Coming up on the big stage Photo by Sam Javanrouh

Coming up on the big stage

Jenna Simeonov

This fall at the Canadian Opera Company, the stars come out. First to open on October 3rd will be that great last work of Giuseppe Verdi’s, Falstaff. It’s a co-pro with The Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Teatro alla Scala, the Metropolitan Opera and Dutch National Opera; and because it’s by Robert Carsen, it means we’ll see stark visuals and a stripped-bare style of storytelling. Canadian bass-baritone Gerald Finley will be in town to sing the title role; I’m personally super curious to hear him as the notoriously comedic Sir John Falstaff, since it’s a step in a different direction from his usual offerings of Mozart and John Adams roles. I’m just excited to hear him sing live. Fellow Canadians Russell Braun, Simone Osborne, Marie-Nicole Lemieux and Lauren Segal will join Gerald onstage for what I’m sure will be some spectacular singing from Canada’s best. Falstaff will be conducted by the COC’s Musical Director, Johannes Debus; it plays for seven performances from October 3rd-November 1st at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. Click here for details and tickets.

Next up is the opera experience to end them all, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. The production by Brian Macdonald has its premiere in 1990, and this will be its fifth revival (fun fact: this production was the first one I saw at the Canadian Opera Company, in 2003). This time, two casts take on the twelve performances of Butterfly, including Patricia Racette in the title role. Patricia has been busy with the role of Madama Butterfly this year, just coming off a run of the show at San Francisco Opera. American soprano Kelly Kaduce will also sing the role of Butterfly; she’s also no stranger to Cio-Cio San, having sung the role in Santa Fe, Portland, and soon, Toronto. Tenors Stefano Secco and Andrea Carè will sing the role of everybody’s favourite Puccini villain, Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, and American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong will sing Suzuki. Sharing the role of Sharpless is Canadian baritone Gregory Dahl and the spectacular Dwayne Croft. _Madama Butterfly _will be conducted by German maestro Patrick Lange; it has a comfy run of twelve shows, October 10th-31st at the Four Seasons Centre. You totally have time to see it twice, once for each cast. Click here for details and tickets.

Have a fun fall at the opera, y’all!



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