‘La Traviata’ Opera Preview for Vue Weekly

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I had a fun time previewing La Traviata in Vue Weekly this week. It’s described as the ‘pinnacle’ of opera, and this production is set in a cabaret club.

Mercury Opera’s slogan may be “Opera where you least expect it,” but for this week’s production of the iconic La Traviata, it’s hard to imagine a more fitting venue in Edmonton than the Chez Pierre Cabaret.

La Traviata tells a tragic tale of overlapping love triangles in 1920s Paris, with Violetta Valéry (an accomplished courtesan) and Alfredo Germont (the first man she feels has truly loved her) at the centre.

And within the intimate club setting of Chez Pierre, Mercury Opera artistic director Darcia Parada says an eight-piece orchestra will bring Giuseppe Verdi’s music to life while internationally acclaimed singers unleash their voices up close as if every audience member is a part of the characters’ party. Guests are even invited to attend in ‘20s attire to suit the occasion. Read more

I can’t wait to see what it feels like to be so close to the performers. I love the way Mercury Opera‘s tries to hook new audiences, and Chez Pierre couldn’t be a better choice to flaunt that approach. The show runs through Mar. 11.

‘La Cenerentola’ Opera Review for Vue Weekly

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I reviewed Edmonton Opera’s production of La Cenerentola for Vue Weekly earlier this month. I’ve never heard so many laughs in an opera house.

Edmonton Opera’s rendition of Cinderella is a funny, modernized take on Gioachino Rossini’s 1817 masterpiece La Cenerentola that’s as much a display of great theatre as it is a demonstration of the beautiful limits of the human voice.

Every acting performance in Cinderella is superb. Don Magnifico (Peter McGillivray) is great as a bumbling idiot who respects food and wine more than he respects people, and Tisbe (Sylvia Szadovski) and Clorinda (Caitlyn Wood) play their obnoxious sister roles perfectly. But it’s Dandini (Michael Nyby) who really steals the show. Read more

The La Cenerentola production already finished it’s run, but Edmonton Opera already announced its 2017-2018 line up. You can check it out on their website, featuring Les Feluettes, HMS Pinafore, and Don Giovanni.