Magazine article Opera Canada

Opera Ontario

Magazine article Opera Canada

Opera Ontario

Article excerpt

Opera Ontario opted for the conventional pretty realism of an Opera de Montreal production for its season-opening presentation of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette. It all looked well enough, except perhaps for the colonnaded vastness of Frere Laurent's "cell," and provided a colorful setting for some excellent singing and playing. Although it contains lovely music. Gounod's opera isn't exactly a repertoire staple, so this was a welcome opportunity to see the work live onstage, with the additional fillip of hearing Juliette's aria, "Amour, ranime mon courage," which was cut at the opera's premiere, restored to its position just before she takes the poison. With its driving rhythms, the piece proved a good showcase (as did the familiar "Je veux vivre") for the agile coloratura and forceful, firm-toned singing of soprano Laura Whalen in the title role.

American tenor Bruce Bellemer sounded right as Romeo, with just a few problems of intonation at the top of his voice, but generally heroically open-throated and with a nice feel for dynamics. …

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