Period.Pieces

Figaro Director’s Notes

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History abounds with numerous examples of commedia dell’arte-based theatre running afoul of official critics and censors. Beaumarchais’ The Marriage of Figaro is no exception. This commedia-based play caused a scandal due to its irreverent critique of the social mores, hierarchy, and political institutions of late 18th century France.

What much of the ruling class found most shocking however was the implication that a female servant could successfully impersonate a member of the nobility by simply changing her clothes for those of her mistress. Consequently, it seems particularly ironic that just four months after the premiere of Beaumarchais’ play, a … Read more

Figaro Choreographer’s Notes

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“Madame Mozart told me that great as his genius was, [Mozart] was an enthusiast in dancing, and often said that his taste lay in that art, rather than in music.”

                                                                        Michael Kelly (the first Don Basilio)

The Marriage of Figaro (2010).

Mozart’s love of dance manifested itself in many ways. He studied ballet with the revered noble style dancer Gaétan Vestris, and was very eager, as a young man, to collaborate with the famous choreographer, Noverre. His notes regarding the dances in his opera-ballet Idomeneo bear witness to his intense involvement in the choreographic aspect of the production.

Mozart … Read more

Opera Atelier in France’s Le Figaro

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We are delighted to announce that the company has been featured on the front page of the special entertainment section of Le Figaro – the most important newspaper in France. The photograph, by OA photographer Bruce Zinger, shows the company in performance at the Royal Opera House Versailles, while on our most recent tour of Charpentier’s Medea. This is a wonderful affirmation of the place Opera Atelier now holds in one of the most prestigious opera houses in Europe. None of this would have been possible without the active participation of the Touring Section of the Canada Council, Ontario … Read more

Why perform Figaro in English?

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Opera Atelier has always produced comedy in English whenever possible. I firmly believe that comedy moves at a different pace than tragedy. There is less time for the audience to reflect on what is being said, rather the audience is drawn in to rapid-fire dialogue, particularly in eighteenth century scenarios. Revelations are instantaneous, word games involving sexual innuendo occur frequently and punch lines race by as fast as the actors can deliver them.

When we are forced to rely on surtitles during comic performances the audience is frequently ahead or behind the actor’s delivery. It is simply impossible for the … Read more

Trouble buying tickets?

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Dear Patrons,
Having trouble buying tickets online this week? Let us help! We have been informed of an issue affecting Google Chrome users when purchasing our tickets on Ticketmaster. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience this has caused our patrons. Please note the following solution –
Copy and Paste this: chrome://flags/#prefer-html-over-flash into the URL of Chrome and change the settings for “Run all Flash Content when Flash Setting is Set to ‘Allow’ Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS” from Default to Enabled. You may need to change the setting for “Prefer HTML over Flash” to Disabled. Clear your browsing history, close … Read more