Canadian Opera Company 2013-2014 Season


The Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts

Some exciting upcoming productions for opera in Canada.  Support Canadian singers and this beautiful opera house in the heart of Toronto, Ontario

La Boheme

La Boheme:  October 3-30, 2013


Mimì: Grazia Doronzio / Joyce El-Khoury
Musetta: Joyce El-Khoury / Simone Osborne
Rodolfo: David Lomelí / Eric Margiore
Marcello: Joshua Hopkins / Phillip Addis

Conductor: Carlo Rizzi
Director: John Caird
Set & Costume Designer: David Farley

Peter Grimes

Peter Grimes:  October 5-26, 2013


Peter Grimes: Ben Heppner
Ellen Orford: Ileana Montalbetti
Balstrode: Alan Held
Auntie: Jill Grove

Conductor: Johannes Debus
Director: Neil Armfield
Revival Director: Denni Sayers
Set Designer: Ralph Myers
Costume Designer: Tess Schofield

Cosi Fan Tutte

Cosi Fan Tutte:  January 18-February 21, 2014


Fiordiligi: Layla Claire
Dorabella: Wallis Giunta
Ferrando: Paul Appleby
Guglielmo: Robert Gleadow/Don Alfonso: Sir Thomas Allen

Conductor: Johannes Debus
Director: Atom Egoyan
Set & Costume Designer: Debra Hanson


Un Ballo in Maschera: February 2-22, 2014


Amelia: Adrianne Pieczonka
Riccardo: Dimitri Pittas
Renato: Roland Wood

Conductor: Stephen Lord
Directors: Jossi Wieler & Sergio Morabito
Set Designer: Barbara Ehnes
Costume Designer: Anja Rabes


Hercules:  April 5-30, 2014


Hercules: Eric Owens
Dejanira: Alice Coote
Lichas: David Daniels
Hyllus: Richard Croft

Conductor: Harry Bicket
Director: Peter Sellars
Set Designer: George Tsypin
Costume Designer: Dunya Ramicova


Roberto Devereux:  April 25-May 21, 2014


Elisabetta: Sondra Radvanovsky
Nottingham: Russell Braun
Roberto Devereux: Giuseppe Filianoti
Sara: Allyson McHardy

Conductor: Corrado Rovaris
Director: Stephen Lawless
Set Designer: Benoit Dugardyn
Costume Designer: Ingeborg Bernerth


 Don Quichotte: May 9-24, 2014


Don Quichotte: Ferruccio Furlanetto
Sancho Panza: Quinn Kelsey
Dulcinée: Ekaterina Gubanova

Conductor: Johannes Debus
Director: Linda Brovsky
Set Designer: Donald Eastman
Costume Designer: Christina Poddubiuk

Purchase Tickets Here

The Greatest Love Story Ever Sung: La Boheme Returns to the COC

Canadian Opera Company Media ReleaseLa Boheme COC 2013

Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company launches its 2013/2014 season with a new production of one of the world’s greatest love stories, La Bohème. Puccini’s masterpiece of youthful flirtation, passionate love and heartbreaking tragedy returns to the COC for 12 performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on October 3, 6, 9, 12, 16, 18, 19, 22, 25, 27, 29, 30, 2013.

Canadian-born Tony Award-winning director John Caird (Les MisérablesNicholas Nickleby), last with COC in 2007 to stage the monumental Don Carlos, premieres for the company this new production of one of opera’s favourite love stories. He’s joined by one of world’s best Puccini conductors, Italian Carlo Rizzi, who makes his company debut leading the COC Orchestra and Chorus through a score of soaring and impassioned orchestrations filled with dramatic intensity and beautiful melodies.

La Bohème is set in the raucous streets of Paris’s Latin Quarter in the late 19th century and explores the loves and lives of a group of young Bohemians. The COC production has cast an equally young group of singers, many Canadian, who are making names for themselves internationally.

Already acclaimed for their renditions of this starring role, two recent graduates of the Metropolitan Opera’s prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program make their COC debuts as the fragile seamstress Mimì: Italian soprano Grazia Doronzio and Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury(Oct. 9, 19, 27, 30). Doronzio, called “splendid” by the New York Times and a “fascinating discovery” by the Chicago Tribune, has made recent notable engagements at Oper Frankfurt, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Angers Nantes Opéra, Seattle Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. El-Khoury has earned praised from Opera NewsWashington Post and The Financial Times, among other publications, for performances across North America and Europe, and recently made her recording debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London’s Barbican Hall.

