Stretching Our Creative Muscle


We had the wonderful and challenging opportunity to work with the Canadian Opera Company from 2001 though 2005. Richard Bradshaw "conducted" and pioneered much of the company's vision over this time, as we helped shape their brand positioning and marketing through the four seasons leading up to the opening of the new opera house in Toronto.


Delving into the world of opera culture was a learning experience. Attending a range of performances—from The Bartered Bride to Götterdämmerung—stretched our appreciation for the art form. We were virgin opera goers, yet this naiveté was in fact useful for the development of promotional material directed at new audiences. We provided an outside perspective, unique from those inside the culture, to help understand the mindset of the unconverted opera lover.



One of our great pleasures during this time was working with a number of terrific creative people. In partnership with the COC’s marketing department, Riordon was given the opportunity to create the thematic imagery for the COC’s landmark production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. Our creative director at the time, Dan Wheaton, worked with Michael Levine and Atom Egoyan on a series of photo illustrations to represent each of the operas in The Ring Cycle.


Every new production season presented new challenges for concept and imagery creation. Reviewing libretto content and musical nuance for each opera in a given season provided background understanding for campaign development. Montreal photographer, Valerie Simmons, brought daring imagination and a network of innovative assistants to the team. She was an ideal fit with the COC’s ambitious expectations. Timeless beautiful imagery—all carefully planned, styled and shot. Check out Valerie’s work: