Themes of fate, broken hearts drive Eugene Onegin opera

April 3, 2013
Media Contact Jelena Bojic, Director of Community Relations
jelena.bojic@edmontonopera.com
780.392.7837

Those who haven’t had their heart broken need not apply.

Each character in the opera Eugene Onegin has the love of something, so understanding love is key to Edmonton Opera’s production, starting in mid-April at the Northern Alberta Jubilee.

“It’s really about, in many ways, living your life with a broken heart,” said director Tom Diamond. “On the first day, when I spoke to the cast, I talked about, at my middle age, I’m kind of glad that at some point in my life, I have had my heart broken, because it equips me to direct this kind of opera.”

Emotional components aside, the majority of this international cast are native Russian speakers, with Russian-American Aleksey Bogdanov in the title role and Russian-American Dina Kuznetsova singing the role of Tatiana, the girl who loves the worldly Onegin. Young Canadian artists are also part of this strong, 10-person cast; local singers play the roles of Russian peasants, rural gentry and wealthy dinner guests as members of the chorus.

Even though Tchaikovsky considered himself an opera composer, he is most well-known now for his ballet compositions. Dance is an integral part of this opera, and the progression of the story is marked by the five dance numbers Tchaikovsky wrote into the score. In the Edmonton Opera production, the dances feature the Shumka Ukrainian Dancers.

Eugene Onegin will be performed at the Jubilee April 19, 21, 23 and 25. The media dress rehearsal is April 17, 2013, at 11 a.m. Please RSVP to Jelena Bojic, director of community relations, at jelena.bojic@edmontonopera.com or 780-392-7837.

Technology for a living art form
Understanding the context of the opera and listening to directors, conductors, artists and staff members at Edmonton Opera talk about their work and productions is even easier, with Edmonton Opera’s new app for iPhone and Android users.

“With this app, people will have all the relevant information literally at their fingertips,” said Sandra Gajic, Edmonton Opera CEO. “A preview of what the score sounds like, a list of the artists, videos and blogs about the opera process, and the ability to purchase tickets in-app or to connect to the box office. We’re very excited that we’re one of the first opera companies in Canada to offer this.”

Recent Onegin videos, found in the app, include chorusmaster and artistic administrator Michael Spassov, director Tom Diamond and conductor James Meena, each talking about a different aspect of the opera. The app is available for Apple products (including iPhones, iPads and iTouch) and Android, as well as a mobile website for BlackBerry users.

The app was launched in late March, in advance of the Edmonton Opera’s 50th anniversary season in 2013/14.

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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.

Artists announced for Opera Art Project

The exclusive launch of the Opera Art Project will happen later this month, as the Edmonton Opera and the Alberta Craft Council come together for a new arts venture.

Local artists have created opera-themed fine craft, offering opera patrons a chance to take home memories of the 2012/13 mainstage season performances. The works will be on display and available for purchase for the first time on Sept. 28, prior to the opening of Aida.

Artists involved in the project come mainly from the Edmonton area and offer a wide variety of fine craft.

Edmonton Opera partners with Alberta Craft Council for unique project

Local craft artists are making it possible for opera patrons to take home memories of the 2012/2013 season mainstage performances, thanks to the partnership between the Edmonton Opera and the Alberta Craft Council.

After a successful Opera Coat Project a few years ago, the Edmonton Opera and the Alberta Craft Council have partnered again for the Opera Art Project, where artists will create opera‐specific pieces as it relates to their medium.

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