For each production, we assemble an exciting roster of guest speakers to give patrons background information on our productions, discuss the production, and answer audience questions. Performance ticket-holders are invited to join us in the lower lobby of the Elgin Theatre 45 minutes before the performance for one of our free “Pre-Performance Chats”.
Robert Morassutti is a 20 year veteran of the COC speaker series and a lifelong opera lover. He is CEO of Montage Support Services – a non-profit committed to providing support for adults with physical and mental disabilities.
Edmund Goehring is Associate Professor of Music History at the University of Western Ontario. He received his PhD at Columbia University and has written on Mozart opera: its literary milieu, its reception, its place in aesthetics and criticism. His book on Cosi’ fan tutte was published by Cambridge University press, and he has spoken widely on Mozart, in both academic and public forums.
Gillian Story has been a devotee of opera since the age of six, when she attended her first performance of Tosca at the then-O’Keefe Centre (and fell asleep for only a short part of it). Shortly thereafter, armed with a new career objective, she joined the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus and was thrilled to be part of several mainstage productions with the Canadian Opera Company during her five years with the chorus. Gillian’s interest later turned to piano, and she holds a degree in Music from Concordia University. She is now the Manager of the Young Artists Performance Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Before joining the RCM, Gillian worked in the Education Department of the Canadian Opera Company, and was involved in a wide variety of education initiatives, including writing articles for COC production study guides, and guiding opera workshops for children and youth. She still loves opera, and has resigned herself to the reality of not being the next Kiri te Kanawa.
Neil Story has been an opera lover from the days as a small boy when his father explained the stories that accompanied the various arias that he loved to listen to. Neil is a reformed banker, now self-employed as a financial consultant, teacher and wine consultant. He loves to listen, see, and talk about opera and all forms of music. And when he is not doing that, a nice glass of wine and a cryptic crossword suits him fine.