Monday, April 26, 2010

Opera Atelier and the Marriage of Figaro

Photo: Bruce Zinger / Artists: Phillip Addis, Wallis Giunta, Carla Huhtanen, Patrick Jang, Peggy Kriha Dye, Curtis Sullivan and Cavell Wood

If you have an affinity for Marie Antoinette or the 17th and 18th centuries, you will take great delight in seeing a performance of Opera Atelier. This Toronto-based company brings the 17th and 18th centuries to life on the stage by producing opera, ballet and drama from those centuries. Drawing on the aesthetics of that time and reinterpreting the experience for modern audiences, the company also makes the period more accessible to audiences by performing their operas in English.

Photo: Bruce Zinger / Artists: Phillip Addis, Carla Huhtanen and Patrick Jang
The Opera Atelier is currently performing Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro at the restored Elgin Theatre in Toronto. This enchanting comedy was first performed at the private home of Joseph Hyacinthe Vaudreuil prior to its official debut in Paris at the Comedie Francaise in 1784. Although I've seen this opera several times before, it wasn't until I saw the Opera Atelier's version that I appreciated the subtle nuances of the repartee between the main characters. Although some opera fans might disparage an English interpretation, I loved it, especially as it sparked new ideas for my Revolutionary Fashion series of textile works.  Plus there is much eye candy on display, including exquisite sets by one of my favourite Toronto artists Gerard Gauci, divine period costumes from the talented Martha Mann, and some very handsome actors wearing snug velvet breeches!

Photo: Bruce Zinger / Artists: Phillip Addis  and Peggy Kriha Dye
There are only four performances left on the schedule this week: April 27, April 28, April 30 and May 1st. If you don't live in Toronto, watch for Opera Atelier on tour as the company has been to New York, Houston, Stuttgart, Bremen, London, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo and Chateau de Versailles in France.

Opera Atelier
416-703-3767 ext. 22