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Canadian Opera Company Annual General Meeting

The Canadian Opera Company just released the highlights from its annual general meeting, and the results are quite optimistic. It turns out Torontonians can handle 3 to 4 hours of sitting down to watch art with no problem at all. Take that youtube clip!


Toronto has enjoyed the COC’s Four Seasons Centre for the last 8 years. Everyone knew it was going to be a much needed, and perhaps vital, new home for Opera in Toronto, but it would be hard to forecast all the variables that would make it successful in the long term. The new building has produced a roller coaster of emotional connection to opera, a struggle to transition to the best talent available, and a financial balancing act that has a lot to do with the Honeymoon that a sexy new building like the Four Seasons centre has enjoyed.

Things are looking up, but here is where the trouble began. Phil Deck is the chair for the board of directors with the COC.

The COC saw attendance to its 7 operas up by 4% last season alongside fundraising revenues. That being said, there was a shortfall of nearly a million bucks, and ticket sales have been generally been going down over the last few years, and there are some theories on that.

Everyone wanted tickets when the Four Seasons opened its doors, but time, and maybe one too many operas created a lower turn out as the years went by. The good news.... the COC has sold more subscriptions this year than the last 3 combined. The team realizes it’s hard to nimble with a brand like the Canadian Opera Company, this is an Oceanliner, not a dinghy. So through careful planning, well knowing there would be deficits ahead, the COC has changed its business model

The key is in the content. What gets people to come back to see opera in this town. The best talent:

The new season is just underway, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly wraps up this week, but Mozart, Wagner, Rossini and several others are on the roster in the weeks and months ahead. Check for tickets.

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