepfather, the king, a provocative dance in exchange for Jochanaan’s head.

    Ambur Braid returns to the COC following her “powerful” performance (Opera News) as Sabina in the world premiere of Hadrian (2018), by Rufus Wainwright and Daniel MacIvor. As Salome for Oper Frankfurt, the Ensemble Studio graduate’s depiction was hailed as a “watershed” moment (Opera Canada) with a radical and uncompromising portrayal that “[went] to the limit of a self-destructive portrait” (O-Ton).

    Braid is joined by Hadrian castmate and renowned Finnish soprano, Karita Mattila, who brings her “fabulous and fearlessly direct singing” (The Guardian) to the role of Salome’s mother, Herodias. Veteran Canadian tenor Michael Schade takes on the role of King Herod, returning to the COC after thrilling audiences with his darkly comic turn as Aegisth in COC’s Elektra (2019). German baritone Michael Kupfer-Radecky makes a COC and North American debut as ill-fated Jochanaan, and, in a role debut, French Canadian tenor Frédéric Antoun performs as Narraboth, a captain of Herod’s guard who is infatuated with cruel Salome.

    In Atom Egoyan’s interpretation, the storyline shifts from a first-century palace to an abstract and foreboding set by Derek McLane, drawing focus from the characters’ affluence and status to their inner machinations and motivations. Medical and military-inspired costumes from Catherine Zuber underscore an institutional feel, while lighting from Davida Tkach, based on original designs from Michael Whitfield–combined with elements of film and photography, as well as projections by Phillip Barker and shadow puppetry designed by Clea Minaker–  heighten the feeling of fixation and surveillance throughout the opera. Revival choreographer Julia Aplin leads original choreography from Serge Bennathan in staging the infamous Dance of the Seven Veils.

    COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts the COC Orchestra for Salome. Each performance will feature more than 90 musicians in the pit, helping to fully realize Strauss’ ambitious vision for an explosive score that would redefine modern storytelling.

    Salome is sung in German and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.

    Cast and Creative Team


    Ambur Braid


    Michael Kupfer-Radecky


    Michael Schade


    Karita Mattila


    Frédéric Antoun

    The Page

    Carolyn Sproule

    First Jew

    Owen McCausland

    Second Jew

    Michael Colvin

    Third Jew

    Jacques Arsenault

    Fourth Jew

    Adam Luther

    Fifth Jew

    Giles Tomkins

    First Nazarene

    Robert Pomakov

    Second Nazarene

    Jorell Williams

    First Soldier

    Vartan Gabrielian

    Second Soldier

    Scott Conner


    Alex Halliday

    An Attendant

    Alex Hetherington




    Johannes Debus

    Assistant Conductor

    Derek Bate


    Atom Egoyan

    Assistant Director

    Marilyn Gronsdal

    Set Designer

    Derek McLane

    Costume Designer

    Catherine Zuber

    Original Lighting Designer

    Michael Whitfield

    Revival Lighting Designer

    Davida Tkach

    Projections Designer

    Phillip Barker

    Original Choreographer

    Serge Bennathan

    Revival Choreographer

    Julia Aplin

    Shadow Designer

    Clea Minaker

    Stage Manager

    Jen Kowal

    With the COC Orchestra and COC Chorus


    Single tickets for Salome 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 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


    Season Sponsor: BMO Financial Group

    This production of Salome is generously underwritten, in part, by: Hatch

    Ambur Braid is generously sponsored by: Rogers

    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.

    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

    – 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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