1920s PARIS COMES ALIVE IN A SPECTACULAR NEW PRODUCTION OF LA TRAVIATA

This fall, Edmonton Opera presents a thrilling new production of Verdi’s grand romantic masterpiece La Traviata, setting it in the decadent music hall scene of 1920s Paris. Audiences will experience this classic opera like never before, complete with lavish scenery, sumptuous costumes, and Verdi’s iconic score performed live by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Based on the novel Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas fils, La Traviata is the story of a courtesan named Violetta who is consumed both by love and a life-threatening illness. When she meets Alfredo, the two instantly fall in love and dream of a life together, but fate has other plans for Violetta. With famous tunes such as ‘Sempre libera’ and ‘Brindisi’ (The Drinking Song), this tragic opera is an audience favourite and has even inspired big screen blockbusters like Pretty Woman and Moulin Rouge!

Acclaimed Montreal-based director Alain Gauthier reimagines Verdi’s opera in the 1920s, interpreting Violetta as a larger-than-life celebrity similar to Josephine Baker. Soprano Laquita Mitchell, praised by The New York Times for her “rich, shimmering, and sizeable” voice,” makes her highly anticipated Canadian debut in the role of Violetta. 

This production of La Traviata marks an important moment in Canadian opera history, becoming the first co-production between five leading Canadian opera companies, namely Edmonton Opera, Manitoba Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opéra de Montréal, and Vancouver Opera. Stratford Festival veteran Christina Poddubiuk designed sets and costumes for the production, and the spectacular multi-level set was built in Edmonton at the Opera Centre by skilled local professionals. 

La Traviata will be sung in Italian with projected English translation. Performances are on Saturday, Oct. 20 (8 p.m.), Tuesday, Oct. 23 (7:30 p.m.), and Friday, Oct. 26 (7:30 p.m.) at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets start at $29, and special pricing for patrons under 40 is available. 

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

MOZART’S ANTIHERO RETURNS IN EDMONTON OPERA’S BOLD NEW DON GIOVANNI

For immediate release: April 6, 2018

This spring, Edmonton Opera turns up the heat with a fiery new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, setting it in the sultry bullfighting arenas of Spain. Audiences will experience this classic opera like never before, complete with spectacular scenery, lavish costumes, and thrilling pyrotechnics!

Based on the story of Don Juan, a mythical womanizer and libertine in Seville, the protagonist of Mozart’s drama is a reckless antihero. Helped along by his sidekick Leporello, Giovanni attempts to seduce woman after woman throughout the opera until, at last, a paranormal force drags him to hell for his immorality.

Dynamic young Québécois director Oriol Tomas reimagines the opera in a timeless Spanish era, interpreting Don Giovanni as a matador with powerful celebrity status. “In my vision, Don Giovanni is a very popular bullfighter who thinks he can do anything with the women he meets,” says Tomas. “The themes of this opera are a very hot topic these days, based on what we’re seeing in the media and Hollywood,” he adds, referring to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. In Tomas’s production, the women ultimately hold Don Giovanni accountable for his actions.

Baritone Phillip Addis, adored by Edmonton audiences as Figaro in 2014’s The Barber of Seville, brings his “physically commanding, vocally authoritative energy” (Opera Canada) to the title role. Other accomplished Canadian singers in this cast include soprano Michele Capalbo and tenor John Tessier. Set designer Bretta Gerecke, known for her daring concepts for Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre, creates a dark and visually striking world that will contrast with Deanna Finnman’s seductive Spanish-inspired costumes.

Mozart’s commanding score will be brought to life by a 50-piece Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, showcasing moments of comedy, intense drama, and even supernatural foreboding. Purely for its music, Don Giovanni is considered one of the greatest operas of all time.

Don Giovanni will be sung in Italian with projected English translation. Performances are on Saturday, Apr. 14 (8 p.m.), Tuesday, Apr. 17 (7:30 p.m.), and Friday, Apr. 20 (7:30 p.m.) at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets start at $40, and special pricing for patrons under 40 is available.

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

SAIL INTO THE 1920s JAZZ AGE ON EDMONTON OPERA’S HMS PINAFORE

For immediate release: January 15, 2018

This February, prepare to sail the high seas with the crew of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore! Edmonton Opera’s delightful new production puts a jazzy twist on this madcap British comedy, setting it in the extravagant 1920s and featuring new jazz-inspired orchestrations by NYC-based musical arranger Ed Windels. Audiences will experience HMS Pinafore like they’ve never seen — or heard — before!

