Stage Door News

Toronto: VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert presents Cherubini’s “Médée” on February 19

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Opera in Concert continues in its quest to present rare operas seldom if ever heard in Canada. Cherubini’s Médée is a classic example of our commitment to this vision and to supporting emerging Canadian artists.

Composed by Luigi Cherubini in 1797, Médée is the second in our series devoted to an exploration of operas by Mozart and His Peers during the 2022/2023 Season. VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert presents the work in its original French opera-comique version by librettist Francois-Benoit Hoffman, which was in turn based on Euripides’ tragedy of Medea and Pierre Corneille’s play Médée. The single performance will be at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts on Sunday, 19 February 2023 at 2:30 pm.

Cherubini’s remarkably forward looking opera will be led by Music Director and Pianist Narmina Afandiyeva and features an outstanding cast of Canadian artists: Soprano Natalya Gennadi takes the role of the tortured Médée with tenor Scott Rumble as Jason. Néris is Julie Nesrallah, King Créon is Danlie Rae Acebuque, a past winner of the Stuart Hamilton Emerging Artist Award, and Amy Moodie is Dircé. The distinguished VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert Chorus will be led by Robert Cooper.

Florentine-born, Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) was a prolific and highly influential composer during Mozart’s time and after, whose creations transformed classism, paving the way toward romanticism in France. Even Ludwig van Beethoven took notice and spoke eloquently of his Italian contemporary who had made France his home. Cherubini’s score for Médée is as daring as the drama itself and contains some of the most innovative and expressive music in any opera.

Médée remains a fascinating opera and is revived to great acclaim from time to time. The Metropolitan Opera recently presented the work in a new production starring Sondra Radvanovsky, and Caterina Antonacci took on the demanding role at Turin’s Teatro Regio. The elephant in the room for all contemporary interpreters is Maria Callas’ searing portrayal of the betrayed heroine whose co-star was Canada’s own Jon Vickers as the adulterous Jason.

Opera in Concert is supported by the Jackman Foundation, Estate of Hiroko Keith, The William and Nona Heaslip Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council, and Classical 96.3 FM is the media sponsor. Subscription and single tickets are available from the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts Box Office, 27 Front St. East, by phone – at 416-366-7723 or 1-800-708-6754 or online at The theatre is wheelchair accessible and close to public transit and municipal parking. All performances are on Sunday afternoons at the St. Lawrence Centre at 2:30 pm.