Opening May 6, this season’s production of The Magic Flute at the COC is a true celebration of homegrown talent. On top of featuring a bevy of Canadian singers in the cast, audiences will be treated to a number of artists who are currently enrolled in or are graduates of the Ensemble Studio, the COC’s professional development program for emerging artists—including revival director Anna Theodosakis, who began her career as a singer before turning to direction. For many cast members, this is a return to the stage after two years—and also a family reunion of sorts.
Irish-Canadian tenor Michael Colvin, who sings the role of Monostatos, is thrilled to be sharing the Four Seasons Centre stage with so many fellow Ensemble Studio alumni, and notes a correlation between the strength of the program and the number of opera professionals this country has produced. “This Magic Flute production is a testament to the quality and success of the program. Canada has a well-earned reputation for producing opera singers of the highest quality, and you’ll find Canadian names on prestigious opera and concert stages all over the world. The COC’s Ensemble Studio is a huge part of that success.”
Soprano and current Ensemble Studio artist Midori Marsh plays the role of Papagena in this production, and is looking forward to sharing the stage with so many talented performers: “There are so many Canadian performers and artists who I admire and look up to. The fact that I get to work with some of them is so amazing; all of us in the Ensemble are super hyped to rehearse and perform together, go to the theatre together, share dressing rooms–it’s all so much fun!”
Charlotte Siegel, who joined the Ensemble Studio for the 2021/2022 season, feels “incredibly lucky and proud” to be part of a show with so much Ensemble Studio representation. “Being on stage with past and present Ensemble artists I've admired as an audience member, and now continue to grow alongside, is truly a special feeling.” It also contributes to an inspiring rehearsal period: “the rehearsal room, led by the amazing Anna Theodosakis and conductor Patrick Lange, is an energetic, supportive, and happy room (fitting for this magical story).” This production is particularly special for Siegel: along with her sister, Portia-Marie, she played a specially-created role of Pamina’s best friend in a production staged at a COC camp as a child. “I remember taking tours of the costume and props department and being so intrigued with the behind-the-scenes world of live performance and the scale of opera! It feels truly meant to be that this is my first production as an ensemble studio member.”
Soprano Anna-Sophie Neher, who plays the leading role of Pamina, graduated from the Ensemble in the 20/21 season, and describes her years with the Ensemble as “the most musically inspiring of [her] life.” While her career continues its ascent—including recent appearances at renowned houses like Opéra national de Paris—there is still something special about coming back to the COC. “It is so cool that I get to perform with others who were also part of the big COC family. I think about all the previous singers that sang in those 70 years of The Magic Flute at the COC and I cannot believe how lucky and honoured I am to add my name to the list.”
The Magic Flute open May 6 and runs until May 21. Tickets are on sale now.
Header image: Michael Cooper