Armide Synopsis

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Opera Atelier’s Armide. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

The action concerns the Muslim Warrior Princess Armide and the Christian Knight Renaud. Although a virgin, Armide’s greatest power lies in her sexual allure, which reduces men to a state of hopeless submission. Armide herself is protected by the fact that she herself has never experienced desire. Renaud also draws his strength from an almost mystic virginity which renders him impervious to Armide’s allure.


Damascus is decorated to celebrate the Muslim victory over the Crusaders. Armide however is obsessed by the fact she has been unable to subdue Renaud. Her … Read more

A singer/dancer pas de deux

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I’ve experienced some pretty exciting rehearsals over the past 30 years at Opera Atelier, but yesterday’s rehearsal with soprano Peggy Kriha Dye and dancer Tyler Gledhill has to have a place in the top 10.

Tyler’s superb parterning and background in contemporary dance was the perfect complement to Peggy, who has a body awareness which is astonishing in a singer with no dance training. The final tableau depicting Armour as an inescapable aggressor came to life before our eyes and the rehearsal ended in spontaneous applause from all.

Bravi Tutti – don’t miss this production!


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Armide in Versailles

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Opera Atelier is thrilled to be returning its landmark production of Armide to the Palace of Versailles in November, following its Toronto run.


The reality of international touring, and touring opera in particular, is that it is very expensive. For Opera Atelier’s production of Armide, we will have a company of close to 100 people on the road for just over a week. The logistics alone are daunting!

However, Opera Atelier is in a unique position in the world of opera – over the last 30 years, OA has toured an astonishing sixteen times, to places as … Read more

Floor Barre at the School of Atelier Ballet

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I first encountered Floor Barre technique in a studio in Paris while teaching at the Centre for Baroque Studies at Versailles. My first class included stars from the Paris Opera Ballet, actors, and the ageless cabaret star, Zizi Jeanmaire, who was 74 years old at the time! As the class progressed, I was struck by how the exercises were designed to fit all participants, regardless of their age or degree of flexibility. I decided to study the Floor Barre intensively in order to offer classes in Toronto and they proved to be very popular ever since. Floor Barre exercises are … Read more

The Use Of The Cornet in “Orpheus and Eurydice”

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by Norman Engel, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

In this presentation of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice, Opera Atelier is using the 1859 orchestration by Hector Berlioz. In Gluck’s original version, the trumpet parts call for instruments in the keys of C, D and Eb and two parts for the ancient cornetto.

When Berlioz revised Orpheus and Eurydice in 1859, he decided to keep the original natural trumpet parts, but orchestrated the original cornetto part for the more modern cornet à piston in Bb. These instruments were by then very common in orchestras throughout Europe and America.

In this production you will … Read more