Talking with directors: Christopher Alden

Talking with directors: Christopher Alden

Jenna Simeonov

American opera director Christopher Alden is in Toronto to direct Pyramus and Thisbe, a new opera by Barbara Monk Feldman based on the very old story of Ovid’s. Canadian Opera Company General Director Alexander Neef had the idea to create a triple bill, pairing Monk Feldman’s opera with two works of Monteverdi: Lamento d’Arianna (the only remaining fragment of his lost opera, Arianna) and Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda.

The contrasts and commonalities in these three pieces are clear. Monteverdi’s works come from the time of opera’s birth, and Pyramus and Thisbe a piece which is absolutely not about Classical dramatic tension or action, It’s an utterly contemplative, ruminative piece.”

Mr. Alden took time between rehearsals to talk about the provocative themes in this triple bill, and what it’s like to look at works on extreme ends of opera’s ~400 year evolution.

Pyramus and Thisbe features mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó, baritone Phillip Addis, and tenor Owen McCausland, and COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts. Performances run October 20th to November 7th at the Four Seasons Centre. For details and tickets, follow the box office links below.

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