LSM Newswire

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mercury Opera presents Il Tabarro on the Edmonton Queen Riverboat

Mercury Opera presents


Rollin' on the river with the small but hot opera company

All aboard the Edmonton Queen Riverboat as Mercury Opera presents Puccini's one act opera Il Tabarro. This shocking story of a passionate and tragic love-triangle sets sail on the August 13th and 15th at 7.30pm. Admission, which is $75, includes a riverboat cruise, hors d'hoeuvres, as well as a cash bar, followed by Mercury Opera's intimate and stunning performance of Il Tabarro. Tickets for are on sale now at TIX On The Square, call 780-420-1757 or visit

Il Tabarro (The Cloak), the first in Puccini's Il Trittico, a triptych of one-act operas, is the brooding tale of a barge owner, Michele, and his younger wife, Giorgetta. Traditionally set in 1910 Paris, Mercury Opera's production takes its audience to the banks of sultry New Orleans, where Giorgetta and Luigi, a stevedore, reveal their secret mutual love. As Michele reflects on his marriage's happier days and attempts to uncover his wife's seducer, Luigi plots to kill Michele and flee with Giorgetta.

Mercury Opera's production of Il Tabarro features Georgian baritone Zurab Ninua in his debut as Michele, Edmonton-native and soprano Darcia Parada as Giorgetta, and American tenor Christian ebek as Luigi, as well as Boris Derow, Roland Burks and Lilia Krieger as Tinca, Talpa and Frugola, respectively. The cast includes Mark Gowda, Dan Rowley, Michael Otto, Adam Arnold, Paul Chachia, Russ Bergen, Matt Kinsman, Jonathan Vanderzyde, Connor Meeker, Claire Meeker, Joseph Chambrinho, Jessy Mossop, Michelle Diederichs, Regina Landek, Amanda Clark, Sanja Szakanji, and Nansee Hughes.

A professional company recently relocated to Edmonton from New York, Mercury Opera is tiny but hot, like the planet nearest the sun. With a mission to mount and stage imaginative opera performances in a non-traditional arena, the company presents innovative multimedia productions in intimate settings, making the audience feel it's a part of the action. Proving opera doesn't have to be big to be grand, Pagliacci, Mercury Opera's Edmonton premiere, enjoyed rave reviews last summer, capturing the imaginations of critics and audiences alike during its runs inside a tent in Giovanni Caboto Park and the Edmonton International Fringe Festival.

For more information about Mercury Opera or its production of Il Tabarro, please visit

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

CCOC in two COC productions this spring

Canadian Children's Opera Company
to appear with the
Canadian Opera Company this Spring!

The Canadian Children's Opera Company (CCOC) has already enjoyed a very full 2008/09 season. In addition to a number of Christmas concerts and their own production of A Dickens of a Christmas at the Enwave Theatre, they also participated in three Toronto Symphony Orchestra concerts. And they are just getting started . . .

Next on the schedule for these tremendously busy and talented young singers are two productions with the Canadian Opera Company: Giacomo Puccini's La bohme, which will run from April 17 to May 24, and Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, playing from May 5 to 23. Both productions take place at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Puccini's ever-popular La bohme is a staple for every opera company and is one of the most frequently performed operas in the world. Twenty of the CCOC choristers will make their appearance in Act 2, as a great crowd gathers and the children clamour to see the wares of Parpignol, the toy seller.

Adapted from Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, the opera of the same name is perhaps Britten's most enchanting work. It is full of beautifully crafted, dreamlike and atmospheric music. The chorus of 20 fairies, all of whom will be supplied by the CCOC, has a huge part in this opera, appearing at the very beginning during the opening scene, all the way until the very end. Four choristers will also have solo parts (Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed, and Peaseblossom) and play musical instruments (2 recorders, woodblocks, and cymbals) on stage.

Being a part of the CCOC requires enormous commitment from the young singers, but nothing can compare to the thrill of being on stage for a major, full-scale production!

The Canadian Children's Opera Company, led by Artistic Director Ann Cooper Gay, is one of the world's few children's opera companies. The CCOC commissions, produces, records, and tours new operas and choral music, with children as principal performers. The company also regularly collaborates with other leading arts organizations and prominent individual performers, conductors, and directors. The Company contains six divisions, with over 200 children, and youth of ages 5 to 19. The newest division, OPERAtion Kids, is a non-auditioned program for ages 8-13.

