Media Releases

DONIZETTI’S DRAMATIC BEL CANTO OPERA SET FOR ITS ALBERTA PREMIERE

Media contact: Cameron MacRae, Director of Marketing & Communications

780-984-3634; cameron.macrae@edmontonopera.com

 

For the first time in Alberta, audiences will be treated to a royal Tudor love triangle in Donizetti’s bel canto opera, Mary Stuart. Love, betrayal, lies, and anguish come together in the ultimate struggle for power between two famous British monarchs—Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Director Maria Lamont brings an innovative concept to the production of Mary Stuart, one that she and designer Camellia Koo created for Pacific Opera Victoria in 2012. Now, Edmonton audiences will be transported to a present-day Tudor mansion in England, where museum staff are preparing an exhibit of famous British monarchs. As the staff mount grand portraits of Mary and Elizabeth, the two women step out of their frames and come to life, ready to stir up their passionate rivalry from centuries ago. Art imitates life and life imitates art in this visionary production.

Donizetti’s trademark bel canto (literally, ‘beautiful singing’) style of opera takes on an intensely dramatic tone in Mary Stuart. Breaking convention, he creates two lead female characters and ensures both have distinct personalities that clash with one another. This is especially apparent in the famous showdown between Mary and Elizabeth at the end of Act II, where the two sopranos try to one-up each other vocally, resulting in a colourful display of vocal pyrotechnics.

Edmonton Opera brings two internationally acclaimed sopranos to the stage for this electrifying face-off. Renowned as one of the most promising coloratura sopranos of this generation, Kathryn Lewek plays Mary, Queen of Scots. Lewek has performed her signature role, Queen of the Night, at prestigious venues such as the Metropolitan Opera. She is described as “a vocal gymnast” who “fluidly slips from one impossibly high note to another” (Broadway World).

Keri Alkema sings Elizabeth, a role she also recently performed at her Seattle Opera debut, garnering praise for her “incisive, powerful singing” (Seattle Times). Alkema interprets Elizabeth’s complex motivations with poise, and is known to offer a “rich, full vocal presence that caresses the score to perfection” (Toronto Star).

Edmonton Opera’s production of Mary Stuart is part of a growing worldwide interest in this Donizetti piece, showcasing his versatility as a composer. After the success of Lucia di Lammermoor last season, Mary Stuart serves as the perfect way to continue the trend of staging Donizetti’s prolific and thought-provoking operas.

The media dress rehearsal for Mary Stuart will be on Thursday, April 14, 2016, at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, at 7 p.m. Please RSVP your outlet’s attendance to Cameron MacRae, Director of Marketing & Communications, at 780-984-3634 or cameron.macrae@edmontonopera.com.

Mary Stuart will be performed in Italian with projected English translation on Saturday, Apr. 16
(8 p.m.), Tuesday, Apr. 19 (7:30 p.m.) and Thursday, Apr. 21 (7:30 p.m.). Tickets start at $40.

Enjoy a night out at the opera with this special event! “Opera’s a Drag: Meet the Queens at Mary Stuart”, hosted at Earls Campus Towers, gives you a chance to enjoy a drink and appetizers with drag queens from the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Wild Rose. Then, head to the Jubilee to watch the dueling queens of Mary Stuart. Tickets include a drink, bites from Earls menu, and admission to the performance of Mary Stuart. Tickets are $49+Eventbrite fees. 

More media releases

Edmonton Opera presents a new mini-opera at Opera al Fresco

As part of a new mini-opera in the Devonian Botanic Garden, Opera al Fresco audiences will be greeted on June 20 by a Japanese demon, a bridge builder who can’t build bridges, and a group of children who can’t cross the river.

The 15-minute opera, The Carpenter and the Oniroku, has been specifically written for the Edmonton Opera Children’s Chorus, based at Victoria School of the Arts, with the Devonian’s Japanese Garden in mind.

Edmonton Opera presents acclaimed Madama Butterfly production

Puccini’s libretto tells a simple, timeless love story that crossed oceans, and Edmonton Opera’s production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly does the same thing— literally.
The final opera of the 2013/14 season is a revival of the acclaimed Opera North production in Leeds, England, directed by Tim Albery and with French soprano Anne Sophie Duprels returning to the title role.

During a performance at the Grand Theatre in Leeds, a Telegraph reviewer described Duprels’ voice by saying, “For sheer sweetness of personality, for sheer pathos, I have seen few to match her.”

Cast of characters blame it on the champagne for Die Fledermaus

A romantic musical comedy, Edmonton Opera’s production of Die Fledermaus opens at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium Feb. 1 (tickets are nearly sold out) and continues Feb. 4 and 6.

The media dress rehearsal will be Thursday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m. Good visuals occur at approximately 12:20 p.m., when there is a large number of cast members and chorus on stage during the masked ball scenes.

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