THE SCOOP | The Canadian Opera Company Announces 2021 Fall Season With New Digital Membership Program

By Anya Wassenberg on August 16, 2021

The Canadian Opera Company has announced its long awaited plans for its aptly titled 2021/2022: A Season Like No Other.

The first half, incorporating September to December 2021, will be offered online via subscription free of charge. With all the uncertainty that took place in the province throughout the spring, planning was underway for a return to the stage.

“Getting singers, instrumentalists, craftspeople, technicians, and creative teams back into the opera house and creating new work is a major milestone,” says COC General Director Perryn Leech in a media release. “This is an important first step in paving the way toward the next stage in the recovery and return of live opera: welcoming our audiences back into the opera house as soon as it is safe to do so.”

“Being able to perform again from our stage is a wonderful moment of celebration, and we’re thrilled to be able to share that with as many people as possible through digital streaming and our exciting new membership program,” continues Leech. “We want to make it easier than ever to sample what we do for the first time or go back and rediscover something new in a favourite piece of music.”

The Fall 2021 Digital Season

  • The season debuts on September 25 with In Concert: Russell Braun and Tamara Wilson with the COC Orchestra performing arias and orchestral pieces by Verdi, Bizet, Wagner, and Puccini, and others. The highlight: Tamara Wilson’s first public performance of “Liebestod” from Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.
  • On October 30, the COC presents a new production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, under the baton of Italian conductor Jader Bignamini with the COC Orchestra. British baritone Roland Wood stars as the schemer Gianni Schicchi, with rising South Korean soprano Hera Hyesang Park in her COC debut as Lauretta, with Canadian talent Megan Latham, bass-baritone Thomas Goerz, tenor Andrew Haji, tenor David Curry, and others.
  • Contemporary Afro-Cuban roots and jazz group, OKAN perform selections from their JUNO-winning album Espiral on November 13. The group, with core members Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne write songs steeped in their Cuban roots, within the multicultural matrix of Toronto’s music scene.
  • The COC partners with Against the Grain Theatre for a multidisciplinary presentation of Mozart’s Requiem on November 27. This interpretation incorporates interviews with front-line workers and others affected by the pandemic, and connects those stories with the beauty of Mozart’s music. Kwagiulth and Stó:lo First Nations mezzo-soprano Marion Newman performs with current and graduate artists from the COC’s Ensemble Studio for a glimpse at opera’s next gen. COC Music Director Johannes Debus leads the COC Orchestra, and Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst leads the COC Chorus.
  • On December 18, In Winter presents the world premiere of a new commission by Métis and French-Canadian composer Ian Cusson with the company’s full artistic ensemble. The program will blend familiar favourites like “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and classic winter songs with Cusson’s original piece for chorus and orchestra, with texts by Métis writer Katherena Vermette. Métis soprano Melody Courage makes her COC debut with the COC Orchestra under COC Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC Chorus led by Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst, and artists of the COC Ensemble Studio.

Free Concert Series

Fans of the COC’s Free Concert Series will be happy to note that the series returns in digital form as the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre: City Sessions, Presented by TD Bank Group.

  • Short, digital performances will take place in the Isadore and Rosalie Sharp City Room at the Four Seasons Centre.
  • City Sessions showcases Toronto’s artists in globally inspired performances of music and storytelling.
  • Beginning in October, all performances will be available on the COC’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook platforms.

How It Works

The fall 2021 season of digital programming is available with the COC Digital Membership, offered free of charge, and available across Canada and internationally.

  • New digital programming released every month at coc.ca/watch.
  • Along with the concerts, the material will include backstage interviews and insights.
  • COC Digital Membership gives members priority access to COC’s in-person performances when they return.

Current COC supporters and subscribers will automatically have the membership applied to their accounts. New members can sign up now at coc.ca/stream.

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