LSM Newswire

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mozart's Così fan tutte Showcase the COC's Ensemble Studio

The Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio culminates a year of training with a production of Mozart’s masterpiece, Così fan tutte. This new production showcases the talented artists of the COC’s Ensemble Studio, the company’s training program for young opera professionals. Così fan tutte is sung in Italian, and is presented at the Imperial Oil Opera Theatre in the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. E., for four performances only on June 15, 17, 19, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. and June 21, 2009 at 2 p.m.

Set in 19th-century Naples, Così fan tutte, Mozart’s classic tale of the battle between the sexes, follows two soldiers, Ferrando and Guglielmo who believe that their fiancées, sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella, will remain eternally faithful. Don Alfonso, an elderly cynic, plants the seed of doubt regarding the ladies’ faithfulness and wagers with them that if given the chance, the women will stray. Through the use of disguises, the men deceive their fiancées and all four learn important lessons about the uncertainty of love.

To showcase all Ensemble Studio members, each role will be shared over the course of four performances. The role of Ferrando is sung by tenors Michael Barrett and Adam Luther, while baritones Alexander Hajek and Ensemble Studio graduate Justin Welsh share the role of Guglielmo. Fiordiligi, Guglielmo’s fiancée, is sung by sopranos Betty Allison, Ileana Montalbetti and

Laura Albino. Dorabella, Ferrando’s fiancée, is sung by mezzo-sopranos Erin Fisher and former Ensemble Studio member Lauren Segal. Ensemble Studio graduate bass-baritone Jon-Paul Décosse and bass Michael Uloth sing the role of the scheming Don Alfonso, and sopranos Lisa DiMaria and Teiya Kasahara alternate in the role of Despina, the sisters’ maid who encourages the women to pursue other men. Award-winning conductor and Mozart specialist Martin Isepp shares the podium with former Ensemble Studio member Steven Philcox, and Michael Albano, director of last season’s mainstage production of The Barber of Seville, directs. Sets and costumes for Così fan tutte are designed by Lorenzo Savoini while Renée Brode lights this comedic favourite.

Tickets for Così fan tutte are $75 and are available online at, by calling COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Box Office, 145 Queen St. W., Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. All performances are general admission. For more information on Così fan tutte and the COC Ensemble Studio, visit .

Production Co-sponsor of Così fan tutte: Canadian Opera Volunteer Committee (COVC)

The COC Ensemble Studio is widely recognized as the country’s foremost performance and training program for young opera professionals. The members of the Ensemble Studio are the COC’s resident artists and are important ambassadors for the company. Since its inception in 1980, over 150 young professional Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors, and conductors have acquired their first major professional operatic experience through the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. Chosen through a national audition process, members of the Ensemble Studio receive a blend of advanced study and practical experience over a period of one to three years. Former members include Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Gidon Saks, John Fanning and Wendy Nielsen.

The Ensemble Studio is generously supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, The Canadian Opera Volunteer Committee, The John A. Cook Young Artist Development Fund, Harris Steel Group, The Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation, The Hal Jackman Fund at the Ontario Arts Foundation, Jo Lander, Ruby Mercer Fund, George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, Roger D. Moore Ensemble Studio Endowment Fund, RBC Financial Group, The Slaight Family, The Stratton Trust, William and Phyllis Waters, and an anonymous donor.

About the Canadian Opera Company

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America, and has an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation. The COC currently enjoys a remarkable 99% attendance rate for its mainstage season. The company’s new home, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, was designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc. and is Canada’s first purpose-built opera house. Acclaimed as one of the best opera houses in the world, the Four Seasons Centre is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada.

Canadian Opera Company Website

The Canadian Opera Company’s new website, at , contains information on all productions including synopses, historical background, and production photographs.

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