Canadian indie opera company Opera 5 has partnered with Gazelle Automations on a new operatic webseries for young audiences, titled Threepenny Submarine. The first episode kicks off on April 7, 12pm ET on Opera 5’s Facebook and YouTube.
Threepenny Submarine tells the story of Lydian the vixen and Iona the cockatiel, and their deep-sea adventures in the titular submarine. Of course, their story is musical; the first episode features music by Rossini, Wagner, Debussy, and Ravel.
This is the first partnership between Opera 5 and Justin and Lindsay Lee of Gazelle Automations; Gazelle’s fusion of puppetry, film, and animation makes for an organic pairing with Opera 5’s style. “Opera 5’s aesthetic has always been about whimsy and embracing the silly, which is often what you find in the world of puppetry,” says Rachel Krehm, General Director of Opera 5. “Gazelle Automations has a particular interest in how great music enhances filmmaking, and all of us also have a love of science fiction. We couldn’t have found better collaborators. On top of that, it is just so believable to a puppet to break into song. What could be more natural?”
Threepenny Submarine features sopranos Rachel Krehm and Caitlin Wood, as well as a quartet of musicians from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Evan Mitchell, Music Director of Opera 5 and the Kingston Symphony Orchestra.
Episode one, Threepenny Submarine: The Mysterious Sound premieres on April 7 at noon ET, and will remain available for free streaming.
Jenna is the editor and co-creator of Schmopera. She also writes for The Globe and Mail and Opera Canada. She’s a pianist and vocal coach, and working with singers is how she fell in love with opera.