Canadian opera is alive and well, it reminds us this weekend with the influx of 7 separate digital events for any mood. Whether it’s a new Canadian musical or Canadians singing on stages abroad, audiences will have plenty of material to help celebrate World Opera Day.
*Items marked with a star are free events.
Vancouver Opera, La voix humaine; Digital premiere Oct. 24th.
VO will be kicking off their 2020/2021 season this weekend with La voix humaine starring Canadian mezzo-soprano Mireille Lebel. The one-act lyrical tragedy by Francis Poulenc is performed in French with English subtitles.
2. Toronto City Opera, also La voix humaine; Streamed Oct. 24th.
La voix humaine has been a popular choice for staging of late as it is written for a solo soprano i.e. built-in distancing. TCO’s production features Rachel Krehm as Elle, unforgivingly depicting desperation through one side of an emotional phone call.
3. Tapestry Opera, Improvisation As Life; Free live-stream Oct. 24th.*
For a jazzier Saturday vibe, Tapestry is presenting the first of a series of live-streamed concerts entitled Improvisation As Life. Pianist Robi Botos and painter Moses Salihou perform in collaboration with Art Battle Canada. The show is directed by Michael Hidetoshi Mori.
4. Loose Tea Music Theatre, Dead Reckoning; Digital premiere Oct. 24th.*
LTMT is presenting Dead Reckoning, a new Canadian musical with book and lyrics by Lezlie Wade and music by Scott Christian. It is written for five female actors and focuses on the life of Amelia Earhart and the true story of the teenage girl who received Amelia’s final distress signal.
5. San Francisco Opera, Le nozze di Figaro; Streaming Oct. 24th.*
Alternatively, spend this weekend with everyone’s favourite Figaro–faithful valet to a very unfaithful man. SFO is streaming Le nozze di Figaro for free, featuring Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly in the title role.
6. Opéra de Québec, Opera Gala; Live-stream Oct. 25th.*
In celebration of World Opera Day, OdQ will put on their annual opera gala event, sans audience this year. The recital brings flourishing Québecois singers together on the same stage, including Philippe Sly, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Karina Gauvin and five other lyric artists. They will be accompanied by the Orchestre symphonique de Québec under conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni in a program showcasing favourite arias from Italian and French opera.
7. Opéra de Montréal, La Bohème; Free webcast Oct. 22nd to Nov. 5th.*
OdeM is kicking off its online season this weekend with a classic. Puccini’s La bohème will remain online free until Nov. 5th, through OdeM’s website and through Télé-Québec La Fabrique culturelle, their official webcast partner.