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

Young North American cast creates bubbly atmosphere for Die Fledermaus

Famous for its chaotic plot and catchy melodies written by the Waltz King Johann Strauss II, many of the artists performing in the February production of Edmonton Opera’s Die Fledermaus have a personal connection to the work.

Director Allison Grant has previously choreographed and been the assistant director four other times on the popular German opera  — performed in English at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium — including a 1996 EO production under Kelly Robinson.

Edmonton Symphony, Edmonton Opera partner for night of artistic excellence

A new collaboration between the Edmonton Opera and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra will bring three dynamic baritones to the Winspear Centre this March.

No Tenors Allowed features the Edmonton Opera Chorus and guest baritone singers Gordon Bitner, Elliot Madore and Philippe Sly on March 24, 2014, led by ESO conductor Bill Eddins. The ensemble’s program includes prominent works that will engage a wide variety of audience members.

Edmonton Opera 2012/13 AGM

Edmonton Opera Association held its 49th Annual General Meeting yesterday at the MacEwan University, Alberta College Campus at 5:30 p.m. The Report to the Community was released, as well as financial statements for 2012/13 and changes to the society’s bylaws.

Irving Kipnes, past chair, thanked the board, staff, supporters and volunteers and said that he’s aware the organization is reviewing its current business model, and looking for measures that will make it more financially sustainable.

Media Advisory

Please be aware that effective immediately, Sandra Gajic has decided to move on from the Edmonton Opera and resigned as CEO on May 2, 2013.

For the immediate future, Tim Yakimec, Director of Production, will be the Interim Business Manager for the Edmonton Opera.

Please direct any inquiries to Craig Corbett at ccorbett@lsgp.ca or 780.964.7604

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