HMS Pinafore is the classic ‘boy meets girl, girl’s father gets in the way’ story. On board this luxury liner, the Captain’s daughter Josephine and lower-class sailor Ralph Rackstraw fall unwittingly in love — but the Captain has already promised Josephine’s hand to Sir Joseph, a high-ranking officer in the Navy with a buffoonish personality. Mayhem ensues when the lovers decide to elope… while at sea!

Director Robert Herriot, whose penchant for physical comedy and inventive staging was evident in last year’s Sterling Award-nominated Cinderella, returns to steer the Pinafore into the 1920s Jazz Age. His new concept features spectacular sets by designer Camellia Koo, including a 90-foot-long curved stage extending over the Jubilee’s orchestra pit and a 28-foot-high smoke stack. Costume designer Deanna Finnman showcases 1920s glamour with colourful flapper dresses for the women and sleek Naval attire for the Pinafore’s crew.

New York City-based composer and arranger Ed Windels adds toe-tapping jazz orchestrations to Gilbert & Sullivan’s original score, which will be performed live on stage by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Dressed in full crew uniforms, the ESO and conductor Peter Dala will be part of the action on deck in true jazz spirit!

HMS Pinafore brings together a cast of celebrated Canadian artists including soprano Vanessa Oude-Reimerink as Josephine, praised by Edmonton Journal for her “pure and powerful soprano, and charismatic stage presence,” and Adrian Kramer as Ralph, whose “robust lyric tenor voice” (Opera West) has earned acclaim across North America. This production also welcomes well-known talent from Edmonton’s theatre community such as veteran actor Glenn Nelson and beloved comedian and media personality Bridget Ryan.

With an array of stellar talent on stage, spectacular 1920s designs, and a jazzy new version of Gilbert & Sullivan’s cherished score, HMS Pinafore promises audiences an evening of entertainment and raucous comedy on board!  

HMS Pinafore will be sung in English with projected lyrics. Performances are on Saturday, Feb. 3 (8 p.m.), Tuesday, Feb. 6 (7:30 p.m.), and Friday, Feb. 9 (7:30 p.m.) at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets start at $40, and special pricing for patrons under 40 is available.

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

GAY LOVE STORY TAKES CENTRE STAGE IN A POWERFUL AND PROVOCATIVE NEW CANADIAN OPERA

For immediate release: October 16, 2017

Edmonton Opera opens its 2017/18 season with the Alberta premiere of Lilies, a new opera based on the iconic Canadian play Les Feluettes by Michel Marc Bouchard. Set in a men’s prison in early 1900s Quebec, Lilies tells the story of forbidden love between two young men against the backdrop of the Catholic Church. Innocence quickly turns into deception and murder as the star-crossed lovers struggle through their feelings with tragic consequences.

Often regarded as the Canadian Romeo and Juliet, Bouchard’s celebrated work has been adapted into an award-winning film and was then commissioned as an opera by Opéra de Montréal and Pacific Opera Victoria. Perfect for the operatic stage, Lilies includes a vibrant array of characters including a young pyromaniac, an exotic Frenchwoman who arrives by hot air balloon, and a chorus of vengeful prisoners that act out this play-within-a-play.

At its Montreal world premiere in 2016, Lilies was hailed as “a pure masterpiece” (Boucle Magazine), receiving standing ovations from sold out houses each night. Lilies opened in Victoria in spring 2017 and was declared a “powerful, poetic, unforgettable” new opera by the Times Colonist.

Composer Kevin March’s lavish and cinematic score is an eclectic mix of French Romanticism, Quebecois folk tunes, and quotes from Claude Debussy’s Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. The music has been praised as “lyrical and dramatic, written in a musical language accessible to a wide audience” (Toronto Star).

Lilies features an all-Canadian cast including Met Opera veteran and Grammy-winning baritone Gino Quilico and renowned Albertan tenor Gordon Gietz. Promising young singers Jean-Michel Richer and Zachary Read star in the roles of Vallier and Simon, the opera’s romantic leads.

Lilies will be sung in French with projected English translation. Performances are on Saturday, Oct. 21 (8 p.m.), Tuesday, Oct. 24 (7:30 p.m.), and Friday, Oct. 27 (7:30 p.m.) at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets start at $40, and special pricing for patrons under 40 is available.

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

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. 

