Media contact: Cameron MacRae, senior manager, marketing
A dash of romance, a scoop of comedy and a pinch of schemes is the recipe for The Merry Widow, the musical confection that opens Edmonton Opera's 2015/16 season.
All of Paris' eligible bachelors are vying for a place on the rich widow Hanna's dance card, but it spells financial ruin for the small nation of Pontevedro if she falls in love with a foreigner. In their own way, each of the characters strives for a happy ending, but it's Hanna (sung by Canadian soprano Sally Dibblee) who skilfully guides and nutures the huge emotion known as love throughout the story.
"The iconic role of Hanna requires an individual who can wear her heart on her sleeve, yet confidently convey the emotion that lies within the demanding and beautiful score," said Tim Yakimec, Edmonton Opera general manager and artistic director. So I was thrilled when Sally said this role was not only one of her favourites, but one she had been wanting to perform.
Yakimec has certainly found a perfecet Hanna in Dibblee, who is able to skilfully weave her voice between moments of grandiose comedy and tenderhearted romance. Singing opposite Dibblee as her long-ago love interest Danilo is Canadian baritone Michael Nyby, singing in his third production of this opera, but the first in 10 years. Edmonton-based tenor Jacques Arsenault is singing the role of Pritschitsch, who is part of the Pontevedrian embassy, but in his spare time, he has dusted off his accordion and hopes to bring it out in performance again soon, as he studied the instrument for 14 years. Mezzo-soprano Barbara King also brings a vasst background to her role of Olga, as King was a former Quebec Provincials Gymnastics Champion and competitive gymnastics coach. She also has a long history of opera in her family and founded the Calgary Concert Opera Company with her husband in 2011. Of final note, audiences will recognize Jason Hardwick (playing the role of Njegus), prominent in the Edmonton theatre community and often seen in Varscona's Die-Nasty improv sketches.
After the first day of rehearsal, "the cast has already lifted the piece off the page," Yakimec continued. The 14-person cast brought astounding energy and excitement into the Jubilee rehearsal hall, and embodied their characters almost immediately.
Audiences will be drawn into a flurry of schemes and heightened emotion Saturday, OCt. 24 (8 p.m.), Tuesday, Oct. 27 (7:30 p.m.), and Thursday, Oct. 29 (7:30 p.m.) at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets start at $40, and special pricing for patrons under 40 is available. The media dress rehearsal will be Thursday, Oct. 22, at 11 a.m.
Interview spots with any of the artists are available between Tuesday, Oct. 6, and Wednesday, Oct. 14. To schedule an interview, please contact Cameron MacRae, senior manager, marketing, at email@example.com or 780-984-3634.
More media releases
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.
The complicated, scientific world of nuclear fission is given a human voice in Shelter, the first production in the Edmonton Opera’s ATB Canadian Series.
Opening on Nov. 15, this is the first time ever the contemporary opera has been performed, and it’s a joint effort between Edmonton Opera and Toronto’s Tapestry New Opera.
Not only does this season mark the first-ever ATB Canadian Series for the Edmonton Opera, but the series will start with a world premiere.
The Canadian contemporary opera Shelter, co-produced by the Edmonton Opera and Tapestry New Opera in Toronto, will be performed for the first time in mid-November, at La Cité Francophone as part of the University of Alberta’s Festival of Ideas.
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.