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inaugural performance at Four Seasons Centre

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I'm using someone else's computer so I don't have time to say much, but I know other posters were there! Just wanted to start the thread going :clapping:

Overall, I really enjoyed the program tonight. It was a good mix and you could see the dancers' joy at finally being able to perform in their own opera house!

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My daughters and I were at Nathan Phillips Square watching the telecast.

It was a great event and wonderful opportunity, to be sure. FREE!! In Toronto, who imagined?

I have to say however that someone forgot to inform the cameraperson about the finer details of ballet videography. I cannot begin to tell you how frustrating it was to watch the DQ pdd with closeups of faces, not feet!! Nice faces of course, but :clapping: what are they thinking?

The dancers generally did a great job - a one or two not so stellar, but lots of pressure I'm sure for the big night.


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Greta Hodgkinson and Guillaume Cote looked stunning in Grand Pas Classique. I saw them perform the pdd during the spring season as well. This time she wore an off-white tutu instead of the black one, and it looked much nicer. Cote's turning sissones (not sure what the exact term is) in the coda were magnificent. Hodgkinson's turns, as always, were right on the mark. I also enjoyed seeing Hodgkinson with Aleksandar Antonijevic in Herman Scherman. They both looked very comfortable in that style.

Keiichi Hirano and Stacey Shiori Minagawa gave a lovely performance of the bluebird pdd. They have a nice rapport on stage and it looks like this is becoming one of their signature pieces. The other classical pdd came from Sonia Rodriguez and Piotr Stanczyk who did Don Q. Rodriguez really turned things up a notch, with her sharp technique and smoldering gaze. Stancyzk was more tentative, but gave a solid performance nonetheless.

Heather Ogden was simply a joy to watch in the Tchaikovsky pdd. Along with Nehemiah Kish, she was the first to appear on that stage, and didn't look the least bit nervous. She really rose to the occassion, letting her personality shine through as she nailed those difficult steps. Kish lacks strength and stamina, but he gave his all during his variation. In the series of tours a la seconde in the coda, he started to lose steam and botched the last pirouette. It seemed like he lost his spot or lost balance. After that, he seemed a bit nervous, so the big fish dives were not as deep as they could have been. He held Ogden almost horizontal, instead of at an angle.

Rounding out the program, there were two Kudelka works. Xiao Nan Yu and Ryan Boorne appeared in a waltz from Desir. It's one of the more distinctive of the pdd in Desir, where the man holds the woman's foot through developes and promenades. At the end, he is on the floor and kisses her outstretched pointe shoe. Finally, Rebekah Rimsay and Piotr Stancyzk danced in "Romeo and Juliet before parting" which is IMO, quite banal. The costumes look like undergarments and the capri unitard for the woman is particularly unflattering. Still, the dancers made the most of the choreography they were given.

It was a very special evening. As Karen Kain mentioned, good things happen to those who wait, and Toronto has clearly waited so long for this opera house. At the end of her speech, it looked like she cried a little (mom2, am I imagining this, or did you see it too?). I felt quite emotional too, just to be witnessing such an important event in the NBoC's history. It was great to see so many of the dancers on stage (it's just too bad that Chan Hon Goh isn't back yet). It definitely whetted the audience's appetite for the upcoming season!

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Kain was obviously emotional at the end of her speech. Quite out of character for her!

As for the review in the Star...my younger daughter described the piece as "The Balcony Scene in underwear"............

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For anyone who wants to see for him or herself, I just got the following email from the National Ballet of Canada:

The Canadian Opera Company hosts public open houses of the Four Seasons Centre this weekend from 10am to 5pm.

Stop by 145 Queen St. W. this weekend and celebrate the opening of this spectacular new house.

Doors open at 10 a.m. both days, and will be open until 5 p.m. Guided tours—visiting R. Fraser Elliott Hall, the Henry N. R. Jackman Lounge, the ballet studio, and backstage—leave the City Room every 15 minutes. The last tour departs at 4 p.m.

The City Room and R. Fraser Elliott Hall will be accessible for self-guided tours. Stop by the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre and listen to free 10-minute recitals featuring members of the COC Ensemble Studio and Canadian Children's Opera Chorus throughout the day.

Please note: Guided tours will be carried out on a first-come, first served basis. There is no pre-booking. Be aware that depending on the time of day you arrive there may be a wait for a tour.

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I was actually at the telecast, like mom2-- didn't manage to get tickets soon enough. But I did go to the opera last week for one of the celebratory concerts. I was sitting in the 4th ring centre and sight lines were very good. The seats are also such that if someone tall sits in front of you, your view isn't obstructed (a great bonus for someone short like me!). The acoustics, as promised, are wonderful. I think one newspaper article said that someone on stage could talk to someone in the 5th ring without raising his/her voice! The stage itself is slightly less wide than the Hummingbird but much deeper. Overall it feels much more intimate. Inside, the design is very stark and modern, yet open.

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I. I was sitting in the 4th ring centre and sight lines were very good. The seats are also such that if someone tall sits in front of you, your view isn't obstructed (a great bonus for someone short like me!). The acoustics, as promised, are wonderful.

Not so good in the 3rd Ring where I was. We were slightly off centre and all four seats had a blocked view of the stage....the head and shoulders of the person in front took out the complete centre section. We ranged in height from 5" (me) to 5'10" and even the tallest fellow could not see. Makes me a little apprehensive for the coming season.

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Can't help with an opinion of 5th ring as I was in 4th ring as well. First row so didn't need to worry about heads etc. I did find the silver railing a bit distracting. Maybe I need my eyes tested or something, but I still prefer to sit in Orchestra where I can see faces. With subscriber rush being 50% off as opposed to a flat rate anywhere in the theatre, I wonder if I'm going to have much opportunity to sit closer during the upcoming season. My season's tickets are in one of the rings (forget which one.) Did anyone who sat in Orchestra post what they thought? Let me look back...

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