TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, Free Concert Series and More Set for Canadian Opera Company, Feb 2013

TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, Free Concert Series and More Set for Canadian Opera Company, Feb 2013

Canadian Opera Company has announced its upcoming productions in February 2013. Full details below!

OPERAS

Tristan und Isolde
by Richard Wagner
7 performances:
January 29, February 2, 8, 14, 17, 20, 23, 2013
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
145 Queen St. W. (at University Avenue)

The Canadian Opera Company opens its winter season with one of music history’s most influential works, Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. This production by legendary director Peter Sellars stars celebrated Canadian tenor Ben Heppner in a long-awaited return to the COC mainstage. This is the first time that the awe-inspiring staging has been seen in North America. The multi-sensory experience features video imagery by internationally renowned video artist Bill Viola, who “has come up with an image of the scale and scope, grandeur and immensity, and genuine transcendence that Wagner was imagining,” says Sellars. One of the most sought after and respected conductors in the world today, Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ji?í B?lohlávek, makes his company debut leading the COC Orchestra and Chorus. Singing opposite Heppner is German soprano Melanie Diener, in her COC debut as Isolde. American soprano Margaret Jane Wray sings the role of Isolde for two performances.

Single tickets for Tristan und Isolde are $12 – $390 (specially priced $22 tickets are available for people under the age of 30). Tickets are available online at coc.ca, by calling COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office, located at 145 Queen St. W., Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

La clemenza di Tito
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
8 performances: February 3, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, 19, 22, 2013
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
145 Queen St. W. (at University Avenue)

The Canadian Opera Company’s winter 2013 season continues with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s final opera, La clemenza di Tito. Containing some of opera’s most sublime music, the work tells of the attempted assassination of the Emperor Tito and his forgiveness of those who betrayed him. After earning raves for his portrayal of Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus this fall, Canadian tenor Michael Schade returns to the COC to sing the part of Tito, a role which has won him acclaim from Salzburg to Washington. American Isabel Leonard, a Met regular and one of the finest mezzo-sopranos on the operatic stage today, makes her COC debut as Sesto, Tito’s friend. Rising opera star American soprano Keri Alkema is the vengeful Vitellia, while Ensemble Studio soprano Mireille Asselin performs the role of Servilia, Sesto’s sister. Ensemble Studio graduates mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta and bass Robert Gleadow reunite at the COC as Annio and Publio, respectively. COC Music Director Johannes Debus leads the COC Orchestra and Chorus; he’s joined by director Christopher Alden for a production that was described at its 2009 premiere as “an evening of modern music theatre you mustn’t miss” (Chicago Tribune).

Single tickets for La clemenza di Tito are $12 – $325 (specially priced $22 tickets are available for people under the age of 30). Tickets are available online at coc.ca, by calling COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office, located at 145 Queen St. W., Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ensemble Studio Performance of
La clemenza di Tito
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
February 6, 2013
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
145 Queen St. W. (at University Avenue)

Experience the vibrant young singers of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio as they perform Mozart’s sublime La clemenza di Tito on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. on the mainstage.

This special performance stars Ensemble tenors Christopher Enns and Owen McCausland, who share the role of the betrayed Emperor Tito, along with soprano Ambur Braid as the vengeful Vitellia and mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb as Tito’s friend, Sesto. Soprano Sasha Djihanian appears as Annio, soprano Claire de Sévigné takes on the role of Servilia, and bass-baritone Neil Craighead portrays Publio. The young artists perform with the full COC Orchestra and Chorus under COC Music Director Johannes Debus and director Christopher Alden.

Since 1980, the Ensemble Studio has fostered the development of opera in Canada as the country’s premier training program for young opera professionals. Among its many graduates are some of today’s most esteemed performers, including Isabel Bayrakdarian, Ben Heppner and Joseph Kaiser.

