2018-19 Season Announcement
As many of you know, I joined Calgary Opera as General Director & CEO in January of this year. The staff and I have been working intensively preparing for the 2018-2019 season, and I am delighted with the range of operas and other musical performances we have in store for you for the upcoming season. This season fully reflects the company’s new strategy, and its emphasis on artistic quality, innovation, and collaboration with other arts organizations locally and nationally.
Our opening performance of the season perfectly reflects these elements. On September 28th, Calgary Opera will present BreakThru Films’ delightful animated film, Magic Piano & The Chopin Shorts, entertaining for both children and adults, accompanied by a live performance of Chopin. This work will be presented as part of the Calgary International Film Festival, performed at the National Music Center, and in collaboration with the Honens International Piano Competition.
In November, the company will produce Charles Gounod’s classic opera, Roméo & Juliette. Based on Shakespeare’s famous play, the work needs no introduction, and will be directed by the Artistic Director of Alberta Ballet, Jean Grand-Maître. As usual, we will partner with the extraordinary musicians of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. One of my goals when presenting a frequently-performed classic is to ensure that the production includes at least one artistically noteworthy element - in addition to the outstanding productions, singing, and orchestral playing you have come to expect from Calgary Opera.
In this case, we have been working with Jean Grand-Maître, and conductor Gordon Gerrard, to incorporate an extended ballet in our production. While the ballet is often cut completely in 19th century opera, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring Mr. Grand-Maître’s renowned choreography to the production.
In December, we will present Gian Carlo Menotti’s charming Christmas classic, Amahl and the Night Visitors, performed by a boy soprano and members of the company’s Emerging Artist program.
In February, we will present the Canadian premiere of an extraordinary opera I commissioned during my tenure as General Director & CEO in Dallas: composer Joby Talbot’s and librettist Gene Scheer’s Everest. This powerful opera enthralled and inspired audiences, and received glowing reviews. One critic referred to this work as “a resounding success, a genre-bending coup de théâtre.” The opera will be conducted by the Music Director of The National Ballet of Canada, David Briskin.
Our next offering in the 2018-2019 Season will be one of Giuseppe Verdi’s justifiably most famous operas, Rigoletto. For this production, we will be featuring Gregory Dahl in the title role of the anguished Rigoletto. Soprano Nikki Einfeld will bring her impressive vocal agility and tone colour to the part of Gilda, and rounding out the accomplished cast will be Leonardo Capalbo as the Duke.
Our penultimate project for the season represents another wide-ranging collaboration – this time with the Old Trout Puppet Workshop and The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Even in my short time in Calgary, I have fallen in love with the Old Trouts’ wildly innovative and irreverent style. Our joint project combines the whimsy of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop with the unparalleled creative support of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and the talents of acclaimed composer Veronika Krausas. The work will be performed by Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists.
Our final set of performances for the season will take place in August 2019. Calgary Opera will present Opera in the Village, with an abridged production of Carmen, in close collaboration with the Calgary Stampede.
In closing, we are all extremely excited about the 2018-2019 season, with its emphasis on collaboration and innovation, and its careful balance of traditional operas and newer and more exotic works. I am very grateful to the Board of Directors for their support
for this season, and for our work together on future planning for the company.
See you at the opera!
KEITH CERNY, Ph.D.
General Director & CEO, Calgary Opera