Magazine article Opera Canada

Manitoba Opera

Magazine article Opera Canada

Manitoba Opera

Article excerpt

Manitoba Opera marks its 40th anniversary this year with an all-Verdi season, opening last November with the darkly tragic Rigoletto. The production was directed by former-Winnipegger Robert Herriot in Lawrence Schafer's realistic sets (from New Orleans Opera), lit by Bill Williams, with MO music advisor and principal conductor Tyrone Paterson leading the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

American baritone Todd Thomas's powerhouse performance as the hunchbacked, sunken-eyed jester showcased not only a booming voice, but also an equally mesmerizing acting ability. He subtly nuanced his tide character with considerable emotional shading, turning on a dime from pitiful bitterness during Act Is "Pari siamo" to hell-bent fury at all those who torment him.

Winnipeg coloratura Tracy Dahl triumphed in her role of Gilda. Her electrifying "Caro Nome," with each florid note crafted as a multi-faceted jewel, nearly stopped the show and rightfully earned sustained applause. Her effortless "Tune le feste al tempio" also displayed her gifts as a singing actress, as did her touching final "Chi mai, chi e qui in sua vece?" in which she tearfully begs her father for forgiveness. Offstage last season for personal reasons, Dahl is clearly back with a vengeance. …

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