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Toronto City Opera, Rossini Opera Festival and Aspes SpA join forces to bring Rossini’s magic to Toronto

TORONTO – Toronto City Opera, Rossini Opera Festival and Aspes SpA have joined forces, signing a Framework Agreement for collaboration on several exciting and innovative initiatives to bring the magic of Gioachino Rossini’s operas to Toronto.

During a video call, Daniele Vimini, President of the Rossini Opera Festival and Vice Mayor of the City of Pesaro, and Aspes SpA President, Luca Pieri signed in Pesaro Italy, while Mark Wilson, Toronto City Opera Board President, signed in Toronto Canada (in the pic above, the signing of the framework agreement).

In March 2022 Toronto City Opera will host the Rossini Opera Festival in Toronto, adding to its international audition network of New York, Moscow, Seoul and Pesaro, for the selection of singers for the annual “Alberto Zedda” Rossiniana Academy in Pesaro. In August 2022 Toronto City Opera will present a simultaneous festival of Rossini in Toronto in collaboration with the Rossini Opera Festival with productions from both companies – digital and in person. Over the coming year, Toronto City Opera and Rossini Opera Festival will explore opportunities for future co-productions.

Although most well-known for his comic operas such as Il barbiere di Siviglia (the Barber of Seville) and L’italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) as well as the overture to Guillaume Tell (William Tell), Rossini composed 39 operas as well as many songs, chamber music, piano pieces, and sacred music. This new collaboration by Toronto City Opera with the world-renowned Rossini Opera Festival will provide Toronto audiences the rare opportunity to personally experience and explore the magic of the full range of Rossini’s work.

Toronto City Opera will hold a gala in fall 2021 to launch aspects of the partnership, including “La Cucina di Gioachino Rossini – Rossini Gourmet”, an initiative of Aspes SpA to promote Italian cuisine.

Toronto City Opera General Director, Richard Paradiso, said: “It has been a pleasure working with the municipality of Pesaro, the Rossini Opera Festival and Aspes SpA – the positive and productive nature of the working relationships bodes well for the innovative and exciting initiatives contained within this Framework Agreement. This is an important day in the history of Toronto City Opera, and an achievement for opera and the arts in Toronto, Ontario and Canada. I am pleased that after two very difficult seasons because of the global phenomenon, this result has risen from my journeys.”

Toronto City Opera Board President, Mark Wilson, added that “Toronto City Opera and the Rossini Opera Festival share a common vision of the continuing power of the classical opera repertoire to inspire artists and move audiences of diverse cultures. Both of us strive to engage contemporary communities through the timeless appeal of these works by presenting fresh, original, live productions that stay true to the music as written. We are thrilled to bring the magic of Rossini to Toronto audiences through this collaboration.”

Toronto City Opera ( is Toronto’s longest running opera company – continuously since 1946. Passionately committed to opera for everyone, we believe the classic opera repertoire continues to inspire and delight audiences and performers from diverse cultures. Each year Toronto City Opera produces at least 2 fully staged operas featuring early career professional soloists supported by a 40 strong amateur chorus. Toronto City Opera’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco will take place in autumn 2021 and Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana in spring 2022.

The Rossini Opera Festival ( was instituted in 1980 by the town council of Pesaro with the intention of backing up and developing, by means of theatrical performances, the scientific work of the Rossini Foundation: this has given birth to a unique multi-disciplinary workshop of applied musicology, aiming at the revival of all Rossini’s lesser-known works through musicological research, theatrical performance and publication.

The 2021 Festival will take place from August 9 to 22 featuring 4 new productions, and 9 concerts:

Productions from past seasons are available to stream in North America on Stage Access:

Aspes SpA ( has a long history as a company serving the citizens of Pesaro. Founded in 1913 as a municipal gas company, Aspes SpA today continues its mission in local public services by managing the municipal pharmacies of Pesaro, sports facilities (primarily the Adriatic Arena), cemetery services in the municipalities of Pesaro, Mombaroccio, Monteciccardo, Montelabbate and Vallefoglia, the assessment service and management of taxes (IMU) and tourist tax for the Municipality of Pesaro and the urban green areas in the Municipalities of Montelabbate, Monteciccardo Pesaro, Tavullia and Vallefoglia.

One of its initiatives in support of the Rossini Festival is Rossini Gourmet:

Anna Goryachova dazzles as Isabella in the 2013 ROF production of L’Italiana in Algeri  by Davide Livermore (sets and lighting by Nicolas Bovey and costumes by Gianluca Falaschi)


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