Canadian Children's Opera Company and the COC
La bohme - April 17 to May 24, 2009
A Midsummer Night's Dream - May 5 to May 23, 2009
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
145 Queen Street West, Toronto
Tickets available online at, by calling 416-363-8231,
or in person at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office

Special young people's tickets $30 to $109
(15 years of age or under, accompanied by and sitting next to an adult)

Beginning Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 10am, $20 tickets are available for patrons between the ages of 16 and 29 through the Opera for a New Age program
Valid photo ID is required upon pickup

Regular ticket prices range from $60 to $315

For more information, long on to

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Canadian Talent Takes Centre Stage in the COC's Enduringly Popular La Bohme

Toronto, Ontario The Canadian Opera Companys spring season continues with a COC revival of one of the worlds most popular operas, Giacomo Puccinis La Bohme. The young and almost entirely Canadian cast is led by COC Ensemble Studio graduates, critically-acclaimed soprano Frdrique Vzina and vibrant lyric tenor David Pomeroy. Sharing the podium and leading the COC Orchestra and Chorus are conductor Julian Kovatchev, who conducted the COCs 2004 production of Rigoletto, and COC resident conductor Derek Bate. Ensemble graduate, Maer Gronsdal Powell, who recently acted as assistant director of RusalkaWar and Peace, directs this operatic favourite. and the triumphant

La Bohme runs for 12 performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, April 17, 19, 25, 30, May 4, 9, 12, 14, 17, 20, 22 and 24, 2009 and is sung in Italian with English SURTITLESѢ.

Last performed by the COC in 2005, La Bohme is set in the raucous streets of Pariss Latin Quarter in the 1830s and explores the love and lives of two young bohemians. Qubcoise soprano Frdrique Vzina, who performed at the 2006 Inaugural Celebrations for the Four Seasons Centre, returns to the COC stage to sing the role of the fragile seamstress Mim. Rising star tenor David Pomeroy, who sang title role in Faust and Skuratov in From the House of the Dead, is Mims lover, the poet Rodolfo. New Zealand soprano Anna Leese makes her North American debut as the spirited and flirtatious, Musetta, and recent Ensemble graduate baritone Peter Barrett returns as Musettas lover, the painter Marcello. Former Ensemble baritone Jon-Paul Dcosse is Schaunard, a musician, and last seasons Figaro, former Ensemble bass Robert Gleadow, reprises the role he sang with the company in 2005, the philosopher Colline. Bass-baritone Thomas Goerz sings the roles of Benot, the blustering landlord, and Alcindoro, Musettas elderly admirer.

Although a success with audiences at its Turin premiere in 1896, critically La Bohme was given a cool reception. However, within six months it was considered Puccinis most popular work and has since been regarded as one of the worlds most-loved operas. The sets for the COCs production are designed by

Wolfram Skalicki with costumes by Amrei Skalicki. Stephen Ross creates the romantic Parisian lighting design.

Tickets for La Bohme are available Monday, March 2, 2009 online at, or by calling

416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W., Toronto). Ticket prices for all performances range from $65 to $315. Special young peoples tickets for La Bohme are priced from $34 to $109. These ticket prices apply to those who are 15 years of age or under, accompanied by and sitting next to an adult.

Starting Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 10 a.m., $20 tickets are available for patrons between the ages of 16 and 29 through the Opera for a New Age program presented by TD Bank Financial Group and may be purchased online at or in person at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W., Toronto). Student group tickets are $20 per student and may be purchased by calling 416-306-2356. Remaining Opera for a New Age tickets will be released as $20 rush seats at 11 a.m. the morning of the performance, subject to availability.

Production Co-sponsors of La Bohme: CIBC World Markets and CIBC Mellon

Presenting Sponsor of SURTITLES: Sun Life Financial

Official Automotive Sponsor of the COC at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts:

Jaguar Land Rover Canada

Official Media Sponsors: CTV and The Globe and Mail

The COC Ensemble Studio is Canadas premier training program for young opera professionals and provides advanced instruction, hands-on experience, and career development opportunities. The Ensemble Studio is supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, RBC Financial Group and other generous donors.


BMO Financial Group Pre-Performance Opera Chats

The COC offers free 20-minute introductions to the opera and its theme in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 45 minutes prior to every performance.

Bohemian Bite: La Bohme

The Canadian Opera Company and Hilton Torontos Tundra Restaurant present an evening of cultural and culinary arts for patrons under 30 with Bohemian Bite: La Bohme, on Saturday, April 25, 2009. Young patrons can enjoy a prix-fixe dinner inspired by the drama of La Bohme, while learning about Puccinis passionate opera. Following the 5 p.m. dinner, guests will attend a performance of La Bohme at Canadas first purpose-built opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Participants must be under 30 years of age and provide a valid photo ID when purchasing tickets. The dinner and opera package is $70 and can be purchased at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W., Toronto) or online at Tickets for the dinner and performance must be picked up at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office prior to the event.

