Mainstage productions, anniversary projects announced for Edmonton Opera’s 50th season

January 23, 2013
Media Contact Jelena Bojic, Director of Community Relations
jelena.bojic@edmontonopera.com
780.392.7837

Next season, Edmonton Opera’s presence will be felt equally on and off the stage.

The opera company announced its 50th anniversary season on Jan. 23, which includes productions of Richard Strauss’ Salome, Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus and Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

In addition, anniversary-specific projects have been announced for 2013/14: an Edmonton Opera chorus concert in November 2013, a Canadian new work competition known as Opera Next and an education partnership called DIY Opera.

“Our programming for 2013/14 is a combination of new concepts for classics, great Canadian talent and a return to the production we started with 50 years ago,” said Sandra Gajic, Edmonton Opera CEO. “Plus, each of our anniversary projects encompasses a different aspect of community — recognizing the chorus members who add so much on stage, exploring new Canadian work and having students be part of the opera process from beginning to end.”

A biblical re-telling, Edmonton Opera’s production of Salome will have a new concept designed by Canadian Yannick Larrivée, with Maida Hundeling returning to the capital city to sing the title role. Her real-life husband, Jan Vacik, will sing the role of Salome’s stepfather. In Die Fledermaus, the role of the mysterious Prince Orlofsky — usually a trouser role — has been cast to countertenor Gerald Thompson, who has done the role before. Finally, the same production that opened Edmonton Opera in 1963 will close the season: Madama Butterfly. Directed by the world-renowned Tim Albery, the concept features classic Japanese design with beautiful contemporary, post-Second-World-War aspects.

Specific to the 50th anniversary, the chorus concert will be held on Nov. 23, 2013, and is intended to celebrate all the members who have been a part of the onstage drama in the past five decades. The Opera Next competition will have three parts: a call for scores in 2013, followed by workshops in early 2014 and then a night of performances. The whole process is intended to encourage Canadian work by young composers and librettists. Students will also get a chance to create their own opera, with DIY Opera. Through online submissions, one local school will be chosen and will work through each part of the opera process, meeting Edmonton Opera staff members who work in all capacities to put a production on stage.

These anniversary events both celebrate Edmonton Opera’s history and give the organization opportunities for the future. Combined with its mainstage season of Salome, Die Fledermaus and Madama Butterfly, the Edmonton Opera will continue to contribute to the arts and culture scene in the city and throughout northern Alberta during its 2013/14 season.

Consider this just the overture. Edmonton Opera, 50 years.

More media releases

Storm the Stage brings arts patrons onto the opera set

Not only is the Edmonton Opera recognizing the 200th anniversary of composer Verdi’s birth with the production of Aida, but we’re also throwing a party.

The fifth annual Storm the Stage — a party on the opera set — will be held on Oct. 20, during a non- performance night of Aida. Edmontonians are invited to experience Egypt on the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium stage during this unique arts event.

Opera 101 provides context, extensive background

Before the curtain rises for Aida this October, the Edmonton Opera presents Opera 101, a panel discussion to break down the intricacies of one of Verdi’s most well-loved and grandest operas.

Five panelists, including Stephan Bonfield, Dr. Julián Castro-Rea, Dr. Magdy El-Shamma, Dr. Benjamin Garstad and Dejan Miladinovic, will discuss Aida on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m., at the Art Gallery of Alberta in the Ledcor Theatre.

Matinée programming adds flexibility to opera schedule

Opera is even more accessible during the 2012/13 season, as the Edmonton Opera has made changes to its production schedule to allow for matinée performances.

In addition to three nighttime performances, there will be a 2 p.m. performance on the Sunday during the production run. This earlier performance allows for out-of-town opera enthusiasts to enjoy the performance without making an overnight trip, or for families to expose their children to the art form and still make it home at a family-friendly hour.

Season starts with grand opera

One of the grand operas, Aida will grace the Edmonton stage for the first time in over a decade when the Edmonton Opera opens its 49th season next month. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth, Edmonton Opera joins other opera houses around the world honouring the great composer and his works.

The Verdi masterpiece will be presented in its full splendor, with roughly 100 performers, including principal artists, chorus members, supernumeraries and Brian Webb dancers on stage together at any given time.

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