2020-21 Season

We began our season with a critically acclaimed 'recorded live' and streamed digital production of The Telephone and La Voix Humaine.


Regrettably the pandemic and current government regulations prevent us from continuing with our plans for the remainder of the 2020-21 Season. As a company that is committed to the magic of live productions we can not under the current circumstances create an experience for you that meets our expectations.

To close out our season we presented a live Zoom event with 'recorded live' performances. This featured the principal artists who were to perform in our production of Nabucco as well as special guest, Toronto-born tenor Charles Sy, and a virtual appearance by our TCO chorus.

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The Telephone / La Voix Humaine

Gian Carlo Menotti / Francis Poulenc 


Opera Going Toronto said:

'Taken together as a single 90-minute encounter, the two pieces, The Telephone and La Voix Humaine, make for vibrant programming.'


'recorded ... with no audio overdubs and minimal video post production, Toronto City Opera’s Menotti/Poulenc diptych represents something of a pioneering milestone — music theatre staged for camera and mic recorded as legitimate live event.'

'A refreshing viewing experience well worth catching as opera continues to move forward in its crisis-driven evolution from theatre stage to digital platform.'

Read the full review

Creative Team

Artistic Director - Jennifer Tung

Music Director - Ivan Jovanovic

Video - Kelley Mitchell

Production - Joseph Pepelnak

The Telephone, Or L'Amour à trois

Comic opera in one act by Gian Carlo Menotti, both words and music.

First performed at the Heckscher Theater, New York City, February 18, 1947.

Sung in English with English subtitles

Lucy England - Nicole Dubinsky

Ben Upthegrove - Johnathon Kirby

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La Voix Humaine

Tragédie lyrique in one act by Francis Poulenc First performed at the Théâtre National de l'Opéra-Comique in Paris on 6 February 1959.  Based on a play by Jean Cocteau written in 1928.

Sung in French with English subtitles


Elle - Rachel Krehm

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The ecstasies and agonies of human love, yearning for expression through the ever present third party of technology - our phones. The comedy and tragedy of our time, delicate and raw emotion.

New challenges to love are creatively solved in Menotti’s comic duet for two young lovers. The telephone is the third participant in a love triangle as the increasingly exasperated male suitor attempts to propose marriage. The Telephone, Or L'Amour à Trois, is juxtaposed with Poulenc’s powerful short opera which explores with extremely tender music the universal pain of abandonment.

La Voix Humaine is a technically demanding work for solo soprano which unforgivingly depicts desperation through one side of a fateful telephone call.
This new production was designed through wrestling with current 2020 issues with their myriad barriers to planning live opera, which is what TCO exists for. 'Recorded Live' in HD but without a live audience, we are pairing two short operas which have casts of 2 and 1, respectively. The Telephone is an English language opera which will be set in our 2020 pandemic times with the contemporary technology that has increasingly shaped our behaviour and our current societal reality. Poulenc [Les Dialogues des Carmélites] was very conscious of the effects of new technologies and La Voix Humaine will be set in the early 1930's highlighting similar feelings of the frustration with technology through time.  

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Giuseppe Verdi


“Golden harp of our prophets, why do you hang silently on the willow?” [Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves] 

The dynamic dramatic process from psychological and sociological states of terror to potent confidence in liberation. Inspirational idyllic contemplation and aspirational action. 

His third opera and first great success, composing Nabucco helped Verdi through severe personal tragedy. The Hebrew Old Testament’s universal narrative and expressions of longing for a Promised Land have eternal human significance. The solemn and inspirational choral prayer '"Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate" [Fly, thought, on golden wings] is virtually an alternative Italian national anthem and was the first work sung by the Metropolitan Opera Chorus after 9/11. 


Nabucco is one of the 20 most performed operas in the world but it is infrequently performed in Toronto because of the scale and cost of a fully-staged production. TCO is able to present this opera-in-concert because of its commitment to having a 40 strong community chorus. 

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Cavalleria Rusticana

Pietro Mascagni


The love, betrayal and revenge of real people stretched to the limits of human feeling by real life. Intense and beautiful music.

Great pathos and dramatic tension flow from Mascagni’s achingly beautiful score in this quintessential verismo opera about the fateful events that take place on an Easter Sunday under the Sicilian sun. After Turridu returns from the military to find betrayal, hot-blooded pursuits of love and jealousy spread, leading to the point of no return with inescapable acts of honour under the stunned gaze of the townspeople and the bewildered anguish of the young Santuzza. 
Our new production will remember that between 1951 and 1961, more than 300,000 Italians emigrated to Canada, primarily from the South of Italy, many of whom settled in ‘Little Italy’ on College St

Praise for TCO's The Tales of Hoffmann - Nov 2019

Check out our highlights video here.

operaramblings called our production

"…ambitious and well executed. It’s all quite bold for a semi-pro company and one wonders what’s next.  The evolution of indie opera companies is unpredictable in the extreme.  What we do know is that the next show is Cavalleria Rusticana in May…"