Stage Door News

Toronto: The Royal Conservatory announces its 2019/20 season with much of interest for opera-lovers

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Royal Conservatory of Music has announced its 2019/20 season with much of interest for opera-lovers. In addition, we are excited to bring you more than 90 captivating classical, jazz, roots, and world music performances! Subscriptions to 2019.20 concert season concerts and series go on sale this Friday. This is your chance to get the best available seats in Koerner Hall plus other great benefits!

Friday, June 14 at 10am - Subscriptions go on sale

Friday, June 21 at 10am - Tickets & subscriptions go on sale

Of interest to opera-lovers: 

The Glenn Gould School Fall Opera: Jonathan Dove's Siren Song

November 01 & 02, 2019 | 7:30 PM

Students from The Glenn Gould School’s vocal program present Jonathan Dove’s Siren Song, with libretto by Nick Dear, led by Music Director Peter Tiefenbach. The 70-minute work for five singers, an actor, and an orchestra of 10 players is a bizarre, true story of a young sailor who exchanges letters with a beautiful and successful model. Over time a romantic and passionate relationship develops, but a meeting proves increasingly difficult to arrange.

Karina Gauvin with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra

November 01, 2019 | 8:00 PM

One of the world’s reigning sopranos in Baroque and Classical repertoire, Karina Gauvin, and Vancouver’s exciting and innovative specialists in performing “early music for modern ears,” bring you a concert entitled “Russian White Nights: Opera arias from 18th century St. Petersburg.”

At the turn of the 18th century, Peter the Great began to drag Russia, often kicking and screaming, toward the rest of Europe. His new capital, St. Petersburg, was to be a window to the West, and to that end, Peter imported Germans, Czechs, Italians, and other nationalities in his quest to modernize his native land. He and his successors, especially Anna Ivanovna, Elizabeth, and Catherine the Great, saw the opera house as an opportunity to show off their cultural wealth as a modern European nation.

An Afternoon with Adrianne

November 24, 2019 | 2:00 PM

Internationally celebrated Canadian soprano and newly-appointed Vocal Chair and Head of the Vocal Department of The Glenn Gould School, Adrianne Pieczonka, and pianist Rachel Andrist, present Wagner’s rare song cycle, Wesendonck-Lieder, Korngold’s Four Shakespeare Songs, and works by Schubert and Strauss. 

Against the Grain Theatre's Ayre and other works by Osvaldo Golijov 

January 11, 2020 | 8:00 PM

Ayre is a thrill to experience with its lush fusion of Arabic, Hebrew, Sardinian, and Sephardic folk melodies. Lebanese-Canadian soprano, Miriam Khalil, sings this deeply moving song cycle staged by AtG’s Joel Ivany. The evening begins with Golijov’s other works such as Mariel, K’vakarat, and Tenebrae. Musicians include Jamey Haddad, Barry Shiffman, Gabriel Radford, Michael Ward-Bergman, Juan Gabriel Olivares, and Cantor Alex Stein.

Philippe Sly & Le Chimera Project: Winterreise

January 17, 2020 | 8:00 PM

A fresh theatrical take on Schubert’s final masterpiece - 24 songs based on poems by Wilhelm Müller that recount the tale of a lonely traveller who ventures on a winter journey in the snow to rid himself of his lost love. Philippe Sly’s version is dramatically staged and lit, and includes an on-stage ensemble with all musicians playing from memory.

French-Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly has gained international acclaim for his “beautiful, blooming tone and magnetic stage presence” (San Francisco Chronicle). He was the first prize winner of the prestigious Concours Musical International de Montréal and a grand prize winner Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions singing the varied repertoire of Mozart, Bach, Handel, Stravinsky, and Wagner. Recently, he was awarded Concert of the Year in Romantic, Post-Romantic, and Impressionist Music at the 16th annual ceremony of the Prix Opus in Québec.


January 26, 2020 | 2:00 PM

Sirens are attractive mythological creatures who lure sailors with enchanting music and voices. Soprano Leslie Ann Bradley and mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy perform repertoire inspired by this theme, as well as the duet song-cycle by Canadian Elizabeth Raum, titled Sirens.

Lagrime di San Pietro with Los Angeles Master Chorale, staged by Peter Sellars

February 01, 2020 | 8:00 PM & February 02, 2020 | 3:00 PM

The MUST-SEE performance of the season! From the creative mind of acclaimed director Peter Sellars comes his very first a cappella staging and most personal work to date.

Lagrime di San Pietro (The Tears of St. Peter) is a ground-breaking production of Renaissance master Orlando di Lasso’s final work, a collection of 27 madrigals sung a capella in seven parts by the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Di Lasso knew that Lagrime was to be the last piece he would ever compose, so he filled every measure with an emotionally charged texture that channeled all of his pain and remorse into a towering work of beauty.

21 singers transform this 75-minute sweeping Renaissance masterpiece – committed to memory and dramatically staged and lit – into an overwhelmingly emotional performance piece. Set to the poetry of Luigi Tansillo (1510-1568), “I accept responsibility” is the fundamental theme of this work, depicting the seven stages of grief that St. Peter experienced after disavowing his knowledge of Jesus Christ on the day of his arrest and prior to Jesus’s crucifixion. Sellars translates Lagrime through a contemporary lens, suggesting a powerful allegory that by taking responsibility and facing our past head-on, we can forge a more resolved and fulfilling future.

The Glenn Gould School Vocal Showcase

February 08, 2020 | 7:30 PM

A wonderful opportunity to see the GGS's talented voice students present an evening of art songs and opera arias. 

Johannes Debus conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra

February 14, 2020 | 8:00 PM

Johannes Debus has been Music Director of the Canadian Opera Company since 2009. His recent highlights include engagements with the Cleveland, Boston, Houston, Baltimore, Tasmanian, West Australian, and Toronto symphonies, as well as opera engagements with Frankfurt Opera and Komische Oper Berlin. At home in both contemporary music and the core repertoire, he has conducted a wide range of world premieres and works of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In his return visit to conduct the RCO, he will lead the orchestra and percussionist Zuri Wells in a program that includes Strauss’s Don Juan, Keiko Abe’s Prism Rhapsody, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.
The Glenn Gould School (GGS)’s Royal Conservatory Orchestra (RCO) is widely regarded as an outstanding ensemble and one of the best training orchestras in North America. Part of the Temerty Orchestral Program at the GGS, it consists of instrumental students in the undergraduate and graduate programs of The Glenn Gould School. Graduates of the RCO have joined the ranks of the greatest orchestras in the world.
This concert is part of The Royal Conservatory’s two-season Beethoven 250 Festival.
Richard Strauss: Don Juan, op. 20
Keiko Abe: Prism Rhapsody
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A Major, op. 92

Ravel's L'heure espagnole and Puccini's Suor Angelica

March 18 & 20, 2020 | 7:30 PM

The extraordinary artists of The Glenn Gould School vocal program and Royal Conservatory Orchestra perform a double-bill of Ravel’s musical comedy about a clockmaker’s unfaithful wife, L’heure espagnole, and Puccini’s one-act opera set in a convent, Suor Angelica, conducted by Nicolas Ellis and directed by Michael Cavanagh.

Khalil & Braun

April 19, 2020 | 2:00 PM

Soprano Miriam Khalil whose “voice is lustrous and velvety” (Ottawa Citizen), is joined by Canadian lyric baritone and Juno Award winner, Russell Braun. This program of solo and duet works will feature a world-premiere by award-winning Iranian-Canadian composer, Afarin Mansouri. 

For more information, visit

Photo: Karina Gauvin.