El-Khoury is double-cast in La Bohème. In addition to Mimì, she sings the role of the flirtatious singer Musetta for eight of the 12 performances of the COC’s production. Sharing the role of Musetta is COC Ensemble Studio graduate soprano Simone Osborne (Oct. 9, 19, 27, 30). A favourite with audiences and critics, Osborne returns to the COC after recent engagements with Opera Hamilton, Vancouver Opera and Carnegie Hall, appearing in the world premiere of the classical music show Viva Verdi! in Zurich and in the Saito Kinen Festival with renowned maestro Seiji Ozawa, as well a debut performance with the LA Philharmonic.

The role of the poet Rodolfo, Mimì’s lover, is sung by two rising young tenors, Mexican David Lomelí and Italian-American Eric Margiore (Oct. 9, 19, 27, 30). Lomelí has built a growing reputation in opera houses and concert halls across North America and Europe since becoming a first-prize winner of Plácido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition in 2006. First introduced to Toronto audiences in 2011 as the Duke in the COC’s Rigoletto, he returns in a role that “from both vocal and dramatic perspectives, you [would] have a difficult time finding a tenor more suited” ( Margiore recently made his European debut with Deutsche Oper am Rhein and is quickly establishing himself as an international contender in the principal Italian bel-canto and romantic tenor repertoire. He makes his COC debut as Rodolfo, a role for which Margiore’s been called “an ideal fit” (Opera News).

In the role of the painter Marcello, Musetta’s lover, are two standout Canadian baritones: Joshua Hopkins and, in a company debut, Phillip Addis (Oct. 9, 19, 27, 30). Last with the COC in 2005 inCarmenHopkins has been hailed as “an outstanding young baritone with a virile, vigorous yet velvety sound and an immediately evident dramatic authority” (Globe and Mail) and was chosen byOpera News in 2012 as one of 25 artists poised to break out and become a major force in the coming decade. A rising star on the international stage, Addis has performed in opera, concerts and recitals throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan. He’s been called “a star in the making” (MusicOMH) and praised for his creamy, bright, smooth voice as much as for his spell-binding, daring, yet sensitive interpretations.

In addition to Marcello, Addis takes on the role of the musician Schaunard for eight of La Bohèmes 12 performances. He shares the role with COC Ensemble baritone Cameron McPhail(Oct. 9, 19, 27, 30), whose “impressive voice” (barczablog) had its company mainstage debut last season in the acclaimed production of Dialogues des Carmélites.

The role of the philosopher Colline is shared by two celebrated bass-baritones: American Christian Van Horn and Canadian Tom Corbeil (Oct. 9, 19, 27, 30). Quickly becoming a regular in the world’s most prestigious opera houses with a voice described as “a true balm of vocal happiness” (ResMusica), Van Horn returns to the COC after his 2012 debut in ToscaCorbeil is praised throughout North America for his vocal presence and stage craft. Last with the COC in 2010’s Death in Venice, he returns after spending a recent season singing Lurch with the first national tour of Broadway’s The Addams Family Musical.

Rounding out the cast is acclaimed American bass-baritone Thomas Hammons (an impressive Henry Kissinger in the COC’s recent Nixon in China) as the Bohemians’ landlord Benoît and as Musetta’s wealthy gentleman suitor Alcindoro. COC Ensemble tenor Owen McCausland is the toy vendor Parpignol, Ensemble Studio baritone Clarence Frazer makes his mainstage debut as the Customs House Sergeant, and Ensemble Studio bass-baritone Gordon Bintner makes his mainstage debut as a Customs Officer. He shares the role with Ensemble Studio graduate baritoneDoug MacNaughton (Oct. 12, 16).

In creating this new production of La Bohème, Olivier Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated set and costume designer David Farley has taken inspiration from France’s Belle Époque to capture the romance and artistic brilliance at the heart of this opera. The set design, in particular, is conceived as a collage of canvases by the painter Marcello that frame the action within the opera’s changing Parisian locales. Michael Clark creates the romantic lighting design.

