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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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.

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