The Human Machine of Inside/Outside Opera
by Joel Ivany
We are fortunate to have an incredibly strong cast, comprising some of Canada’s leading singers.
Our cast members have worked with The Canadian Opera Company, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, De Nederlandse Opera and the Opéra National du Rhin, Strasbourg (among others).
Alain Coulombe was a regular at the Canadian Opera Company while I was in training at the Opera School (U of T). For such a slender frame, his voice was boom-y and commanding. He’ll tell you that Arkel is one of his favourite opera roles. Arkel is a great-grandfather and king of Allemonde. Alain brings such credibility, knowledge, creativity, but more importantly compassion to this role and the production as a whole. He is a true artist and has been a supportive force for our company, which is still very much in its formative years.
And Gregory Dahl is the perfect Golaud. He had performed the role before, but in English. We’ve been scratching our heads to think who in Canada would be suited to sing this demanding role. There are only two words: Greg Dahl. He’s such a nice person and a great complement to our cast.
Finally, the last cast member is our guest Music Director. Our Music Director, Topher Mokrzewski had a previous engagement with Saskatoon Opera. He’s out west conducting his first Magic Flute during the same time as Pelléas et Mélisande, so we had to find someone equally gifted at the keyboard with a talent for Debussy. We found that in Julien LeBlanc. He is co-artistic director of the L’Eglise Historique de Barachois, which runs June through September. He is a sensitive performer and an extremely supportive colleague. We’ve put him in a difficult position by playing an upright piano outside, but the skill he brings to the performance is unquestionable. We’re very fortunate that he is able to play these performances.
AS OF THIS PUBLICATION TWO OF THE FOUR PERFORMANCES ARE SOLD OUT
Read also: Soprano Miriam Khalil's insider piece on the production
Read also: Baritone Étienne Dupuis's insider piece on the production