La Bohème is based on the 1851 Henri Murger novel Scènes de la vie de bohème, a collection of stories about bohemian life in Paris. While the opera was not a great success at the time of its 1896 premiere, it has since become Puccini’s best-known work and one of the most loved and performed operas in the world. The tale of doomed romance in Paris has inspired many books, films and theatrical productions. The most notable adaptation in recent history is the rock musical RENT.

This new production of La Bohème is a COC co-production with Houston Grand Opera and San Francisco Opera. The opera was last performed by the COC in 2009, and is sung in Italian with English SURTITLES™.


Single tickets for La Bohème are $12 – $365 (includes applicable taxes). Tickets are available online at, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office, located at 145 Queen St. W.

Standing Room 

Sixty $12 Standing Room tickets are available at 11 a.m. the morning of each performance, in person only at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office. Limit of two tickets per person. Subject to availability.

Young People
Special young people’s tickets are priced from $26 to $365 (includes applicable taxes). These ticket prices apply to those who are 15 years of age or under, accompanied by and sitting next to an adult.

Opera Under 30
Patrons between the ages of 16 and 29 may purchase $22 Opera Under 30 tickets as ofSeptember 21 at 10 a.m., online at, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office. Program patrons may opt to pay $35, whereby their seats are automatically upgraded to the best available on the morning of the performance they are attending. Opera Under 30 is presented by
TD Bank Group

Student Group Tickets 
Student group tickets are $22 per student and may be purchased by calling 416-306-2356.

Rush Seats
Rush seats, starting at $25 and subject to availability, go on sale at 11 a.m. on the morning of each performance at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office. Limit of two tickets per person.

Calgary Opera presents Mark Adamo’s “Little Women”

Tomorrow night is the Canadian Premiere of this new opera by Mark Adamo.

Composer, Mark Adamo

Click here to read a synopsis of Little Women

The production runs from:

Saturday, January 30, 2010: 8pm

Wednesday, February 3, 2010: 7:30pm

Gordon Gerrard , Conductor

Gordon Gerrard is quickly establishing a place among the new generation of Canada’s exciting young musicians. Gordon was the 2009 recipient of the Enbridge Arts Award for Emerging Artist and he was invited to compete in the prestigious Wigmore Hall International Song Competition 2009 in London. In recent years, he has worked as Assistant Conductor for Opera Lyra Ottawa, Repetiteur for Vancouver Opera, Associate Music Director for the Manhattan School of Music Undergraduate Opera Studio, and Lecturer at Iowa State University. Gordon maintains a busy schedule in addition to currently holding the positions of Resident Conductor for Calgary Opera, and staff conductor at Opera Nuova (Edmonton).

Kelly RobinsonKelly Robinson , Stage Director

Kelly Robinson is a director and choreographer whose career spans opera, theatre, film and  television. He has worked extensively in the United States with critically acclaimed productions of Die ZauberflöteLa Bohèmeand La Belle Hélène for the opera companies of Dallas, Utah, Portland and Arizona to his credit. In Canada, he has presented opera audiences in Edmonton, Victoria, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver with new productions of works ranging from Les Pécheurs de pėrles and Eugene Onegin to Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Mr. Robinson’s work has been seen at the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Canadian Stage Company (Toronto), the Palace Theatre (New York), the Vineyard Theatre (New York) and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Centre. He is currently Director of the Opera as Theatre Program and Director of Theatre Arts at The Banff Centre.  Mr. Robinson has directed many productions for Calgary Opera including Filumena,FrobisherSweeny ToddThe Ballad of Baby Doe and Ariadne auf Naxos.

Allyson McHardy, Mezzo-Soprano (Jo)

Mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy is “a singer of enormous imagination and versatility” in the words of the San Francisco Chronicle. An alumna of the prestigious Merola Program, Ms. McHardy debuted as Olga in Eugene Onegin for the San Francisco Opera in the fall of 2004 and was immediately re-engaged to be heard as Rosinain Il Barbiere di Siviglia in the 2006-07 season. She appeared as Flosshilde and Rossweisse in the Canadian Opera Company’s first Canadian Ring Cycle in the new Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. 2005-2006 included Suzuki in Madama Butterfly for l’Opéra de Québec, Flosshilde in Götterdämmerung and Magret in Wozzeck for the Canadian Opera Company.   Upcoming engagements include Dalilah in Samson et Dalilahat Opera Ontario with Richard Margison and Handel’s Israel in Egypt with Les Violons du Roi.

