LSM Newswire

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The Canadian Opera Company is pleased to announce a third consecutive year with an average attendance of 99.7%, proving that demand for opera tickets remains high. Celebrating its third season in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the COC's 2008/09 season included seven mainstage productions: Don Giovanni, War and Peace, Fidelio, Rusalka, Simon Boccanegra, La Bohème, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. The 2008/09 season subscriptions were strong at close to 95,000 tickets sold with gross revenue of almost $10 million. In total, 132,000 patrons attended 64 COC performances, with overall ticket-related revenue grossing almost $13.9 million. Even an expanded run (12 performances) of La Bohème sold over 9,500 single tickets, over and above the heavy subscription base.

For every COC performance, one hundred and fifty $20 tickets are available through the company's Opera for a New Age (OFNA) program, presented by TD Bank Financial Group. In 2008/09, 9,400

$20 tickets were sold through OFNA.

"The COC's 2008/09 season surpassed my expectations as I fully realized the satisfaction of leading a company of such great success and potential," says General Director Alexander Neef. "Even though this difficult economic climate has brought us unexpected challenges, our mainstage season finished over 99% capacity, which must be the highest rate for an opera company in North America. This remarkable achievement would not have been possible without our loyal subscribers and generous donors, and we remain immensely grateful for their support. We wouldn't be here without them."

The COC's 2008/09 season began with Mozart's Don Giovanni, which had "a truly impressive cast of singers" (Toronto Sun), and continued with "the theatrical highpoint of the year," Prokofiev's War and Peace, (Eye Weekly) conducted by Johannes Debus who, shortly afterwards, was appointed the COC's new Music Director. The winter run opened with Beethoven's "beautifully presented" (BlogTO) Fidelio, followed by Dvořák's "not to be missed" (Classical 96.3) Rusalka. Running in repertory during the spring run were Verdi's Simon Boccanegra hailed "a five-star 'must see'" (Here and Now, CBC Radio), Puccini's La Bohème, considered "necessary viewing for the [Toronto] opera crowd" (National Post), and Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, a "delight to both ear and eye" (Hamilton Spectator).

Three of the mainstage productions were generously supported by corporate sponsors: RBC Financial Group for Don Giovanni, CIBC World Markets and CIBC Mellon for La Bohème, and National Bank
Financial for Fidelio.

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