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 21: Speranza Scappucci and Macbeth

Explore this season’s brand-new production of Verdi’s Macbeth alongside the show’s internationally renowned conductor, Speranza Scappucci! Last heard by COC audiences in our acclaimed 2020 production of The Barber of Seville, Scappucci shares her perspective on key moments in the score, and brings both expertise and excitement to discussing the roles of the conductor and orchestra.

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Italian-born Speranza Scappucci, a graduate of the Juilliard School and the Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia in Rome, is an internationally known conductor who works regularly at major opera houses including recent appearances in Vienna, Rome, Barcelona, Zürich, Los Angeles, and New York. Since 2017, she holds the position of Musical Director at the Royal Opéra de Wallonie in Liège and is considered one of the most interesting conductors of her generation.


Speranza Scappucci 

Speranza Scappucci on conducting The Barber of Seville 

Opera News: Natural Talent - Roman conductor Speranza Scappucci is one of classical music’s brightest stars. 

The Guardian: Jeannette Winterson on writing a cover version of Shakespeare 

Much Ado About Nothing (1993) Trailer 

Romeo and Juliet (1996) Trailer 

The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) Trailer 


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

Excerpt from Verdi’s Macbeth. Franz Welser-Möst, conductor, with the Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House. 2001.

“Vieni! T’affretta!” from Verdi’s Macbeth. Birgit Nilsson as Lady Macbeth. Argeo Quadri, conductor, with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Decca, 1964.

“Mi si affaccia un pugnal?” from Verdi’s Macbeth. Sherrill Milnes as Macbeth. Karl Böhm, conductor, with the Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper. Opera D’Oro, 1999.

“Salve o re” from Verdi’s Macbeth. Giuseppe Sinopoli, conductor, with the Orchester und Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin. Universal, 1984.

“Patria oppressa!” from Verdi’s Macbeth. Riccardo Muti, conductor, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. CSO Resound, 2018.

“I’m Kissing You” by Dess’ree from the album William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet: Music from the Motion Picture. Sony Music, 1997.

“Oh! quante volte” from Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. Natalie Dessay. Evelino Pidò, conductor, with the Concerto Köln. Virgin Classics, EMI, 2007.



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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