Showcase SeriesTaking place in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the Showcase Series features artists and creatives from the Asian, African and Caribbean, and Latin American diasporas, to celebrate and amplify voices of colour through creative expression, storytelling, and cultural participation.
This series continues to fulfill the Canadian Opera Company's mandate for increased access to the arts through developing new relationships and partnerships with diverse communities and championing culturally responsive and engaged learning opportunities.
October 2023: Latin American Heritage MonthThis series will present four events that feature a variety of cultural identities of artists and creatives from the Latin American community in Toronto—to tell stories through their art forms as a living, relevant form of cultural expression. Participants will have the opportunity to experience musical performances which feature Argentine Tango, Dominican Pambiche, Colombian Chamber music, and songs from Ibero-American composers.
Performances take place in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre from 12-1 p.m. All events are FREE but require registration. Group registration for schools or community groups over 5 is required. Register online, through [email protected] (school groups only), or call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231 to reserve your spot.It is our policy to overbook. In the event of reaching full capacity, your reservation may not guarantee admission. Unclaimed reservations will be released to a standby line 10 minutes prior to the start of the program. We recommend that you arrive at least 20 minutes before the event start time.
Limited seating is available on a first-come-first-served basis for 120 guests. Once these seats are filled, all other guests will be standing for the duration of the performance.
DISTANCIA by Solidaridad Tango
Tango is the poetry of a city: the music of one, or many, caught in the surprise of passionate fate. DISTANCIA, by Solidaridad Tango, will take you on a journey through the despair of the pandemic to a celebration of life, love, and hope, that kept us going through our darkest hours. Bridging the distance from Toronto, to Buenos Aires, to Kandy in Sri Lanka, this show takes you on an emotional roller coaster of a journey that is a searing portrait of our times.
Featuring poetry and music by Sri Lankan-Canadian composer Aparna Halpé, and contemporary works by Argentine composers Pétalo Selser, Eva Wolff, and Julián Peralta, DISTANCIA rocks out with tango, rock, candombe, murga, milonga, and vannam rhythms and melodies that embody the diversity of this band of women who are changing the face and sound of tango. Described as “bringing tango forward” by Laura Fernandez, host of Jazz FM 91’s Café Latino, Solidaridad Tango band is a passionate embrace of life.
Conpambiche: An Afro-Dominican Jazz Experience
Dominican-born percussionist Junior Santos, and members of the Araguacu Latin Dance Company will join their talents and passions, inspired by their Latin roots to celebrate the colourful and dynamic characteristics of Dominican Republic folklore. Join us, as they present Pambiche, a dance music genre derived from Merengue Típico, originating on the Caribbean island in the late 1800's and known as the oldest style of dancing.
Quest for Belonging
“Quest for Belonging” is a musical journey that celebrates the richness of folkloric music from Ibero America. Obsidiana Duo presents the creative expressions of historically excluded composers from various countries that share a history of colonization and indoctrination. Despite being geographically distant, these composers and their nations have found unique ways to express their folk music, even while living abroad.
From Spain to Brazil, these compositions resonate with themes of immigration, freedom, love, and spirituality. Dive into the heart of diverse traditions, including the mesmerizing melodies of Cuban, Mexican, and Argentine dances. Join Obsidiana Duo in embracing the beauty of cultural diversity through this emotionally charged musical voyage, designed to captivate newcomers and seasoned classical music enthusiasts alike..
Reveries and Evocations: A Chamber Music Evening
TakeFive Ensemble takes you on a passionate musical tour of over 3 years of collaboration with Colombian-Canadian composer Felipe Téllez. His music is infused with contemporary styles from the Andean Region of Colombia, as well as traditional forms from Europe. Téllez’s music is a celebration of love and perseverance, and has been described as “virtuosic and expressive, with something for every musical taste”.
This concert includes music from Songs of Longing, and the more recent album, Evocations performed by the Canadian Studio Symphony. Join us for the Showcase Series first evening concert and engage with new chamber music repertoire.
