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|О нас||Founded in 1946 as the Opera School, University of Toronto Opera is celebrating its 50th season in the MacMillan Theatre in the heart of downtown Toronto.|
1928-1946: Laying the Foundation
The beginnings of opera in Canada’s largest city are inextricably tied to the beginnings of University of Toronto Opera, born as ‘the Opera School’ in 1946. Sir Ernest MacMillan, namesake of of the MacMillan Theatre and Canada’s only ‘musical knight,’ was appointed principal of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto in 1926. In 1928, he created an opera company under that institution’s auspices. Despite two vibrant seasons, the company could not withstand the difficulties of the Great Depression.
More than ten years before the establishment of the Opera School, a far-sighted organisation called ‘the Opera Guild of Toronto’ put into words the aims and ambitions of a city that would one day grow into a cultural heavyweight. The Guild expressed its objectives:
•To afford facilities to Canadian singers for engaging in the singing of opera, thereby giving a breadth of character and colour to their training which is not otherwise obtainable in Canada.
•To create and develop in singers and in the general public a genuine appreciation of operatic music and the technique of opera.
•To develop an organization of Canadian artists capable of producing all-Canadian presentations of opera.
•To present operas from time to time either individually or in series, casting as much as possible from Canadian singers.
The Opera Guild staged four artistically successful seasons, presenting works such as Tosca, Cavalleria rusticana, and Tannhäuser. Despite generous private support, the Guild shut down its operations in 1938 due to a lack of funds.
At the same time as the Opera Guild continued breaking ground for opera in Toronto, the Carnegie Foundation in the United States commissioned a study for the expansion of music training facilities in Canada; Ernest Hutcheson, then President of the Juilliard School was tasked in preparing the report. The report was submitted and shelved, but was revived immediately after the Second World War. One result of