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The Canadian Opera Company opens its 2018/2019 season with a stunning new production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's timeless cautionary tale, Eugene Onegin. The opera is based on the classic Russian novel-in-verse by Alexander Pushkin and tells the story of one of literature's most iconic anti-heroes. Onegin is the cynical product of an aimless dilettante life who quickly dismisses a heartfelt love letter from romantic Tatyana. However his casual cruelty comes back to haunt him years later, when karma rears its head and a fateful reunion turns the tables on proud Onegin. Eugene Onegin runs for eight performances on September 30, October 4, 10, 18, 20, 26, 30, November 3, 2018. Check out a video preview below!

Award-winning Canadian director Robert Carsen takes the helm of this "exhilaratingly unsentimental production" (Opera News). Using a strikingly spare set by renowned Canadian set designer Michael Levine, Carsen creates room for characters and their emotions to command focus; the clean backdrop is a perfect foil for the curated elements that remain: a palatial chair, a spray of autumn leaves, and meticulous details on Levine's 19th-century costumes. Spirited dance sequences come to life, under the direction of choreographer Serge Bannathan. And bold, colourful lighting, originally conceived by Jean Kalman and revived by Christine Binder, intensifies the drama unfolding on stage.

The youth at the heart of Eugene Onegin are played by a fresh cast of emerging artists, many of whom have already appeared on some of the world's leading opera stages. Bass-baritone Gordon Bintner, a recent graduate of the COC Ensemble Studio, makes his role debut as the titular Eugene Onegin; his performance in the COC's The Elixir of Love drew acclaim for his "robust, well-projected, gorgeous vocalism" (Opera Canada). Bintner is joined by Joyce El-Khoury, a Canadian soprano that Opera News recently commended for her "lustrous" and "silken" voice, as Tatyana. Armenian mezzo-soprano Varduhi Abrahamyan brings her lush vocals to the role of Tatyana's sister Olga; "larger-than-life" (The Independent) Canadian tenor and Ensemble Studio graduate Joseph Kaiser is Olga's fiancé Lensky; and Moldovan bass Oleg Tsibulko lends his "melliflouous" (The Telegraph) sound to the role of Prince Gremin, Tatyana's devoted husband.

Tchaikovsky's score is noted for its emotional sincerity and simplicity, a radical departure from grand operatic conventions of the time. COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts the COC Orchestra and Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst leads the COC Chorus.

Onegin is sung in Russian and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES. Originally created for the Metropolitan Opera in 1997, this will be the first time the COC will be performing this production.

Single tickets for Eugene Onegin range from $35 - $250 with Grand Ring seats available at $290 and $350. Tickets are on sale August 27, 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.). For more information on specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, standing room, Opera Under 30 presented by TD Bank Group, student groups and rush seating, visit

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 support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world's attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world's foremost Canadian and International Artists. 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. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006. For more information on the Canadian Opera Company, please visit

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