Season starts with grand opera

For Immediate Release September 17, 2012
Media Contact Jelena Bojic, Director of Marketing & Communications
jelena.bojic@edmontonopera.com
780.392.7837

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.

“It’s an Aida not to be missed,” said Sandra Gajic, Edmonton Opera CEO. “Edmonton has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a grand opera presented the way Verdi really wanted — large chorus, numerous supers, and the singers are all at the top of their careers.”

Cast members in Aida have made their debuts in opera houses worldwide, to great success. Soprano Angela Brown has been called one of the most promising Verdi voices, as she debuted in the role of Aida in 2004 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and continues to play the role to great acclaim. The other principals — Carl Tanner, Burak Bilgili, Donnie Ray Albert and Elena Bocharova — have also graced the stage in New York, while Mikhail Kolelishvili will make his Met debut in 2014. Conductor Richard Buckley’s previous engagements include performances in both Europe and North America, where he has been recognized for his dynamic contributions and passionate conducting style. 

All of this comes together under the direction of Dejan Miladinovic, who spent time in Egypt as a young boy and who has drawn on those memories to recreate the mystique of ancient Egypt. 

Aida is one of the grandest operas, a bitter love triangle complicated by conflicting loyalties and forbidden passion. Young Egyptian warrior Radamès hopes his recent victories will win him favour with the enslaved Ethiopian princess Aida, but he also catches the eye of Amneris, the Egyptian princess. 

Performances are Oct. 19, 21, 23 and 25; the Sunday performance will be a matinée, perfect for families or out-of-town opera enthusiasts. The media dress rehearsal for Aida will be held on Oct. 17, at 11 a.m. at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.  

RSVPs for the media dress rehearsal can be sent to communication@edmontonopera.com. Performance images are available upon request.

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“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.”

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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.

Media advisory: 50th anniversary season announcement Jan. 23

For a 400-year-old tradition, 50 years looks pretty good on the Edmonton Opera.

The programming for our half-century anniversary in 2013/14 will be announced on Jan. 23 at noon in the Edmonton City Centre Mall on the second-floor pedway (near Tim Hortons).

Details on media parking will be made available closer to the date of the event and upon RSVP of media outlets.

The 40-minute event will include the announcement with comments from Sandra Gajic, Edmonton Opera CEO, and an opera performance by artists currently engaged by the company.

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