Media

Edmonton Opera's 2014/15 season closes with stunning bel canto opera

Media contact: Cameron MacRae
Senior manager, marketing
cameron.macrae@edmontonopera.com; 780-392-7830

Arguably, the sustained popularity of Lucia di Lammermoor rests on one moment: the mad scene in Act III. Donizetti’s work also hasn’t been performed in Edmonton in nearly 20 years, making Edmonton Opera’s upcoming April production that much more anticipated. 

Forced into a loveless marriage by her domineering brother, desperation consumes Lucia’s heart and fragile mind, leading her to commit a chilling murder on her wedding night. What follows is the most spectacular mad scene in all of opera.

“As Lucia descends into her madness, the way it plays itself out on stage is heartbreaking,” said director Brian Deedrick. “And I think it’s just so magnificently realized by Donizetti, and I would hope by Simone [Osborne], that’s the thing people go home remembering.”

Osborne makes her role and company debut in the title role of Lucia, which is considered one of the greatest — and most difficult — soprano roles to sing, with highwire vocal acrobatics and an “anything you can play I can sing higher” competition with the solo flute.

She was one of the youngest winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and is an alumna of the esteemed Canadian Opera Company Studio Ensemble. After completing a summer training program in Toronto but before debuting on some of North America’s stages, however, Osborne busked on the streets of Toronto to cover the cost of her singing coaches and training.

Excellent working chemistry has already been established between the cast, as
Deedrick has previously worked with Osborne, along with Welsh baritone Jason Howard (Enrico), American tenor Robert Breault (Edgardo) and Canadian maestro Robert Tweten.

“There must be a reason that Lucia di Lammermoor has been one of the most popular operas in the repertory for 180 years,” Tweten said. “I think a big part of this has to be due to the incredible intensity and beauty of the music. From the first note to the last, Donizetti finds a way of telling this gripping story in a way that was fresh and innovative then and still moves us today.”

Bel canto operas have also proven popular with Edmonton audiences, and the complexity and serious weight of this opera provides a balance to the opera buffa and singspiel opera earlier in the season.

The media dress rehearsal for Lucia di Lammermoor will be Thursday, April 16, 2015, at 7 p.m., at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Performances are April 18 (8 p.m.), April 21 and 23 (both 7:30 p.m.). Interview requests can be made to Cameron MacRae, senior manager, marketing, at cameron.macrae@edmontonopera.com or 780-392-7830.

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Mainstage productions, anniversary projects announced for Edmonton Opera’s 50th season

Next season, Edmonton Opera’s presence will be felt equally on and off the stage.

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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