In a Sept. 16th press release, Canadian Opera Company announced a reimagined fall 2020 season of physically-distanced programming called Opera Everywhere. According to the COC release, this slate of digital and physical events will include live concerts, interactive learning, and a focused exploration of opera’s past, present, and future.
Although their parameters for live performances remain unclear, the COC’s fall season can be experienced from anywhere in the world online; it was shaped with feedback from an extensive audience survey in light of a need for community-building.
“This is a transformative moment for the performing arts,” said COC General Director Alexander Neef in the press release. “Digital innovation is connecting us with audiences around the world–and this innovation is here to stay, long after our return to usual programming.”
This season’s offerings are organized into three categories. ‘From the Opera House’ features new concerts staged at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts; these events are meant to “reconnect audiences with the experience and emotion of live performance” and will be available online for a limited time. ‘Opera for Toronto’ will curate local initiatives that showcase Canadian talent via artistic collaborations. ‘COC in Conversation’ will provide opportunities for discussion in panels, lecture-recitals that explore the history and future of opera, and a new podcast.
The podcast, beginning Oct. 27th, is co-hosted by singer and culture critic Robyn Grant-Moran alongside Director/Dramaturg-in-Residence Julie McIsaac. The first season of bi-weekly episodes will invite special guests to discuss various perspectives of the operagoing experience.
Some other highlights of the season include MindBodyMusic in Oct. 2020 which will build on the COC’s Music and Wellness programming; music therapist Dr. SarahRose Black and COC Music Director Johannes Debus partner with experts from the arts and sciences for a panel discussion exploring the relationship between psychology, physiology, and musical experience. There will also be a few special performances at the Art Gallery of Ontario.