Originally postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, groundbreaking new production makes its world premiere just in time for the holiday season

Opera Atelier proudly announces the new livestream date of the highly anticipated world premiere of Something Rich & Strange, based on the famous quote from Shakespeare’s The Tempest and featuring some of Canada’s finest artists, Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 7pm. Originally set to premiere in late September, but postponed due to COVID-19 provincial health and safety regulations, the fully-staged production will be livestreamed from Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning.

The production 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 musicians from Tafelmusik led by Music Director Elisa Citterio under the baton of Opera Atelier Resident Music Director David Fallis.

Soprano Meghan Lindsay and Tenor Colin Ainsworth in Opera Atelier’s production of Armide (2015). – Photo by Bruce Zinger

“The COVID-19 protocols Opera Atelier has been working under have acted as a genuine catalyst for creation – pushing us in new directions we would have never otherwise dreamed of. Something Rich & Strange promises to live up to its title, by featuring Baroque arias and dances exploring the themes of sleep, visions and dreams — and will include theatre music by Handel, Lully, Locke and Purcell,” says Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Director

This extraordinary production will also feature a brand-new creation by Canadian violinist/composer Edwin Huizinga for Canadian Soprano Measha Brueggergosman. Huizinga’s composition is based on the Symbolist poem by Rainer Maria Rilke titled Annunciation, for which Opera Atelier has commissioned a new English translation by American author and playwright Grace Andreacchi.

Says Andreacchi: “[Rilke’s] poem moves towards a violent collision, and it is this that moves the Angel at last to song. A song born of terror, and of unspeakable beauty.”

This is the second time Opera Atelier has brought Huizinga and Andreacchi together and the company plans to further support and nurture this creative relationship into the future.

The Dreamer by Gerard Gauci

Something Rich & Strange will include a luminary cast of Opera Atelier audience favourites: Sopranos Measha Brueggergosman, Mireille Asselin, and Cynthia Smithers, Tenors Colin Ainsworth and Christopher Enns,
Mezzo-Soprano Danielle MacMillan, and Artists of Atelier Ballet, with additional contemporary dance choreography created by Tyler Gledhill, plus a select group of musicians from Tafelmusik (Elisa Citterio, Music Director) under the baton of David Fallis. Costumes by Michael Legouffe and lighting design by Michelle Ramsay. Opera Atelier’s creative team is joined by videographer Marcel Canzona, editor Michael Hannan and consultant Gordon Henderson.

The production will play out against a projected backdrop of stunning paintings created for this production by Resident Set Designer Gauci.

“To create paintings expressly for the purpose of projection is a new and exciting challenge for me,” says Gauci. “The ability to control the transparency and opacity of my designs through projection helps heighten the ephemeral, impressionistic atmosphere with which this production is infused.”

The production will also mark Opera Atelier’s Koerner Hall debut and the company’s first foray into livestreamed performance.

“Opera Atelier invites our audience to enter a shifting, non-linear world presided over by Morpheus — the God of Sleep and Dreams,” says Pynkoski.
Adds Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer Lajeunesse Zingg: “Something Rich & Strange will provide its viewers with a cathartic experience that — for a short time — lifts them out of a challenging

Tickets and information to the livestreamed production of Something Rich & Strange: OperaAtelier.com

Purchase livestream tickets to both Something Rich & Strange (December 12, 2020) and The Resurrection (April 1, 2021) and receive an invite to a special Zoom chat with Opera Atelier’s creative team! Chats will take place on November 19, 2020 at 7PM ET and on March 21, 2021 (time TBD).

Further details on Opera Atelier’s livestream events: Opera Atelier Livestream FAQ

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.

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 INFORMATIONSomething Rich & Strange
Program:Something Rich & Strange
Date:Saturday. December 12th, 2020
Ticket Price:$25
Tickets and Info:OperaAtelier.com

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