Stage Door News

Toronto: The Canadian Opera Company cancels the remainder of its 2020/21 season

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Given ongoing uncertainty around large-scale and indoor gatherings due to COVID-19, the Canadian Opera Company will be cancelling the rest of its originally planned 2020/2021 season programming.

Affected programming includes:

 Bizet’s CarmenJanáček’s Katya Kabanová, Verdi’s La Traviata, and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice

— The world premiere of Fantasma, the Opera for Young Audiences production recently commissioned by the COC

— All special events, including the COC’s annual Operanation and Fine Wine Auction fundraisers 

All subscribers and patrons directly affected by these changes will be contacted with further details. 

Earlier this summer, our team made a promise to ourselves — and to our audiences — to explore every possible option for going ahead with our season,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “Since then, however, the changing local health situation has made it clear that cancelling our original winter and spring programming is the only safe decision for our staff, artists, and audience members.”

The COC Ensemble Studio program for emerging singers and pianists/coaches is moving forward digitally with nine young artists receiving customized online training until in-person coaching can safely resume. COC Director/Dramaturg in Residence Julie McIsaac and COC Composer-in-Residence Ian Cusson are also continuing their residencies with the company, ensuring that new opera creation and workshopping remain a priority through this time.

“With a clearer sense of the year ahead, we can focus on developing more opera experiences for this moment,” adds Neef. “Our recently announced Opera Everywhere programming allows people to enjoy and share opera safely, from wherever they might be. We’re also looking forward to forging even more new relationships and artistic collaborations through work with local artists, other theatre companies, and community organizations.”

Highlights of the COC’s Opera Everywhere programming include: 

  • The three-day Free Concert Series Digital Festival in November 2020
  • MindBodyMusic, a panel discussion exploring music's effect on psychology and physiology
  • Key Change, COC’s new podcast that explores opera from a fresh perspective 
  • Solo Spotlights, showcasing the COC Orchestra with COC Music Director Johannes Debus
  • Opera Makers, encouraging young participants to tell the stories of their communities through opera creation
  • COC x AGO: Hello from the Other Side, socially distanced, in-person performances, held in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario, scheduled for January 2021

Full details regarding affected programming, ticket-holder options, and Opera Everywhere initiatives can be found at