OPERA INSIGHTS

Join us for in-depth conversations and interactive workshops that take you inside the COC's 2019/2020 season!

All events are FREE but require a ticket. Register online or call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231 to reserve your spot.

Registration begins on the following date:

Fall: Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 10 a.m.
Winter: Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 10 a.m.
Spring: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 10 a.m.

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.

  • Thursday, September 26, 2019 Storytelling through Movement: Robert Wilson’s Turandot
    Thursday, September 26, 2019
    7-8:30 p.m.
    Education Centre
    Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

    While music might be the first thing you notice in seeing an opera, in this discussion we will unpack the unique power of gesture and movement as a means of storytelling. Featuring Turandot co-director Nicola Panzer and hosted by popular pre-opera chat lecturer Stephan Bonfield, learn how choreography and dance has been used in opera throughout history, evolving from the stylized Baroque period to its important narrative role in Robert Wilson’s masterful production of Turandot, showing this fall on the COC mainstage.

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    Wednesday, October 2 , 2019 Crossing Borders: The Origins and Evolution of Puccini’s Turandot
    Wednesday, October 2, 2019
    7-8:30 p.m.
    Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre
    Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

    Rooted in Nizami’s 12th century Persian epic poem about a Russian princess, the story of Turandot has inspired adaptations around the world. Carlo Gozzi, Friedrich Schiller, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and, of course, Giacomo Puccini have all created versions of this captivating tale. Join musicologist W. Anthony Sheppard and gain new insights into the origins and evolutions of Puccini’s Turandot. This event also features a performance of an aria this captivating opera.

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    Monday, October 28, 2019 Music and Mental Health Lecture-Recital
    Monday, October 28, 2019
    7-8:30 p.m. 
    Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre
    Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

    Explore the art and science of music’s effect on our physical, mental, and emotional health with accredited music therapist and registered psychotherapist SarahRose Black. Learn about the role of music therapy in the healthcare industry and the practical applications of music to promote well-being at this casual evening event, which will include live performances.

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    Thursday, January 23, 2020 In the Rehearsal Room: Diction
    Thursday, January 23, 2020
    7-8:30 p.m.
    Education Centre
    Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

    As one of the expert trainers with the COC Academy, lyric diction coach Steven Leigh will open your eyes to the fascinating world of language in opera. “What do singers do when they don’t speak the language they must sing?” “How do you sing without an accent?” and “How can a singer be understood when they’re singing at the top of their voices?”. In this 1.5 hour seminar, you’ll learn the answers to all of those questions, try out some ‘operatic patter’ for yourself, and observe diction training techniques in action.
    Thursday February 20, 2020 An Evening with Ian Cusson
    Thursday February 20, 2020
    7-8:30 p.m.
    Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre

    Join COC Composer-in-Residence Ian Cusson for an exploration of his artistic inspirations and creative process. This thoughtful examination of his work will be accompanied by performances from artists of the COC Ensemble Studio.
    Tuesday, March 31, 2020 In the Rehearsal Room: Collaborative Piano
    Tuesday, March 31, 2020
    7-8:30 PM
    Education Centre
    Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

    You think singing opera is hard? Take a peek behind the scenes into a different type of virtuosity: the collaborative pianist. Artists in this unique line of work require more than quick fingers, as at any point, they can be called upon to fill in and sing any role…in any language! COC Ensemble Studio pianist and intern coach Rachael Kerr introduces you to life in the rehearsal room in this 90-minute seminar and performance.
    Wednesday, April 15, 2020 Inside the Music of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman
    Wednesday, April 15, 2020
    7-8:30 PM
    Education Centre
    Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

    Join musicologist Matthew Timmermans as he guides you through the musical score of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. In this 90 minute interactive lecture, take a crash course on laying out a score and unpacking its musical gems. Our intrepid guide will supply audio and video examples from some of the opera’s most noted performances through history. This event is for all levels of musical experience; no score-reading experience required.
    Wednesday, April 29, 2020 Sing-Along Opera Choruses
    Wednesday, April 29, 2020
    7-8:30 PM
    Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre
    Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

    It’s back! After our largest sing-along yet, we’re excited for the 5th annual Sing-Along Opera Choruses, hosted by the Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst. Sip on a glass of wine, grab one of the music books provided, and sing-along to some of our favourite and most memorable choruses. No musical reading experience necessary.

    Please email [email protected] to enquire about bringing a group from your choir, community group, or other organization.
    Monday, May 11, 2020 Women in Opera: Behind the Scenes
    Monday, May 11, 2020
    7-8:30 p.m.
    Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre
    Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

    Back by popular demand, the Women in Opera panel returns to bring together some of the opera industry’s most inspiring female minds for a lively discussion on the future of new productions and the women who bring them to life.
  • How do I reserve a ticket?
    Tickets can be reserved by phone (416-363-8231) or online. Reservations will open on September 12, 2019 for the fall 2019 events.
    I’ve reserved my ticket. When should I arrive?

    Doors open 30 minutes before the beginning of the event. We suggest you arrive 15-20 minutes early so you can get a seat! All unclaimed seats will be distributed to a stand-by line 10 minutes before the event begins.

    What happens if tickets are sold out?
    Don’t worry! Just show up at the Opera Insights event early and join the stand-by line. 10 minutes before the beginning of the event, all unclaimed seats will be distributed on a first-come, first-seated basis.  
    Do I have to reserve a ticket? Can I just show up?

    Either! But reserving your free ticket is the most convenient way as it allows you to skip the stand-by line and go right in 30 minutes before the show. In either instance, remember to arrive early, as these events fill up quickly and all unclaimed seats will be released to the stand-by line 10 minutes before the event begins.

    Where are Opera Insights held? Is it accessible?

    Most Opera Insights events happen in the Four Seasons Centre, at the intersection of Queen/University Ave. (Osgoode TTC station) in either the Education Center located to the left of the box office at the exit of the Osgoode subway station, or in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre located on the 3rd floor. Both spaces are wheelchair accessible, and seating is reserved for any patrons who require special accommodations.  

    I need special accommodation to attend this event, who can I contact to make sure my needs are met?

    Please contact the Box Office or [email protected] with your name, the date of the opera insights event you would like to attend, and the type of accommodation you require. We will make every attempt to meet your needs. Both the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre and the Education Centre are wheelchair accessible with adjustable seating. Seats are reserved at the front for those requiring special accommodation. 


Opera Insights, 2015. Photo: COC


Phone: 416-363-8231

Toll Free: 1-800-250-4653

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