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THE SCOOP | Canadian Opera Company Names Inaugural Director/Dramaturg-in-Residence

By Michael Vincent on December 2, 2019

Julie McIsaac

The Canadian Opera Company (COC) has tapped stage director, dramaturg, playwright/librettist, and multi-instrumentalist Julie McIsaac as the inaugural Director/Dramaturg-in-Residence.

“Julie’s voice as a storyteller is wonderfully textured,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “With her background in classical piano, voice, languages, and theatre, she is uniquely equipped for the challenge of staging new opera that shakes up all expectations of the genre for today’s audiences.”

McIsaac will join the COC Academy for a year-long residency with the professional development program for young opera artists, creators, and administrators.

“{Toronto}…is where I first heard a full orchestra, and where I first experienced the power of storytelling on a large stage. I have memories of being 16 years old and standing in line for hours for student rush tickets — and then being so moved by the music that I wept until the collar of my sweater was soaked.”

McIsaac will collaborate with COC Composer-in-Residence Ian Cusson on the creation of an opera for young audiences, with a libretto by award-winning Canadian playwright Colleen Murphy.

“Ian hails from my hometown,” says McIsaac. “Our grandparents played music together, and it’s beautiful to feel that we’re connected to them through our creative collaboration now.”

McIsaac will also serve as assistant director alongside Against the Grains Theatre director Joel Ivany and dramaturg Katherine Syer on the COC’s production of Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel. She will adapt the opera into a shorter 90-minute version planned for February 2020.

“From our first meeting with Julie, we immediately recognized an artist with the vision and potential to transform opera creation in Canada, assert its relevance, and inspire conversation,” says Nina Draganić, COC Director of Access and Training and head of the COC Academy.

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Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
Follow me
Follow me

Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
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