Excited by Canadian Opera Company 2023-24 season announcement

When I saw the email on Thursday from the Canadian Opera Company announcing their 2023-2024 season it moved me to say this on Facebook:

That’s more like it! COC’s 2023-24 season: Fidelio, La Boheme, Cunning Little Vixen, Don Pasquale, Don Giovanni (Gordon Bintner!) & Medea plus the world premiere of Aportia Chryptych.

I have to wonder when will it be reasonable to say that this is Perryn Leech’s COC?

COC General Director Perryn Leech

I say that looking at the season we’re enjoying now, revivals of Flying Dutchman & Carmen in the fall, revivals of Salome & Marriage of Figaro just finished this month, a new Macbeth and a revival of Tosca still to come in April-May, in other words five revivals plus one new show. In a real sense it’s still 5/6ths Alexander Neef, with just the one new production. Indeed maybe Neef had some involvement in the new production as well, given the long lead time required to plan operatic productions.

For 2023-24, though, we get the opposite namely five new productions (new to us in Toronto at least), plus one revival. That’s why I said “That’s more like it!” Speaking as a subscriber I’m thrilled. I felt we should give the new guy time to show us what he can do, and so far so good.

I listed Fidelio, La Boheme, Cunning Little Vixen, Don Pasquale, Don Giovanni & Medea, as well as the world premiere of Aportia Chryptych.

It’s kind of funny to speak about the boheme revival, when so many I know groan at any boheme, an opera they may say is programmed too often. Not me. I don’t agree speaking as someone who regularly pulls out my boheme score to play through. It never gets old for me, a perfect piece of music that I’ve loved since I was a little kid. I suppose I become a kid again listening to parts of this opera.

You’ll hear people call it the ideal first opera, as a few people reminded me recently when I suggested that Salome could be a good first opera for some people. Of course I was thinking of the sort who love heavy metal and claim to hate opera. Let’s see if they still hate opera after seeing Ambur Braid in Atom Egoyan’s production. But I digress.

Let me direct you to the COC website, where in addition to the usual video, for once they’re also offering us pictures to give us some idea of what to expect visually. This is a huge improvement over past practice. For each opera, click on “Learn more” then click on “photos”. This is a small sampler of what you can see there, some very cool designs coming to the COC next season.

Sondra Radvanovsky as Medea in Medea, The Metropolitan Opera, 2022 (photo: Marty Sohl)
A scene from The Cunning Little Vixen, English National Opera, 2022 (photo: Clive Barda)
Russell Thomas as Florestan in Fidelio, San Francisco Opera, 2021. (Photo: Cory Weaver)
Luca Micheletti as Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, The Royal Opera, 2022 (photo: Marc Brenner)
Scottish Opera’s production of Don Pasquale, 2014 (photo: KK Dundas)

I love the eye candy, don’t you?

I’m sold!

In addition to what’s included in my subscription the COC will also present a world premiere opera, namely Aportia Chryptych. You can meet the creators near the end of the video describing the season, featuring General Director Perryn Leech. I’m very impressed.

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