Marie-Nicole Lemieux (photo by Denis Rouvre)
by Richard Burnett
Across the bay, for their 2014-2015 season, British Columbia’s Pacific Opera Victoria – who boast they are “the only major opera company in Canada to build its own sets exclusively” – will present three productions: Das Rheinhold by Richard Wagner, with the Victoria Symphony and starring acclaimed Canadian baritone John Fanning as Wotan, ruler of the gods (Oct 16 – 26); Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoore (based on Sir Walter Scott's novel The Bride of Lammermoor) runs Feb 12 – 22, 2015; and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (April 9 – 19, 2015).
The Edmonton Opera's 51st season includes three mainstage productions: The Barber of Seville (Oct 25 – 30), The Magic Flute (Jan 31 – Feb 5, 2015), and Lucia di Lammermoor (Apr 18 – 23, 2015).
The Opéra de Quebec presents two operas this season, Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow (Oct 18 – 25) with Le Choeur de l’Opéra de Québec and L’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and the original Italian version with French supertitles of Puccini’s Tosca (May 16 – 23, 2015).
The Opera Lyra Ottawa rebounds with its 30th season with three full productions at the National Arts Centre. The season is already underway, with Puccini’s Tosca continuing until Sep 13; The Magic Flute (Oct 25 – Nov 1); and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Mar 21 – 28, 2015).
The Canadian Opera Company (or COC – love that acronym!) is the biggest opera company in the land and open their six-opera 2014-2015 season with Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff (Oct 3 to Nov 1). Rounding out the season is the company’s much-anticipated production of Madama Butterfly (Oct 10 – 31), with 12 performances alternating American sopranos Patricia Racette and Kelly Kaduce as Cio-Cio San; Mozart’s darkly witty masterpiece Don Giovanni starring internationally-acclaimed, Juno Award-winning Canadian operatic lyric baritone Russell Braun (Jan 24 – Feb 21, 2015); Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre (Jan 31 – Feb 22, 2015); Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (Apr 17 to May 22); and the return of one of the most widely-celebrated productions in the history of the Canadian Opera Company, the double-bill of Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Arnold Schoenberg’s Erwartung, directed by Robert Lepage (May 6 – 23, 2015).