The COC’s 2013–2014 season features Ben Heppner as Peter Grimes and a new Atom Egoyan production

The COC’s 2013–2014 season features Ben Heppner as Peter Grimes and a new Atom Egoyan production

The Canadian Opera Company’s general director Alexander Neef unveiled the lineup for the COC’s 2013–2014 season this morning at the Four Seasons Centre. The big news: Ben Heppner, who takes on the punishing role of Tristan next Tuesday, is singing the title part in Benjamin Britten’s 20th century masterpiece Peter Grimes. Check out the full details of the season below.

(Image: Felix Sanchez)

The COC starts their season with a new production of Puccini’s trusty tear-jerker La Bohème (Neef called it “one of the very few perfect operas”) directed by Tony Award–winning director John Caird. Italian soprano Grazia Doronzio and Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury share the title role. October 3-30.

(Image: Branco Gaica)

Next up: Benjamin Britten’s titanic Peter Grimes, which tells the story of a Suffolk fisherman who stands accused of murdering his apprentices by the local mob. If he makes it through Tristan und Isolde, Heppner should be able to handle this one too. October 5-26.

(Image: preliminary sketch by Debra Hanson)

Così fan tutte, Mozart’s comedy about fiancée-swapping in the 18th-century Naples, gets a new production by Atom Egoyan. Rising Canadians Layla Claire and Wallis Giunta are paired with American tenor Paul Appleby and local bass-baritone Robert Gleadow. January 18–February 21.

(Image: Ruth Walz)

Canadian diva Adrianne Pieczonka is cast opposite tenor Dimitri Pittas in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, a tale of forbidden love in the midst of political intrigue that’s transported to the American South of the 1960s in this Berlin Staatsoper production. February 2–22.

(Image: Dan Rest)

Opera superstar director Peter Sellars is making his COC début in this year’s Tristan. Next year, he’s directing a new modern-day production of Handel’s Hercules starring Met regular Eric Owens (who stole the show as Alberich at that company’s Ring Cycle last year) and powerful American countertenor David Daniels. They’re also bringing in British baroque specialist Harry Bicket to conduct. This should be good. April 5–30.

(Image: Karen Almond)

American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky lives on 10-acre property in Caledon when she’s not singing Verdi on top stages around the world. She stars as Queen Elizabeth I in Donizetti’s tragedy Roberto Devereux. April 25–May 21.

(Image: Rozarii Lynch)

The season ends with Massenet’s Don Quichotte, in a production where the characters emerge from giant leather-bound storybooks. Star Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto sings the title part. May 9–24