Stage Door News

Toronto: The Canadian Opera Company helps out with free broadcasts and facemasks

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

We hope you and your loved ones are keeping as well as can be as we navigate this uncharted territory together. Like you, we’re doing our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19, which includes the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of our 2019/2020 season for the health and safety of our staff and COC community.

But, just as music unites us in better times, it is still connecting us now. Our administrative team is working remotely for the foreseeable future, with a fresh focus on returning to the stage when it is safe to do so and creating new, virtual content to inspire and educate while we eagerly await this return. Our production team is also working with friends across the Canadian theatre industry to help equip local area hospitals – you can read more on that below.


Missing live opera as much as we are? We’ve created #OperaAtHome, which brings you highlights from past productions and original performances by COC artists, filmed safely at home. Visit Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter every day at 11 a.m. for your daily dose of opera, or peruse our YouTube playlist for the full catalogue!

Mobilizing to Make Masks

Despite the public closure of our venues, our production team wanted to make sure that personal protective equipment (PPE) from our workshops was making it into the hands of healthcare workers who need it the most at this time. Last month, we dropped off N95 masks and gloves to Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto and have been keeping in touch with theatres across the city to help track supplies and possible donations.

Now it’s our costume team’s turn! As N95 masks are in high demand for front-line medical staff, hospitals are now requesting fabric masks that patients can use as they enter/exit the building. Our team has coordinated the safe creation and distribution of newly washed fabric kits from our supplies, which our costumers are working with right now. We’re looking forward to delivering the completed masks and sharing more photos along the way!

Photo: Sondra Radvanovsky as Rusalka. © 2019 Michael Cooper.