Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2019 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present…

  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 […]

  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 […]

  Kelly Bedard

A theme you will find in my reviews of Luminato shows is that I tend to feel like the festival is not really for me. I have fairly conventional theatre taste and fairly passive political beliefs (at least among the liberal consensus of my community) so Luminato’s artsy, brazen, avant-garde vibe is really just not […]

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. Outstanding Lighting Design nominee David Finn has worked extensively all over the world. He’s especially revered for his work in ballet and opera where he’s lit some of the biggest stages for the grandest stories. For […]

  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…

  Anya Wassenberg

“Winner Takes All” is the ABBA favourite you think you know – you think so, that is, until you hear the latest version by singer Joey Niceforo. Joey is a classical crossover artist, and his treatment of the song mines unexpected emotional and even musical depths from the original pop material. Credit his classically trained […]

  Lisa McKeown

Inspired by the true story of an opera singer and a French diplomat, Mr. Shi and His Lover is a semi-operatic play currently on Tarragon’s mainstage. The narrative traces a story in which the two fall in love, and proceed to have a twenty year relationship, during which time Mr. Shi believed his lover to […]

  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 […]

  Kelly Bedard

There are a few refreshing intellectual, social, and theatrical ideas in Peter Hinton‘s new production of Harry Sommers’ 1967 Canadian history opera Louis Riel. The judgemental chorus seated high in a jury box of designer Michael Gianfrancesco’s perfectly measured creation, watching history happen with the cold detachment Riel’s dramatic and important story so often receives […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2016 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. David Korins may be nominated this year for Outstanding Set Design for his work on the Canadian Opera Company’s Norma but you don’t have to know opera to know his work. He’s designed for Kanye West concerts, live TV events, […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2016 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series…

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2016 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Canadian Opera Company favourite (and newly minted Resident Artist) Jane Archibald is nominated for her second Outstanding Opera Performance MyTheatre Award for her brilliantly sung and refreshingly strong, contemporary take on mistreated ingenue Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante. We caught […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2016 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Nominated this year for Outstanding Performance in a Musical for his role in The Shaw Festival’s Sweeney Todd, Marcus Nance has one of the most memorable voices in Canadian musical theatre- a rich bass that could charm just about anybody […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2016 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Sondra Radvanovsky is one of the world’s most renowned sopranos. She received her second Outstanding Opera Performance MyTheatre Award nomination for her glorious bel canto performance in Norma with the Canadian Opera Company. She took the time amidst […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Canadian Opera Company has been slogging through Wagner’s interminable Ring Cycle over the past three seasons. And I’ve been slogging through my reviews of said marathons of melancholy Germans singing about dwarves. The summary was always the same: the set is bonkers but impressive, the singers and orchestra are technically sound, no one is […]

  Kelly Bedard

Yes yes yes and once again yes. In five years covering the Canadian Opera Company, I’ve never seen a rep season with this much storytelling depth and theatrical impact. I’ve never seen a perfect balance between homegrown talent, international stars, and homegrown international stars. I’ve never seen female characters with this much agency and this many […]

For anyone seeking reassurance that opera still has a place in the modern world, Maometto II is an excellent place to start. Directed by David Alden, the COC’s current production (onstage until May 14th) blends dramatic tension and modern themes to create an utterly compelling performance that is difficult to tear yourself away from. Luca […]

  Kelly Bedard

Directed by Joel Ivany in his mainstage debut with the Canadian Opera Company and designed by Michael Yeargan (set) and Francois St-Aubin (costumes), the COC’s current production of Carmen (onstage at the Four Seasons Centre until May 15) is very clean. The stage, the blocking and everything else is neat and tidy with precisely delineated […]

  Caroline Schurman-Grenier

It may seem strange to think of an all-male cast in 2016 where some of the actors put on feminine voices to portray the female characters. Is it too strange? Is it too controversial not to allow women to portray the roles that were written for them? In this production of H.M.S. Pinafore, written by […]