Toronto –The Canadian Opera Company offers three bold new productions in 2019/2020 that hone in on the stories and myths that shape our perceptions – and the ones that offer escape from all things ordinary. This 69th season features new productions of Puccini’s Turandot, Dvořák’s Rusalka, and Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel, as well as COC revivals of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Verdi’s Aida, and Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman.
“The need to hear and share stories is essential to the human experience,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “It begins with the fairy tales told to us as children, is developed through the history and literature learned as students, and later inspires the art we seek and create as adults. Stories can entertain, but they are also a powerful way to inform and give voice to important topics and perspectives. This season, we have curated a selection of operas that are magnetic for their extraordinary scores and vivid storytelling – and remarkable for their ability to tap into the emotions and motivations that unite us.”
“Our 19/20 operas also represent a valuable opportunity for ourselves, as creators, to challenge existing notions of how best to tell these stories,” says Neef. “Opera, by its very nature, is a collaborative art form, and presents us with endless ways to reimagine them for a renewed sense of resonance, amid changing times and better cross-cultural understanding.”
The COC welcomes back to the Four Seasons Centre a number of internationally acclaimed artists who have thrilled Toronto audiences in previous seasons, including: soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in Rusalka’s title role with soprano Keri Alkema as the opera’s Foreign Princess; soprano Tamara Wilson as the title roles of Turandot and Aida; soprano Joyce El-Khoury as Liù in Turandot; mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo as Rosina in The Barber of Seville; tenor Michael Colvin as The Witch in Hansel & Gretel; tenor Russell Thomas as Radames and baritone Roland Wood as Amonasro in Aida; and tenor Michael Schade as Erik in The Flying Dutchman. Directors Tim Albery, Christopher Alden, Joan Font, and Joel Ivany also return for the 19/20 season.
This season also marks the COC mainstage debuts of some of the most accomplished opera artists in the world, including tenor Sergey Skorokhodov as Calaf in Turandot; bass Matthew Rose as Vodnik in Rusalka; baritone Vito Priante as Figaro in The Barber of Seville; and bass Vitalij Kowaljow as the Dutchman in The Flying Dutchman. This season is also the first to showcase visionary directors Robert Wilson and David McVicar, as well as the orchestral leadership of Italian conductors Speranza Scappucci and Jader Bignamini.