10 student opera productions to catch this winter

10 student opera productions to catch this winter

Jenna Simeonov
We’ve already set you up with 2016’s big-gun opera picks across Canada, but the New Year brings even more opportunities to hear today’s emerging artists onstage. We’ve compiled 10 student opera productions to catch in Canada and the United States, and the variety of opera, traditional and contemporary, is pretty exciting.

Die Fledermaus in Waterloo

Johann Strauss’ infamous Die Fledermaus comes to Kitchener-Waterloo, featuring sopranos Jennifer Taverner and Bethany Horst, mezzo Kim Barber, and tenor Adam Luther. Edwin Outwater, conducts the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and the events are hosted by Daniel Isengart. They’re giving two in-concert performances, on January 15 and 16, at 8pm, at Centre in the Square, 101 Queen St. N, Kitchener. Tickets start at $12, and there are rumours of surprises guests, so click here to find out more.

The Machine Stops in Toronto

As part of the University of Toronto Faculty of Music’s New Music Festival, the Opera Student Composer Collective presents The Machine Stops, based on the short story by E.M. Forster. The dystopian tale centers on a mother and son, in a world where personal communication is almost extinct, and everyday life is terrifyingly confined. This year’s New Music Festival features work by Allan Gordon Bell, JUNO-Award winning Canadian composer, as well as new music by UofT faculty, students, and alumni. The Machine Stops happens January 24th at 2:30pm in the MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queens Park, Toronto. Admission is free, and you can find out more right here.

La voix humaine in Toronto

As part of the Glenn Gould School’s Free Concert Series, mezzo-soprano Christina Campsall and pianist Brahm Goldhamer present Francis Poulenc’s La voix humaine, January 24th at 8pm, Mazzoleni Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. Campsall is one of our favourite upcoming singers, and this performance is definitely on our don’t-miss list. Admission is free, and you can find out more right here.

The Music Shop in Oberlin

Oberlin Opera Theater’s winter-term opera is Richard Wargo’s The Music Shop, happening one night only, on January 29th at 8pm in Warner Concert Hall, 77 West College Street, Oberlin, OH. Hijinks ensue as a mild-mannered man tries to find a certain song for his Wagnerian soprano wife to sing at the Prince’s upcoming wedding. Admission is free! Find out more right here.

L’elisir in Montréal

Opera McGill kicks off 2016 with Donizetti’s gorgeous and hilarious L’elisir d’amore, conducted by Patrick Hansen. Donizetti’s classic will be directed by François Racine, with whom we had a chance to speak when he was in Toronto to assist Robert Lepage on his spectacular double bill, Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung at the Canadian Opera Company. Shows run January 28 to 31 at Pollack Hall, 555 Sherbrooke St. W., Montréal. Tickets are available online from $28; for more details, click here.

Werther and the Three Kings in Philadelphia

The Academy of Vocal Arts is putting up two operas this winter, starting with Italo Montemezzo’s Amore dei tre re. Written in 1913, the opera featured singers like Enrico Caruso and Beverly Sills in its spotty performance history, and the story sounds juicy: the blind King Archibaldo, his son’s cheating girlfriend, and revenge gone horribly wrong. The in-concert performances run January 23 and 26th at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater, 300 South Broad St., and February 2 at The Haverford School’s Centennial Hall. For details and tickets, click here.

From February 20 to 27 at the Helen Corning Warner Theater, AVA presents Massenet’s stunning Werther. Luke Housner is the orchestra for all four performances, making this an exciting chance to hear young singers in what may be considered “stretch roles”. Tickets start at $65, so find out more right here.

Lieder in Victoria

At the University of Victoria, you can catch two fantastic concerts, featuring masterworks of German Lieder. On January 20 at 12:30pm, Harald and Sharon Krebs present Lieder for Lunch: Selections from Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch. Plus, on February 4th at 8pm, you can hear baritone Daniel Lichti and pianist Leslie De’Ath perform Schubert’s Winterreise. Admission is free for both concerts, happening in the MacLaurin Building, 3800 Finnerty Rd, Victoria. Click to get details on Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch and Schubert’s Winterreise.

Falstaff in London

Verdi’s only comedy heads to London, ON, for Western University Opera’s production of Falstaff, directed by Michael Cavanagh, and conducted by Alain Trudel. There are 5 performances, January 29 to February 7 in the Paul Davenport Theatre, Western University. Click here to find out more and grab tickets.

A Night in Venice in Vancouver

UBC Opera present Johann Strauss’ A Night in Venice (Eine Nacht in Venedig), February 4 to 7 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, 6265 Crescent Rd., Vancouver. A Night in Venice is full of philandering men, mistaken identity, and a love for macaroni and cheese. Jonathan Girard conducts this production by Nancy Hermiston, and tickets start at $20. Click here to grab your seat.

Riders to the Sea in Halifax

Dalhousie University presents a double bill that looks like a must-see. From February 4 to 7 in the Dalhousie Arts Centre’s Sir James Dunn Theatre, students of theatre and music present J.M. Synge’s play, Riders to the Sea, followed by the operatic adaptation by Ralph Vaughan Williams. David Overton directs the double bill. Tickets start at $10; buy yours online starting here, and find out more details here.

Bonus: Così fan tutte in Boston

Boston University’s Opera Institute collaborates with the School of Theatre to present Mozart’s Così fan tutte, the beloved commentary on monogamous relationships, February 25 to 28 at the Boston University Theater Mainstage, 264 Huntington Ave, Boston. William Lumpkin, Artistic Director of the Opera Institute, conducts this production by James Marvel. Tickets start at just $5, so click here to reserve yours and find out more.



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