Colin AinsworthColin Ainsworth, Tenor (Laurie)

Praised for his “ability to move seamlessly between different areas of the repertoire”, Mr. Ainsworth is eagerly sought out for his interpretations of operas ranging from the early operas of Monteverdi to the contemporary operas of Britten. This season, he made his debuts with Manitoba Opera in the world premiere of Victor Davies’ opera, The Transit of Venus as Desmarais, Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore and Fenton in Verdi’sFalstaff both with Edmonton Opera, Jaquino in Beethoven’s Fidelio with Vancouver Opera, Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Ching’s Buoso’s Ghost and Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance with Lake George Opera. He also made critically acclaimed debuts last season with the Royal Opera House and the Edinburgh International Festival in the world première of Stuart MacRae’s opera The Assassin Tree as Youth and the Greek National Opera to sold-out houses singing Orphée in Gluck’s Paris version of Orphée et Euridice, a role he reprised with Opera Atelier under the baton of Andrew Parrott. He also made his debut with L’Opéra Français de New York as Castor in Castor et Pollux, conducted by Yves Abel, joined the Montreal Baroque Festival in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and was lauded by the Toronto Star as being “every inch the prince, and his lyric voice a golden treasure” for his role as Tamino in The Magic Flute with Opera Atelier.

Krisztina SzabóKrisztina Szabó, Mezzo-Soprano (Meg)

Canadian Mezzo-Soprano Krisztina Szabó has become a highly sought-after artist in both North America and Europe. The Chicago Tribune recently exclaimed, for her performances of Ottavia in L’ incoronazione di Poppea, “Krisztina Szabó stole every scene with her powerful, mahogany voice and deeply poignant immersion in the empress’ plight.” She made her Lincoln Center debut as Dorabella in Così fan tutte at the Mostly Mozart Festival where she was praised in the New York Times for being “clear, strong, stately and an endearingly vulnerable Dorabella.” Krisztina Szabó’s 2007-08 season was highlighted by performances of new roles: Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos with Stadttheater Klagenfurt in Austria, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni in her fourth production with Chicago Opera Theater. She also also appeared with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec in Bach’sMass in B Minor, the San Antonio Symphony for a performance of Handel’s Messiah, and the Talisker Players in Toronto for an evening of chamber music.  Ms. Szabó is appearing as Rosina in Calgary Opera’s The Barber of Seville this April.

Mariateresa Magisano, Soprano (Beth)

Mariateresa Magisano is a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  In 2001, she debuted with the New York City Opera as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, a role she also sang with Vancouver Opera and Opera Columbus. Recently, Ms. Magisano performed Micaela in Vancouver Opera’s Carmen (2009); and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera Lyra Ottawa (2008).  Ms. Magisano sang the title role in Thomas’Mignon in an “Opera in concert” with Opera Lyra Ottawa (2007); and covered the role of Fidelia in Puccini’sEdgar with the Opera Orchestra of New York (2008). Career highlights include: Susanna in Le Nozze di Figarowith Vancouver Opera, Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte with Arizona Opera, Gretel in Hansel & Gretel with Calgary Opera and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Lyra Ottawa, Buffalo Philharmonic, Aspen Opera Theater and Opera Saskatchewan.

Catherine MayCatherine May , Soprano (Amy)

Catherine May was born and educated in Canada before completing her studies in the UK. Operatic performances in 2008 included Olympia/Antonia/Giulietta for MidWales Opera, and Pretty Polly (cover) and Cunegonde (cover) for English National Opera. Other recent roles have included Queen of the Night The Magic Flute (English Touring Opera), Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos (Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme), MimiLa Bohème (British Youth Opera, Scottish Opera on Tour), Blonde Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Diva Opera). Concert performances include Carmina Burana for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Mendelssohn’sLobgesang at the Aldeburgh Festival, and Poulenc’s Gloria and Jenkins’ The Armed Man with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. May is delighted to return to Calgary Opera, where she sang Frasquita in Carmen and Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos.

