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ED WALLIS4 for WEBIn performing in Dido and Aeneas, what are you most looking forward to?

I am really looking forward to finally inhabiting the complete role of Dido. I have been singing her aria for 10 years, and have done several scenes in concert, but I am dying to sink my teeth into the full opera…especially with Marshall to guide me!

Wallis Giunta and Brett Vansickle. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

Wallis Giunta and Brett van Sickle in Opera Atelier’s 2016-2017 Season photo, by Bruce Zinger.

Why is Dido such a great role?

She is a very rare case in opera of a woman with absolute power at the centre of the story. There are only a handful of independent female monarchs/rulers in the opera repertoire (especially for mezzo!), and I think her status and the high stakes of her position are what drive her to such extremes when confronted with the one thing in her life she cannot control – Aeneas.

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Wallis Giunta and Brett van Sickle in Opera Atelier’s 2016-2017 Season photo, by Bruce Zinger.

What is special about performing with Opera Atelier?

Performing with Opera Atelier is like being with family. They have been with me since the very beginning of my career; in fact, since before I even had a career. For me, the joy of working with OA lies in the warmth and dedication of everyone involved, and the incredible beauty of what we create together. Plus, I just love to watch the dancers to their thing. I wish I could dance, and I admire them greatly!

Wallis Giunta (right) with Mireille Asselin in Alcina (2014). Photo by Bruce Zinger.

Wallis Giunta (right) with Mireille Asselin in Alcina (2014). Photo by Bruce Zinger.

Are you a Purcell lover? And why?

Yes, absolutely! This will be my first Purcell opera, but I have been singing his music for many years, and I am always drawn to the drama in his works. He is so different from his contemporaries in the Baroque period.

Wallis Giunta stars at Dido in Dido and Aeneas, playing at the Elgin Theatre Oct. 20-29, 2016 as part of Opera Atelier’s 2016-2017 season.

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Wallis Giunta as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

Wallis Giunta as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro (2010). Photo by Bruce Zinger.

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