Stage Door News

Toronto: Opera Atelier announces reimagined 2020/21 season

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Opera Atelier proudly announces its new, reimagined 35th Anniversary Season with two fully-staged and livestreamed productions at Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. In the event that theatres are permitted to open to a live, socially distanced audience, Opera Atelier subscribers will be given first opportunity to attend. Ticketing information to both the livestreams and theatre productions will be announced in early fall 2020.

The season commences with Something Rich and Strange, a new creation featuring some of Canada's finest artists, October 28, 2020; and Handel’s The Resurrection, the company’s much anticipated production – postponed due to COVID-19 – April 1, 2021. Both productions will feature the full corps of Artists of Atelier Ballet with choreography by Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg C.M., stage direction by Marshall Pynkoski C.M., set design by Resident Designer Gerard Gauci, and the renowned Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra led by Music Director Elisa Citterio under the baton of Opera Atelier Music Director David Fallis.

The company’s reimagined 2020/21 season opens with Something Rich and Strange, a fully-staged and costumed production featuring an acclaimed cast of Opera Atelier audience favourites including: Sopranos Measha BrueggergosmanMireille Asselin, and Cynthia Smithers, Tenors Colin Ainsworth and Christopher EnnsMezzo-Soprano Danielle MacMillanArtists of Atelier Ballet, and a select group of musicians from Tafelmusik Baroque OrchestraRich and Strange will focus on theatre music that explores the realms of dreams, visions and the supernatural, as expressed by Handel, Lully, Locke, and Purcell, coupled with a new creation by Edwin Huizinga for Brueggergosman. Huizinga’s composition is based on Rilke’s poem titled Annunciation, for which Opera Atelier has commissioned a new English translation by American Author and Playwright Grace Andreacchi.

“The COVID-19 crisis has acted as a creative catalyst for Opera Atelier, providing our extraordinary artists, production and administrative teams with the opportunity to explore and create new repertoire and new means of communication,” says Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Director Pynkoski. “We are truly delighted to be back, working under the health and safety guidelines as outlined by the province, to present these two groundbreaking works during our milestone 35th Anniversary Season.”

The season continues with the much anticipated production of Handel’s The Resurrection, cancelled in April 2020 due to the pandemic. The Resurrection details events between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, with timeless forces of darkness and light operating in the earthly and celestial spheres. Opera Atelier’s exceptional cast - Colin Ainsworth, Carla Huhtanen, Meghan Lindsay, Allyson McHardy, and Douglas Williams - brings this fully-staged masterpiece to the glorious acoustics of Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre, just in time for the Easter Season.

“The past five months have provided us with the opportunity to reexamine the core of Opera Atelier’s raison d’etre. We continue to strip away extraneous detail in order to realize the essence of storytelling,” explains Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer Lajeunesse Zingg. “Handel’s opera The Resurrection provides us with an invaluable opportunity to reach out to our audience with a new production using new technology.”

Opera Atelier concludes its 35th Anniversary Season with a performance at the Trasimeno Festival in Italy in 2021. The program will feature Artists of Atelier Ballet with choreography by Lajeunesse Zingg, exploring the dance music of Rameau, Couperin, and Bach — all performed by world-renowned pianist Angela Hewitt and her colleagues from the festival

“It is our sincere hope that the COVID-19 crisis will be resolved in time for us to realize this exciting collaboration of music and dancing,” says Angela Hewitt.

Ticketing information to both the livestreams and theatre productions will be announced in early fall 2020.

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Photo: Tyler Gledhill and Colin Ainsworth in Armide. © 2015 Bruce Zinger.