Welcome to the Canadian Opera Company Media Centre. It contains resources for the media including media releases and downloadable photos of COC leadership and productions for publication where relevant. The images are available to members of the media for print and online promotion of the Canadian Opera Company and its events only.
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Avril Sequeira, Director of Public Relations
Kristin McKinnon, Publicist and Content Producer
CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY’S AIDA IS GRAND ITALIAN OPERA LED BY A POWERHOUSE PAIRINGBy Public RelationsPosted In Press Releases
Read the PDF version here.
Toronto – Love eradicates borders in this powerful war-time epic. Aida, an imprisoned princess, faces an impossible choice: remain loyal to her family and country or abandon it all to be with her secret love, a young general who is also her captor. This grand Italian opera, by Giuseppe Verdi, has long enthralled audiences with its thrilling score and emotional storytelling. Aida reunites soprano Tamara Wilson and tenor Russell Thomas as the story’s central lovers; the two recently starred in the COC’s “revolutionary” (Wall Street Journal) Otello in 2019. Aida runs for seven performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on April 18, 22, 26, 30, May 2, 5, 8, 2020.
Toronto-based director Tim Albery’s provocative production was last seen at the Canadian Opera Company in 2010. His updated setting for Aida challenged audience expectations by stripping away the opera’s traditional pageantry to get to the story’s emotional heart. Action on stage is transposed from ancient Egypt to the 20th-century Middle East with the help of award-winning set designer Hildegard Bechtler. Costumes by Jon Morrell evoke a Mad Men-inspired aesthetic with their geometric influence and 1960s colour palette. Thomas C. Hase uses moody lighting and striking shadows to intensify drama on stage and Laila Diallo rejoins the creative team as choreographer.
Tamara Wilson returns to Toronto in the title role, after a “totally thrilling” (The Globe and Mail) run in the COC’s Turandot last fall; the American soprano’s performance as Aida was declared “flawless” (Schmopera) at Washington National Opera and “magnificent” (Houston Press) at Houston Grand Opera. American tenor Russell Thomas brings his “immense voice and gleaming high notes” (Opera Wire) to Radames, a demanding tenor role for which he has earned accolades for being a “masterclass of phrasing and musicality” (Houston Press).
Commanding Georgian bass Goderdzi Janelidze returns to the COC stage as the high priest Ramfis. French mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine brings her “full, smoky sound” (New York Classical Review) to the role of Princess Amneris, while Welsh bass Richard Wiegold brings “power and purpose” (OperaWire) to the part of her father, the King of Egypt. British-born Roland Wood (last seen in the title role of the COC’s Rigoletto in 2018) has been called a “natural Verdi baritone, capable of singing with ease and beauty;” he makes his role debut as Amonasro in Aida. Two COC Ensemble Studio artists complete the cast: tenor Matthew Cairns is the Messenger and mezzo-soprano Simona Genga is the Priestess.
Italian conductor Jader Bignamini makes his COC mainstage debut, leading the COC Orchestra in one of Verdi’s most celebrated works; Bignamini last conducted the COC Orchestra in 2017’s dazzling Trio Magnifico concert, featuring soprano Anna Netrebko. Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst leads the COC Chorus through Aida’s rousing chorus numbers.
Aida is sung in Italian and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.
Cast and Creative Team
King of Egypt
Thomas C. Hase
Price Family Chorus Master
Single tickets for Aida range from $35 – $250 with Grand Ring seats available at $290 and $350. Tickets are on sale now, available online at coc.ca, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.). $22 tickets are available for guests between the ages of 16 and 29 through the COC’s Opera Under 30 program and other specially priced tickets are available to young people under the age of 15. For more information on booking student groups, standing room, and rush tickets, please visit coc.ca.
BMO Financial Group: Season Sponsor
Volvo Car Canada: Official Automotive Partner of the Canadian Opera Company and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
Perrier-Jouët: Official Champagne Partner of the Canadian Opera Company and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
Production Sponsor: CIBC
Production Originally Made Possible in Part By: Tim and Frances Price
The COC Academy is underwritten by The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation.
Major support from Anne & Tony Arrell, Marjorie & Roy Linden, Sheila K. Piercey, RBC Foundation, The Slaight Family Foundation, Government of Canada, with additional support from Keith Ambachtsheer & Virginia Atkin, ARIAS: Canadian Opera Student Development Fund, Margaret Harriett Cameron, Catherine Fauquier, Ethel Harris & the late Milton E. Harris, Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation, Joy Levine, Patricia & Frank Mills, The Stratton Trust, Janet Stubbs, Brian Wilks, Nora Wilson.
ABOUT THE CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY
Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience including a dedicated base of subscribers. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the company has an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation. Its diverse repertoire includes new commissions and productions, local and international collaborations with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracts the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC Academy is an incubator for the future of the art form, nurturing Canada’s new wave of opera creators with customized training and support. 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. For more information, visit coc.ca.
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For more information or to request photographs, please contact:
Avril Sequeira, Director of Public Relations, tel: 416-306-2387, email: [email protected]
Kristin McKinnon, Publicist and Content Producer, tel: 416-306-2383, email: [email protected]