Canadian Opera Company Podcast Series

The Canadian Opera Company and Universal Music present a FREE podcast series that explores the depths of music in opera. Podcasts are available for downloading or streaming on or through Universal Music at La Bohme-themed podcasts will be online starting in March 2009. These are entertaining programs designed to give listeners a chance to learn about opera, COC productions, and hear interviews from the artists and creative team. Throughout the year, listeners can tune in to hear music from the COCs 2008/09 season, discussions with special artists, as well as preview operas in the COCs 2009/10 season. Each podcast is created and hosted by COC personnel.

About the Canadian Opera Company

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America, and has an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation. The COC currently enjoys a remarkable 99% attendance rate for its mainstage season. The companys new home, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, was designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc. and is Canadas first purpose-built opera house. The contemporary expression of a traditional five-tiered, European horseshoe-shaped auditorium was specifically designed for opera with the highest level of acoustics and provides unparalleled intimacy between the audience and the stage. Acclaimed as one of the best opera houses in the world, the Four Seasons Centre is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada.

Canadian Opera Company Website

The Canadian Opera Company website, at, contains information on all productions including synopses, historical background, and production photographs.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

EMI Classics Issue Six Operas from the Metropolitan Opera's Acclaimed Live in HD Series



Canadian release date: September 16, 2008

Engelbert Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel

Giuseppe Verdi: Macbeth

Tan Dun: The First Emperor (World Premiere)

Giacomo Puccini: La Bohme

Benjamin Britten: Peter Grimes

Giacomo Puccini: Manon Lescaut

EMI Classics will issue six operas on DVD produced by the Metropolitan Opera for its highly acclaimed series The Met: Live in HD. This September, five productions from the Met's 2007-08 season will be released, as well as the 2006 world premiere production of Tan Dun's The First Emperor. The releases further extend the reach of The Met: Live in HD, the groundbreaking series of live operas transmitted to movie theatres, arts centres and universities all over the world; next season, the series will expand to reach 800 venues and 28 countries. The 2008/2009 Met Live HD series broadcasts in Canada commence on September 22nd (for more information on this go to:

The operas include new productions of Hansel and Gretel, Macbeth, and Peter Grimes; the world premiere production of The First Emperor; La Bohme and Manon Lescaut.

The Met's critically acclaimed high-definition productions are directed by top creative talent from the film and television fields, who capture the intensity of live opera using cutting-edge technology, including vertical and dolly-tracked robotic cameras. During the intermissions, the cameras go backstage for interviews with performers and others involved in the production. The shows are hosted by such stars as Rene Fleming, Natalie Dessay, and the late Beverly Sills.

The audio is mixed with Dolby surround-sound encoding supervised by DTS. Each accompanying DVD booklet has notes and a synopsis in English. Each title also includes an electronic booklet in PDF form, which can be accessed from any computer equipped with a DVD-ROM drive and Adobe Acrobat 6.0. This booklet contains notes and cast biographies in English, French, and German.

Engelbert Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel
New Production
Sung in English with optional subtitles in French, German, Italian, and Spanish

The combination of the timeless Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Humperdinck's enchanting score, Richard Jones's intriguing new production, and a new English-language translation by David Pountney make this Hansel and Gretel appealing to audiences of all ages.

Hansel and Gretel are charmingly performed by Alice Coote and Christine Schfer. The children's parents are played by Rosalind Plowright and Alan Held. The Witch, written for mezzo-soprano, is sometimes sung by a tenor, in this production Philip Langridge in what was described by The New York Times as "a casting coup".

"In the pit, the brilliant young Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski Ķ. conveys the lyricism of this 1893 opera while never letting us forget that Humperdinck was a Wagner protg who filled this score with rich chromatic harmony and thick, dark orchestral colorings. Ķ [Mr. Jurowski] conducts a resonant and radiant performance." (The New York Times)

Describing the high-definition production shown in cinemas, The New York Times said, "All three acts are set in strange kitchens: the drab 1950s kitchen of Hansel and Gretel's impoverished family; an Expressionistic kitchen-dining room with leafy wallpaper to symbolize the forest where the siblings become lost; and an industrial-size, stainless-steel kitchen where the Witch bakes her child victims into gingerbread. Ķ The sophisticated camera work Ķ was especially impressive Ķ Subtleties of acting that barely register in the house came through movingly on screen."

In 1923, Hansel and Gretel became the first complete opera to be broadcast on radio from Covent Garden; eight years later it was the first to be broadcast from the Met.

