LSM Newswire

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Canadiam Opera Company


Toronto, Ontario During the 2008/09 season, the Canadian Opera Company hosted a variety of activities beyond the mainstage, aimed at opera novices and aficionados alike, attracting Torontonians and tourists to fresh and exciting experiences. Attendees were offered an abundance of diverse programming, from the incredibly popular Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, to guided tours of the critically-acclaimed opera house, as well as valuable education and outreach programs and exciting fundraising events. The COC is also proud to unveil new, innovative and interactive features on the COC website,

During the 2008/09 season, nearly 20,000 audience members of all backgrounds and ages enjoyed over 80 free events as part of the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. The Free Concert Series highlighted 45 Canadian composers, 5 world premieres and 600 artists, and featured events ranging from classical, jazz, and renaissance concerts to world music events and contemporary dance performances. "Three seasons in, the lunchtime performance series and its venue are an example to the world of the very best kind of sharing between the arts and its surrounding community." (Toronto Star). The 2009/10 series begins September 24, 2009 with a concert by the new and returning artists from the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio. The full 2009/10 performance schedule will be available soon at

In 2008/09, COC special projects and fundraising efforts benefitted from the generosity of its remarkable donors and supporters raising over $325,000. Operanation V, the COC's exclusive cocktail reception for young professionals, presented by TD Bank Financial Group, was held at the Four Seasons Centre in October 2008. Over 1,000 guests enjoyed a mixture of classic culture and a bohemian-inspired atmosphere based on Puccini's opera La Bohme, and raised more than $85,000. In April 2009, the Annual Fine Wine Auction was held at Crush Wine Bar and Restaurant. Two hundred and fifty wine lovers helped to raise over $90,000 by bidding on a collection of exquisite and hard-to-find wines from private cellars. On June 1, 2009, 100 golfers teed-off at the 15th annual Opera Golf Classic, presented by BMO Capital Markets and BMO Nesbitt Burns, at the Scarboro Golf and Country Club and raised over $150,000.

The COC is pushing its digital boundaries and adding new ways to connect with its audience through its newly renovated website, and social networking opportunities. The COC's website has undergone a substantial transformation to include a new look, interactive features and exclusive content. Developed by digital marketing services firm Delvinia Interactive and supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage, gives visitors the inside scoop on all things COC, including a new blog by General Director Alexander Neef. Users can test their opera knowledge with fun quizzes and polls, glossary of opera terms, journey through the COC production archives with a magical behind-the-scenes look at the making of the COC's Madama Butterfly, or become a COC history buff by exploring the historical timeline as it highlights company milestones with commemorative photos, posters, interviews and audio and video excerpts (see attached news release for more information). For up-to-the-minute news, web users can follow the COC on Twitter, join the COC's Facebook network or sign-up for eOpera, the COC's monthly e-newsletter, and receive company news right to their inbox. To sign up for eOpera or to check out the COC's latest tweets, visit

For over 20 years the COC's Ensemble Studio School Tour has delighted school children across Ontario. This year, the Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour introduced opera to 16,000 children from kindergarten to Grade 6 with performances of Dean Burry's The Brothers Grimm and Rossini's The Barber of Seville. The Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour returns to Ontario schools in November 2009 with Rossini's The Barber of Seville and a compilation of Rossini's and Massenet's Cinderella. In the GTA, the COC's popular After School Opera Program provided children ages seven to 12 with creative and fun after-school activities with an emphasis on the core elements that make up opera. The Toronto Opera Program celebrated its second year introducing "at risk" youth to opera while working alongside members of the Toronto Police Service and COC professional artist-educators to write and create an operatic performance. In July 2009, the COC's week-long Summer Opera Camp returns to the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre. Youth ages seven to 13 will enjoy daily music and drama sessions, as well as design, movement and makeup workshops.

Opera 101, a free series of events geared toward opera novices and young adults celebrated its ninth year in 2008/09. The popular series, hosted by CBC Radio's Brent Bambury, discussed 2008/09 COC operas and featured special guests and live musical entertainment. Special guests included director Tim Albery (War and Peace), sopranos Adrianne Pieczonka and Virginia Hatfield (Fidelio), as well as conductor Ann Manson (A Midsummer Night's Dream). Opera 101 returns October 2009 and details will be available soon at Over 500 opera aficionados attended the COC's informative

Opera Exchange series, the in-depth symposia on featured COC operas is led by an array of academic specialists and members of the COC's creative teams. The Opera Exchange is presented in partnership with the Jackman Humanities Institute, the Munk Centre for International Studies and the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.

Appetite for Opera, a combination of cultural and culinary arts in two separate, innovative gourmet evenings was designed to delight and intrigue opera novices and seasoned fans. In collaboration with the Hilton Toronto's Tundra restaurant and Hilton Executive Chef Kreg Graham, guests explored specially prepared menus inspired by Dvok's Rusalka and Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. An additional 200 guests between the ages of 16 to 29 experienced the COC's Bite Series, which featured one COC opera each evening, Don Giovanni, Rusalka, or La Bohme. Young patrons enjoyed a tasty opera-inspired meal while learning about a COC opera followed by a performance at the Four Seasons Centre.

Last season over 3,000 people participated in public and private Guided Tours of Canada's only purpose-built opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Trained docents discussed features of the world-class facility including the unique glass system used on the faades, the remarkable engineering used to build the world's longest free-span, glass staircase and the advancements in modern engineering and acoustic design that went into creating R. Fraser Elliott Hall, the Four Seasons Centre's horseshoe-shaped auditorium. Guided tours, open to the general public, continue throughout the summer and cost $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and are free for children 12 and under. A full tour schedule is available online at For more information, call the COC Box Office at 416-363-8231.

From free concerts for all ages, to special events and activities, the COC has exciting programming both on and beyond the mainstage. For more information, please visit

The COC Ensemble Studio is Canada's premier training program for young opera professionals and provides advanced instruction, hands-on experience, and career development opportunities. The Ensemble Studio is supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, RBC Financial Group and other generous donors.

The work carried out by Delvinia Interactive on the COC website was generously supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

About the Canadian Opera Company

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America, and has an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation. The COC currently enjoys a remarkable 99% attendance rate for its mainstage season. The company's new home, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, was designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc. and is Canada's first purpose-built opera house. Acclaimed as one of the best opera houses in the world, the Four Seasons Centre is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada.

Canadian Opera Company Website

The Canadian Opera Company's website,, contains information on all productions and programs and includes fun and informative interactive features.



Post a Comment


Create a Link

<< Home