Almost exactly four years after Kye Marshall and Amanda Hale’s Pomegranate played at Buddies in Bad Times in a production by Michael Mori it reappeared at the COC in expanded form in a production by Jennifer Tarver. The basic plot hasn’t changed much so I’m not going to repeat what I wrote about that in 2019. The other changes are, though, quite extensive and I’m not convinced they are improvements.
Category Archives: Performance review – COC
“Shabby little shocker” fails to shock
My review of the COC’s revival of Puccini’s Tosca is now up at Bachtrack.com. @bachtrack
Grim and creepy Macbeth
My review of the COC’s production of Verdi’s Macbeth is now live at Bachtrack.
Photo credit: Michael Cooper
Ambur Braid rocks Salome at the COC
My review of the COC’s revival of Richard Strauss’ Salome is now up at Bachtrack.
Creepily funny Figaro
My review of the COC’s revival of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro is now up at Bachtrack.
The Dutchman returns
The COC’s 2022/23 season opened last night with a revival of David Alden’s production of Wagner’s Der fliegender Holländer with Marilyn Gronsdal directing. It’s been eleven years since this production was last seen and, if memory serves, it created some controversy back then, chiefly on account of the Dutchman’s “zombie” crew. Seeing it again it’s hard to see what the fuss was about. It’s actually a very straightforward production where sailing ships are sailing ships and spinning sheds feature textile workers. The only deviation from the libretto that I noticed was Senta’s death. Here she’s shot by Erik while holding up a picture of the Dutchman.
The Queen in Me
Watching The Queen in Me at the Canadian Opera Company Theatre last night I thought to myself that this was probably the first time I’d heard Teiya Kasahara singing classic opera arias with an orchestra. Given how many times I’ve seen Teiya on stage that seemed really weird. And that, I suppose, is one major aspect of what this show is all about; how casting is so rigidly stereotyped that it demands that people become something other than themselves to get cast. A tall, muscular, tattooed Queen of the Night isn’t that much of a stretch but a tall, muscular tattooed Cio Cio San or Mimi is a bridge too far.
The COC’s Magic Flute
My review of the opening night of the COC’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is now live on Bachtrack.
La traviata at the COC
My review of Saturday’s opening night performance of La Traviata at the COC is now up at Bachtrack.
Photo credit: Michael Cooper
Ian Cusson and Colleen Murphy’s Fantasma opened at the Canadian Opera Company Theatre last night. It’s billed as an opera for younger audiences though I think there were more composers than kids in the theatre last night! It’s a ghost story. Two fifteen year old girls and their mother are visiting an old fashioned carnival which is struggling financially. There’s a “ghost” who is employed to scare patrons and generate social media coverage. Then the girls find a real, rather sad, little ghost and things happen. Or maybe they don’t. And the opera ends. Or maybe it doesn’t. It’s surprisingly complex for a 45 minute piece for kids and raises issues about what we see and what we think we see; why adults do and don’t believe kids and so on. When the (virtual) curtain came down rather abruptly I didn’t think I’d be thinking so much about it the next morning. But I am.