For those of you who were wondering “whatever happened to Opera 5?” they are back, and with some pizzazz (and possibly some pizza). Their upcoming show is an “immersive” version of the Johann Strauss classic Die Fledermaus. In act 2 patrons will be encouraged to interact; to dance with the cast, gamble at the tables, snort coke with Prince Orlofsky (ok I made that up) etc. The cast includes Michael Barrett, Rachel Krehm, Julie Ludwig and Erin Lawson with drag queen Pearle Harbour as Ivan and emceeing. Aria Umezawa and Jessica Derventzis direct with Patrick Hansen conducting. It plays at 8pm on June 8th to 11th at 918 Bathurst Street. Tickets at www.opera5.ca.
Voicebox: Opera in Concert have announced their 2016/17 season. As usual there are three operas plus a benefit concert. The concert is called Shakespeare 400 so I think you can figure that one out. It’s on Sunday October 30th 2016. There are two opera concert performances with piano accompaniment. On Sunday November 20th 2016 you can see Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi and on Sunday March 26th 2017 it’s Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina. I’d expect there will be cuts in the latter as it’s quite long but at least nobody will have to agonise over which orchestration to use. Maybe the most interesting piece in the line up though is Haydn’s L’isola disabitata. The only Haydn operas I have seen and they were comedies. I enjoyed both of them so I’m curious to see a more serious piece. The big plus here is having Kevin Mallon and the Aradia Ensemble in the pit which should be forces enough to get a genuine flavour of the music. This one plays on Sunday February 5th 2017. No word on casting or tickets yet.
And one that nearly flew under the radar. Essential Opera have a show tomorrow at 7.30pm at Heliconian Hall focussed on works about women’s lives. It’s called She’s the One and features works by Leslie Uyeda, Elizabeth Raum, Anna Höstman, Anna Pidgorna, Fiona Ryan, John Estacio, and Jake Heggie. The singers are Maureen Batt, Erin Bardua, Maureen Ferguson and Julie Ludwig with Cheryl Duvall at the piano.