The Canadian Opera Company’s fall season presents a well-balanced duo of contrasting classics to signal that, even without the world renowned artistic director we recently lost to Paris, the COC is back on its feet.   First up, The Flying Dutchman is a quick hit of Wagnerian sorrow coming in at only 2 hours and […]

  Kelly Bedard

Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt’s 2 Pianos 4 Hands is considered one of the great success stories of Canadian theatre. Spinning a tale about parallel adolescences tied together by classical piano training, this elegantly simple two-man production balances a double life as crowd-pleasing goofball act punctuated by well-played concertos and a darkly funny memory play […]

  Kelly Bedard

The city’s longest running opera company offers a really lovely blend of young professional artist support and community-based involvement. Their latest production, Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana (which ran June 2-5 for three performances only at the Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre) perfectly illustrates that two-pronged approach to opera for everyone.   It’s hard to explain […]

  Kelly Bedard

After two years of cancellations, a series of tentative theatre-ish offerings, and more than a few false starts, Toronto’s theatre companies are coming back. The journey towards a normal theatrical experience has taken place a little bit then seemingly all at once as my once-bare calendar suddenly doesn’t have a night off for weeks. Of […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra welcomed audiences back to Roy Thomson Hall last week with a short intermission-less concert of contemporary classical music chosen to honour what we’ve lost, celebrate where we are, and welcome the company’s new music director Gustavo Gimeno whose 2020 grand debut was the victim of almost uncannily terrible timing.   The […]

James Bond returns to Toronto with Skyfall, 007 in Concert. The score will be performed by a live orchestra at the newly rebranded Meridian Hall on February 21st and 22nd, and the city is ready to embrace our favourite British Agent. Vying for some of the top spots in iconic scores, the hard-hitting James Bond […]

  Alexander Franks

All right I’ll be honest. Did every time I describe the show I was seeing tonight, did I use the phrase, “Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!” Yes, I did. For one, it is the one of the most iconic parts of the show so easily quotable and it is impossible to sing it without smiling. Go ahead […]

  Amy Strizic

The Canadian Opera Company has set out a delicious 2019/20 season. I have been excited to see Turandot since last fall when the upcoming season was released. Knowing little about the particulars of storyline, I anticipated seeing Puccini’s work, in particular that glorious piece “Nessun Dorma” with excitement and high expectation. I knew still less […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra closed out their season by opening a new chapter, welcoming incoming music director Gustavo Gimeno to the podium to introduce himself to the audience before be begins his full time gig next season. The evening began with Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 with concertmaster Jonathan Crow on the solo. The […]

James Ehnes is a thrilling violinist, a brilliant technician who…

The Musician Spotlight Series shines a light on up-and-coming musicians creating heartfelt and original work across genres, giving them an opportunity to talk about their music, their collaborators, and why they do what they do. Click Here to follow the series as it progresses. To submit an artist or band for consideration, email … Toronto Symphony […]

  Amy Strizic

The Canadian Opera Company’s production of Otello is passionate, bleak, dramatic, and nearly everything one could want from an opera. Based on Shakespeare’s tempestuous tragedy, it is far from a comedic opera one might imagine with giggling maids, young lovers, and sets dripping with brocade and jewels. The set is modern and stark, a creative […]

Several cast members made their mainstage Canadian Opera Company…

  Kelly Bedard

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is world-class and their recent infusion of young new players really livens things up down at Roy Thomson Hall (always a fun venue to visit). I’m partial to new associate principal bassoon Darren Hicks and our recent spotlightee principal flute Kelly Zimba. And if you haven’t googled associate principal clarinet Eric […]

The Musician Spotlight Series shines a light on up-and-coming musicians creating heartfelt and original work across genres, giving them an opportunity to talk about their music, their collaborators, and why they do what they do. Click Here to follow the series as it progresses. To submit an artist or band for consideration, email … American flutist […]

  Dom Harvey

Opera is sustainable when you can enjoy it without fully understanding it or taking it seriously. Few works rely on this more than Così fan tutte, which continues to entertain really-rather-refined audiences who would blanch at its antediluvian gender politics in a modern work. The official title translates as “all [women] do it”, and it’s […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

The Canadian Opera Company’s latest production of Elektra opened up recently to warm us right up, piercing through the snow. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts was abuzz with folks of all ages. I wondered if this was a result of COC’s efforts to make opera exciting for younger audiences, or many of […]

The eclectic pairing of a visually ambitious but narratively light 20th century Russian mixed bill directed with theatrical ambition and a rich Italian bel canto full-length narrative with restrained character-focused direction makes for a beautifully balanced spring season for the Canadian Opera Company, a stretch of programming that offers something for everyone no matter why […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Overcoat: a musical tailoring (Canadian Stage with Tapestry Opera & Vancouver Opera) This new opera is a strong achievement for Tapestry- a smallish contemporary opera company that suffers for exposure while staying admirably dedicated to their fresh-feeling operatic ideals (James Rolfe’s score is pretty and the opera is light, modern and distinct in a […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2017 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Argentine tenor Marcelo Puente’s rich and nuanced voice stood out in the all-excellent cast of the Canadian Opera Company’s beautiful Tosca. As the tragic lover Cavaradossi, Marcelo delivered a complex and refreshingly individual performance, grounding the idealistic painter’s political […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2017 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. German bass-baritone…

  Kelly Bedard

The Canadian Opera Company’s current season is an intriguing examination of a problem from two angles. On one hand, they’re presenting their Rigoletto, last seen not-so-long-ago in 2011. It’s an aesthetically sublime, beautifully performed production of an opera with problematic subject matter. There’s also The Abduction from the Seraglio, an aesthetically dull, awkwardly performed production […]

  Chelsea Dinsmore

Beginning and ending with the last performance of Vaslav Nijinsky, widely considered one of the greatest dancers of the twentieth century, choreographer John Neumeier’s “biography of the soul” is a contemporary ballet masterpiece. Nijinsky draws its audience in from the beginning. There is no reminder to turn off your cell phone, no dimming of the […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (National Theatre presented by Mirvish Productions) I saw the UK’s National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time when it played Broadway a few years ago with the incomparable Alex Sharp in the lead role of Christopher, an autistic teenager who […]

  Lisa McKeown

This dance-opera conceived and designed by co-directors Michael Greyeyes and Yvette Nolan and librettist Spy Denommé-Welch investigates the emotional history and contemporary cultural significance of Canada’s residential school system. The production itself is multi-faceted, combining orchestral music, a choir, opera, and modern dance. The story divides into three movements: in the first, the dancers enter […]

  Duncan Derry

The lights go down, the famous crashing motif begins and the curtain immediately flies up to reveal the chapel of a massive Roman church, into which an escaped prisoner appears, searching for refuge. Giacomo Puccini’s famously sensational work cuts through all the introductory formality (no overture!) and instead plunges us straight into the drama, sparing […]