Digital Audio Series

Key Change
is the COC’s new 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 bi-weekly 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 4: Making Theatre Magic

Co-hosts Robyn Grant-Moran and Julie McIsaac explore how the visual elements of an opera production come together to create “magic” on stage. They speak to special guests, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada and a big fan of Wagner's Parsifal, acclaimed Canadian set and costume designer Michael Levine, and the COC’s own costume supervisor, Sandra Corazza, who shares her tricks of the trade.

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The Right Honourable ADRIENNE CLARKSON

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Canada’s 26th Governor General (1999-2005), is universally acknowledged to have transformed the office and to have left an indelible mark on Canada’s history. She arrived in Canada from Hong Kong with her family in 1942 and made the astonishing journey from child refugee to accomplished broadcaster, journalist, and distinguished public servant in a multi-faceted lifetime. Her legacy foundation, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship helps all new citizens to be included and to belong in the fabric of Canada.

Photo: Alyssa Faoro


Canadian Michael Levine’s previous work at the COC includes designing Eugene Onegin, Dialogues des Carmélites, Rigoletto, the Ring Cycle, Oedipus Rex with Symphony of Psalms and Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung, as well as directing Das Rheingold. Recent credits include The Rape of Lucretia (Deutsche Oper); Eugene Onegin (Grand Théâtre de Genève); The Magic Flute (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence); Dialogues des Carmélites (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden); and I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Opéra national de Paris). Mr. Levine has won a Gemini, multiple Dora Awards, Paris Critics’ Prize, Edinburgh Festival Drama and Music Award and is a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres in France.


Learn more about the COC's 2022/2023 production of Wagner's Parsifal


Photo credits: Scenes from the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Parsifal, 2013, photo: Ken Howard


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

Wagner’s Parsifal. Herbert von Karajan, conductor, with the Berliner Philharmoniker; Deutsche Grammophon, 1981

Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites. Pierre Dervaux, conductor with the Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris; EMI, 1958 (digitally remastered in 2004).



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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