Meet the Artists
Solidaridad is North America’s original all-woman, diversity-affirming tango ensemble. Founded in 2021 by Aparna Halpé, it creates fair work, professional development, and performance opportunities for women tango musicians. Solidaridad is proud to present new music by women tango composers and arrangers from around the world delivered in a historical performance style that keeps the old alive in the new. Following sold out performances in Toronto and Oregon, and headlining La Nuestra Tango Festival in NYC in 2022, the ensemble has been invited to tour their debut album in Buenos Aires, where they will perform at iconic tango venues, and at the Universidad de las Artes. Solidaridad’s debut album DISTANCIA (2023) is produced by Juno award-winning Michael Wojewoda, and features works by Aparna Halpé, Pétalo Selser, and Eva Wolff. Solidaridad is Aparna Halpé, Suhashini Arulanandam, Esme Allen-Creighton, Sybil Shanahan, Shannon Wojewoda, Elizabeth Acker, and Valeria Matzner.
Juno and Marty's Award nominee Junior Santos was born in the Dominican Republic and developed an early interest in music while watching his father's band rehearse in his backyard. As a child, he began exploring music on his own and soon realized that he had the talent and passion for rhythm; shortly after, his parents registered him at the Academy of Music in Puerto Plata, where he was taught theory and learned to read music and play percussion.
As a touring artist, he has performed/recorded with the likes of Laura Fernandez, Rick Lazar of Montuno Police, Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo, Zeynep Ozbilen, Roberto Linares Brown, Kalabash, Hilario Duran, and other Latin-influenced bands.
Junior Santos' work contributes to the showcasing and development of a unique rhythm of the Dominican Republic called Pambiche, a dance music genre derived from Merengue Tipico.
Araguacu Latin Dance Company is a professional dance company based in Toronto, Canada, and founded in 2013.
They are a collective of diverse cultures and talents focused on promoting Latin culture and dance through our infectious, passionate, and energetic love and appreciation for Salsa and Bachata. Araguacu’s primary aim is to remain true to the origins of dance, while promoting their own unique style of creative expression, and inspiring others to do the same.
Pianist Yolanda Tapia and singer Camila Montefusco co-founded Obsidiana Duo with a clear mission: to celebrate the vibrant tapestry of Ibero-American musical culture and give voice to composers who have been historically overlooked.
In preparation for their upcoming Winter Tour with Prairie Debut, the duo just completed their first artistic residency at the Banff Centre. This season they look forward to premiering a new commission by composer Alice Ho and writer Madeleine Thien, as well as curating a new program for their second national tour with Debut Atlantic in 2024-2025. Past achievements include First Prize at the 2022 Puerto Rico Collaborative Piano Competition and a Fellowship with Toronto Summer Music Festival.
Camila and Yolanda call Toronto home, where they explore unique routes in their personal artistic ventures. At the core of Obsidiana Duo’s mission is the desire to establish meaningful connections with their audiences while introducing a unique approach to the art song repertoire.
Felipe Téllez is a Colombian-Canadian composer and orchestrator. His work includes scores for the film and concert music world.
Felipe has composed for the Bogotá Philharmonic, the Colombian National Symphony Orchestra, the San Rafael Symphonic Band in Spain, and the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Felipe has also recorded and conducted his music with The Budapest Art Orchestra and at Abbey Road Studios in London with LSO players. Felipe has also conducted scores with chamber ensemble instrumentation with renowned players from the TSO, COC and Canadian National Ballet at Toronto’s Revolution Recording, Desert Fish, and Grayson-Matthews recording facilities. Felipe has also served as orchestrator for composer Brian D’Oliveira of La Hacienda Creative Studios in Montreal, having orchestrated a suite for the Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s live concert performance, in addition to providing assistance to other active composers.
Felipe continues to be involved in music education, holding several teaching positions at Sheridan College and having taught at the University of Toronto Music Technologies faculty. He is an in-demand composer and orchestrator, as well as sought-after collaborator in the world of instrument sampling (Soniccouture).
Formed in 2018, the TakeFive Ensemble comprises five of Canada’s most established and sought-after concert artists: acclaimed pianist Shoshana Telner and titled chair members of Toronto’s top symphony orchestras: violinists Lynn Kuo (Assistant Concertmaster of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra) and Csaba Koczó (Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra), violist Theresa Rudolph (Assistant Principal Viola of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra), and cellist Emmanuelle Beaulieu Bergeron (Associate Principal Cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra).
Frequently Asked Questions
We recommend that you arrive at least 20 minutes before the event start time and remain for the duration of the performance.