Digital Audio Series

Key Change
is the COC’s original podcast, co-hosted by classical singer and culture critic Robyn Grant-Moran, a member of the COC’s Circle of Artists, alongside stage director, dramaturg and COC Academy graduate Julie McIsaac. Our episodes explore the operagoing experience from a variety of perspectives, offering a fresh take on today's opera issues with special guests from the opera field and beyond.

Episode 20: Ambur Braid and Salome

Canadian soprano Ambur Braid provides fascinating insights into her upcoming title role in this winter’s Salome—exploring the past, present, and future of one of opera’s most complex leads. Join Braid in conversation with co-hosts Robyn Grant-Moran and Julie McIsaac.

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A series of sensational debuts have highlighted Canadian soprano Ambur Braid as a “revelation” since graduating from the COC Ensemble Studio. From Eva in Schreker’s Irrelohe for Opéra de Lyon to Salome in Barrie Kosky’s production for Oper Frankfurt, her sumptuous voice and enigmatic stage presence continue to leave a striking impression on audiences and critics alike. 


Ambur Braid

Harrison Parrott Artists: Ambur Braid

COC: Salome

OperaCanada: Oper Frankfurt’s Salome is a Watershed for Ambur Braid in the Title Role

Wikipedia: “Negging”


Key Change theme music: R. Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier. Herbert von Karajan, conductor, with the Philharmonia Orchestra; Warner Classics, 1956.

“Will you have Egypt with me” from Rufus Wainwright’s and Daniel MacIvor’s Hadrian. Ambur Braid. Johannes Debus, conductor, with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, 2018. 
Three excerpts from R. Strauss’s Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils; "Ah! Ich habe deinen Mund geküsst, Jochanaan" with Jessye Norman; “Wo ist er, dessen Sündenbecher jetzt voll ist?" with James Morris. Seiji Ozawa, conductor, with Staatskapelle Dresden. Decca Music, 1994. 
"Ah! Du wolltest mich nicht deinen Mund küssen lassen" from R. Strauss’ Salome. Maria Cebotari. Clemens Krauss, conductor, with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. Private recording, Walhall Eternity Series, 1947. 
"Ah! Du wolltest mich nicht deinen Mund küssen lassen" from R. Strauss’ Salome. Ljuba Welitsch. Fritz Reiner, conductor, with the Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera House. Opera Prima, 1952. 
Act II, scene 1 from Rudi Stephan’s Die ersten Menschen. Erna Schlüter. Winfried Zillig, conductor, with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony. Classical Moments, 1952. 
Overture from Verdi’s Macbeth. Claudio Abbado, conductor, with the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, Milan. Deutsche Grammophon, 1983.



Robyn Grant-Moran (Métis) is a classical singer, writer, and a jack of many trades who, in 2018 met the requirements to call herself a Bachelor of the Fine Arts at York University. That same year, Robyn participated in the Performance Criticism Training Program with Generator Toronto where she learned that theatre criticism can be used to push for more inclusive spaces and champion voices less heard and often misunderstood; so of course she fell in love. Since then, she’s been published in Alt.Theatre and Intermission Magazine, won the Nathan Cohen Award for Outstanding Emerging Critic, and joined the Canadian Opera Company’s Circle of Artists, to name a few. Robyn currently resides in Tkaronto (Toronto), weathering the pandemic with her wee rat dog in a box in the sky.


Canadian stage director Julie McIsaac was named the COC’s first Director/Dramaturg-in-Residence in 2019 and is now Lead Curator of Opera Everywhere, the company's reimagined 20/21 season. A versatile opera and theatre artist, her projects work towards reshaping and revitalizing the stories told on stage. During her residency with the COC, she served as Assistant Director on Joel Ivany's production of Hansel and Gretel (COC) and she is the Dramaturg and Director of the upcoming COC commission Fantasma, composed by COC Composer-in-Residence Ian Cusson with libretto by Colleen Murphy. Julie earned her Master’s degree in Theatre from the University of York (UK) and is also a graduate of Carleton University (Music) and the Canadian College of Performing Arts (Theatre Performance and Playwriting).


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