Media Releases

Descend into darkness with Edmonton Opera’s post-apocalyptic Elektra

For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Cameron MacRae, Director of Marketing and Communications, at 780.984.3634 or cameron.macrae@edmontonopera.com

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. 

More media releases

Tessitura

Edmonton Opera announced today it has implemented the first of several stages of “Tessitura” software, as part of a wide-ranging plan to upgrade customer experience.

Edmonton Opera CEO, Sandra Gajic, explains, “‘Tessitura’ means texture in Italian, but in voice and music it has to do with which part of the range is most used. Hence we have invested in a program with the greatest potential to meet and exceed the most needs of our customers as well as the needs of the organization.”

Annual General Meeting Release

The Edmonton Opera Association (Edmonton Opera) held its Annual General Meeting today at the University of Alberta, Faculty Club. The event marked the conclusion of the 2010-11 season and the company’s 47th year.

The recent performance year saw more than 11,000 people attend three main stage operas, La Boheme, The Abduction from the Seraglio and Tosca, as well as a collaboration with Fringe Theatre Adventures, Barber of Barrhead.

Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci

Cavalleria Rusticana is a tale of jealousy, seduction and unrequited love. When Turiddu returns from military duty, he discovers his fiancée Lola, betrothed to another. The young villager takes revenge in the arms of a new lover and igniting the spark of a tragic chain of events. A tragedy of fiery passion and cold-blooded betrayal is experienced in this timeless Sicilian story of love and honour, justice and violence.

Artistic Director Brian Deedrick Resigns

It is with great regret that Edmonton Opera announces the resignation of its artistic director Brian Deedrick. For the past nine years Mr. Deedrick has been an integral part of the company, helping to create a production standard of excellence. His unparalleled passion for the art form has seen the Edmonton Opera become recognized as one of the premiere arts companies in Edmonton, winning numerous awards and accolades.

Opera al Fresco - Sold Out Event

Edmonton Opera is pleased to announce that our outdoor event, Opera al Fresco is sold out. This is a second annual event that takes place at the beautiful Devonian Botanic Garden, with performances by Edmonton Opera Chorus throughout the garden.

This event is a great example of the state of opera in our city; being sold out truly proves that Edmontonians love and support the opera, and we will continue our efforts to offer this wonderful art form in more places, venues, and festivals.

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