Join us for in-depth conversations and interactive workshops that take you inside the COC's 2018/2019 season!

All events are FREE but require a ticket. Register online 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.

Tickets for Winter 2019 events will be available on Thursday, January 3 at 10 a.m.

  • OCTOBER 4, 2018: Eugene Onegin: From novel in verse to opera

    Conference hosted by University of Toronto
    Thursday, October 4, 1 - 5 p.m.
    Victoria College Chapel, U of T (91 Charles St. W.)

    A half-day conference brings together specialists on Russian literature and opera to discuss the literary origins of Pushkin’s novel in verse, Eugene Onegin and its operatic adaptation and performance history. Members of the Department of Slavic Languages and the Music Faculty at the University of Toronto will be joined by speakers from the Canadian Opera Company, and guest speaker, Prof. Emeritus Boris Gasparov (Columbia University). 

    This event is produced by the University of Toronto Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Canadian Opera Company with additional support from the Centre for Drama, the Centre for Comparative Literature, and the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.

    OCTOBER 14, 2018: Hearing Hadrian: an opera for our time
    Discover Rufus Wainwright and Daniel MacIvor’s new opera Hadrian and its place within the larger context of 21st-century opera and queer storytelling.

    Highlights of this one-day, interdisciplinary conference include a Q&A with members of Hadrian’s cast and creative team, a panel on opera and technology with Against the Grain Theatre’s Joel Ivany and Tapestry Opera’s Michael Mori, and engaging lectures by eminent scholars in musicology, classics and gender studies.

    Learn more about HEARING HADRIAN

    OCTOBER 20, 2018: Harawi: Song of Love and Death

    Lecture and demonstration
    Saturday, October 20, 4 - 5:30 p.m.
    Education Centre, Four Seasons Centre (145 Queen St. W.)

    Join Simone McIntosh and Rachael Kerr of the COC Ensemble Studio as they explore the fascinating world created in Messaien’s Harawi: Song of Love and Death. From interpreting its symbolism to discussing the preparation process, this lecture and demonstration from a performer’s point of view will give you new insights into the opera’s closest musical cousin: the art song cycle.

    Don’t miss Simone McIntosh and Rachael Kerr perform Harawi in full as part of the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre on October 25 at 12 p.m.

    January 17, 2019: Instrumental to Opera: The Orchestra Academy

    Lecture and demonstration
    Thursday, January 17, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
    Education Centre, Four Seasons Centre (145 Queen St. W.)

    When we think of opera, we often think of the artists seen on stage. But, just below, it’s the tireless, talented orchestra that creates the musical backbone to every aria. At the Canadian Opera Company, the Orchestra Academy is an elite training program that mentors new and emerging opera orchestra musicians. Meet this year’s new members as they take you through the daily challenges and rewards of being in the industry. With engaging discussion and spirited mini-performances, this evening is not to be missed.

    January 28, 2019: Women in Opera
    Roundtable discussion
    Monday, January 28, 7  – 8:30 p.m.
    Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre (145 Queen St. W.)
    Some of the most popular operas ever were penned at a time when equality for women was not a front-of-mind topic of conversation. Is it opera’s responsibility to modernize works to reflect our current society? Or are there lessons to be learned in performing operas in their original form? Hear from some of the industry’s leading women as they discuss what it’s like to be a woman working in opera.
    February 14, 2019: Fashion and Fantasy: Costumes and Wigs
    Lecture and demonstration
    Thursday, February 14, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
    Education Centre, Four Seasons Centre (145 Queen St. W.)
    Go big or go home! When it comes to making looks leap off the stage in a large auditorium, the professionals of hair, makeup, and wardrobe have more than a few tricks up their sleeve in order to  make the soloists look their part! Costume Supervisor Sandra Corazza and Wig & Make-Up Supervisor Sharon Ryman take you into their fantastical worlds to share how they balance unbridled imagination with stage and historic requirements to bring the director’s vision to life.
    April 8, 2019: Sing-Along Opera Choruses
    Public singing event
    Monday, April 8, 7  – 8:30 p.m.
    Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre (145 Queen St. W.)
    Warm up those vocal cords for the fourth annual opera sing-along! With the help of Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst, we’ll learn some of opera’s most loved choruses and perform them together from start to finish. No musical experience necessary.
    APRIL 16, 2019: Preparing for Puccini: How COC’s Young Artists Transform for La Bohème
    Lecture and demonstration
    Tuesday, April 16, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
    Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre (145 Queen St. W.)
    Ever wondered how the opera singers do it? For any given performance, they’re singing, they’re acting, they’re working closely with the conductor, and – oh, yes – they’re often doing it all in another language. This casual 90-minute performance and discussion brings you inside the world of COC opera singers in training as they prepare to perform the rich and romantic crowd favourite, La Bohème. From learning their parts, to rehearsals, staging, and performance, Ensemble Studio artists explain their creative process and perform selections from the nostalgic tale of bohemian Parisian life
    April 25, 2019: Inside the music of Verdi's Otello
    Thursday, April 25, 7  – 8:30 p.m.
    Education Centre, Four Seasons Centre (145 Queen St. W.)
    You might already know the Shakespeare play. Now, learn how it gets the full opera treatment in Verdi’s Otello. Join musicologist Matthew Timmermans as he guides you through the musical score and a variety of interpretations. Discover how Verdi sets the mood with trembling strings and bombastic brass and hear how the greatest singers put their personal stamp on these roles. No music reading experience necessary.
    May 12, 2019 Staging Othello and Otello with the Stratford Festival

    Opera Insights: Staging Othello & Otello

    Partnership between the Stratford Festival and the Canadian Opera Company
    May 12 at 1:30 - 3 p.m.
    COC Education Centre, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen St. W., Toronto)

     Explore the story of Othello as it is understood through Shakespeare’s Othello and Verdi’s opera Otello. By focusing on the theme of jealousy, we investigate how Shakespeare, Verdi and the artists performing each work employ the tools of their respective art forms to create such compelling and penetrating expressions of human character. What symbols and devices are used to communicate the idea of jealousy? How do soliloquies and arias compare as expressive forms? What unique qualities of theatre and opera lend themselves to these grand narratives?

  • opera
    Opera Insights
    Opera Insights
    Photo Credit: COC
  • How do I reserve a ticket?
    Tickets can be reserved by phone (416-363-8231) or online. Reservations will open on September 12, 2018 for the fall 2018 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.  
    During the 2018/2019 season, both conferences will take place outside of the Four Seasons. Both locations are wheelchair accessible. Please reference the address located on the event listing for more information. 

    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 education@coc.ca 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. 

Various Opera Insights events, 2015. Photos: COC

Phone: 416-363-8231

Toll Free: 1-800-250-4653

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