Wednesday, January 22, 2014

News: (Toronto) Opera Atelier announces 2014-15 season (press release)

Opera Atelier's 2014-2015 season features a major new Handel production
- Plus the Berlioz version of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice -

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 21, 2014 (Toronto, ON) – Opera Atelier’s founding co-artistic directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg today announced the company’s 2014-2015 season, featuring the Canadian premiere of a fully staged period production of Handel’s Alcina. Handel’s magic opera will kick off the season (Oct. 23 – Nov. 1, 2014), followed by Opera Atelier’s first exploration of the Berlioz version of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice (April 9-18, 2015).

George Frideric Handel’s Alcina is a Baroque masterpiece and premiered in London in 1735. This production will mark Opera Atelier’s first major Handel production at the Elgin Theatre. Alcina tells the story of a sorceress whose world is a mirage composed of the souls of her past lovers, and the Christian knight Ruggiero who is destined to set them free.

“Producing this sublime masterpiece has long been an ambition of ours, and we are delighted to have found an extraordinary Alcina in Canadian soprano Meghan Lindsay,” say Pynkoski and Zingg. “We are also particularly thrilled that Alcina includes some of Handel’s most famous dance music, giving us a unique opportunity to feature the superb Artists of Atelier Ballet.”

Ms Lindsay will be joined by an exceptional international cast of singers which includes Allyson McHardy as Ruggiero, Marie Lenormand as Bradamante, Mireille Asselin as Morgana, Krešimir Špicer as Oronte and Olivier Laquerre as Melisso. Alcina runs October 23 (media night), 25, 26 (3:00pm), 28, 31, and November 1 (4:30pm), 2014. Alcina is sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Opera Atelier’s 2014-2015 season continues with the Berlioz version of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice, a timeless love story based on the Greek myth. An expert in Gluck’s work and a revered composer in his own right, Hector Berlioz drew from the earlier Italian and French incarnations of the opera in creating this 1859 version in which the role of Orpheus is scored for a female contralto.

Opera Atelier’s co-artistic directors are proud that Tafelmusik has agreed to be part of this groundbreaking project. “Tafelmusik enlarges our perception of period performance by joining Opera Atelier in this undertaking, which marks the orchestra’s furthest foray into 19th century orchestration.”

Orpheus and Eurydice will star Canadian mezzo-soprano Mireille Lebel as Orpheus – her first major role for Opera Atelier. The production will also feature Opera Atelier favourites Peggy Kriha Dye as Eurydice and Meghan Lindsay as Amour. Orpheus and Eurydice runs April 9 (media night), 11, 12 (3:00pm), 14, 17 and 18 (4:30pm), 2015Orpheus and Eurydice is sung in French with English surtitles.

Alcina and Orpheus and Eurydice will be directed by Marshall Pynkoski and choreographed by Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, with set design by Gerard Gauci and lighting design by Bonnie Beecher. Both productions will feature the full corps of Artists of Atelier Ballet and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra under the baton of David Fallis.

The 2014-2015 season will also see adjustments to Opera Atelier’s performance schedule. The six performances of each production will now take place over a slightly longer timeframe, with opening night falling on a Thursday, and will include a second matinee in place of the final Saturday evening performance. These changes will allow greater flexibility and availability for Opera Atelier subscribers, more appealing date and time options for single-ticket buyers, and a longer sales window for Opera Atelier between the opening and closing performances. Performance days and times will now be as follows: Thursday at 7:30 (media night), Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 3:00, Tuesday at 7:30, Friday at 7:30 and Saturday at 4:30.

Performances for Opera Atelier’s 2014-2015 season will take place at the Elgin Theatre (189 Yonge Street) in Toronto. Evening performances (Thursday, Saturday, Tuesday, Friday) begin at 7:30pm, and matinee performances begin at 3:00pm on Sunday and 4:30pm on the final Saturday.  Subscriptions start at $95 and are on sale now by calling 416-703-3767 x222. Single tickets go on sale on August 5, 2014.  For more information visit Opera Atelier’s website:

Opera Atelier gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

2014-2015 Major Sponsors
Season Underwriter: Michael A. Wekerle of Difference Capital
Season Presenting Sponsor: BMO Financial Group
Orpheus and Eurydice Production Sponsor: Scotiabank

Opera Atelier is North America’s premier period opera/ballet company, producing the opera, ballet and drama of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. While drawing upon the aesthetics and ideals of the period, Opera Atelier goes beyond “reconstruction” and infuses each production with an inventive theatricality that resonates with modern audiences. Led by founding artistic directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg since 1985, Opera Atelier has garnered acclaim for its performances at home as well as in the United States, Europe and Asia. 

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