Opera Atelier announces 14/15 season

alcina.jpgOpera Atelier announces its usual two production season.  The fall 2014 production will be Handel’s Alcina with Meghan Lindsay in the title role.  She will be joined by Allyson McHardy as Ruggiero, Marie Lenormand as Bradamante, Mireille Asselin as Morgana, Krešimir Špicer as Oronte and Olivier Laquerre as Melisso.  Despite the absence of Curtis Sullivan, the advance publicity suggests that the trend to ever increasing amounts of bare flesh will continue.

The spring 2015 production will be Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice in the Berlioz orchestration.  This will push Tafelmusik even further into 19th century romantic rep.  Is Tannhäuser on the cards?  Mireille Lebel will sing Orpheus, Peggy Kriha Dye appears as Eurydice with Meghan Lindsay as Amour.

In many ways this is the most interesting season OA have offered for some time and the venture into Handel is very welcome.  More details and tickets can be found here.

Forge a magic bullet and your lifestyle will improve

There’s a lot to like in Opera Atelier’s current production of Weber’s Der Freischütz but also some things that are just plain puzzling.  I enjoyed it but certain aesthetic choices made no sense at all to me.

Let’s start with the good stuff.  The OA template was relaxed quite a bit, particularly in the dance department.  Allowing the women to dance in point shoes allowed for a degree of choreographic flexibility that was most welcome to me.  This, from a dance point of view, was the best OA production I have seen.  The singing, though stylistically inconsistent, was also uniformly excellent.  Meghan Lindsay’s Agathe was superb.  She had much the most dramatic voice on display and, to me, was the truest to the real sensibility of the piece.  Carla Huhtanen, as Aanchen, was also excellent though in such a different way that wondered whether they were in the same production.  Solid singing from the men too especially Krešimir Špicer as Max who was very stylish, if not especially heroic.  The design and lighting elements were also not too constrained by baroque considerations and worked pretty well.

Meghan Lindsay and Krešimir Špicer in Opera Atelier’s production of Der Freischütz (Bruce Zinger photo).

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