Backstage at the Met Bonus Material: Rene Fleming interviews the Met's Technical Director Joe Clark; Christine Schfer and Alice Coote are interviewed live during intermission; and the feature The World of John Macfarlane, shows how set and costume designer John Macfarlane brought Hansel and Gretel to life.

Giuseppe Verdi: Macbeth
New Production
Sung in Italian with optional subtitles in English, French, German, and Spanish

eljko Lui, Maria Guleghina, John Relyea, and Dimitri Pittas star in a new production of Verdi's haunting early operatic masterpiece. Longtime Met Music Director James Levine conducts.

This is the Met's first production in 20 years of the first of Verdi's three operas based on Shakespeare's plays. It is "a stylistically eclectic, grimly effective and, at times, intriguingly playful production" (The New York Times) by the English director Adrian Noble, in his Met debut. Noble, former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and set and costume designer Mark Thompson "mixed modern and melodramatic elements into this nearly black-and-white, modern-dress staging." (The New York Times)

At the time of its composition, Verdi's Macbeth was unique. Not only was it considered both musically and dramatically bold, but it was the first opera that could truly be described as Shakespearean. It was the first that altered operatic conventions to serve the play rather than converting the play into traditional operatic formulas. The Met performs Verdi's revised 1865 Paris version, minus the ballet he was obligated to write for that production.

After 33 highly successful years in charge of the company's musical forces, a relationship unique in the musical world today, the Met's Music Director James Levine conducts Verdi's haunting score with the intensity that this chilling work demands: "[Levine] conducts "Macbeth" as a Ķ supreme musical drama. Ķ Without diminishing the architectonic shape of the work, he is keenly sensitive to the vocal needs of the cast, ready in an instant to adjust the pacing, to coax the singer and orchestra musicians into beautifully coordinated execution of a lyrical phrase. The orchestra sounded terrific. In ruminative passages the string tone was Ķ velvety and nuanced Ķ [but] when red-blooded Verdian orchestral sound was called for, Mr. Levine summoned plenty of it. " (The New York Times)

Backstage at the Met Bonus Material: Met General Manager Peter Gelb interviews Music Director James Levine; Zeljko Lui, Maria Guleghina (Macbeth and Lady Macbeth) and director Adrian Noble are also interviewed; and a video blog shot during the rehearsal process is also included.

Tan Dun: The First Emperor
Met Commission/New Production
Sung in English with optional subtitles in French, German, Italian, and Spanish

"A majestic imperial Chinese saga...[Domingo] sang with stamina and burnished power." New York Times

Legendary tenor Plcido Domingo stars in this visually stunning opera by Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) to a libretto by the composer and Ha Jin, based on Historical Records by Sima Qian (c.14585 BCE) and on Wei Lu's screenplay, The Emperor's Shadow. The opera was commissioned by the Met in the mid-1990s and the spectacular production, which premiered in December 2006, was one of the most highly anticipated cultural events of the season.

The opera tells of Emperor Qin's quest for a national anthem for his new country and his ill-fated decision to force his childhood friend, a talented composer, to write it. Tragedy results following the composer's love affair with the emperor's crippled daughter. As Emperor Qin, Plcido Domingo leads an all-star ensemble in this epic story, which is ideally suited to the opera stage.

The First Emperor combines the expressive power of traditional ancient Chinese singing with the long musical lines of Italian opera. This juxtaposition of musical cultures illustrates Tan Dun's musical style, which merges East and West and ancient and modern sensibilities.

One of just six composers to conduct their own works at the Met, Tan Dun led all the performances of the first run of the opera.

The production was directed by the revered Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (Hero, Raise the Red Lantern, and director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics), who worked closely with Tan Dun while he composed the music.

The costumes were designed by Emi Wada, who won an Oscar for her work in the 1986 movie Ran. Over the course of a year and a half, Wada designed more than 600 striking and colourful costumes.

Backstage at the Met Bonus Material: Beverly Sills interviews Plcido Domingo, and a documentary film, Tan Dun's The First Emperor: In Rehearsal at the Met gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process.

Giacomo Puccini: Manon Lescaut
Sung in Italian with optional subtitles in English, French, German and Spanish

The performance captured on this DVD marks the first on the Met stage in 18 years of the Met's classic production of Puccini's Manon Lescaut. Finnish soprano Karita Mattila performs the title role, conducted by James Levine. Chevalier des Grieux is played by Marcello Giordani, Manon's brother by Dwayne Croft and Geronte by Dale Travis.

