Stage Door News

Toronto: Opera Atelier launches 35th season with new livestreamed creation

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Opera Atelier proudly announces the launch of its 35th Anniversary with a groundbreaking new creation, Something Rich & Strange, based on the famous quote from Shakespeare’s The Tempest and featuring some of Canada's finest artists, October 28, 2020 at 7pm. The fully-staged production will be livestreamed from Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, strictly adhering to all provincial health and safety regulations.

The new production 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 musicians from Tafelmusik led by Music Director Elisa Citterio under the baton of Opera Atelier Resident Music Director David Fallis.

“Something Rich & Strange promises to live up to its title, by featuring Baroque arias and dances exploring the themes of sleep, visions and dreams — and will include theatre music by Handel, Lully, Locke and Purcell,” says Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Director Pynkoski.

This extraordinary production will also feature a brand-new creation by Canadian violinist/composer Edwin Huizinga for Canadian Soprano Measha Brueggergosman. Huizinga’s composition is based on a Symbolist poem by Rainer Maria Rilke titled Annunciation, for which Opera Atelier has commissioned a new English translation by American author and playwright Grace Andreacchi.

Says Andreacchi: “[Rilke’s] poem moves towards a violent collision, and it is this that moves the Angel at last to song. A song born of terror, and of unspeakable beauty.”

This is the second time Opera Atelier has brought Huizinga and Andreacchi together and the company plans to further support and nurture this creative relationship into the future.

Something Rich & Strange will include a luminary cast of Opera Atelier audience favourites: Sopranos Measha Brueggergosman, Mireille Asselin, and Cynthia Smithers, Tenors Colin Ainsworth and Christopher Enns, Mezzo-Soprano Danielle MacMillan, and Artists of Atelier Ballet, with additional contemporary dance choreography created by Tyler Gledhill, plus a select group of musicians from Tafelmusik (Elisa Citterio, Music Director) under the baton of David Fallis. Costumes by Michael Legouffe and lighting design by Michelle Ramsay.

The production will play out against a projected backdrop of stunning paintings created for this production by Resident Set Designer Gauci.

“To create paintings expressly for the purpose of projection is a new and exciting challenge for me,” says Gauci. “The ability to control the transparency and opacity of my designs through projection helps heighten the ephemeral, impressionistic atmosphere with which this production is infused.”

The production will also mark Opera Atelier’s Koerner Hall debut and the company’s first foray into livestreamed performance.

"Opera Atelier invites our audience to enter a shifting, non-linear world presided over by Morpheus — the God of Sleep and Dreams," says Pynkoski.

Adds Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer Lajeunesse Zingg: "Whether watching the livestream of Something & Rich Strange, or sitting in the theatre, the production will provide its viewers with a cathartic experience that — for a short time — lifts them out of a challenging reality." 

Tickets and information to the livestreamed production of Something Rich & StrangeOpera Atelier Tickets.

Purchase livestream tickets to both Something Rich & Strange and The Resurrection (April 1, 2021) and receive an invite to a special Zoom chat with Opera Atelier’s creative team! Chats will take place on October 20, 2020 and March 21, 2021 (times TBD). Must book by October 16, 2020 to participate.

Further details on Opera Atelier's livestream events: Opera Atelier Livestream FAQ.

Photo: Tyler Gledhill and Colin Aisnworth. © Bruce Zinger.