• In Tribute

    By Canadian Opera Company


    The COC is saddened to learn that Brian Macdonald, one of Canada’s pre-eminent theatre and opera directors, passed away over the weekend. Although Brian directed the COC’s 1991 production of La Traviata, he was best-known to COC audiences for his classic production of Madama Butterfly, first created for the COC in 1990. 



    “Brian’s Madama Butterfly has been a pillar of the Canadian Opera Company’s repertoire since 1990 and it was a privilege to get to know him this past fall for our revival of the production. He was able to inspire two casts to deliver two very different interpretations of this classic work, while still honouring the integrity of his personal vision. The affection and warmth he showed the artists was extraordinary to behold. His Madama Butterfly will be his legacy to the COC.”

    – Alexander Neef





    As we launched this year’s season with his sixth revival of Madama Butterfly, Brian spoke with us about his production in the video clip below.

    Brian Macdonald’s other opera work took him all over the world where he staged productions for Teatro all Scala, Opera Australia, and New York City Opera, among others. He is a Canadian legend.

    “Brian Macdonald is one of those all-too-rare opera directors who serve the composer, not his own ego.”

    Now Toronto, 2009

    For a more complete biography: 


    Photo Credits (top-down): Kelly Kaduce as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly (COC, 2014). Photo: Michael Cooper. (l-r) Cornelis Opthof as Sharpless and Yoko Watanabe as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly (COC, 1990). Photo: Michael Cooper.
    Posted in In Tribute


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