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When Elektra premiered in 1909, The New York Times review hailed composer Richard Strauss as “a genius and a wizard,” describing the opening night audience as “numbed, stunned, [and] hypnotized.” This groundbreaking one-act psychological thriller has since become known as one of the most riveting operas in the repertoire.
Based on an ancient Greek play by Sophocles, Elektra follows the journey of its protagonist as she pursues revenge against her mother. But when she becomes more and more obsessed with revenge, Elektra’s dark mind begins to unravel until, in a horrifying climax, her fragile psyche shatters completely.
Edmonton Opera presents the Alberta premiere of Strauss’s masterpiece in a newly designed, post-apocalyptic production that propels the Electra myth into a forlorn future. Director Michael Cavanagh and costume designer Deanna Finnman draw inspiration from the thundering and cinematic music of Elektra to create a dystopian landscape inhabited by characters on the brink of madness.
Elektra brings together a cast of 16 singers from across the continent, including powerhouse dramatic soprano Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs, known for her portrayals of opera’s ‘madwomen’ – Lady Macbeth (which she performed at the Met Opera), Salome, and Elektra. Blancke-Biggs’s previous performance as Elektra garnered praise for her “solid and brilliant” high notes (Teatro) and her “breathtakingly fascinating interpretation” of this challenging role (Liricamente).
Strauss’s massive score will be brought to life by over 70 musicians of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and led by their incoming Chief Conductor, 24-year-old British sensation Alexander Prior.
Featuring an all-star cast, stylish post-apocalyptic costumes, and Richard Strauss’s bold modernist music, Elektra will take Edmonton audiences by storm like no opera before.
Elektra will be sung in German with projected English translation. Performances are on Saturday, Mar. 11 (8 p.m.), Tuesday, Mar. 14 (7:30 p.m.), and Thursday, Mar. 16 (7:30 p.m.) at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets start at $40, and special pricing for patrons under 40 is available.
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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.
Before the curtain rises for Aida this October, the Edmonton Opera presents Opera 101, a panel discussion to break down the intricacies of one of Verdi’s most well-loved and grandest operas.
Five panelists, including Stephan Bonfield, Dr. Julián Castro-Rea, Dr. Magdy El-Shamma, Dr. Benjamin Garstad and Dejan Miladinovic, will discuss Aida on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m., at the Art Gallery of Alberta in the Ledcor Theatre.
With two free events planned this weekend, the Edmonton Opera is joining its arts and culture colleagues across Canada for Culture Days, providing interactive and exciting opportunities for families and individuals.