Toronto Operetta Theatre is Canada's only professional operetta company. TOT was launched with performances of Lehar's THE COUNT OF LUXEMBOURG in 1985 and was incorporated as a not-for-profit performing arts organization in 1989. Over 58 operetta productions have followed, including performances of seldom seen works such as CZARDAS PRINCESS, WIENER BLUT, LA VIE PARISIENNE, THE BEGGAR STUDENT, and LAND OF SMILES.
Satire meets serious singing: TOT's Candide
There was also the choice for some characters to use dialects - dangerous territory when you're already dealing with the pitfalls of Mid-Atlantic English pronunciation. I found the inconsistency of the dialects to be a bit distracting in the longer dialogue scenes, but the focus on great singing always brought you back home.Read More
TOT's Candide: "It's very sincere and passionate."
"I feel the piece itself is a deep commentary on the organization of mankind, a musing on the structures we put in place to prevent chaos, and a mirror into the follies of our past and in some cases our present. It is an accounting of worth through the eyes of the innocent, when we still look for the best possible world."Read More
Spotlight on: Jennifer Taverner
"Sure, you need to possess the chops, but it won't get you very far if you're not an engaging performer, skilled musician, and all-around good colleague. Be professional, be prepared, be respectful and pleasant to work with. Remember, there are eyes and ears on you at every rehearsal and performance, so treat it like an audition and be the best you can be in that moment."Read More
Don't miss: The Chocolate Soldier
If the central love story doesn't entice you, go for the brilliant performances in the supporting cast. Mezzo-soprano Eugenia Dermentzis is a scene-stealer as Aurelia, her face an exaggerated picture of uppity, bewildered, and scheming; even with her polished mezzo, her presence onstage is something delightfully out of a Pixar film. Plus, The Chocolate Soldier is a beautiful chance to catch Schmopera's own Gregory Finney onstage as the patriarch Popoff.Read More
TOT's Pirates of Penzance: "A glorious thing"
Colin Ainsworth steps out as the hapless, handsome, if somewhat dim-witted Frederic. His bright face matched his clear, sailing tone throughout the house. His protrayal of Frederic's dim-wittedness was presented less as a sheer stupidity or unintelligence and more as absent-minded thoughtlessness which I thought was a strong choice. His chemistry with Mabel and Ruth was tangible through the whole show.Read More
Don't miss: The Pirates of Penzance with TOT
"Pirates is part love story, part silly romp which pokes fun at everything ranging from love, youth, getting old, authority to politics."Read More
Don't miss: Waltz Rivals
It promises to be a lovely Sunday afternoon here in the T-dot, so if you're looking for some beautiful music and beautiful people (myself excluded, #selfdeprecationischarmingright), stop on by. The show is about 75% sold out but there are still some great seats left, since there isn't a bad seat to be found in the beautifully restored Jane Mallett Theatre.Read More
In review: Los Gavilanes at Toronto Operetta Theatre
In a word, charming. That is what I experienced tonight with Toronto Operetta Theatre and their Canadian premiere of Jacinto Guerrero’s Los Gavilanes at St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. From the simple set to the period costumes, the Spanish orchestration and the simple, well-known tale of love lost (and then found), I was charmed.Read More
What the eff is a Zarzuela, anyway?
A sparrow hawk is known in the wild for stealing the chicks of other birds from their nests. This Zarzuela tells the story of Juan, a man who left his poor fishing village in search of adventure and fortune in Peru. He returns twenty years later a millionaire - and that's when things get sticky. He agrees to marry Rosaura, a young maiden in the village who happens to be in love with Gustavo (the only guy in the village who's paid off his debts), and takes her from the young man's arms. See the metaphor?Read More
Lucia Cesaroni: Isis and Osiris, the value of new opera, & "bad b*tches in charge"
"I don't want to keep comparing to the States, but we're behind. We hate to admit it, but we are behind - and that's okay. We're a younger country, we're a younger industry. We may be behind here, but look at all the other places where we're ahead. It's very important to me that we find a way to secure a creative, successful, tenable way to secure a future for opera in Canada."Read More
Spotlight on: Charlotte Knight
Coloratura soprano Charlotte Knight last made me laugh as Cecily Cardew in Earnest, the Importance of Being at Toronto Operetta Theatre this season. Her fierce technique is easy to hear, and like all great comediennes, Charlotte is also a smart and versatile performer. She just finished singing Rona Lisa Peretti in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with No Strings Theatre, and you can hear her this November with the Gallery Players of Niagara, singing Villa-Lobos' stunning Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 for soprano and eight cellos.Read More
In review: Earnest, the Importance of Being
Last night I went to opening night of Earnest, the Importance of Being at Toronto Operetta Theatre. The piece, by Victor Davies and Eugene Benson, had its premiere in 2008. It's a rare thing to find an original Canadian operetta, and this one is a hilarious and charming take on Oscar Wilde's *The Importance of Being Earnest*.Read More
In review: Ah! Mikado!
Last night I went to see Toronto Operetta Theatre‘s production of The Mikado at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Neither Gilbert nor Sullivan show up frequently on my list of must-sees, due to personal taste and perhaps too many earworms (#iamtheverymodelofamodernmajorgeneral). But I had much faith (and a few friends) in the Canadian cast, and I absolutely wasn’t disappointed.Read More
The Mikado and Champagne
Looking for something to tide you over between the annual stretch of Christmas-New Year's-Regular Life? Want a way to get some catchy songs in your head that aren't Christmas carols? Me too.Read More
In review: Cousin from Nowhere
I went to Toronto Operetta Theatre's Cousin From Nowhere, an English translation of Eduard Künneke's Das Vetter aus Dingsda. Whenever I go and hear TOT shows, I always end up hearing some new music that gets stuck in my head, sung by lovely Canadian talent.Read More
Toronto Operetta Theatre opens Cousin From Nowhere on Thursday night, and you can catch tenor Christopher Mayell onstage. He sheds some light on the question we all ask at the oper(ett)a: "Why Mid-Atlantic?"Watch Video