Opera Atelier is Canada’s premier period opera/ballet company, specializing in producing opera, ballet and drama from the 17th and 18th centuries. While drawing upon the aesthetics and ideals of the period, Opera Atelier goes beyond “reconstruction” and infuses each production with an inventive theatricality that resonates with modern audiences. These productions feature soloists of international acclaim, period ballet, original instruments, elaborate stage decor, exquisite costumes and an imaginative energy that sets Opera Atelier apart. Since 1985, lead by founding artistic directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, Opera Atelier has garnered acclaim for its performances at home as well as in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Our mission, simply stated, is to be recognized internationally as the leading interpreter of period opera and to shake off the preconceptions about “period production” by reimagining and revitalizing the great works of the entire operatic canon.
What do we mean by “period production” and “historically informed”?
Opera Atelier’s mandate is to produce period opera/ballet/theatre in a “historically-informed” manner. What has always driven Opera Atelier’s artistic team has been the desire to explore the original intention of composers, librettists and choreographers and to try to understand their creations in the context in which they were first created. This does not mean that we are a museum company or are slavishly copying something that has been created in the past, rather this interest in “original intention” becomes the catalyst that allows us to create something brand new.
When we use the word “period” it is used in its broadest sense – all time periods are fair game, although our chief interest still spans 17th to 19th century repertoire. We are not producing a re-creation of the original work; rather, each production is a new creative effort which takes its own place in history.
Opera Atelier strives to create productions that would have been recognized and respected in their own time while providing a thrilling theatrical experience for modern audiences.
“Opera Atelier has earned worldwide acclaim for their attention to period-performance detail. Yet, with each new production, they incrementally push staging in new directions.”
—John Terauds, The Toronto Star (October 29, 2007)