photography by Bruce Zinger

2020/21 Season Includes a New Creation, ‘Something Rich and Strange’, ‘Handel’s The Resurrection’, and a Collaboration with Angela Hewitt at Italy’s Trasimeno Festival in 2021

Opera Atelier proudly announces its new, reimagined 35th Anniversary Season with two fully-staged and livestreamed productions at Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. In the event that theatres are permitted to open to a live, socially distanced audience, Opera Atelier subscribers will be given first opportunity to attend. Ticketing information to both the livestreams and theatre productions will be announced in early fall 2020.

The season commences with Something Rich and Strange, a new creation featuring some of Canada’s finest artists, October 28, 2020; and Handel’s The Resurrection, the company’s much anticipated production – postponed due to COVID-19 – April 1, 2021. Both productions will feature the full corps of
Artists of Atelier Ballet with choreography by Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg C.M., stage direction by Marshall Pynkoski C.M., set design by Resident Designer Gerard Gauci, and the renowned Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra led by Music Director Elisa Citterio under the baton of Opera Atelier
Music Director David Fallis.

The company’s reimagined 2020/21 season opens with Something Rich and Strange, a fully-staged and costumed production featuring an acclaimed cast of Opera Atelier audience favourites including: Sopranos Measha Brueggergosman, Mireille Asselin, and Cynthia Smithers, Tenors Colin
Ainsworth and Christopher Enns, Mezzo-Soprano Danielle MacMillan, Artists of Atelier Ballet, and a select group of musicians from Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Rich and Strange will focus on theatre music that explores the realms of dreams, visions and the supernatural, as expressed by Handel, Lully, Locke, and Purcell, coupled with a new creation by Edwin Huizinga for Brueggergosman. Huizinga’s composition is based on Rilke’s poem titled Annunciation, for which Opera Atelier has commissioned a new English translation by American Author and Playwright Grace Andreacchi.

“The COVID-19 crisis has acted as a creative catalyst for Opera Atelier, providing our extraordinary artists, production and administrative teams with the opportunity to explore and create new repertoire and new means of communication,” says Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Director Pynkoski. “We are truly delighted to be back, working under the health and safety guidelines as outlined by the province, to present these two groundbreaking works during our milestone 35th Anniversary Season.”

The season continues with the much anticipated production of Handel’s The Resurrection, cancelled in April 2020 due to the pandemic. The Resurrection details events between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, with timeless forces of darkness and light operating in the earthly and celestial spheres. Opera
Atelier’s exceptional cast – Colin Ainsworth, Carla Huhtanen, Meghan Lindsay, Allyson McHardy, and Douglas Williams – brings this fully-staged masterpiece to the glorious acoustics of Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre, just in time for the Easter Season.

“The past five months have provided us with the opportunity to reexamine the core of Opera Atelier’s raison d’etre. We continue to strip away extraneous detail in order to realize the essence of storytelling,” explains Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer Lajeunesse Zingg. “Handel’s opera The Resurrection provides us with an invaluable opportunity to reach out to our audience with a new production using new technology.”

Opera Atelier concludes its 35th Anniversary Season with a performance at the Trasimeno Festival in Italy in 2021. The program will feature Artists of Atelier Ballet with choreography by Lajeunesse Zingg, exploring the dance music of Rameau, Couperin, and Bach – all performed by world-renowned pianist Angela Hewitt and her colleagues from the festival. “It is our sincere hope that the COVID-19 crisis will be resolved in time for us to realize this exciting collaboration of music and dancing,” says Angela Hewitt.

Ticketing information to both the livestreams and theatre productions will be announced in early fall 2020.

Opera Atelier’s 35th Anniversary Season is supported by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, BMO, and El Mocambo Productions. Production Underwriters include: The Dalglish Family Foundation, Vivian Elizabeth Pilar, David Green & Daphne Wagner & Lita and Michael Green, and an Anonymous Donor.

Opera Atelier is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.

This season has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.

About Opera Atelier (OperaAtelier.com)

Established in 1985, Opera Atelier is Canada’s premier period opera/ballet company, specializing in producing opera, ballet, and drama from the 17th and 18th centuries. While drawing upon the aesthetics and ideals of the period, Opera Atelier goes beyond “reconstruction” and infuses each production with an inventive theatricality that resonates with modern audiences. These productions feature soloists of international acclaim, period ballet, original instruments, elaborate stage decor, intricate costumes, and an imaginative energy that sets Opera Atelier apart. Founding Co-Artistic Directors Marshall Pynkoski C.M. and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg C.M. were both awarded the Order of Canada for their contributions to opera and ballet, and were recently both named Officers of the Order of Arts and Letters (Officiers dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) from the French Republic.

Opera Atelier has been acclaimed throughout Canada, and tours on a regular basis to the Royal Opera House in Versailles. The company has also performed at the Glimmerglass Festival in New York, Salzburg Festival, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, and La Scala in Milan. Opera Atelier has
collaborated with some of early music’s most distinguished artists including Andrew Parrott, Trevor Pinnock, Hervé Niquet, Marc Minkowski and many others.

Through historically informed performance practice, Opera Atelier allows audiences to experience the continuum of musical form; hearing and seeing great works in the ways these works might have first resonated. In inspired programming, Opera Atelier creates art that speaks to the here and now; finding fresh relevance for society in evergreen creations. Through impassioned outreach and audience development, Opera Atelier aims to secure a future by ensuring opera has a place in the hearts and lives of the upcoming generation.

Listing Information

Opera Atelier’s Reimagined 35th Anniversary Season


Something Rich and Strange AND The Resurrection


October 28, 2020 and April 1, 2021

Ticket Prices:


Tickets & Info:

We’d like to thank Ella Batten of Murray Paterson Marketing Group for the media release.