Newswire | Canadian Opera Company Presents Opera of All Scales with 2022/2023 Programming

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Toronto – Three fan favourites, two riveting dramas, a new production of Verdi’s Macbeth, and an exciting co-production with Vancouver Opera headline the Canadian Opera Company’s 2022/2023 programming. This will be the company’s first full season of in-person opera since the start of the pandemic, with productions that explore storytelling of all scopes and perspectives.

“This season, we’re excited to present opera across many scales,” says COC General Director Perryn Leech. “Opera can be subtle and intimate, and it can be huge, powerful, and overwhelming. It lives and breathes in both fantastic traditional theatres and exciting non-traditional performance spaces. This season is all about embracing opera’s full breadth of experience and emotion, at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the Canadian Opera Company Theatre, and anywhere where the human voice can be heard and stories told.”

“This is my first full season of live opera as General Director,” continues Leech. “But we certainly will not be leaving behind the digital technology that propelled us through the last two years. We look forward to exploring new opportunities in that creative realm, and will be looking to complement our on-stage productions with high-quality recordings and streams, opening up this fantastic art form to a wider community.”

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At the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

October 7, 9, 13, 15, 19, 21, and 23, 2022

Sung in German with English SURTITLESTM

A Canadian Opera Company production

The 22/23 season kicks off with Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, a haunting sea legend that has captured the imagination of audiences for generations. This COC signature production is directed by Christopher Alden and stars Danish bass-baritone Johan Reuter as the cursed sea captain condemned to sail for eternity – unless he finds true love. American soprano Marjorie Owens returns to the COC in the role of Senta, a local village woman infatuated with the Dutchman’s tale. COC Music Director Johannes Debus leads the COC Orchestra through the epic first opera he conducted after joining the company, marking a full-circle moment for the established and acclaimed conductor.

October 14, 16, 20, 22, 26, 28, 30, and November 4, 2022

Sung in French with English SURTITLESTM

A Canadian Opera Company production

An all-star cast of Canadian and international artists leads this Bizet blockbuster. American mezzo-soprano and “rising star” (Los Angeles Times) J’Nai Bridges makes her COC debut, sharing the title role of the fiercely independent woman with Tunisian-Canadian mezzo-soprano and COC Ensemble Studio alumna Rihab Chaieb. Argentine tenor Marcelo Puente returns to Toronto as Carmen’s hot-tempered love interest Don José, while Juno-nominated Lebanese-Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury shares the role of sweet Micaëla with rising Canadian soprano and Ensemble Studio alumna Anna-Sophie Neher. Joel Ivany of Edmonton Opera puts his unique directorial stamp on one of the world’s most popular operas, transporting audiences to sun-drenched, bustling street scenes and outlaw hideaways.

January 27, 29 / February 2, 4, 10, 12, 16, and 18, 2023

Sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM

A Canadian Opera Company production

The winter season opens with The Marriage of Figaro, picking up where The Barber of Seville left off: the wedding day for Figaro and his bride-to-be, Susanna. However, before these two can get to their vows, they’ll have to get to the altar in this twisting musical comedy. Luca Pisaroni stars as Figaro in what has become a signature role for the Italian bass-baritone since his operatic debut in the role in 2001. British soprano Louise Alder brings her “glorious voice” (The Guardian) to performing Susanna, alongside Canadian bass-baritone and Ensemble Studio alumnus Gordon Bintner as the Count, and South African soprano Johanni van Oostrum as the Countess. German theatre director Claus Guth leads this stylized and subversive opera that sees the working class outwit their employers. 

February 3, 5, 9, 11, 17, 19, and 24, 2023

Sung in German with English SURTITLESTM

A Canadian Opera Company production

Salome, by Richard Strauss, paints a searing portrait of a woman unhinged. The surreal operatic twist on the story of John the Baptist is directed by Academy Award-nominated Armenian-Canadian Atom Egoyan. Canadian soprano and Ensemble Studio alumna Ambur Braid was acclaimed for her recent tour de force performance in the title role at Frankfurt Opera; she stars as the stepdaughter of lecherous Herod, performed by renowned Canadian tenor Michael Schade. Performing Herodias is world-renowned Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, and Canadian tenor Frédéric Antoun completes the cast as Narraboth. COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts the explosive, modernist score that redefined musical storytelling.

April 28, 30 / May 6, 12, 14, 17, and 20, 2023

Sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM

A new Canadian Opera Company co-production with Lyric Opera of Chicago

Vaunting ambition, a thirst for power, and bone-chilling violence collide in this thrilling new Canadian Opera Company co-production with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Macbeth features American baritone Quinn Kelsey, “one of the most compelling sounds to be heard on the opera stage today,” (Opera News) in the title role opposite renowned Canadian-American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as Lady Macbeth. Radvanovsky is reunited with British director Sir David McVicar after collaborating on the COC’s Rusalka in 2019, and the pair is joined by many of the same creative team members who brought that acclaimed production to life. Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci, “one of classical music’s biggest stars,” (Opera News) returns to the podium after dazzling Toronto audiences in 2020 with her work in The Barber of Seville.

May 5, 7, 11, 13, 19, 21, 23, and 27, 2023

Sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM

A Canadian Opera Company production

Tosca marks the season’s final production staged at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The edge-of-your-seat thriller invites audiences on a dramatic rollercoaster that unfolds over the course of just 24 hours, as Tosca is faced with a terrible ultimatum: submit to the desires of the corrupt local police chief, or watch her beloved die. Rising Moldovan soprano Olga Busuioc makes her COC debut in the title role, opposite Italian tenor Stefano La Colla who brings his vocal “strength and flexibility” (Chicago Classical Review) to the role of her lover Cavaradossi. British baritone Roland Wood returns to the COC as villainous Scarpia. Scottish opera director Paul Curran leads the COC revival, with Italian conductor Giuliano Carella directing the stunning musical score. 

At the Canadian Opera Company Theatre (227 Front St. E.)

June 2, 3, and 4, 2023

Sung in English

A Canadian Opera Company co-production with Vancouver Opera

The COC’s 22/23 season closes with Pomegranate by composer Kye Marshall and librettist Amanda Hale, and co-produced by the Canadian Opera Company and Vancouver Opera. The chamber opera, to be presented at the Canadian Opera Company Theatre follows smitten teens Suzie and Cass through a time-shifting tale of love through the ages, beginning with a fateful trip to Pompeii’s ruins and ending in the aftermath of Toronto’s infamous Bathhouse Raids. Director Jennifer Tarver leads the intimate exploration, with Rosemary Thomson conducting, and Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst leading the COC Chorus.


Production of The Flying Dutchman underwritten, in part, by Lisa Balfour Bowen and Family in memory of Walter Bowen and in honour of Alexander Neef.

Production of The Marriage of Figaro underwritten, in part, by Howard and Sarah D. Solomon Foundation in honour of Alexander Neef.

Production of The Marriage of Figaro was originally built by the Salzburg Festival in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth.

Thank you to the entire COC community, including our COC Board of Directors, our Corporate Sponsors and Foundation Supportersgenerous public fundersunion partners, and—most critically—our audience. Your inspiring support ensures that opera flourishes, uniting global audiences and paving the way for a vibrant future.


Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. General Director Perryn Leech joined the company in 2021, forming a leadership team with Music Director Johannes Debus and Deputy General Director Christie Darville. The COC enjoys a loyal audience, including a dedicated base of subscribers, and has an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation. Its diverse repertoire includes new commissions and productions, local and international collaborations with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracts the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC Academy is an incubator for the future of the art form, nurturing Canada’s new wave of opera creators with customized training and support. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. For more information, visit


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