EDMONTON OPERA PRESENTS A CHARMING 1950S STYLE PRODUCTION OF CINDERELLA

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

Most audiences are familiar with the classic rags-to-riches fairy tale of Cinderella, complete with glass slippers and enchanted pumpkins. But this February, Edmonton Opera presents a version like you have never seen (or heard) before in its production of Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola)!

While Rossini’s opera itself transforms the Cinderella story — a buffoonish stepfather replaces the wicked stepmother, the fairy godmother is now a wise philosopher, and matching bracelets reunite the lovers instead of glass slippers — Edmonton Opera’s production also gives Cinderella a 1950s high fashion makeover!

Director Robert Herriot and costume designer Deanna Finnman have set Cinderella in the competitive world of 1950s haute couture, drawing inspiration from fashion houses such as Dior, Chanel, and Givenchy to style this charming new production. The costumes, custom made in Edmonton by Finnman and her team, showcase vibrant colours and patterns to complement Rossini’s bubbly romantic comedy.

Cinderella brings together a cast of celebrated Canadian artists including mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó in the title role and tenor John Tessier as the Prince. Szabó’s voice is described by the Globe and Mail as “a burnished joy, able to cut through a full orchestra with clarity and beauty,” while Edmonton native Tessier has been praised by the Seattle Times as a “lyrical, soaring tenor.”

Rossini’s energetic and delightful bel canto composition, previously experienced in Edmonton Opera’s The Barber of Seville (2014), will be performed by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra with conductor Peter Dala.

Featuring an array of stellar talent on stage, extravagant 1950s style costumes, and Rossini’s remarkable music, Cinderella is sure warm audiences’ hearts.

Cinderella will be sung in Italian with projected English translation. Performances are on Saturday, Feb. 4 (8 p.m.), Tuesday, Feb. 7 (7:30 p.m.), and Thursday, Feb. 9 (7:30 p.m.) at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets start at $40, and special pricing for patrons under 40 is available. 

PUCCINI’S GLORIOUS FINAL MASTERPIECE OPENS EDMONTON OPERA SEASON

Media contact: Cameron MacRae, Director of Marketing & Communications

780-984-3634; cameron.macrae@edmontonopera.com

Passion, sacrifice, and the indomitable spirit of love come together in Edmonton Opera’s season-opening production of Puccini’s Turandot this October. Acclaimed director Robert Herriot is at the helm of reviving Puccini’s final work, and promises a visually stunning and immersive interpretation of this familiar masterpiece.

Set in the dreamlike landscape of ancient China, the opera depicts prince Calaf’s tenacity to woo the cold-hearted princess Turandot. The princess infamously tests her suitors with complex riddles that have remained unsolved, and punishes their failures with death. Calaf, mesmerized by Turandot’s beauty, accepts the challenge and risks everything for love.

Soprano Othalie Graham makes her Canadian debut as Turandot, a role she has reprised several times in various productions across North America and beyond. Her interpretation of Turandot has garnered immense critical acclaim, and Graham is known to “unleash a potent and superbly controlled sound” (San Francisco Chronicle).

David Pomeroy, praised by The New York Times as “a powerful, agile tenor”, returns to Edmonton Opera in his role debut of Calaf, the ultimate operatic hero. Pomeroy brings this combination of strength and sublimity to his rendition of ‘Nessun dorma’, one of Opera’s most famous arias. He prepared for his role debut with renowned Italian-Canadian tenor Ermanno Mauro, who also sang Calaf with Edmonton Opera in 1981.

With an array of stellar talent on stage, the opulent production design, and­ Puccini’s remarkable composition, this opera is sure to enthrall audiences. “We are thrilled to present an all-Canadian dream cast for this production of Turandot; with spectacular scenery, elegant costumes, and over 80 performers filling the Jubilee stage,” says Tim Yakimec, General Director of Edmonton Opera.

Turandot will be sung in Italian with projected English translation. Performances are on Saturday, Oct. 22 (8 p.m.), Tuesday, Oct. 25 (7:30 p.m.), and Thursday, Oct. 27 (7:30 p.m.) at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets start at $40, and special pricing for patrons under 40 is available through our Explorers and Encore programs.

The media preview for Turandot will be on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, at 7 p.m. Good visuals occur at the top of the show at 7 p.m. and throughout the first act. Interviews with the cast and creative team may be arranged with advanced notice.

Please RSVP your outlet’s attendance to Cameron MacRae, Director of Marketing & Communications, at 780-984-3634 or cameron.macrae@edmontonopera.com.