In 1946, in the happy afterglow of a great war, 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 a Toronto Conservatory of Music singing teacher Dr. Ernesto Vinci followed by a well-known Canadian Bass-Baritone and Stage Director Andrew MacMillan.
By 1967, during the great expansion of arts programming that marked Canada's Centennial, Giuseppe Macina was asked to revitalize and direct the workshop by the Toronto Board of Education (now Toronto District School Board), transforming it into an offering as an adult education program. It became evident that a partner organization was required to organize the presentation of the operas, so in 1969 Toronto Opera Repertoire was created. In 1980 it was incorporated as Toronto City Opera. In one form or another, we have been presenting opera workshops longer than anybody else in Toronto, for 71 years now, a resource in the musical life of our city for generations, and a completely unique collaboration by a public school board and a volunteer-run community opera company.
Each year the Toronto City Opera presents at least two fully staged operas, with great attention to detail and musical integrity. Our program is now divided into two streams - Chorus and Soloists.
Toronto City Opera is committed to the advancement of the art of Opera. It will facilitate this by providing aspiring singers a regimen of coaching in musicianship, stagecraft deportment and performance. Toronto City Opera will engage the opera-loving amateur through the training of a non-auditioned chorus thus creating diverse opportunities for persons who wish to gain experience in mounting and/or performing in live Opera. Toronto City Opera will engage and attract audiences by committing itself to affordable ticket prices, a respectable theatrical venue along with projected interpretive titles.
Toronto City Opera will provide fully staged Operas complete with sets, costumes and chorus. Provide training by qualified personnel thereby elevating the profile and quality of the art of Opera in both program offering and performance. For our non-auditioned chorus, Toronto City Opera will give ordinary people real access to take part in the disciplined art that is Opera. For our community, Toronto City Opera will mount high-quality, affordable productions that inspire and engage audiences.
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