The season opens October 20, 2022 with Dido and Aeneas, marking Opera Atelier’s return to the Elgin Theatre. Composed by Henry Purcell with libretto by Nahum Tate, the piece is based on Virgil’s epic poem The Aeneid, Dido and Aeneas; it tells the story of Dido, the widowed Queen of Carthage, who embarks on an affair with the Trojan prince, Aeneas. When he abandons her, she embraces her one alternative—a life of humiliation and regret. The production runs October 20-22, 2022 at 7:30pm and October 23, 2022 at 2:30pm.
Dido and Aeneas features a stellar cast making their role debuts, with soprano Meghan Lindsay and tenor Colin Ainsworth portraying the ill-fated lovers, and soprano Measha Brueggergosman-Lee starring as the wicked Sorceress. The cast also includes soprano Melody Louledjian making her company debut as Belinda, tenor Spencer Britten, soprano Cynthia Akemi Smithers, mezzo soprano Danielle MacMillan, and the Artists of Atelier Ballet.
“We are delighted to celebrate our return to the Elgin Theatre with Opera Atelier’s most internationally-acclaimed production of Dido and Aeneas,” said Pynkoski in a statement. “Opera Atelier’s Dido and Aeneas has toured throughout the US, France, England, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, South Korea and Singapore—always invited to major venues including the Houston Grand Opera, the BBC Proms (Royal Albert Hall), the Seoul Arts Center and the Royal Opera House (Versailles).”
Handel’s The Resurrection continues the season on April 6, 2023 in Koerner Hall, detailing the events between between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, focusing on Christ’s resurrection following his crucifixion and burial. The piece centres around two spheres: the celestial realm, where a combative Angel disputes Lucifer’s claims to victory; and earth, where Mary Magdalene, Mary Cleophas, and St John the Evangelist struggle to come to terms with the stark reality of Christ’s death. The production runs from April 6-8, 2023 at 7:30pm and April 9, 2023 at 2:30pm.
The production stars soprano Carla Huhtanen as the Angel and bass-baritone Douglas Williams as Lucifer, who are joined by tenor Colin Ainsworth as St. John the Evangelist, soprano Meghan Lindsay as Mary Magdalene, and mezzo soprano Allyson McHardy as Cleophas. The staging includes swordplay designed by Jennifer Parr, which underlines the militant tone in the production’s opening aria in which an army of angels aggressively approach Lucifer’s realm. Dido and Aeneas and The Resurrection will include set design by Gerard Gauci and lighting design by Kimberly Purtell.
“It is a delight to premiere Handel’s transcendent creation in the stunning acoustics of Koerner Hall,” says Atelier’s Co-Artistic Director Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg. “Handel’s The Resurrection was never envisioned for a conventional theatre, and Koerner Hall lends itself wonderfully to Handel’s original intentions.”
Tickets will go on sale August 2, 2022 – more details about Opera Atelier’s 2022/23 season available here or by calling 416-703-3767 x 700.