For Toronto folks wanting some more or less academic background on opera in general and the upcoming COC season in particular there are a few options under the cut featuring the COC, University of Toronto, Opera Canada magazine and the Royal Conservatory.
The COC has David Stanley-Porter giving classes on the history of opera and on the different approaches directors have taken to the works featured in the 2014/15 COC season. at the COC offices on Front Street. Details.
The Royal Conservatory has a series of classes given by Eric Domville (the guy who looks like Verdi) focused on the upcoming COC season called Opera in the City. This will include performance excerpts from students from the Glenn Gould School. Details.
There’s also Opera Exchange; a collaboration between the University of Toronto Faculty of Music and the COC. They have sessions planned on comic opera and Regietheater. This will include excerpts performed by students from the UoT Opera Division. Details.
Finally, there is Opera Talks; presented by the COC in partnership with Opera Canada magazine and Toronto’s North York Central Library. It’s a series of three talks by Opera Canada‘s editor Wayne Gooding called First Nights, Faux Traditions and Fresh Starts – Why opera needs stage directors with strong voices which will look at three of this season’s COC productions. This one is feree but it’s in North York which, I’m told, is north of Bloor Street. Details.
ETA: There are several courses, including one taught by noted blogger Leslie Barcza, offered by the UoT School of Continuing Studies. Leslie’s course is called The Most Popular Operas and focuses on works currently being performed by the COC, Opera Atelier or being shown in the MetHD series. I’ve never taken a class taught by Leslie but I can say he’s an extremely interesting thinker and one I always enjoy discussing/debating with, even (maybe especially) when we see things very differently! Details.