Period.Pieces

Conductor’s Notes

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In 1672, Louis XIV granted Jean-Baptiste Lully a royal privilege as the director of the Royal Academy of Music, at the same time signing a document that forbade other composers from presenting large-scale operas. Between that year and his death in 1687, Lully basically produced one major work for the Royal Opera each year, and fiercely protected his monopoly in the French operatic world. Needless to say, this monopoly did not please other composers who might have been capable of writing tragédie lyrique, but were restricted to operatic works on a much smaller scale, usually presented in private establishments … Read more

Choreographer’s Notes

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The dancers in both Actéon and Pygmalion play real characters in the dramatic unfolding of the stories. That they are fully integrated into the piece is in keeping with the original intent of the operatic genre as envisioned by a group of enlightened Italians at the end of the 16th century. In an attempt to recreate Ancient Greek Theatre, the new art form was to combine all of the arts to tell a story. The word opera is the plural of opus – meaning “works”.

The dances in both operas are based on period notation and have names such … Read more

Actéon & Pygmalion Director’s Notes

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It has been a great pleasure for me to return to these two miniature masterpieces for Opera Atelier’s 2018-2019 season. We have a long history with Actéon and Pygmalion, having produced both operas on two occasions in Toronto and taken Actéon on tour to the Seoul Arts Center in South Korea.

In retrospect it seems incredible to me that we have never had these two operas on the same bill. Their pairing seems so natural and allows us a fascinating insight into the disparate aesthetics of the court of Louis XIV in the 17th century and Louis XV’s … Read more

2017-2018 Season Highlights

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Opera Atelier has just completed a successful season featuring stunning performances, enriching outreach activities, a Canadian premiere, and a new partnership with Mirvish Productions. Our productions of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses were joyful and moving, in turn – it was a season to remember!


“Here we have the perfect Figaro — supremely sung, breathtakingly danced and with spot-on acting.” – Ludwig Van Toronto

Opera Atelier’s 2017-2018 season opened in October with The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart’s hilarious tale of love, betrayal and forgiveness – produced in English! The production featured a stellar … Read more

Special Announcement

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Today Opera Atelier and Mirvish Productions are announcing a partnership in 2019, which will include a move to the Ed Mirvish Theatre for our 2019 operas.

We are terrifically excited about this partnership. The move to the new venue offers us excellent acoustics, a much-needed larger stage, more ticket inventory, and access to Mirvish’s marketing power.

The timing is perfect: the move coincides with our anniversary production of Mozart’s Idomeneo (April 4-13, 2019), featuring superstar soprano Measha Brueggergosman’s return to the Toronto opera stage after a decade.

We look forward to opening our 2018-2019 season at the Elgin this October … Read more