Tickets for the Ensemble Studio performance of La clemenza di Tito are accessibly priced at $25 and $55 per person and are available online at coc.ca, by calling COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office, located at 145 Queen St. W., Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

FREE CONCERT SERIES IN THE Richard Bradshaw AMPHITHEATRE
February 5 – 28, 2013
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
145 Queen St. W. (at University Avenue)

The Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre is a unique opportunity to experience diverse artistic programming in what has become one of Toronto’s most exciting cultural hubs. Six inspiring series offer concerts, dance performances and engaging presentations that feature both up-and-coming young artists and established international stars. All performances are FREE to the public, with admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early as late seating is not available.

February 5, 2013
12 – 1 p.m.
Piano Virtuoso Series

Variations on 1930
American pianist, harpsichordist and conductor Stephen B. Hargreaves presents a colourful snapshot of the year 1930 with an eclectic program ranging from piano music by Copland (Piano Variations), Britten (Three Character Pieces), and Kodály (Dances of Marrosszék) to Art Tatum’s transcription of Tea for Two and Henry Cowell’s Sinister Resonance.

February 7, 2013
12 – 1 p.m.
Piano Virtuoso Series

Painting with Sound
Albanian-Canadian pianist Rudin Lengo presents an evocative program of masterpieces by Liszt (Harmonies du soir, Nuages gris, En Rêve) and Mussorgsky (Pictures at an Exhibition).

February 12, 2013
12 – 1 p.m.
Vocal Series

Love’s Dark Shore
Internationally acclaimed German bass Franz-Josef Selig (King Mark in the COC’s winter production of Tristan und Isolde) explores the dark side of love in a rich and compelling program of lieder by Franz Schubert and Richard Strauss.

February 14, 2013
12 – 1 p.m.
Vocal Series

Vive l’amour!
Singers from the young artist programs of the Canadian Opera Company and Opéra de Montréal join forces in a musical celebration of love featuring some of opera’s most romantic arias and ensembles.

February 19, 2013
12 – 1 p.m.
Dance Series

MotionMusic
Choreographer Peggy Baker presents a quartet of dance works with accompaniment from exceptional pianist John Kameel Farah. The music includes a superb late-19th-century prelude by Alexander Scriabin, a sublime work of mid-century modernism by John Cage, and a treacherous score by Michael J. Baker, complete with spoken text and flying sheet music. Each piece of music sets in motion the extraordinary dancers of Peggy Baker Dance Projects.

February 21, 2013
12 – 1 p.m.
Vocal Music Series

Of Love and Longing: Songs of Richard Strauss
Artists of the COC Ensemble Studio perform a sumptuous program of arias and art songs by Richard Strauss.

February 26, 2013
12 – 1 p.m.
Piano Virtuoso Series

Reflections
Pianist Connie Kim-Sheng showcases her virtuosity and artistry in a program of works by Beethoven (Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110, first movement), Chopin (Ballade No. 3), Ravel (Miroirs) and Rachmaninov (Études-Tableaux, Op. 39, No. 5).

February 27, 2013
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Jazz Series

Contemporary Conversations
Pianist Nancy Walker and saxophonist Kirk MacDonald tug at the boundaries of structure and freedom, playing original material and selections from the jazz standards repertoire.

February 28, 2013
12 – 1 p.m.
Piano Virtuoso Series

Shades of Chopin
Pianist Justin Min presents an all-Chopin program, including the composer’s final piano sonata, the dramatic Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58.

TOUR THE FOUR SEASONS CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

February 3, 10, 17, 24, 2013
Start time: 10:30 a.m.
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
145 Queen St. W. (at University Avenue)
Cost: $20/adults; $15/seniors and students

The Canadian Opera Company opens the doors to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday this month with 90-minute tours for the general public. Public tours are an exciting opportunity to learn more about the first purpose-built opera house in Canada, its history, architecture and innovative acoustic design. Each tour is led by trained docents and includes information and access to the magnificent Isadore and Rosalie Sharp City Room, the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre and R. Fraser Elliott Hall, as well as backstage areas like wig rooms and dressing rooms, the orchestra pit, and other spaces that only a stage door pass could unlock.

Tickets for public tours are $20/adults and $15/seniors and students, and can be purchased in advance at coc.ca or at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office, located at 145 Queen St. W., Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets will also be available on the morning of the tour starting at 10 a.m. at the welcome desk located in the main lobby.