Manon Lescaut, the French tale of a beautiful young woman destroyed by her conflicting desires for love and luxury, was Puccini's first successful opera and the work that thrust him into the international spotlight as Italy's foremost opera composer.

Mattila's performance is a career highlight, with The New York Times calling her interpretation "riveting". The soprano waited for her voice to gain maturity and richness before singing her first Manon Lescaut in 1999, when she was nearly 40. She now returns to the work, attracting James Levine to conduct it for the first time since 1981.

After 33 highly successful years in charge of the company's musical forces, a relationship unique in the musical world today, the Met's Music Director James Levine leads a fresh and intelligent performance. "Conceptually Mr. Levine seemed on the same page with his star soprano. He drew Italianate ardor and pliant lyricism from the Met orchestra yet conveyed the rhythmic intricacy, harmonic boldness and symphonic sweep of the music as well." (The New York Times)

"Ever willowy and ever inventive, Karita Mattila enacted the heroine's progress from gawky innocent to greedy charmer to tragic victim brilliantly. Ķ Marcello Giordani partnered her as golden-age Des Grieux, handsome and urgent in demeanour, suave in passages of introspection, glorious in outbursts of passion. Ķ The strong secondary cast included Dwayne Croft, a gratifyingly crafty Lescaut, Dale Travis, a stern Geronte who resisted buffo temptation, and Sean Panikkar, a sweet and sprightly Edmondo. Ķ [Levine] let the melodies soar." (Financial Times)

Backstage at the Met Bonus Material: Rene Fleming interviews Karita Mattila, Marcello Giordani, animal trainers and handlers Nancy and Paul Novograd, and the Met's Technical Director Joe Clark.

Benjamin Britten: Peter Grimes
New Production
ICPN: 5099921741494 (1 DVD)
Sung in English with optional subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish

"The more vicious the society, the more vicious the individual." - Benjamin Britten, commenting on Peter Grimes after its premiere in 1945

Anthony Dean Griffey and Patricia Racette are gripping in this new Met production of Benjamin Britten's most celebrated opera, Peter Grimes. The multi-award-winning director is John Doyle, whose production of Sweeney Todd won the 2006 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. The Financial Times described Doyle's direction of Peter Grimes as "an impeccable fusion of music and drama."

Peter Grimes, Britten's haunting seaside tale and his second opera, is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of postwar opera, and its premiere 63 years ago marked a turning point in the history of British opera. This "true operatic masterpiece of the 20th century" (The New York Times) is the first opera by an English composer to enter and remain in the international repertory. Peter Grimes is based on a poem entitled The Borough, by turn-of-the-19th-century writer George Crabbe set in an isolated English fishing village in the 1830s.

Much of the emotional drive of the opera comes from the four Sea Interludes calm, storm, at dawn and by moonlight. Among the most brilliantly evocative music that Britten ever wrote, they help to establish the constant, overpowering presence of the sea as the opera's dominant force.

Anthony Dean Griffey is "the leading Peter Grimes today" (Washington Post), and [his] "fascinating performance should not be missed" (Associated Press). Patricia Racette, as Ellen Orford, the schoolmistress who tries and fails to rescue Grimes from his anger and self-pity, is "sublime" (The Guardian). "The voice was vibrant, liquid, and exciting" (New York Sun). "A powerful cast, led by tenor Anthony Dean Griffey," writes the San Francisco Chronicle, "found the pathos and terror in Britten's score."

Donald Runnicles, Music Director of the San Francisco Opera, "drew an inspired performance from the Met Orchestra, full of passion and commitment yet free of bombast. Without slackening the dramatic tension, he found ways of drawing out both the music's austere lyricism and its violent extremes." (Boston Globe)

Backstage at the Met Bonus Material: Natalie Dessay interviews Anthony Dean Griffey and Patricia Racette (Peter Grimes and Ellen Orford), conductor Donald Runnicles, chorus master Donald Palumbo, and members of the creative team, including director John Doyle, costume designer Ann Hould-Ward, and set designer Scott Pask. There is also a live BBC segment from Benjamin Britten's hometown of Aldeburgh.

Giacomo Puccini: La Bohme
Sung in Italian with optional subtitles in English, French, German, and Spanish

Angela Gheorghiu and Ramn Vargas lead a magnificent cast in Franco Zeffirelli's sumptuous and iconic production of Puccini's timeless masterpiece La Bohme. "[It] just might be the best investment the Met ever madeĶ Its magic shows no sign of diminishing." (Opera News Online)

Set in Paris around 1830, La Bohme depicts a love that blossoms between two young artists in a time that appears both bleak and turbulent that makes this story so very special.

