Opera Talks

Opera Talks is a FREE  series of lectures presented by the Canadian Opera Company in partnership with the Toronto Public Library. Margaret Cormier and Wayne Gooding invite you to explore the COC’s 2018/2019 season in this series of engaging conversations.

Wayne Gooding
Wayne Gooding 
is a Toronto-based writer and was, before retiring in 2017, editor of Opera Canada magazine for more than two decades. In an earlier career as a business journalist, he wrote for such publications as The Financial PostReport on Business and Far Eastern Economic Review, and served as editor of Canadian BusinessMarketing Magazine and Financial Post Magazine. Over the past decade, he has increasingly focused on his lifelong interest in opera and music theatre. Besides Opera Canada, his byline has appeared in PlaybillOpera Now, American Record Guide and The Wagner Journal, and he maintains a busy schedule as a lecturer and speaker. For the COC, he is also one of the pre-performance chatt speakers, giving lectures 45 minutes before performances. 

Margaret Cormier is a PhD candidate in musicology at McGill University, where she has been a teacher’s assistant and guest lecturer in music history. She holds a Bachelor of Music with Honors in Voice Performance (2013) and a Master of Arts in Musicology (2015) from Western University. Recently, she has presented her work on opera at professional conferences in Oxford, San Francisco, and Dublin. Her current research considers the role of staging and production in creating operatic meaning, and focuses on representations of sexual violence on the operatic stage. Her PhD dissertation is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Admission: FREE but advanced registration is recommended by calling the library branch holding the event. 

Opera can be intimidating for anyone new to the art – but it doesn’t have to be! Join musicologist Margaret Cormier for a lively primer on the basics, a look at opera’s evolution, and some simple advice on how to navigate the genre’s rich music and narratives.  

This Opera Talk will be offered twice at the following branches: 

Richview Library (1806 Islington Ave, Etobicoke)
Monday, September 24 at 6 p.m. 

No reservation needed. 


Don Mills Library (888 Lawrence Ave E, North York)
Wednesday, November 21 at 7 p.m.

To reserve for FREE,  please call the Don Mills Branch at 416-395-5710.


Yours Faithfully

Two of the COC’s mainstage productions this season take on the themes of love and fidelity – with comic and tragic results. In Così fan tutte, Mozart creates a playful, if absurdly unlikely, scenario involving two idealistic sisters who struggle to resist the amorous advances of each other’s lovers in disguise. In Otello, Verdi paints a searing portrayal of a faithful wife, terrorized by her new husband’s insane jealousy. Opera expert Wayne Gooding explores the common theme of true love compromised by trickery and deception in an in-depth, audio-visual introduction to these operas.

Don Mills Library (888 Lawrence Ave E., North York)
Wednesday, January 30 at 7 p.m.

Mozart’s Così fan tutte—a tuneful 18th-century take on the messy complications that arise when the heart follows its own course.
To reserve your free ticket, please call the Don Mills branch at 416-395-5710.


North York Central Library (5120 Yonge St., North York)
Wednesday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

Verdi’s Otello—an uncompromising musical presentation, via Shakespeare, of loving not wisely, but too well. To reserve your free ticket,please call the North York Central branch at 416-395-5639.
Art is life for this group of young bohemians as they navigate infatuation, poverty, love and loss; Puccini’s La Bohème has a story as timeless as the music is enchanting. In this 60 minute lecture with musicologist Margaret Cormier, you’ll  get an insider look at the music and learn about what makes La Bohème one of the world’s most loved operas. Presented in partnership with the Woodbridge Library.

Woodbridge Library (150 Woodbridge Ave, Woodbridge) 
Monday, May 6 at 7 p.m.

Event is free but registration is recommended. Registration with Woodbridge library will open in April.

Phone: 416-363-8231

Toll Free: 1-800-250-4653

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