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THE SCOOP | Opera Atelier Delays Return To Full Concerts Until 2022

By Michael Vincent on July 20, 2021

Richard Coeur-de-Lion at the Royal Opera House Versailles. (Photo: Agathe Poupeney)
Richard Coeur-de-Lion at the Royal Opera House Versailles. (Photo: Agathe Poupeney)

Toronto’s Opera Atelier has announced details for their upcoming 2021-22 season.

Despite concert venues opening across Ontario amid Step 3 of the province’s re-opening plan, OA will be holding in-theatre performances off until the Spring of 2022.

Full details on the return to in-person performances will be announced in January 2022.

While an earlier return to live concerts may be disappointing for opera fans, the good news is last season’s popular film version of Handel’s The Resurrection returns for two weeks starting July 29, 2021.

There’s also a new film version of 2019’s Angel Speaks on the way.

Edwin Huizinga’s Angel begins streaming Thursday, October 28, 2021, at 7 p.m. The 70-minute fully-staged production from Toronto’s St. Lawrence Hall will be available through November 12, 2021.

The film will also include music by Jean-Philippe Rameau, William Boyce, Matthew Locke, and excerpts from Max Richter’s Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi — The Four Seasons.

Angel Speaks premiered in Versailles in 2017 as part of the Canada 150 celebrations in France. This new film version includes stage direction by Marshall Pynkoski for Artists of Atelier Ballet with choreography by Jeannette Zingg and Tyler Gledhill. The production will showcase new sets and art direction from Gerard Gauci, and costumes by Michael Gianfrancesco and Michael Legouffe.

Angel will be conducted by Opera Atelier Music Director David Fallis, with Tafelmusik’s Elisa Citterio on violin.
The film includes performances by sopranos Measha Brueggergosman, Mireille Asselin and Meghan Lindsay, tenor Colin Ainsworth, baritones Jesse Blumberg and John Tibbetts (Opera Atelier debut), and bass-baritone Douglas Williams.

Tickets go on sale Friday, October 1, 2021. A pre-sale for Opera Atelier subscribers is available on Monday, September 27, 2021.

What They’re Saying

“Huizinga’s stunning commission has enjoyed enormous success since its premiere in 2017 in France, expanding on a yearly basis with additional performances in Toronto, at Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and in Versailles,” said Opera Atelier’s Marshall Pynkoski.

“At long last, we are able to realize this project in its entirety with a stellar international roster of artists, led by Opera Atelier’s Artist In Residence — soprano Measha Brueggergosman, the Artists of Atelier Ballet, and Tafelmusik. The film premiere will include excerpts from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, interwoven with Rainer Maria Rilke’s mystic poetry in a new translation commissioned by Opera Atelier from American Playwright Grace Andreacchi.”

In other Opera Atelier news

  • Soprano Measha Brueggergosman has extended her role as Artist in Residence for another season.
  • Brueggergosman has also been appointed Artist Advisor to the Board of Directors to help guide the organization on diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Opera Atelier’s Co-Artistic Directors Pynkoski and Zingg have been invited back to Versailles for a remount of Grétry’s Richard Coeur-de-Lion in November of 2021.
  • Pynkoski and Zingg will make their debut at Opéra de Tours in a new production of a Grétry opera in the Spring of 2022. Full details to be announced January 2022.

Baroque Opera Forerunners

Opera Atelier was one of the only opera companies in Canada to present a production during the pandemic. They presented Handel’s The Resurrection this past May through June 10, 2021. To learn more about the astonishing story behind the production, see here.

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Michael Vincent
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