Elizabeth Turnbull, Mezzo-Soprano (Alma March)

A Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, North American finalist in the International Bernstein Song and Oratorio Competition, and recipient of a Canada Council Career Development grant,Ms. Turnbull is a mezzo with a distinguished reputation in the U.S. and Canada, hailed by the press as “(one) of this country’s finest singers, luminous and rich-voiced”. Her 2008-2009 season included Messiah at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Regina Symphony, Madam Larina inEugene Onegin for Opera Lyra Ottawa, a concert featuring the music of Mendelssohn for the Aldeburgh Connection and Schafer’s AdieuRobert Schumann for the Ottawa Symphony. In the U.S., she sang in Bach’sWeihnachtsoratorium (Nicholas McGegan and San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque) and Messiah for Los Angeles’ Musica Angelica.  Most recently she created Elizabeth I in Frobisher and performed Augusta Tabor inThe Ballad of Baby Doe for Calgary Opera.

Colin AinsworthPhillip Addis, Baritone (John Brooke)

For the 2009-2010 season Phillip Addis appears as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Atlanta Opera, the Count inLe nozze di Figaro with Opera Atelier in Toronto, John Brooke in Little Women with Calgary Opera, as well as the title role in Pelleas et Mélisande at the Opéra Comique. Last season Mr. Addis appeared as Marcello in a new production of La bohème with the Theater Basel in Switzerland, and Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de Perles with Opéra de Montréal Additionally, Mr. Addis sang the Count in Le nozze di Figaro with Florida Grand Opera and a recital tour in his native Canada.

Terry HodgesTerry Hodges, Bass-Baritone (Gideon March)

Bass-Baritone Terry Hodges enjoys a busy career in opera and music theatre in the United States and Canada with credits at Santa Fe Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, Carnegie Hall, Boston Lyric Opera and the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Recent and upcoming engagements include, La Roche in Capriccio for Pacific Opera Victoria, Dick Deadeye in HMS Pinafore for Nashville Opera, Benoit/Alcindoro in La Bohème for Vancouver Opera, Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore for Tulsa Opera and Frank in Die Fledermaus for Manitoba Opera. He has also done more than 2,000 performances of Phantom of the Opera. This is his debut with Calgary Opera.

Brent CalisBrent Calis, Baritone (Mr. Dashwood)

A Calgary native, Brent Calis is currently a member of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Development Program. His role highlights include Papageno in The Magic Flute, and Schaunard in La Bohème with the University of British Columbia. He has also participated in The Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival and The Banff Summer Arts Festival. Mr. Calis returned to Banff this past summer to perform The Forester in Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen and Jonathan in Siren Song by Jonathon Dove. He looks forward to performing with Opera NUOVA this summer in their production of Falstaff.

Kimberly BarberKimberly Barber, Mezzo-Soprano (Cecilia March)

Canadian Mezzo-Soprano Kimberly Barber is known for the expressive power, purity and refinement of her voice, her elegance of phrasing and musical gesture and the intelligence and intensity of her physical portrayals. Ms Barber’s recent seasons have held important role debuts. She garnered great praise for her first Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther with Vancouver Opera, and created the role of Jessica in the world premiere of John Estacio’s Frobisher for Calgary Opera. Her critically acclaimed first turn as Sister Helenin Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking was a feature of the Canadian premiere of that work for Calgary Opera, performances of which were broadcast on CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. This was followed by her return to Seattle Opera, and first bows as Despina in Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of Cosi Fan Tutte. She gave her first performances of the role of The Angel in Edward Elgar’s oratorio Dream of Gerontius, with the Richard Eaton Singers in Edmonton, a work which will signal her debut with the Elora Festival in the summer of 2007.

Daniel Okulitch, Bass-Baritone (Friedrich Bhaer)

Bass-Baritone Daniel Okulitch first came to national attention on Broadway as Schaunard in Baz Luhrmann’s production of La Bohème–a role he repeated when the production traveled to Los Angeles, for which he received the Ovation Award for Best Ensemble Performance from the LosAngeles Stage Alliance. He has since begun an international career with opera companies and orchestras throughout Europe and North America, and is lauded as much for his powerful stage presence and dramatic abilities as for his “focused, resonant bass-baritone that he wields with power and sensitivity” (NJ Star-Ledger) His signature roles show a dedication to both old and new works, including the title role in Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro, Joseph DeRocher in Dead Man Walking and Olin Blitch in Susannah. He performed last for Calgary Opera in Dead Man Walking (2006).