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Volume 19 Issue 1 - September 2013

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  • September
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  • Toronto
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  • Guelph

Beat by Beat | On

Beat by Beat | On OperaRarities andRevivals MarkAdventurous2013/14CHRISTOPHER HOILEThe 2 0 1 3 /1 4 season is more adventurous than last season withcompanies large and small staging unusual works alongside themore familiar. At the time of writing not all companies haveannounced their seasons, but judging from those that have there ismuch to look forward to.The Canadian Opera Company begins the 2013/14 season with fourfamiliar works, but ends the season with three rarities. The openeris a new production ofPuccini’s La Bohèmerunning October 3 to 30.This co-production withHouston Grand Opera andthe San Francisco Operais directed by John Caird,who is perhaps mostfamous as the co-directorof the original Englishversion of Les Misérables.Grazia Doronzio and JoyceEl-Khoury will alternatein the role of Mimì, whileDavid Lomelí and EricMargiore will alternateas Rodolfo. Famed Italianconductor Carlo Rizzi willlead the orchestra.In repertory with LaBohème will be PeterGrimes (1945) by Benjamin Britten (1913–76) to mark the centenary ofthe composer’s birth. Running October 5 to 26, it will be the opera’sthird staging at the COC and its first since 2003. Ben Heppner stars asthe vilified fisherman with Ileana Montalbetti as Ellen Orford, the onewoman in the village who stands by him. Denni Sayers recreates NeilArmfield’s direction of this coproduction between Australian Operaand the Houston Grand Opera. Johannes Debus conducts.The winter season begins with a new production of Mozart’s Cosìfan tutte, running January 18 to February 21, directed by filmmakerAtom Egoyan, acclaimed for his previous COC productions of Salomein 1996 and Die Walküre in 2004. Layla Claire will sing Fiordiligi withWallis Giunta as Dorabella, Paul Appleby as Ferrando, Robert Gleadowas Guglielmo and Johannes Debus conducting. Running in repertorywith the Mozart from February 2 to 22, is Verdi’s Un ballo inmaschera not seen at the COC since 2002. The production from theBerlin Staatsoper is directed by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito andconducted by Stephen Lord. It stars Adrianne Pieczonka as Ameliawith Dimitri Pittas as Riccardo and Elena Manistina as Ulrica.After presenting these four well-known operas, the COC thenembarks on a spring season with a remarkable series of three COCpremieres in a row. There have been several seasons in the pastthat included three COC premieres, but the last time three werepresented in a row was in 1989 with Janáček’s The Makropulos Case,Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and Giordano’s AndreaChénier. This time the series will be Handel’s Hercules (1745) fromApril 5 to 30, Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux (1837) from April 25 toMay 21 and Massenet’s Don Quichotte (1910) from May 9 to 24.Hercules, originally written as an oratorio has recently foundsuccess fully staged as an opera. The COC/Lyric Opera of Chicagocoproduction will be directed byPeter Sellars, who directed lastseason’s Tristan und Isolde, andconducted by baroque expertHarry Bicket. Eric Owens singsthe role of Hercules, Alice Cooteis his jealous wife Dejanira andcountertenor David Daniels isHercules’ faithful servant Lichas.Roberto Devereux is the thirdpart of Donizetti’s so-called“three queens trilogy” madefamous as such by BeverlyBen Heppner.Nanning CantoneseOpera TroupeperformingThe Painted Skin.Carla Huhtanen, appearingin Tapestry Opera’s “TapestryBriefs” and as Blondie inOpera Atelier’s upcomingThe Abduction from theSeraglio, is seen here withKeith Klassen (also appearingin “Briefs”) and JessicaLloyd, in a photo from the2008 Tapestry season.Sills. The COC presented the first part, Anna Bolena (1830), backin 1984 and the second part, Maria Stuarda (1835) in 2010. As partof a unified production from Dallas Opera, Devereux has the sameproduction design as Maria Stuarda and the same director, StephenLawless. Sondra Radvanovsky will sing Elisabetta, Russell Braunwill be Nottingham and Giuseppi Filianoti will be Elizabetta’s loverDevereux. Corrado Rovaris will conduct.Don Quichotte will end the drought in operas by Massenet at theCOC since its Werther of 1992. The fantastic production from Seattle22 | September 1 – October 7, 2013 thewholenote.comBruce Zinger kristin hoebermann

Opera directed by Linda Brovsky will feature the renowned Italianbass Ferruccio Furlanetto as Don Quichotte with Quinn Kelsey as hisfaithful sidekick Sancho Panza and Ekaterina Gubanova as his belovedDulcinée. Johannes Debus conducts.Both productions at Opera Atelier this season are revivals. In the fallfrom October 26 to November 2 is Mozart’s The Abduction from theSeraglio first mounted by OA in 2008. In the spring is Lully’s Perséefirst mounted by OA in 2000 and revived in 2004. OA co-foundersMarshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg are hot off thesuccess of their production of Mozart’s Lucio Silla (1772) at this year’sSalzburg Festival which has led them to be invited to mount thework at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. Abduction will feature LawrenceWiliford as Belmonte and Adam Fisher as his servant Pedrillo who willtry to rescue Belmonte’s beloved Konstanze (Ambur Braid) and CarlaHuhtanen her servant Blondie (Blondchen) from the ever-watchfulOsmin (Gustav Andreassen).In Persée, Christopher Enns will make his OA debut as an hautecontrein the title role. Mireille Asselin will be his beloved Andromède,Peggy Kriha Dye her rival Mérope and Olivier Laquerre will singsnake-haired monster Méduse. David Fallis conducts the TafelmusikBaroque Orchestra for both productions. After its Toronto run OA willtake Persée to Versailles from May 23 to 25 where it has not been seensince it inaugurated the Royal Opera House there in 1770.Toronto Operetta Theatre has a lively season on offer. It begins onNovember 3 with The Rowdy Señorita, a concert of excerpts fromthe quintessential Spanish zarzuela, La Revoltosa (1897) by RupertoChapí (1851–1909). The señorita of the title is Mari-Pepa, who garnersmarried women’s wrath by flirting with their husbands. The TOT’sholiday operetta is Franz Lehár’s ever-popular The Land of Smiles(1923) running from December 27, 2013, to January 5, 2014. This willbe the TOT’s third presentation of the work and its first since the2002/03 season.The TOT’s last presentation is the Canadian premiere of The CousinVOICEBOXOPERA IN CONCERTGuillermo Silva-MarinGeneral 416-366-7723 | September 1 – October 7, 2013 | 23

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