Video: Soprano Janai Brugger on Cherubini's MEDEA at Canadian Opera Company

Medea runs for six performances on May 3, 5, 9, 11, 15, and 17, 2024 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

By: Apr. 17, 2024
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Watch as Soprano Janai Brugger gives us a taste of Cherubini’s heady score for MADEA, exquisitely brought to life in this excerpt from her Act I aria “O Amore, vieni a me!"

When Luigi Cherubini's Medea opens at the Canadian Opera Company this May, Toronto audiences will have the opportunity to witness a globally acclaimed cast take on one of opera's most rarely performed works in a thrillingly evocative production from multi-award-winning director Sir David McVicar.

Never before performed on the COC stage, the opera stars some of the world's most sought-after artists, including Sondra Radvanovsky, Matthew Polenzani, and Janai Brugger, in a blistering vengeance tale that sees a scorned sorceress return to viciously destroy all who have wronged her. Medea runs for six performances on May 3, 5, 9, 11, 15, and 17, 2024 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Renowned Scottish director Sir David McVicar is known for his dramatic visual signature. Critics and audiences alike applauded his last two productions at the COC, a “must-see” (Opera Canada) Rusalka and the Dora Award-winning staging of Verdi's Macbeth. With Medea, McVicar, alongside Associate Director Jonathon Loy, brings the tragic Greek myth into the early 20th century, allowing for sumptuous sets of green and burnished gold; in an especially striking feature, the production has incorporated a massive tilted mirror that both amplifies and distorts the audience's perception of events on stage. Costumes from Doey Lüthi are richly detailed—elaborately styled wigs, a wedding dress with a stunning train, and a black feathered gown for Medea that elicits the ominous figure of a raven. Finally, lighting, from original designer Paule Constable and revival designer Clare O'Donoghue, combined with spectacular projections originally designed by S. Katy Tucker and revived by Blake Manns, dial up the drama as the unrelenting revenge thriller careens toward its fiery finale. 

Cherubini's Medea is revered as one of the most difficult works in the operatic canon. For the title singer in particular, the story demands she remain on stage for almost the entire opera, making it a role that is musically and dramatically complex as well as a test of physical endurance. Star soprano and perennial COC favourite Sondra Radvanovsky returns to share one of the most daunting roles in opera with Italian soprano Chiara Isotton. After Radvanovsky debuted as Medea in this production at the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2022, Bachtrack raved that her portrayal “cements [her] position as thrilling prima donna assoluta.” This is a Canadian Opera Company debut for Isotton, who recently also made a “fiery Met debut” (Parterre Box) as the title character in Giordano's Fedora.

Matthew Polenzani, hailed by acclaimed Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera Yannick Nézet-Séguin as “the greatest tenor of our time,” returns to Toronto following a star turn as Alfredo in the COC's 2022 production of La Traviata. Polenzani reprises the role of Giasone, leader of the Argonauts and Medea's former lover, opposite Janai Brugger who brings her “opulent soprano voice” (Los Angeles Times) to her reprisal of the role of Giasone's new bride Glauce, in a COC debut. Two more artists make their Toronto debut in this Medea with bass-baritone Alfred Walker bringing his “sonorous” (Bachtrack) voice to the role of King Creonte, and mezzo-soprano Zoie Reams, hailed by Opera News for her “velvety” vocals, singing Neris, Medea's loyal maid. Ensemble Studio graduate Alex Halliday sings the role of Captain of the Guard, with Ensemble Studio soprano Charlotte Siegel and Ensemble Studio mezzo-soprano Alex Hetherington completing the cast as Glauce's handmaids.

Ticket Information

Medea runs for six performances on May 3, 5, 9, 11, 15, and 17, 2024 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Single tickets for Medea range from $35 – $250 for adults, with Grand Ring seats available at $290 and $350, and $22 tickets available for guests between the ages of 16 and 29 through the COC's Opera Under 30 program.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Four Seasons Centre Box Office at 416-363-8231. For more information on booking student groups, standing room, and rush tickets, as well as other specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, please visit


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