La Scena Musicale

Monday, 27 April 2015

Argentinean tenor Francisco Brito Joins COC Barber Cast

Just received a Press Release from the Canadian Opera Company to the effect that Argentinean tenor Francisco Brito will replace scheduled Romanian tenor Bogdan Mihai as Almaviva in the alternate cast of the current production of The Barber of Seville. His first performance begins May 9th.  

Tenor Francisco BritoFor an opera with so many performances like Barber - in this case 12 plus a COC Ensemble show - most roles are double cast. A few cast changes are bound to happen. Some of you may recall the La boheme last season when we ended up with five tenors, if you count the one - another Romanian, Teodor Illincai - who cancelled before rehearsals.  These things happen. The downside is we won't get to hear the beautiful voice of Mr. Mihai, but it means we get to experience another beautiful voice, that of Signor Brito. For those curious what he sounds like, you can go to his Youtube channel for a few video clips.  On his channel, he also has videos of other singers he likes, like American tenor Gregory Kunde and the late Swedish tenor Gosta Winbergh - Mr. Brito has good taste!  I look forward to hearing Francisco Brito at the COC. 

~  Joseph So

For Immediate Release: April 27, 2015

Toronto – The Canadian Opera Companyregrets to announce that Romanian tenor Bogdan Mihai, who was scheduled to perform the role of Count Almaviva in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville this May, has had to withdraw for personal reasons. Mihai was scheduled to sing three of the production’s 12 performances. In his place, the COC has cast Argentine tenor Francisco Brito, who will make his Canadian debut. Brito shares the role of Count Almaviva with American tenor Alek Shrader who has been performing the role since the COC’s production opened on April 17, 2015.

Francisco Brito is an exciting young singer, praised for “his considerable vocal agility, [ability] to slide through his range rapidly and holding his high notes with ease,” (Seen and Heard International). A Rossini specialist, Brito made his operatic debut in Il viaggio a Reims at the 2006 Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy, with subsequent guest engagements of L’Italiana in Algeri at the Teatro Municipale di Piacenza and Teatro Pavarotti di Modena in 2008; Zelmira in Pesaro in 2009 and, in 2011, Il viaggio a Reims at the Teatro Argentino de La Plata in Buenos Aires and La gazza ladra at the Semperoper in Dresden, where he also appeared in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. He’s also performed with the Festival della Valle d’Itria and the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. In recent seasons, he has appeared with Oper Frankfurt in performances of Adriana Lecouvreur and L’incoronazione di Poppea, as well as in Carmina Burana and La scala di seta with Nationaltheater Mannheim and Il signor Bruschino with Teatro La Fenice. Brito can be heard in the role of Count Almaviva in the COC’s The Barber of Seville on May 9, 19 and 21.

The COC’s production of The Barber of Seville has delighted Toronto audiences since it opened on April 17 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Rossini’s masterful comedy features a veritable hit parade of a score marked by showstoppers and sparkling tunes, complemented by a colourful production described as “full of zany buffa delights” (Globe and Mail). Eight performances remain before the production concludes its run onMay 22, 2015.

The exciting young singers of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio also perform the lead roles in their own performance of The Barber of Seville on May 15, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are accessibly priced at $25 or $55.

Ticket Information
Tickets are available online at, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W., Toronto). Ticket prices for The Barber of Seville  range from $49 – $424 (includes applicable taxes).Standing Room tickets are available for $12 at 11 a.m. the morning of the performance, in person only at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office. Limit of two tickets per person. Subject to availability.

About the Canadian Opera Company 
Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006. For more information on the COC, visit its award-winning website,

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