Mim and Rodolfo, sung by Gheorghiu and Vargas, respectively, are charming as the young couple who fall in love. Ludovic Tzier and Ainhoa Arteta sing Marcello and Musetta.

Gheorghiu, one of the leading Puccini sopranos of our time, sings the role of Mim at the Met for the first time in twelve years. "[Gheorghiu] was superb as MimĶ distinctive and alluring. She sang with extraordinary precision, subtlety, control, nuance, and, above all, musicality" (New York Sun). "Ramn Vargas, as Rodolfo, produced a warm, buttery sound" (The New York Times). Conductor Nicola Luisotti is, "a man who knows what he is doing in this repertoire: the way he can control the orchestra to move with the singers' expressive tempo fluctuations is breathtaking, a quality which helps to show Puccini at his best" (

Franco Zeffirelli's stunning production is as beloved and magnificent today as the day it was first staged at the Metropolitan Opera more than 27 years ago. The April 5, 2008, broadcast of this production marked the 347th performance of Zeffirelli's La Bohme at the Met, making it the most performed production in the company's history.

Backstage at the Met Bonus Material: Rene Fleming interviews Angela Gheorghiu, Ramn Vargas and Met Technical Director Joe Clark, and a bonus feature, Zeffirelli at the Met, includes archival interviews and performance clips.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Madame Butterfly de Giacomo Puccini

Une production Opera Australia la salle Wilfrid-Pelletier de la Place des Arts les 24, 28 mai, 2, 5, 7 juin 2008 20 h + 31 mai 2008 14 h

Billetterie : PdA (514) 842-2112 | 1 866 842-2112

Montral, lundi 21 avril 2008 Aprs lblouissant Lakm, lOpra de Montral prsente, pour clore sa 28e saison, une seconde production lumineuse dOpera Australia : Madame Butterfly (Madama Butterfly), tragdie japonaise en trois actes du grand Giacomo Puccini, le matre de lmotion musicale. Dans le rle-titre, la soprano japonaise la voix dor Hiromi Omura qui fait ses dbuts nord-amricains la compagnie, aprs avoir chant le rle au Deutsche Oper de Berlin. ses cts, le tnor amricain Richard Troxell, en lieutenant Pinkerton, rle quil interprtait dans le film ponyme de Frdric Mitterand. Pour complter la distribution, le baryton canadien James Westman - que lon a pu entendre dans le rle de Frdric (Lakm) - sera Sharpless, le consul amricain Nagasaki, Annamaria Popescu, mezzo-soprano canadienne au timbre soyeux, revient la compagnie en Suzuki, la servante de Cio-Cio-San, rle dont elle est la dtentrice La Scala de Milan, et le tnor amricain Jon Kolbet sera Goro, et Le Bonze, la basse amricaine Young-Bok Kim.

Yannick Nzet-Sguin dirigera cette uvre pour la premire fois et sera la tte de son ensemble, lOrchestre Mtropolitain du Grand Montral, et du Chur de lOpra de Montral tous les soirs de reprsentations, except le 31 mai qui sera sous la baguette de Giuseppe Pietraroia. La mise en scne est de lAustralien Moffatt Oxenbould, aux cts dune quipe de concepteurs dOpera Australia : Peter England (dcors) ; Russell Cohen (costumes) ; Robert Bryan (clairages).

Lternel retourĶ ou les ailes brises du papillon au pays du soleil levant.

Au dbut du XXe sicle, un jeune lieutenant amricain de passage Nagasaki, Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, pouse une geisha, Cio-Cio-San surnomme Madame Butterfly. Simple fantaisie exotique sans lendemain pour lui, le mariage est pris trs au srieux par la jeune Japonaise qui sest convertie au Dieu des Amricains par amour pour lui, dshonorant la religion de ses anctres. Son oncle la maudit. Aprs la crmonie, Pinkerton repart sur les mers. Convaincue de son retour la saison o les rouge-gorges font leur nid , elle lattend, imperturbable, conduisant de nombreux prtendants. Trois ans se sont couls, le lieutenant na donn aucune nouvelle et le chagrin de la jeune femme est immense. Sa situation financire sest dgrade. Seule sa fidle servante Suzuki est reste auprs delle.

