Stage Door News

Toronto: on July 9 the COC young artists share their songs of hope

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Drawing on a long-standing musical tradition, the COC Ensemble Studio has creatively reimagined the salon-style home concert into a relaxed virtual experience. On July 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Canadian Opera Company will stream Songs of Hope: From Our Homes to Yours, a showcase featuring intimate performances of personal favourites, carefully curated for this moment in time.

“Over the past few months, we’ve helped these talented young artists find new ways to continue their training online, in the face of incredibly challenging circumstances,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “With our own opera house closed for now and stages still dark across the globe, this concert is a tribute not only to that sense of musical perseverance, but to all the possibilities that still lie ahead – for these artists, for this art form, and for us all.”

“This is also a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the Canadian-led future of opera,” adds Neef. “When live performances return, you will undoubtedly see past and present members of our Ensemble Studio program on stages around the world.”

Songs of Hope features an eclectic program that extends far beyond the traditional opera repertoire, with songs by Franz Schubert and Benjamin Britten set alongside a traditional Irish folk ballad and a stirring Rodgers and Hammerstein ensemble number. Each piece holds a special significance and story for the artists, which they will share as part of the concert.

“This group knows what a powerful tool music can be to heal and to uplift,” says Liz Upchurch, Head of the COC Ensemble Studio, “and this concert is their way of sharing some much-needed love and hope. I think you’ll find that there’s something here for everyone; it’s a lovely, personal program, chosen especially to reach all ears and hearts. There’s also a deep intimacy to opening up one’s home to others. We hope that our audiences feel like guests in our living room, invited to sit back, relax, and enjoy the music.” 

Songs of Hope: From Our Homes to Yours will be available to view online at; those interested in attending can sign up there to have the concert’s streaming link delivered straight to their inbox on July 9. A full overview of all of the COC’s digital programming and initiatives can also be found at its Digital Content Hub at

The COC Ensemble Studio is Canada’s premier talent development program, providing world-class training and coaching to the country’s top young opera artists. Since 1980, the program has launched the careers of over 230 Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors, including Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, John Fanning, Wendy Nielsen, Emily D’Angelo, David Pomeroy, Krisztina Szabó, Allyson McHardy, and Lauren Segal. Songs of Hope adapts the program’s tradition of hosting a mainstage showcase every season, where members can share their talents and demonstrate the artistry they have honed through their time in the program.

Full Concert Details

Photo The 2019/20 COC Ensemble Studio. © 2019 Gaetz Photography.