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.

For general inquiries, including interview requests, please contact:

Avril Sequeira, Director of Public Relations
[email protected]

Kristin McKinnon, Publicist and Content Producer
[email protected] 


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    By Public Relations
    Read the PDF version here.

    – In this popular seafaring thriller, the Dutchman has been damned to an eternity of sailing the seas. Every seven years he’s given one chance to find true love and break the hateful curse – and hope flickers in the darkness when he encounters a sea captain’s daughter. But with the clock counting down until the Dutchman sails again, a stormy finale awaits. With its romantic, haunting score, this early Wagner masterpiece offers an excellent starting point for exploring the composer’s works. The Flying Dutchman runs for seven performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on May 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 2020.

    Christopher Alden directs this revival last seen at the COC in 2010; his vision for the production calls to mind the Expressionist aesthetic of Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and other 1920s German films. An enormous tilted set with billowing sails by designer Allen Moyer throws everything and everyone askew, optically setting the tone for tumultuous times to follow. Moyer is also behind the production’s sea-weathered costume design while clever lighting by Anne Militello creates a visual divide between the pallid seaside villagers and the Dutchman’s ghostly crew, bathed in eerie red glow.

    Vitalij Kowaljow takes on the role of the Dutchman in a COC and role debut for the Swiss bass. American soprano Marjorie Owens impressed Toronto audiences with her “beautiful, full, and rich” (Ludwig van Toronto) portrayal of the title role in COC’s Turandot last fall; she returns as Senta, the object of the Dutchman’s infatuation. Polish mezzo-soprano Ewa Płonka brings her “warm voice” (Music Heute) to the role of Mary, Senta’s nurse. Russian bass Dmitry Ulyanov has been described as a “tour de force” by Opera Wire; he makes his COC debut as Daland. American tenor Miles Mykkanen, recently “brought the house down” (New York Times) in competition at the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions; he returns to Toronto as the Steersman, in a role debut. Noted German-Canadian tenor Michael Schade returns to the COC as Erik, after last impressing Toronto audiences with his dark rendition of Aegisth in Elektra (2019).

    The Flying Dutchman was the first opera Johannes Debus officially conducted as COC Music Director, with critics praising the COC Orchestra’s “lyricism…style and precision” (Toronto Star) under his baton. Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst leads the COC Chorus through a number of roiling chorus numbers.

    The Flying Dutchman is sung in German and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.

    Cast and Creative Team

    The Dutchman

    Vitalij Kowaljow


    Marjorie Owens


    Dmitry Ulyanov

    The Steersman

    Miles Mykkanen


    Ewa Płonka


    Michael Schade




    Johannes Debus


    Christopher Alden

    Set & Costume Designer

    Allen Moyer

    Lighting Designer

    Anne Militello

    Price Family Chorus Master

    Sandra Horst

    Single tickets for The Flying Dutchman range from $35 – $250 with Grand Ring seats available at $290 and $350. Tickets are on sale now, available online at, 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

    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

    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

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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]

    Posted In Press Releases

Phone: 416-363-8231

Toll Free: 1-800-250-4653

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