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Canadian Opera Company

Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Opera Company announces the return of its acclaimed Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre presented by National Bank Financial Group at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Inaugurated in 2006, the 10-month festival of concerts and dance events celebrates its fifth season with an exciting and diverse line-up of artists and programming that has something for everyone. Taking place in one of Toronto’s most vibrant cultural spaces, the 2010/2011 season runs from late September to early June with performances on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon and some Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are distributed at the door 30 minutes prior to the performance on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability.

The Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre presented by National Bank Financial Group begins on September 21, 2010 at 12 p.m. with the annual Meet the Young Artists program. Under the direction of Elizabeth Upchurch, the singers of the Canadian Opera Company’s 2010/2011 Ensemble Studio kick off the vocal series with a concert of their favourite operatic arias.

The creativity and finesse of both established and emerging artists is showcased in the following six series, running throughout the season:

Vocal Series
Twenty-five concerts in the vocal series feature the highest calibre of artists and a wide variety of programming including world premieres, popular favourites and rarities from the choral, opera and art song repertoire. Performers include celebrated Canadian and international artists, artists of the COC Ensemble Studio, students from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and Opera Division, and the young artists of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. Highlights include appearances by Sondra Radvanovsky, Richard Margison, Tracy Dahl, Brett Polegato, and distinguished alumni of the COC Ensemble Studio, including Wendy Nielsen, Doug MacNaughton, Krisztina Szabó, Robert Gleadow and Lawrence Wiliford.

Piano Virtuoso Series
Boasting an impressive roster of Canadian and international pianists, including award-winning students and distinguished alumni of the prestigious Glenn Gould School, the piano virtuoso series includes 10 performances and celebrates the anniversaries of two of the greatest contributors to the piano virtuoso repertoire, Schumann and Liszt. It also celebrates lesser-known anniversaries, such as the centenary of the Mexican Revolution, and works of living composers. These recitals offer opportunities to hear Canada’s young rising stars, including Alexander Seredenko, Todd Yaniw, and Darrett Zusko, as well as the winner of the most recent E-Gré piano competition, Claudia Chan, London-based Russian Tartar pianist Rustem Hayroudinoff, Mexican pianist Alejandro Vela, and recent graduate of the COC Ensemble Studio Christopher Mokrzewski.

Chamber Music Series
Featuring 21 concerts, the chamber series explores a vast repertoire of music ranging from the early Baroque to exciting world premieres of newly-commissioned Canadian works. Celebrating the spirit of collaboration, the series showcases the excellent musicianship of some of the most notable local and international artists including the Afiara, Cecilia, and Annex Quartets, France’s Zodiac Trio, solo recitals by Winona Zelenka and Rachel Mercer, and collaborations featuring distinguished Canadian artists Jacques Israelievitch, Shauna Rolston, members of the Toronto Symphony and Canadian Opera Company orchestras, The Glenn Gould School, and one of Hungary’s brightest young violinists, Adam Banda.

Dance Series
In collaboration with the Dance Umbrella of Ontario and DanceWorks, this electrifying program of seven events brings some of the most dynamic members of Toronto’s dance community into an equally dynamic space to perform against the backdrop of the bustling urban streetscape. Programs range from Baroque dance to belly dance and include new works and performances by the Atelier Ballet, contemporary dance artists Peggy Baker and Sashar Zarif, blackandblue, Blue Ceiling and Tiger Princess Dance Projects, and Arabesque Dance Company.

Jazz Series
This tantalizing series offers nine performances by some of Toronto’s jazz legends as well as the stars of tomorrow, with repertoire spanning the spectrum from jazz standards to cutting-edge original compositions. Whether you prefer intimate duos or thrilling big bands, spicy Latin dance tunes or soulful stories of Toronto, there’s something for every jazz fan including wonderful opportunities to hear the likes of Hilario Durán, Jane Bunnett, Don Thompson, Bill McBirnie, Julie Michels, Adi Braun, George Koller, Mike Murley, David Occhipinti, and Chris Donnelly.

World Music Series
Seven unique presentations encompass the sounds and rhythms from across the globe, drawing inspiration from ancient rituals and musical traditions. The most diverse of all the series, the world music programs deliver moving experiences ranging from Asia to Eastern Europe and Cuba to the Caribbean. Featured artists include Mark Mosca, Wen Zhao, Bassam Bishara, Mark Korven, Ernie Tollar, Levon Ichkhanian, Fern Lindzon, and the Pappas/Young Duo.

For a full calendar of events, please visit

The Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre is a focal point of the Isadore and Rosalie Sharp City Room in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, with its striking glass wall allowing for natural lighting and a view of University Avenue. Linking Ring 3 and Ring 4, the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre provides seating for 100 patrons. Additional seating and standing locations on the walkway and the upper floor are also available.

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