Toronto's Four Seasons Centre Opens With a Glimpse of Canada's Opera Firmament

Classic Arts News   Toronto's Four Seasons Centre Opens With a Glimpse of Canada's Opera Firmament
The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the Canadian Opera Company's new home and Canada's first purpose-built opera house, opens tonight with a gala concert featuring tenor Ben Heppner and other Canadian opera stars.

The concert will be simulcast to a screen in Nathan Phillips Square, outside Toronto's city hall, where fans can see and hear the concert free of charge.

In addition to Heppner, the concert will feature sopranos Adrianne Pieczonka and Aline Kutan, mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy, baritone Brett Polegato, bass-baritone Gerald Finley, and bass Robert Pomakov. COC director Richard Bradshaw will lead the COC Orchestra and Chorus.

The program includes excerpts from operas by Wagner, Weber, Rossini, Mozart, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Delibes, Bellini and others.

The opening celebrations for the hall began with a ribbon-cutting on June 11. Following tonight's gala, there will be concerts on June 16 and 17, as well as open houses for subscribers (June 17-18), students (June 23) and the public (June 24-25).

In September, the COC will present its first fully staged productions in the hall, performing three complete cycles of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungs.

The 2,000-seat, horseshoe-shaped Four Seasons Centre was designed by Toronto's Diamond and Schmitt Architects. It cost approximately C$181 million.

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