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February, 2005 - Nr. 2


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Toronto, Ontario - The Canadian Opera Company ushers in the spring season with Il Trovatore, Verdi’s thrilling tale of love, hate and revenge. Internationally acclaimed director Stephen Lawless, whose work was last seen with the COC’s Le nozze di Figaro in 1991, returns to stage this striking production and is joined by COC General Director Richard Bradshaw who conducts. Anticipating vigorous ticket sales, the COC has added an extra performance of this popular opera.

 Il Trovatore runs
March 31 at 7:30 p.m.,
April 3 at 2 p.m., 6 at 7:30 p.m., 9 at 7:30 p.m., 12 at 7:30 p.m., 15 at 7:30 p.m. and 17 at 2 p.m., 2005 at the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts and is sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM.

Widely popular since its premiere in 1853, Il Trovatore is an explosive saga of war, love, and madness that blazes with passion. Seeking revenge for her mother’s death at the stake, the gypsy Azucena kidnapped the son of the Spanish count who ordered her mother’s execution. When Azucena’s own son was mistakenly killed she chose to raise her enemy’s child as her own, who grew up to be the rebel troubadour Manrico. Years later, unaware that they are long-lost brothers, the Conte di Luna and Manrico meet as political archenemies and rivals for the love of Leonora, who bravely sacrifices everything to save Manrico from an untimely end.

Regarded as one of the most important dramatic mezzo-sopranos singing today, Russian Irina Mishura returns to the COC as the vengeful Azucena. It is the role in which Mishura made her triumphant COC debut and garnered her the 1999 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Toronto’s Best Actress in a Musical Performance. Romanian soprano Doina Dimitriu makes her COC debut as the lovelorn Leonora and is joined by Russian tenor Mikhail Agafonov as Manrico. Agafonov has become a favourite with audiences in Toronto since his 2003 performance as Gustavus III in Un ballo in maschera and subsequent appearance in 2004 as Calaf in Turandot. Offering audiences an early glimpse of what to expect as Macbeth with the COC next fall is Verdi specialist, American baritone Robert Hyman, who makes his COC debut as the ruthless Conte di Luna.

COC regular, bass Robert Pomakov, also heard in this spring’s Tancredi, is the count’s henchman Ferrando. Ensemble Studio soprano Joni Henson, heard recently in Albert Herring and Lucia di Lammermoor, is Leonora’s confidante Inez. Ensemble tenor Victor Micallef, who sang the title role of Albert Herring and appeared in the fall’s The Handmaid’s Tale, is Manrico’s aide Ruiz. Ensemble bass Robert Gleadow, recently heard as Colline in La Bohème, is the Old Gypsy and tenor Stephen McClare, the Doctor in The Handmaid’s Tale, is the Messenger.

Stephen Lawless is the original director of this dramatic production co-owned by Los Angeles Opera and Washington National Opera. Described as "remarkably innovative" by the Washington Post, the sets are by Benoît Dugardyn and the costumes are by Martin Pakledinaz, who created the costume design for the COC’s acclaimed production of Jenůfa.

Single tickets for Il Trovatore went on sale November 15, 2004 and may be purchased by calling 416-872-2262, online at www.coc.ca or in person at the Hummingbird Centre Box Office or Ticketmaster outlets. Ticket prices for all performances range from $40 to $175. Tickets for those who are 17 years of age or under, accompanied by and sitting next to an adult, are priced from $18 to $50. Starting March 26, 2005 at 10 a.m., $18 and $29 tickets are available for patrons between the ages of 18 and 29 through the 18to29: Opera for a New Age program presented by TD Bank Financial Group.

Production Sponsor: Scotiabank Group

Presenting Sponsor of SURTITLESä : Sun Life Financial

The COC Ensemble Studio is Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals and provides advanced instruction, hands-on experience, and career development opportunities. The Ensemble Studio is generously supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, The John A. Cook Young Artist Development Fund, Harris Steel Group, The Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation, The Henry N.R. Jackman Foundation, Ruby Mercer Fund, George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, Roger D. Moore Ensemble Studio Endowment Fund, RBC Financial Group, and an anonymous donor.

BMO Financial Group Pre-Performance Opera Chats

The COC offers free 20-minute introductions to the opera and its theme at the Hummingbird Centre, 45 minutes prior to each performance.

Canadian Opera Company Web site

The Canadian Opera Company Web site, at www.coc.ca, contains information and historical background on all productions including synopses, historical backgrounds and production photographs.


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