Stage Door News

Toronto: Measha Bruggergosman returns in Mozart's “Idomeneo” April 4-13

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Opera Atelier is delighted to present their award-winning production of Mozart’s Idomeneo fromApril 4–13, 2019 at the Ed Mirvish Theatre starring Canadian soprano superstar Measha Brueggergosman, who returns to the Toronto opera stage after an absence of 10 years, in her internationally acclaimed performance as Elettra. Brueggergosman is joined by a luminary cast featuring some of North America’s finest singers including tenor Colin Ainsworth in the title role, mezzo-sopranoWallis Giunta (Young Singer of the Year, 2018 International Opera Awards) as Idamante, soprano Meghan Lindsay as Ilia, bass-baritone Douglas Williams as Neptune, baritone Olivier Laquerre as Arbace, and baritone Bradley Christensen as the Priest. Brimming with Mozart’s show-stopping arias, deeply emotional ensembles, and spectacular ballet, Idomeneo tells the story of the Greek hero who is forced to choose between the life of his son and a terrible promise he has made to the god of the sea. 

Idomeneo demands a unique juxtaposition of an extremely formal dramatic and musical structure coupled with an emotional intensity that foreshadows the Romantic movement,” says Opera Atelier Founding Co-Artistic Director Marshall Pynkoski, who also directs the opera. “In Opera Atelier’s production, every element – superbly rendered music, fully integrated ballet, and historically informed design – combine to tell this timeless story with precision and clarity.”

“We have restored the ballet that closes Idomeneo,” adds Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Director and ChoreographerJeannette Lajeunesse Zingg. “The Artists of Atelier Ballet also appear throughout Idomeneo not as divertissements, but as totally engaged characters who interact with the chorus and principals.”
The opera, which premiered in 1781 when Mozart was just 25 years of age, tells the story of Idomeneo, King of Crete, returning home after the Trojan War. When his ship is caught in a storm, he desperately prays to the god Neptune and promises that if he survives, he will sacrifice the first living creatures he sees upon reaching land safely. His prayer is answered, but the first person he sees is his son, Idamante.
The Toronto Star called Opera Atelier’s 2008 production “flawless” and the company has assembled a remarkable team of award-winning singers, instrumentalists, dancers, and designers for its upcoming debut at the Ed Mirvish Theatre.
Mozart’s remarkable score will be played on period instruments by the Grammy-nominated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Elisa Citterio, Music Director, under the baton of David Fallis. The Chorus of the University of Toronto Schola Cantorum, along with members of theChoir of the Theatre of Early Music, under the direction of Lead Vocal Consultant and Chorus Master Daniel Taylor, will perform Idomeneo’s strikingly beautiful choruses that highlight the universality of the opera.

The production includes a cast of singers and dancers who have grown and developed with Opera Atelier over many years, and have played an important role in the development of the company’s signature style. All of the cast members enjoy international careers in all forms of opera and are also recognized as specialists in 18th-century style.
Set Designer Gerard Gauci’s striking scenography includes an expanded use of painted scenery and scrims to encompass the entire space of the Ed Mirvish Theatre. Award-winning Costume Designer and longtime Opera Atelier Associate Michael Gianfrancesco has crafted costumes that reflect the influence of Classical Greece on the aesthetics of the 18th century. Jennifer Lennon is the Lighting Designer for Idomeneo, with Michelle Ramsayas Co-Lighting Designer.
Soprano Brueggergosman’s career effortlessly embraces the broadest array of performance platforms and musical styles and genres. She began her career predominantly committed to the art of the song recital and has presented innovative programs at Carnegie Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, both the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, Madrid’s Teatro Real, as well as at the Schwarzenberg, Edinburgh, Verbier and Bergen Festivals with celebrated collaborative pianists Justus Zeyen, Roger Vignoles, Julius Drake, and Simon Lepper. On the opera stage, her recent highlights include the roles of Giulietta and Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Jenny in Weill’s Mahagonny, Emilia Marty in Janáček’s Věc Makropulos and Sister Rose in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. On the concert platform, she has worked with the Orchestre de Paris, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and New World Symphony Orchestras, and with conductors Daniel Barenboim, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Andrew Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, and Daniel Harding, among others.
Opera Atelier Founding Co-Artistic Director Pynkoski has collaborated with many of the finest artists in the world of early music and his productions of opera and ballet have been featured in major opera houses and festivals throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Toronto Arts Award, the Opera Canada Ruby Award for outstanding contribution to opera in Canada, and the TIME Magazine award for Classical music. He has been named Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France and was recently awarded the Order of Canada.

Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer Lajeunesse Zingg has performed and choreographed for more than three decades. Her choreography for OA productions has been featured in major theatres and festivals internationally and she has collaborated with artists from the Dutch National Ballet, the Scapino Ballet, and dancers from La Scala among others. She received her training in London, Copenhagen, and Paris. Lajeunesse Zingg has received a multitude of awards including the prestigious Toronto Arts Award, the Opera Canada Ruby Award for outstanding achievement in the field of opera in Canada, and was named by TIME Magazine as one of Canada’s most influential artists in the field of Classical music. She was recently awarded the Order of Canada for her contribution to ballet and opera in Canada.

Tickets and concert information for Idomeneo at:

Photo: Measha Brueggergosman in Idomeneo. © 2009 Bruce Zinger.