Baritone Dion Mazerolle was last seen as Bogdanowitsch in Edmonton Opera's The Merry Widow. He is now back as the Mandarin in Turandot!
What are you looking forward to most about performing in Edmonton?
This is my second time in Edmonton and I have been lucky enough to be here during the season change from summer to fall. The colours in and around Edmonton are just breathtaking.
What do you find fascinating about the opera Turandot?
Puccini’s music has always been a favourite of the Verismo composers especially for his soaring music that just lifts your heart. Puccini’s music has always been there to serve the dramatic story. He leads us into a world that we do not want to end even though we know it will.
Is there a particular part in the opera that you’re especially looking forward to, or that you think the audience might particularly enjoy?
Probably the most awaited moment of the opera is the famed “Nessun Dorma” and rightfully so, but I also particularly enjoy the dark comic relief that Ping, Pang and Pong characters bring to the storyline.
How does Turandot resonate with a contemporary audience?
Through all my years being part of this ultimate art form which is Opera, I have always said, it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the language. Anyone from a first time opera lover to a seasoned opera listener will love this opera. Puccini always tells a magnificent story. Everyone must come to the opera with an open heart to let their imagination run wild and how can you not be drawn in by the set and costumes of this production.
Use 4 words to describe Turandot:
Powerful, obsession, uplifting, sumptuous.
Which character would you love the opportunity to play in an opera?
Scarpia! I have always loved the second act of Tosca. Every time I hear Scarpia screaming “piu forte, piu forte!” for the torture of Cavaradossi while Tosca pleads him to stop, I get goosebumps. He is a larger than life character that is driven by his attraction towards Tosca and that game of cat and mouse of the second act make for great opera.
Which movie would make a great opera and which character would you play?
That is a difficult question, but I think The Help would make a great opera. Its almost like a different take of Beaumarchais’ Marriage of Figaro with the differences in classes within society. I’m not so sure there would be a character in there but the character of Viola Davis as Aibileen Clark is a strong character that I would love to play in a different life.
Which aria would you recommend that people search on YouTube because it is so impressive?
I would recommend to listen to the last act of Gustave Charpentier’s Louise. On YouTube, it is the Opera National de Paris, with Jose van Dam playing the father and Mireille Delunsch as Louise. The father’s aria in Act 3 is magnificent and heart wrenching.
What is your favourite opera that you have seen live?
Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.