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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.

    Toronto –
    In the city of Seville, fast-talking Figaro is everyone’s go-to guy. This barber cuts hair, trims beards, and – given the chance – will even help land you the love of your life. But it’s two artists at the top of their game who take centre stage in this colourful production of Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville: Italian-Canadian mezzo soprano Emily D’Angelo makes her COC role debut as the lovely Rosina while Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci leads the COC Orchestra through eight fun-filled performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on January 19, 22, 25, 30, February 1, 2, 4, 7, 2020.

    In this wildly popular comic opera, Rosina has lost both her parents but inherited a fortune. That’s made her an obvious target for her controlling older guardian, Bartolo, who’s angling to marry her for money. Young Count Almaviva actually loves Rosina for who she is, but to get past Bartolo and win her heart, he’ll need help from Figaro. Catchy, familiar music and cheerful costumes, paired with laugh-out-loud jokes, makes The Barber of Seville the perfect escape from Canadian winter and an excellent first experience for both new and young audiences.

    Argentina’s Santiago Ballerini brings his “focused, exciting tenor” (Wall Street Journal) to the role of Count Almaviva opposite acclaimed Italian baritone Vito Priante as Figaro; both artists make their COC debuts. For Emily D’Angelo, singing Rosina at the Canadian Opera Company marks a full-circle moment for the fast-rising opera star – the Ensemble Studio graduate has performed the role at the Glimmerglass Festival, but first sang one of the character’s famous arias in auditions for the COC’s prestigious training program. Italian baritone Renato Girolami reprises the role of Bartolo, which he sang at the COC in 2015, and American bass-baritone Brandon Cedel returns to Toronto as the cunning Don Basilio. 

    The Barber of Seville also features three current COC Ensemble Studio artists, offering the emerging young singers invaluable mainstage experience as part of their professional development. Mezzo-soprano Simona Genga sings the role of Berta, and bass-baritones Joel Allison and Vartan Gabrielian are Fiorello and the Officer, respectively.

    Spanish director Joan Font is the founding member of the Els Comediants theatre troupe and leads this lively production. Joan Guillén has created bright, asymmetrical backdrops and larger-than-life costumes that play up the comedy unfolding onstage. Eye-popping lighting was designed by Albert Faura and exaggerated choreography is by Xevi Dorca.

    Juilliard-trained conductor Speranza Scappucci is “one of classical music's brightest stars” (Opera News) and makes a much-anticipated COC debut with The Barber of Seville. She will lead the COC Orchestra through Rossini’s playful score, jam-packed with some of the most memorable melodies in all of opera with Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst leading the COC Chorus.

    The Barber of Seville is sung in Italian and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.

    The Barber of Seville is a COC co-production with Houston Grand Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Opera Australia.

    Cast and Creative Team 


    Vito Priante


    Emily D’Angelo


    Santiago Ballerini


    Renato Girolami


    Brandon Cedel


    Simona Genga


    Joel Allison


    Vartan Gabrielian




    Speranza Scappucci


    Joan Font

    Set & Costume Designer

    Joan Guillén

    Lighting Designer

    Albert Faura


    Xevi Dorca

    Price Family Chorus Master

    Sandra Horst

    Single tickets for The Barber of Seville 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

    The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation

    The COC Academy is underwritten by The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, with additional support by Keith Ambachtsheer & Virginia Atkin.

    Major support for the COC Ensemble Studio program also made possible by Anne & Tony Arrell, Marjorie & Roy Linden, Sheila K. Piercey, RBC Foundation, The Slaight Family Foundation, Government of Canada, with additional support from 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, Roger D. Moore, The Stratton Trust, Janet Stubbs, Brian Wilks, Nora Wilson.

    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

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