Sharpless, le consul amricain, essaie de la convaincre de renoncer cet amour, mais Butterfly demeure convaincue que Pinkerton reviendra lorsquil connatra lexistence de leur fils. mu, Sharpless sen va, sans avoir os dire Butterfly que le lieutenant sest remari avec une Amricaine. Dans le port, le bateau de son mari apparatra lhorizon. Dlirante de joie, Cio-Cio-San ordonne Suzuki de laider dcorer la maison de fleurs et shabille comme au premier jour pour laccueillir. Elle lattend en vain jusquau lever du jour et sendort, puise. Sharpless, Pinkerton et sa nouvelle pouse arrivent alors. Il demande Suzuki de lui confier lenfant pour assurer son avenir. Butterfly se rveille, aperoit ltrangre et comprend enfin la vrit. Dsespre, elle consent confier son enfant son pre condition quil vienne le chercher lui-mme. Butterfly fait ses adieux son fils et dcide de quitter ce monde dignement, selon lantique tradition japonaise.

Giacomo Puccini (Lucques, 1858 Bruxelles, 1924) - Peintre de lme humaine

Cest une reprsentation dAda de Verdi qui dcida de la vocation de Puccini comme compositeur dopras. Luigi Illica et Giuseppe Giacosa cosigneront les livrets de ses grands succs populaires : La bohme (1896), Tosca (1900) et Madame Butterfly (1904). Ses uvres ont t prsentes sur les plus grandes scnes dopra et feront de Puccini le compositeur le plus populaire de ce dbut du sicle. Ses opras tmoignent dun instinct thtral, dinventions mlodiques somptueuses et dinnovations musicales. Son got prononc pour la mlancolie sexprime au travers dune harmonie chatoyante.

Madame Butterfly (Madama Butterfly)
Tragdie japonaise en trois actes de Giacomo Puccini, en italien, avec surtitres franais et anglais
Livret : Giuseppe Giacosa et Luigi Illica daprs la pice de David Belasco, sur une nouvelle de John Luther Long.
Cration : Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 17 fvrier 1904
Dernire production lOpra de Montral : septembre 2002
PrOpra (Prsentation de luvre par Pierre Vachon) : 18 h 30 / 12 h 30 (matine) Piano Nobile


HIROMI OMURA, soprano (Japon)
Laurate de nombreux prix, ses emplois sont : Hro (Batrice et Bndict, Opra-Comique), Violetta (La traviata), la Comtesse (Les noces de Figaro) Toyama au Japon, Butterfly Amiens, Micala (Carmen) lOpra national de Tokyo. En juillet 2005, elle y triomphe dans Butterfly de mme qu lOpra de Metz. En 2006, elle chante Li (Turandot) au New Year Opera Gala Concert (mission en direct de NHK) Tokyo, Nedda (Pagliacci) au Nouveau thtre national de Tokyo, et remporte un brillant succs avec le rle dElizabetta di Valois (Don Carlo). Parmi ses projets : Silvia dans Zanetto (Mascagni) lOpra national de Lorraine, puis des dbuts au Deutsche Oper de Berlin en janvier 2008 dans le rle de Madame Butterfly. Fait ses dbuts la compagnie.

B. F. Pinkerton
RICHARD TROXELL, tnor (tats-Unis)
Ses emplois : Pinkerton (Madame Butterfly) au Los Angeles Opera et au Washington Opera, Hoffmann (Les contes dHoffmann) au Houston Grand Opera, le Tnor italien (Le chevalier la rose) au Vancouver Opera, Zampa (Zampa) lOpra-Comique et Christian (Cyrano de Bergerac) lOpra de Monte Carlo. Il se produit aussi au New York City Opera, New Zealand Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis et au Spoleto Festival USA. Il incarne Pinkerton dans la version filme de Madame Butterfly de Frdric Mitterand. Dernire prsence la compagnie : Le Gala, 1re dition (1996).

JAMES WESTMAN, baryton (Canada)
James Westman a chant les grands rles de Verdi, Puccini, Massenet, Donizetti, Janacek, Bizet, Britten et Mozart sur plusieurs grandes scnes dEurope et dAmrique du Nord dont celles des Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Canadian Opera Company et Wexford Festival. Rcemment : Marcello (La bohme) au New York City Opera, Germont (La traviata) au English National Opera, Ford (Falstaff) au Houston Grand Opera et Talbot (Maria Stuarda) au Dallas Opera. Prochainement, il sera Sharpless au Lyric Opera de Chicago. Dernire prsence la compagnie : Lakm (2007).

ANNAMARIA POPESCU, mezzo-soprano (Canada)
Technique raffine, timbre soyeux et chaleureux, elle chante dans une douzaine de productions La Scala, en plus de se produire en Europe, en Asie et en Amrique du Nord. Ses rles : Dorabella (Cos fan tutte), Olga (Eugne Onguine), Meg Page (Falstaff), Suzuki (Madame Butterfly) et Anna (Les Troyens). Elle chante sous la direction de chefs prestigieux tels Riccardo Muti, Sir Colin Davis, Bruno Bartoletti, Charles Dutoit, Andrew Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Christoph Eschenbach et plusieurs autres. Rcemment, elle chantait Suzuki La Scala. Dernire prsence la compagnie : La Gioconda (1999).

