Edmonton Opera Blog

Entries from April 2017

Ignite your passion this opera season!

Wednesday, April 19. 2017

This 2017/18 opera season, we are pleased to bring three compelling new productions to the Jubilee stage. Ignite your passion for opera with Les Feluettes (Lilies), HMS Pinafore, and Don Giovanni!

A lush, romantic bouquet of Lilies

We begin our season with Les Feluettes, a new Canadian opera based on the play Lilies by acclaimed Quebec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard. The narrative of Les Feluettes unfolds around a moment in 1912, when a group of college boys in Quebec rehearse Gabriele D’Annunzio’s sensual play The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. As a love triangle develops, the young men struggle through their feelings with tragic consequences. Years later, one of the boys (who is now a bishop), is forced to look back at that devastating moment in a reenactment by prisoners.

Les Feluettes stages two different time periods and locations simultaneously — the story is set in 1952 (at a Quebec prison) and 1912 (in the small town of Roberval, Quebec). To achieve this dual narrative, the production uses lots of spectacle and theatrical tricks. You’ll see skillful projection design, a large all-male cast and chorus of prisoners playing multiple characters, and thrilling pyrotechnics on stage.

At its Montreal premiere in 2016, Les Feluettes earned tremendous praise, establishing itself as a “rare case of a full-size and full-length contemporary opera that holds the stage while remaining artistically true to itself” (Montreal Gazette). Kevin March’s lush and romantic score, featuring musical excerpts from Debussy, was hailed as “a pure masterpiece” (Boucle Magazine), invoking “the feel of 19th century French opera composers Gounod and Massenet” (Times Argus). 

Les Feluettes was originally co-commissioned by Opéra de Montréal and Pacific Opera Victoria, and is currently playing in Victoria. Edmonton Opera’s production will be only the third run of Les Feluettes ever, and the very first in Alberta.

HMS Pinafore gets jazzed up!

In the winter, we bring you a delightful new production of a beloved Gilbert & Sullivan operetta — sail the high seas with the crazy crew of HMS Pinafore! This musical comedy adds a nautical spin to the classic ‘boy meets girl, boy can’t get girl because of her higher social station’ narrative. When young Josephine, daughter of the Captain, falls in love with a lower-class sailor Ralph Rackstraw, mayhem ensues as the two lovers try to elope… while at sea!

The Cinderella dream team of director Rob Herriot, conductor Peter Dala, and designer Deanna Finnman reimagines this worldwide favourite in the Jazz Age, giving you an extravagant taste of the roaring twenties. Not only that, we are adding new orchestrations by Ed Windels to make HMS Pinafore jazzier than ever!

A stylish and seductive Don Giovanni

To conclude our season of passion and drama, opera’s most notorious bad boy takes the stage in a new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. In the never-ending quest to inflate his own ego, this promiscuous, rule-bending, handsome vagabond leaves a trail of broken hearts. But what happens when Don Giovanni faces a mysterious force he cannot charm, outsmart, or conquer?

Don Giovanni is widely considered the biggest accomplishment of Mozart’s Italian repertoire and seamlessly blends elements of comedy, tragedy, and the supernatural. Yes, there is a ghost in this opera!!

Baritone Philip Addis (an audience favourite in 2014’s The Barber of Seville) takes on the title role, promising a stellar and seductive performance. The scenic design for this productionwill be created by internationally renowned designer Bretta Gerecke (2015’s The Magic Flute, resident designer of Catalyst Theatre) with costumes by Deanna Finnman. Our Don Giovanni is going to be bold, edgy, and stylish — just like the opera’s devious protagonist!


We hope you’ll join us for this incredible lineup during the 2017/18 season. Season tickets to all three operas start at just $99! Special pricing is available for patrons under 40 and under 30. Single tickets to each production will go on sale in the summer. 

Les Feluettes photos by Yves Renaud, Opéra de Montréal 2016.