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EXCLUSIVE | In Comes The Understudy: A star is born...

By Neil Crory on February 8, 2015

The Canadian Opera Company lost its star tenor, Clifton Forbis, yesterday due to illness. He was scheduled to sing the demanding role of Siegmund in the 4:30 performance of Richard Wagner's Die Walküre. Fortunately the COC had engaged the young American tenor, Issachah Savage, as the 'cover' for the COC's run of seven performances. Yesterday Savage sang the third performance and, in so doing, has secured his reputation as a major contender for star status among dramatic tenors worldwide...

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THE VOICE | Wagner's Ring of Fire Relit

By Neil Crory on February 2, 2015

On Saturday, January 31, the Canadian Opera Company officially launched the revival of its lauded 2006 production of Richard Wagner's epic Ring Cycle with seven performances of Die Walküre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The production runs through February 22nd...

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THE VOICE | The Cult of Magda

By Neil Crory on January 31, 2015

Born in 1910, Olivero made her professional operatic debut in Turin in 1933, at the age of 23. Within a few years, she had established herself as one of Italy's hottest new talents, securing her reputation over the next few years by singing everything from Lauretta (her debut role), to heavier roles such as Cio-Cio San, Mimi, Manon Lescaut, and even Elsa. In the 1939/40 season, she also added Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur to her repertoire – a role which was to play an important part in her career...

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THE VOICE | Four Seasons Forecast: Dreary, Dreary, Dreary (Review)

By Neil Crory on January 25, 2015

Contrary to popular belief, critics and reviewers do not - for the most part - enjoy writing negative commentary. I know that I don't. But what can be said about the Canadian Opera Company's new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts which opened on Saturday afternoon?

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THE VOICE | Canadian Opera Company Unveils a 2015/16 Season Full of Firsts

By Neil Crory on January 16, 2015

On Wednesday evening the Canadian Opera Company announced its 2015-2016 season in Grand Opera style. No exclusive little cocktail party for a handful of press here ­– instead General Director, Alexander Neef went straight to his public and pulled out all the stops. Over a 90 minute programme he offered the crowd of over 1700 an 'event' overflowing with informal chat, Q & As, video segments, interviews, live music, surprise guest singers, a full orchestra conducted by COC Music Director, Johannes Debus - and the complete Act II finale of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Brent Bambury, the affable CBC Radio One host, functioned as moderator and kept the various elements moving along in a quick and orderly fashion. With the massive set for Richard Wagner's Die Walküre in the background, all that was missing was the chorus...

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The Voice of 2014 is Franco Fagioli, Countertenor

By Neil Crory on January 7, 2015

Early this past year, a new CD release on the Naïve label arrived in my mail. Glancing at the title - Arias for Caffarelli [sung by] Franco Fagioli - I reacted with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, "Good god! Not another countertenor!" And with that, I tossed it, unceremoniously, into a box overflowing with CDs to be auditioned...at a much later date...

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THE VOICE | Gianandrea Noseda Tells All

By Neil Crory on December 3, 2014

The dynamic Italian conductor, Gianandrea Noseda, needs little introduction to Torontonians. Since his local debut in April 2002, he has conducted nearly a dozen programmes with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. For his upcoming appearance, however, Noseda is bringing his own orchestra and chorus from the Teatro Regio Torino in Italy, together with twelve soloists for a single, not-to-be-missed performance of Rossini's epic William Tell (or, more appropriately, Guglielmo Tell).

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THE VOICE | Canadian Opera Company Competition Crowns Three Kings

By Neil Crory on November 26, 2014

I can't recall ever attending a vocal competition in which the men took home all the medals: bronze, silver and gold. Those cunning little sopranos and mezzos always seem to find ways to endear themselves into the hearts of jury and audience members, don't they? That is until last evening for the final round of the Second Annual Canadian Opera Company's Centre Stage Ensemble Studio Competition Gala at the Four Season's Centre.

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