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The COC's production of Hercules closes on April 30!

Our critically acclaimed production of Hercules, directed by Peter Sellars and starring Eric Owens, Alice Coote, Lucy Crowe, David Daniels and Richard Croft closes on April 30. See what critics and audience members have been saying about the production.


  1. Watch scenes from the production below:

  2. Selected scenes from Hercules
  3. "Under Harry Bicket’s superb conducting, Handel’s score becomes... a fully realized cohesive drama, and a fully felt exploration of the human condition as experienced through war... The opera’s drama is driven home by a fine cast who prove themselves solid actors as well as singers." Catherine Kustanczy, Bach Track

    "This may be the strongest COC cast I’ve ever heard, down to David Daniels’ clear ringing sound, and Richard Croft’s plaintive tone." Leslie Barcza, Barcza Blog
  4. "Eric Owens, a bass-baritone plays the titular role and his lower register is fitting for the son of a god." Janelle Watkins, The Scene in TO

    "Eric Owens
    has what must be one of the most thankless title roles in opera, singing only about a quarter of what the women do, but Sellars has even made that a virtue and his fevered outbursts, booming like rocket fire from his lower register, his halting excuses and roaring grief are all just what the soldiers returning from wars through the centuries have felt." Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star
  5. "From her first “O, Hercules” to her final and extraordinary mad scene, Alice [Coote] was the stuff of this opera. The whole theatre could empathize with Dejanira’s story. We saw her miss her husband and finally see him at last, and we saw her realize he was not the same man. She was a beautiful actor who took us through a complicated dramatic arc, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She sang with weeping legato or determined coloratura, and she didn’t shy away from making an ugly sound if the scene warranted it. Her mad scene was truly mad, and her final shrieking phrases terrified me." Jenna Douglas, Schmopera

    "Hercules’ wife Dejanira, played expertly by mezzo-soprano Alice Coote takes us through her stages of grief.. Coote has several lengthy arias and her legato passages require expert breath control, yet she never stumbles, never misses a beat. Her fiery outbursts fully display the turmoil that she lives through as a wife of war." Janelle Watkins, The Scene in TO
  6. "Lucy Crowe, as the prisoner Iole, was correspondingly angelic, sensual and heartbreaking, a woman who sings her first aria, Bright Liberty from under an Abu Ghraib hood, and whose sufferings animate the entire piece. Crowe’s soaring soprano held an entire house breathless time and again during the performance." - Robert Harris, Globe and Mail

    Richard Croft's "sweetness of his tone and the nimbleness of his runs made his every appearance a pleasure." Chris Hoile, Stage Door
  7. "David Daniels was in fine form as Hercules’ servant Lichas, his countertenor having only grown in richness and lustre through the years." Chris Hoile, Stage Door
  8. "Like all COC productions, the musical credentials of the Hercules team are impeccable and the performances they give are as magnificently sung as they are completely felt and the orchestra, under the sure guidance of Harry Bicket, played with both power and subtlety." Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star
  9. "Also, though the set was minimalist in design, lighting director James F. Ingalls’ execution offers a stunning backdrop, carrying the full visual weight of this production with ease." Morgan Kelly, Theatromania

    "Last, but not least, James Ingalls’ highly imaginative lighting design turned the simple unit set into a thing of beauty.  This production is a feast for the eye as well as the ear, and above all the soul. The Athenians believed that the theatre wan’t just for entertainment but to make us better citizens by forcing us to explore the consequences of the decisions we or our representatives make. Sellars shows us, 2500 years later, that that concept is still relevant" John Gilks, Opera Ramblings
  10. For the BMO Student Dress Rehearsal of Hercules, we invited active military personnel and veterans to attend, here are their responses:

  11. Soldiers and Veterans react to Hercules
  12. Shot of the stage prior to the start of the COC's new production of Hercules...was an absolutely stunning performance with a prescient message for our modern era #hercules #opera #toronto #coc #performance #handel #petersellars #canadianopera #orchestra #brilliance
    Shot of the stage prior to the start of the COC's new production of Hercules...was an absolutely stunning performance with a prescient message for our modern era #hercules #opera #toronto #coc #performance #handel #petersellars #canadianopera #orchestra #brilliance