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 8: Opera & Activism – Part II

What does it mean to be both a conductor and a disruptor? Through his work with neurodiverse, prison and other marginalized communities, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser helps to extend the boundaries of classical music. Learn more about his boundary-breaking journey and his powerful experience with Washington National Opera in this insightful chat with co-hosts Robyn Grant-Moran and Julie McIsaac.

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A passionate communicator, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser brings clarity and meaning to the concert hall, fostering deep connections between audiences and performers. He is concurrently the Barrett Principal Education Conductor and Community Ambassador of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Artist in Residence and Community Ambassador of Symphony Nova Scotia. He served as Assistant Conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Associate Conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. Daniel has been re-invited to the San Francisco Symphony for six consecutive years and was Cover Conductor with the Washington National Opera in 2020. In the 2021 season, Daniel will debut with the Carnegie Hall Link-Up Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and others. Daniel was the subject of the 2020 CBC documentary, Disruptor Conductor.


Disruptor Conductor (CBC Documentary):

Symphony Nova Scotia:

Toronto Symphony Orchestra:

Washington National Opera's Blue:

Adam Johnson:

Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra:

San Francisco Symphony:

Kenneth Kellogg:

Aaron Crouch: 


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

Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23 by Chopin. Krystian Zimerman, piano. Deutsche Grammophon, 1988.

“Finale and End Title March” from John Williams’ Superman: The Movie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). John Williams, conductor, with the London Symphony Orchestra. Rhino/Warner Records, 2005 (originally released 1978).

First Movement of Symphony Fantastique in C Major, Op. 14 by Berlioz. Gennady Rozhdestvensky, conductor, with the Moscow RTV Symphony Orchestra. EMG Classical, 1968.

“Te Deum” from Puccini’s Tosca. Leo Nucci. Sir Georg Solti, conductor, with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Welsh National Opera Chorus. Decca, 1986.



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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