JON KOLBET, tnor (tats-Unis)
Ses rles : Monostatos (La flte enchante), Mosquito/Matre dcole (Le petite renarde ruse) et Basilio (Les noces de Figaro) au Houston Grand Opera, Goro (Madame Butterfly) au San Francisco Opera, Don Curzio (Les noces de Figaro) au Los Angeles Opera, un Juif (Salome) au New York City Opera, Red Whiskers (Billy Budd) au Washington Opera, Dr. Caius (Falstaff) au Florentine Opera Company, Little Bat (Susannah) au Kentucky Opera, les Quatre serviteurs (Les contes dHoffmann) au Fort Worth Opera, Tybalt (Romo et Juliette) Opera Carolina et le rle-titre dans The Impresario au Connecticut Grand Opera. Fait ses dbuts la compagnie.

Le Bonze
YOUNG-BOK KIM, basse (tats-Unis)
Young-Bok Kim a rcemment bloui le public et les critiques dans Colline (La bohme) et Le Bonze (Madame Butterfly) au New York City Opera, Silva (Ernani) Opera Boston, Massimiliano (I Masnadieri), Nilakantha (Lakm) et Sarastro (La flte enchante) au Sarasota Opera; Ramfis (Aida) avec le Arkansas Symphony Orchestra; Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor) avec le Nashville Opera et Aspen Opera Theater Center; Timur (Turandot) au Nevada Opera; un Vieillard hbreu (Samson et Dalila) avec lEl Paso Opera; Basilio (Le barbier de Sville) pour ses dbuts au Dallas Opera; et le Bonze (Madame Butterfly) au Greensboro Opera. Il chante galement au New York City Opera dans La traviata et Madame Butterfly. Fait ses dbuts la compagnie.

Chef dorchestre
Directeur musical de lOrchestre Mtropolitain, il dirige frquemment lOpra de Montral. Nouvellement nomm directeur musical de lOrchestre philharmonique de Rotterdam en 2008, il dirige la plupart des orchestres canadiens et a fait ses dbuts europens avec lOrchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. Depuis, les invitations diriger se sont multiplies. Prochainement, il dirigera Romo et Juliette au Festival de Salzbourg. Dernire prsence la compagnie : Turandot (2004).

Chef dorchestre (31 mai)
Chef en rsidence du McGill University Orchestra en 2000-2001, il a t chef assistant pour Faust prsente en 1996 Opera Lyra, Ottawa, et plusieurs productions de Pacific Opera Victoria telles Un bal masqu, Tosca et Werther; il y a aussi dirig Le barbier de Sville, La traviata, La bohme et Lucia di Lammermoor. En 2001, il dirigeait la cration de Eyes on the Mountain, produit par le Victoria Conservatory of Musics Opera Studio. Il a t chef invit Orchestra London et lors du Festival de Lachine Montral. Il est prsentement Chef en rsidence du Pacific Opera Victoria et du Victoria Symphony. Fait ses dbuts la compagnie.

Metteur en scne
Il contribue de manire importante au dveloppement de lopra en Australie depuis une trentaine dannes. De 1984 1999, il est directeur artistique dOpera Australia. Il a mis en scne plusieurs uvres dont Turandot, Il trittico, Le viol de Lucrce, Pagliacci, Semiramide, La clmence de Titus, Madame Butterfly et Simon Boccanegra. En 2005, il mettait en scne Idomne au Houston Grand Opera et remontait sa production de La bohme au State Opera of South Australia. Fait ses dbuts la compagnie.

Billetterie : PdA (514) 842-2112 | 1 866 842-2112
InfOpra :

Le visuel de laffiche de cette production, des photos des solistes (en haute rsolution), ainsi que le communiqu sont disponibles
sur le site de lOpra de Montral. Lhyperlien donnant accs directement la section MDIAS est le suivant : Cliquez sur : saison 07-08 puis sur Madame Butterfly
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code utilisateur : media [sans accent] | | mot de passe : 47opera08 [sans accent]

Prochain rendez-vous : 29e saison 0809
La Fanciulla del West
(La fille du Far West) de Puccini
Nouvelle production | 20, 24, 27, 29 septembre, 2 octobre 2008 20 h
Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier de la Place des Arts (PDA)
Mise en scne, Thaddeus Strassberger
Direction, Keri-Lynn Wilson Orchestre Mtropolitain du Grand Montral

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