Director of community relations & assistant general manager
March 12, 2014
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.”
Her character, Cio-Cio-San, loves Pinkerton because of his differences, and because he’s not her idea of a typical American.
The production has moments of romance when called for, Albery said during a set presentation, but it also has hard edges — the truth, that Cio-Cio-San (Madame Butterfly) and Pinkerton do not see their marriage agreement in the same light, is not so kind.
With its powerful music, the opera is well-loved by audiences.
Listing Puccini, Massenet and Janáček as her favourite composers, Duprels said it’s their approach to composing that makes their works and Madama Butterfly so attractive.
“I think what they all have in common is this incredible way of telling a story, the drama is at the centre, the emotions are in every note, it’s a very passionate way of writing music. I think that’s why I love them so much,” she said.
The opera also has an added meaning for Edmonton Opera during its 50th season. This was the opera first performed by the company under the name of the Edmonton Opera Professional Association, with Dianne Gibson Nelsen and Ermanno Mauro in the title roles, in October 1963.
At that time, the president of the EOPA wrote in his program notes, “We make a bold debut.” Fifty years later, Edmonton Opera considers this just the overture.
Please contact Jelena Bojic, director of community relations and assistant general manager, at 780.392.7837 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to arrange interviews with artists or to attend the media dress rehearsal on April 3 at 7 p.m. Madama Butterfly opens at the Jubilee on April 5 (8 p.m.), with additional performances on April 8 (7:30 p.m.) and April 10 (7:30 p.m).
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Opera is even more accessible during the 2012/13 season, as the Edmonton Opera has made changes to its production schedule to allow for matinée performances.
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.
One of the grand operas, Aida will grace the Edmonton stage for the first time in over a decade when the Edmonton Opera opens its 49th season next month. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth, Edmonton Opera joins other opera houses around the world honouring the great composer and his works.
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.
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.
Artists involved in the project come mainly from the Edmonton area and offer a wide variety of fine craft.
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.
After a successful Opera Coat Project a few years ago, the Edmonton Opera and the Alberta Craft Council have partnered again for the Opera Art Project, where artists will create operaâ€specific pieces as it relates to their medium.