Opera 101 provides context, extensive background

For Immediate Release October 5, 2012
Media Contact Jelena Bojic, Director of Community Relations
jelena.bojic@edmontonopera.com
780.392.7837

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.

The complicated love triangle — the Ethiopian princess loves the Egyptian warrior, and he loves her, but the Egyptian princess loves him — is further tangled by conflicting loyalties to their native countries and each other. In order to present an extensive view on the opera and its context, we are pleased to note that Bonfield, a musicologist, will be joined by the University of Alberta’s Castro-Rea and El-Shamma. Castro-Rea is a political science professor, while El-Shamma teaches in the Department of History, Classics, Middle Eastern and African Studies at the university. Garstad, the Department of Humanities Chair at Grant MacEwan University, will be offering his point of view as well.

Miladinovic, the final panelist and the director of Edmonton Opera’s Aida, has noted previously that his time spent in Egypt as a young boy has helped shape his directorial approach to this opera.

This free event is for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of the multi-disciplinary approach to the opera art form. We hope you will join us in person for this panel; we will also be live-tweeting the panel @edmontonopera, #opera101.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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