Made possible by the BMO Financial Group.
On October 26, 2017, the CCOC kicked off its momentous 50th anniversary celebrations with a celebratory concert at Canada’s foremost opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The company has shared the stage with countless opera stars over the years and we were happy to invite some of the best Canada has to offer to share the occasion. Internationally renowned tenor and radio personality Ben Heppner hosted, with a stunning line-up of guest artists. CCOC Music Director Teri Dunn conducted the choruses of the CCOC while former music and artistic directors John Tuttle and Ann Cooper Gay led a chorus of over 100 of the company’s many alumni.
Ben Heppner - host
Ben Heppner is renowned worldwide for his portrayals in the dramatic tenor repertoire. His illustrious career has taken him to opera stages and concert halls around the world. Heppner now brings his voice to the airwaves of CBC Radio as host of Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. Ben also appeared in the 1988 CCOC-commissioned production of A Midwinter Night’s Dream.
Theodore Baerg has enjoyed a critically acclaimed opera and concert career with appearances in North America, Europe and Asia. He has appeared in leading roles with countless companies including the Canadian Opera Co., L’Opéra de Montréal, San Diego Opera, San Francisco Opera and New York City Opera.
Newmarket-native and CCOC alum Alana Bridgewater recently returned from a spectacular run with Soulpepper Theatre in New York. Her numerous theatre and television credits include performances with the Charlottetown Festival, Grand Theatre, Mirvish Productions and CBC’s Gemini-nominated Gospel Christmas.
Equally praised in the genres of art song, opera, jazz and spirituals, Measha has become one of Canada’s most internationally recognized singers. She has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, and both the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna. She champions the education and involvement of new audiences and holds several honorary doctorates and ambassadorial titles with international charities.
Another CCOC alum, renowned actor Ben Carlson has appeared at major theatres throughout North America and won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor in a Television Film or Miniseries for his performance as Petruchio in the CBC Presents the Stratford Festival adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew.
CCOC Alum and celebrated soprano Karina Gauvin has sung with the world’s leading symphony orchestras and won critical acclaim for her opera performances. She has also received critical acclaim for her numerous recordings including a new recording of Mendelssohn’s Symphonies with Yannick Nezet Seguin on the ARCHIV/Deutsche Grammophon label.
Andrew Haji, Canadian tenor, is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after voices on both the operatic and concert stages. A graduate of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Andrew’s recent operatic roles include Gabriel Dumont in Louis Riel by Harry Somers (COC and Festival d’opéra de Québec) and Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, shring the stage with the Three Spirits of the CCOC!
Canadian soprano Simone Osborne has been hailed as "a joy to hear" (Los Angeles Times) with "a sweet and clear sound, sensitive phrasing and gleaming sustained high notes" (New York Times). Ms. Osborne was one of the youngest winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has received many glowing reviews since completing her tenure as a member of the Canadian Opera Company Studio Ensemble where she appeared with the CCOC as Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
Hungarian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó has become highly sought after in both North America and Europe as an artist of supreme musicianship and stagecraft. The Chicago Tribune exclaimed, “Krisztina Szabó stole her every scene with her powerful, mahogany voice.” Upcoming performances include roles appearances at the Royal Opera, Netherlands Opera and Opera Philadelphia amongst numerous others.
The event, one of the largest in the CCOC’s history, is generously supported by our partners.
Our official title sponsor is BMO Financial Group
Our official radio sponsor is The New Classical 96.3 FM
Our official program sponsor is Donnelley Financial Solutions
Our official reception sponsor is Normerica International, Inc.
We thank our colleagues at the Canadian Opera Company for making the event possible