Toronto City Opera
As artists who work in opera, we are telling stories that reflect and shape our place in the world. In doing so, we have a responsibility to recognize the history of the land on which we create our art. We wish to acknowledge that the land on which Toronto City Opera operates has over thousands of years been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, Toronto remains a meeting place, and is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.
Toronto City Opera is passionately committed to opera for everyone. We give young professionals an opportunity to perform principal roles with coaching in musicianship and stagecraft. We give our amateur choristers inspiration and skills so that they too can perform in a fully staged opera. And for our community we provide affordable access to this grand synthesis of music, drama, dance, and design to raise up the human spirit of everyone it touches.
Our Artistic Vision
We believe the classic opera repertoire continues to inspire and delight audiences and performers from diverse cultures. Our ambition is to engage contemporary audiences through the timeless appeal of these works, not to preserve them as museum pieces. We fulfill their creators’ intentions, in collaboration with creative stage directors, by performing the works as written while presenting fresh, original, live productions that enthrall our community with their artistic truth.
Each year, Toronto City Opera presents at least two fully staged operas. Our early career professional soloists are selected after open auditions, but our amateur non-auditioned community chorus remains open to all.
This unique combination provides both professional development opportunities and community engagement. That community engagement extends beyond our chorus as the audience they bring with them are often having their first opera experience – their excitement is wonderful to feel.
Toronto's longest running opera company. Continuously since 1946.
In 1946, an optimistic James Rosselino started an Opera Workshop at Central Technical School in collaboration with the Toronto school board. He was succeeded in the 1950's by Toronto Conservatory of Music singing teacher Dr. Ernesto Vinci, followed by well-known Canadian Bass-Baritone and Stage Director Andrew MacMillan.
In 1967, during the expansion of arts programming that marked the Centennial, Giuseppe Macina was asked to revitalize and direct the workshop by the Toronto Board of Education, transforming it into an offering in its adult education program with fully staged operas. In 1971 Toronto Opera Repertoire was created and in 1980 was incorporated as Toronto City Opera.
Giuseppe Macina retired as Artistic Director at the end of the 2013 season, and Beatrice Carpino, assumed that position until the end of the 2016-2017 season.
In 2017 and 2018, the Board determined that a new approach was needed to revitalize TCO once again. TCO ended its relationship with the Toronto District Board of Education and became fully independent in its operations with new artistic leadership and a new performance model. Since then we have:
Put in place a new professional artistic team : Jennifer Tung (Artistic Director) and Ivan Jovanovic (Music Director)
Created a new performance model with:
paid, emerging, young professional soloists,
supported by a 40 strong community chorus
stage direction and production by talented teams
Moved our fully staged performances to professional theatres which offer modern equipment to enhance our staging and an enaging audience experience
Our model has led to productions that continue to earn praise from our audiences and critics alike.
Our company is supported by an energetic, fully volunteer board, who are committed to our success and excited by our bright future.
Mark Wilson - President
Sandra Tang – Treasurer
We thank our many volunteers from the chorus and community without whom we could not create and sustain our productions.