What's on, eh?

What's on, eh?

Jenna Simeonov

This spring, opera-going Canadians are in luck: across the country, opera is a-happening.

Starting in the West, you can still catch Verdi’s Don Carlo at Vancouver Opera, playing until May 11th. The cast includes Canadian faves like Joni Henson and Brett Polegato, and they’re doing it in Italian. Nice.

In Calgary, Cowtown Opera is presenting its very own Barber of Cowtown, from May 29th-June1st. It’s Rossini’s _Il barbiere di Siviglia, _in English, “Cowtown Style”. To top it off, our famed Christopher Mayell is singing Count Almaviva. On the Prairies, Saskatoon Opera presents Mozart’s _The Magic Flute, _opening June 12th. It’s conducted by Christopher Mokrzewski, Resident Conductor at Calgary Opera and Music Director of Against the Grain Theatre, and it features a jackpot cast of Canadian talent. Included are COC Ensemble Studio alumni Chris Enns (Tamino), Neil Craighead (Sarastro), Gordon Bintner (Papageno) and Ambur Braid (Queen of the Night). Tickets.

In Québec, you’ll have your pick of great Italian operas. L’Opéra de Montréal is putting up Turandot, opening June 17th, starring Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura in the title role. At L’Opéra de Québec, you can see Canadian baritone Gregory Dahl sing the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth, also opening June 17th.

Finally, here in Toronto, there are the usual good opera pickings. Opening tomorrow, the Canadian Opera Company presents Massenet’s Don Quichotte. Bass (and legend) Ferruccio Furlanetto stars in the title role, and baritone Quinn Kelsey will sing the role of Sancho, Quichotte’s faithful servant. It plays May 9-24th at the Four Seasons Centre, and I can’t wait to see it. Tickets!

In June, Tapestry presents Shelter, a contemporary opera by Juliet Palmer, with a libretto by Julie Salverson. With a cast of essential Tapestry talent, (like Keith Klassen and Andrea Ludwig) _Shelter_ plays at the Berkeley Street Theatre from June 12-15th; it’s a show I will truly regret not being in town to see. Later in June, Against the Grain Theatre puts up Debussy’s spectacular Pelléas et Mélisande. Étienne Dupuis and Miriam Khalil sing the title role in this production by Joel Ivany and Julien LeBlanc, which will be performed outdoors in the COC’s Max Tanenbaum Courtyard Gardens. _Pelléas_ plays from June 19-25th, and it’s not to be missed.

I’m sure there’s plenty I’ve left out of my little summary. Feel free to chime in using the comments below!



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