Canadian Woman in the Company of Verdi and Mozart in New COC Season

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The world premiere of an opera by a Canadian woman, new company productions of “La Traviata” and “The Marriage of Figaro,” company premieres of Rossini’s “Maometto” and Monteverdi’s “Lamento d’Arianna” and “Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda,” a revival production of “Carmen” and Wagner’s “Siegfried” are the programs announced for the 2015/2016 season of the Canadian Opera Company.

The season covers more than 500 years of opera, from the border between the Renaissance and Baroque that Italian composer Monteverdi crossed to the first opera written by 62-year old Montreal composer Barbara Monk Feldman (pictured above).

“Pyramus and Thisbe,” based on the same story as “Romeo and Juliet” will be the first Canadian opera to be presented on the stage of the Four Seasons Opera Centre. Monk Feldman wrote it in 2008 and COC director Alexander Neef heard about it some time later from a COC musician.

In fact, one night at the opera will cover five centuries of opera, as Monk’s and Monteverdi’s operas, all short one-act productions, will be presented on the same program.

It’s an exciting season but just as exciting is an announcement for the 2019/20 season: the COC has commissioned a full-length opera by another Canadian woman. Montreal composer Ana Sokolovic and Quebec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard will collaborate on opera based on his play about the 17th-century Swedish queen, Christina.

Favorite singers returning to the stage for the new season include Canadian Russell Braun (who appears as Don Giovanni next week), Christine Goerke, Krisztina Szabo, Maria Radner, Simone Osborne, Quinn Kelsey and James Westman.
German tenor Stefan Vinke, considered one of the finest Siegfrieds in the world, makes his Canadian debut in the title role.