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March, 2006 - Nr. 3


The Editor
Guten Morgen lieber Frühling
Ball Austria 2006
Two by Puccini
KW & Beyond
Scholtes Donates Organ
Zonta's Extravaganza
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Mendelssohn Choir Presents
COC's Norma
Berg's Wozzeck
Kafka and Son
COC Inaugurates Opera House
TSO March Events
Celebrate Mozart Tour
German Events
Kerry Straton Conducts
Cologne Literature Festival
Students Get Active
Mozart in Augsburg
Successful Gardening Show
German World Alliance
Killam Research Fellowships
Munch In Hamburg
International Student Study
Operation Clean Sweep
World Cup Info Shop
Europe's Fastest Computer
Merkel: Equality


Soprano June Anderson Steps In At The Last Minute For The COC’s Production Of Norma

Toronto, ON – After a last-minute international search the COC is delighted to announce that American dramatic coloratura soprano June Anderson will step in to sing at least the first three performances of Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece, Norma. Russian soprano Elena Prokina, who was scheduled to perform, is delayed and unable to begin rehearsals due to severe bronchitis. Norma’s famous aria "Casta diva" is well-loved by opera-goers and this production’s striking sets and costumes provide a vivid backdrop for Bellini’s sweeping emotions and high theatricality. Canadian François Racine directs this production and is joined by American conductor David T. Heusel. Norma runs March 30 at 7:30 p.m., April 4 at 7:30 p.m., 7 at 7:30 p.m., 9 at 2 p.m., 12 at 7:30 p.m., 15 at 7:30 p.m., 2006 at the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts and is sung in Italian with English SURTITLES™.

Set in ancient Gaul during the time of the Roman Empire, Bellini’s dramatic opera tells a tragic tale of consuming passion and devastating betrayal. Having broken her vows and betrayed her people by loving a Roman officer, Norma finds her life in turmoil with the discovery that she’s been cast aside for another woman. The role of the Druid high priestess Norma, one of the most demanding roles in the soprano repertoire, marks June Anderson’s COC debut. In her performance of Norma at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Ms Anderson’s "clear, bright upper range was at its clarion best, the soprano singing with strength and nuanced sensitivity ... dramatically, Anderson was exceptional, drawing out all of the conflicting emotions with an intensity tempered by dignity." (Chicago Tribune) She was also hailed for her recent performance in Daphne at La Fenice: Ms Anderson’s "singing offered countless ravishments: crystalline timbre, clean-cut line-delineation, dead-on-target intonation, awesomely easy projection of one perilously exposed high phrase after another." (Opera)

Hungarian tenor Attila Fekete makes his Canadian debut as Norma’s Roman lover Pollione, a role he sang with the Hungarian State Opera. Ukrainian-born, American mezzo-soprano Marianna Kulikova makes her COC debut as Adalgisa, a role she will sing again with l’Opéra de Nice this fall. Czech bass Zdeněk Plech makes his Canadian debut singing Oroveso, Norma’s father. COC Ensemble Studio soprano Yannick-Muriel Noah makes her COC mainstage debut as Clotilde, Norma’s confidante and Ensemble baritone Peter Barrett is the centurion Flavio.

Created for the COC in 1998, this production is re-imagined by director François Racine. Mr. Racine worked with Robert Lepage on the COC’s production of Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung, and has supervised and restaged that production at the Edinburgh Festival, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Melbourne Festival, as well as in Vancouver, Toronto, Cincinnati and Montreal. Allen Moyer’s set and Anna Oliver’s costumes reflect the strong emotions of the Roman occupation and domination of the Celtic people. Lighting designer Thomas C. Hase joins the production team having recently worked on the COC’s production of Rodelinda.

Single tickets for Norma went on sale February 13, 2006 and may be purchased by calling

416-872-2262, online at, or in person at the Hummingbird Centre Box Office

(1 Front St. E., Toronto) or Ticketmaster Outlets. Ticket prices for all performances range from $40 to $175. Special young people’s tickets for all performances throughout the season are priced from $18 to $88. These ticket prices apply to those who are 17 years of age or under, accompanied by and sitting next to an adult. Starting March 25, 2006 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 Co-sponsors: National Bank Financial and Masonite International Corporation

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 Hal Jackman Foundation, Patricia Kramer, Jo Lander, The John McKellar Charitable Foundation, Ruby Mercer Fund, George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, Roger D. Moore Ensemble Studio Endowment Fund, RBC Financial Group, The Stratton Trust, William and Phyllis Waters, 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.

Appetite for Opera: Norma

Hilton Toronto’s award-winning restaurant Tundra celebrates the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Norma, with Appetite for Opera: Norma on Thursday, March 23, 2006 at

6:15 p.m. A joint venture of Hilton Toronto and the COC, Appetite for Opera: Norma is an innovative evening combining cultural and culinary arts. Guests will be the first to experience Tundra’s Norma-inspired menu, a four-course culinary tour of Roman regional cuisine, each with a wine pairing, created especially for the occasion by award-winning Executive Chef John Cirillo. COC Speakers Bureau representative Robert Morassutti will discuss the history and resonance of Bellini’s masterpiece while Chef Cirillo and sommelier Ben Chiu will discuss each course and its wine pairing. Appetite for Opera: Norma seatings are $70 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 416-860-6800 or e-mailing and citing "Norma Dinner." Special guestroom rates are also available; please inquiry when booking.

Canadian Opera Company Web sites

The Canadian Opera Company Web sites, and, contain information on all productions including synopses, historical backgrounds and production photographs.


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