Stage Door News

Toronto: VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert presents the Canadian premiere of Franz Schubert's "Fierabras"

Monday, January 7, 2019

On Sunday, February 3, 2019, Opera in Concert turns to the works of Franz Schubert, the legendary genius of the Romantic movement in music and his posthumously premiered final opera, FIERABRAS.    The single performance – a Canadian Premiere – takes place at the St. Lawrence Centre at 2:30 pm.   “Throughout his career, Schubert sought to make his mark as an opera composer”, notes General Director Guillermo Silva-Marin “but events and the censors prevented his dramatic works from reaching the stage.  We are delighted to present this amazing work by one of the world’s greatest composers.”  

As conductor, VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert welcomes back to the stage Kevin Mallon, leading the Aradia Ensemble and a stellar cast.  Mallon, current Music Director of Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings has led a number of OIC performances and is Music Director of all three complete OIC recordings: Castor et Pollux, Rinaldo and Griselda.  Soprano Amy Moodiedebuts as Emma, in love with Eginhard a Frankish warrior sung by renowned Canadian tenor Lawrence Wiliford.  The title role of Fierabras, a Moorish warrior, will be sung by debuting tenor Matthew Dalen, who hails from Edmonton Opera, Vancouver Opera and Opera Theatre of St. Louis in performances of LA TRAVIATA and EUGENE ONEGIN.  Baritone Alexander Dobson returns to OIC as Karl (Charlemagne), King of the Franks while Baritone Justin Welsh embodies his enemy Boland on the Moorish side. Complicating romantic liaisons between members of the competing factions include Boland’s daughter Florinda, sung by debuting soprano Jocelyn Fralick, who is charmed by Roland sung by Stuart Hamilton Memorial Fund 2018 Awardee Evan Korbut, another leader of the Frankish forces. Robert Cooper will direct the VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert Chorus.

Franz Schubert is arguably the greatest of the early German Romantics and his art songs are still regarded as the gold standard in that form.  His compositions for the stage have had a more checkered history, though each one is filled with individual melodies and ensembles of admirable calibre.   FIERABRAS was composed on commission by the Kärtnertortheater in 1823; however, the first known performance was in a shortened version in 1897 in Karlsruhe.   The juxtaposition of two social and cultural factions is the backdrop for powerful rivalries and the opposing forces eventually give way to love and new understanding in the most idealistic of Romantic traditions.  

Opera in Concert is supported by the Jackman Foundation, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. Media Sponsor is Classical 96.3 FM and Epoch Times.  Single tickets are available from the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts Box Office, 27 Front St. East, by phone – 416-366-7723or 1-800-708-6754 – or online at www.stlc.com.  The theatre is wheelchair accessible and close to public transit and municipal parking.