Soundstreams announces the cast of Julie

Soundstreams announces the cast of Julie

Jenna Simeonov

This November, Soundstreams present the North American premiere of Julie, the chamber opera by Philippe Boesmans and librettist Luc Bondy, based on the 1888 Strindberg play, Miss Julie. “Depicting a flirtation that turns into an erotic danse macabre between its aristocratic title character and her father’s valet, August Strindberg’s play Miss Julie was considered too scandalous to be produced when it was written in 1888—only to become a defining classic of modern drama.” Of course, this kind of thing makes me even more curious to see the opera. Directed by Canadian Stage’s Matthew Jocelyn and conducted by Les Dala, Julie has a compact cast of three exciting Canadian singers.

In the title role of Julie, mezzo-soprano Lucia Cervoni makes her professional debut on her home turf. Lucia has been busy in recent seasons with Theater Magdeburg, singing the gamut of mezzo repertoire from Octavian to Cenerentola to Cherubino. Clearly a versatile singer, I’m excited to hear Lucia in the great character of Julie, who falls somewhere between a femme fatale and a woman trapped in a man’s world.

Canadian baritone Clarence Frazer will sing the role of Julie’s scandalous lover, Jean. I’ve been able to hear the recent COC Ensemble Studio graduate over the past few seasons, and each time he sounds better. Clarence has a great handle on traditional opera repertoire, freshly off his COC Ensemble Studio performance of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia (including a few bonus appearances, stepping in for an ailing Joshua Hopkins). I look forward to hearing him in the immediacy of chamber-sized, contemporary English opera.

Coloratura soprano Sharleen Joynt sings the role of Christine, the scorned fiancée of Jean’s. If you caught Against the Grain Theatre’s production of #UncleJohn in Toronto last December, you heard Sharleen as the sexy and savvy Zerlina. Sharleen is another singer whom I look forward to hearing up close; I loved her work in Joel Ivany’s translation of Da Ponte’s Don Giovanni, and I feel that Julie is a work that will bring focus on the subtle side of Sharleen’s stage presence.

Julie plays November 17-29 at the Bluma Appel Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. Follow the links below for details and tickets.

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