Canadian Opera Company Launches New Online Venture: COC Radio

Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company’s award-winning website has taken its first steps to becoming an online resource for opera in Canada by launching COC Radio.   Through this exciting new venture, visitors to will now be able to find, in one place, a variety of audio and digital features available for downloading and live streaming, all aimed at exploring an opera and its background as well as the artists appearing with the COC.

Among the features accessible through COC Radio, visitors can listen to recordings of productions by the COC’s broadcast partner CBC Radio 2; enjoy interviews with singers and members of a production’s creative team; listen to podcasts of COC-hosted talks, from pre-performance opera chats to Opera 101; and go through listening guides on an opera and watch specially-created production videos.  COC Radio will be updated with new interviews, recordings and videos on an ongoing basis.  Currently available for viewing are all interviews, recordings and videos from the COC’s 2010/2011 season as well as those podcasts and video interviews that have been created for Iphigenia in Tauris and Rigoletto as part of the 2011/2012 season.

“COC Radio is a resource for people to discover and explore their love of opera,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef.  “The materials there offer fascinating insight into the operatic art form and the artists who work with the COC.  As we grow and develop as a company, COC Radio will develop too.  Our aim is to have it go beyond relating exclusively to the COC, so that COC Radio may join other online sources nurturing and cultivating knowledge of opera in Canada.”

Users of COC Radio have the option to select from COC-curated content as well as customize their listening and viewing experience.  The immediate future plans for COC Radio include music playlist recommendations from visiting artists as well as staff members of the opera company.

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the five largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. The COC celebrates its 62nd anniversary during the 11/12 season. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006, and is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada. For more information on the COC, visit its award-winning website,

Here is a link to the website, which is very easy to use and has interactive listening


The New Opera Season Is Upon Us!!!!

Soprano, Anna Netrebko will leave her mark on the Bel Canto repertoire

The Diva, Defined: Netrebko Has Arrived (Zachary Woolfe, NY Times)

Across the world, this weekend brings the sizzling anticipation of the 2011/2012 to a fever pitch.  In what proves to be an exciting year in North America, there are some truly exceptional and rare operas to see and, moreover, fabulous new voices and familiar ones that never cease to please.  Friday night brought the opening night of the Canadian Opera Company 2011/12 season, with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and outstanding Canadian Baritone, Russell Braun in Gluck’s Iphigenia in Tauris. 

Susan Graham as Iphigenia in Tauris, in Toronto

Review in “NOW” Magazine (Toronto)

In New York City, opera aficionados wait in anticipation of opening night on Monday the 26th at 8pm, when the fabulous Anna Netrebko makes her debut performance as the incomparable Anna Bolena, alongside the vibrant voiced up-coming tenor, Stephen Costello.  Costello has caused quite the stir with his beautiful tones and glimmering upper tessitura, and Netrebko remains the beloved singer of the house but now she may leave her own indelible mark on this repertoire.

Tenor, Stephen Costello

Last night was the opening of the San Francisco Opera, with another Bel Canto favourite, Lucrezia Borgia, starring the ever-lovely Renee Fleming and the magnificent young tenor, Michael Fabiano.  Both Fabiano and Costello are electrifying the opera world and it will be an absolute joy for opera lovers to watch these careers flourish and bloom. Lucky are Mme’s Fleming and Netrebko to sing alongside these two great men and vice-versa.

Fleming stars as Lucrezia

“Singing Sensation Michael Fabiano” (SF Examiner)

“Young Borgia Tenor To Star With Top Diva” (San Francisco Examiner)

Review of Lucrezia Borgia from San Francisco Weekly

As the season begins, the Last Verista wishes all a successful and safe one, filled with excitement, great singing, and devotion to the art.  In Bocca al Lupo per tutti!!!