Magazine article Opera Canada

Edmonton

Magazine article Opera Canada

Edmonton

Article excerpt

Opera Nuova's 16th year was as ambitious as ever. Since rebranding its annual opera boot camp as the Edmonton Vocal Arts Festival, the program has treated audiences to an expanded array of serious singing, both very operatic .and less -operatic. From May 10-Jun. 29, dozens of young, already well-trained singers, most based in Canada, presented diverse repertoire ranging from French operatic favourites to sacred music and Leonard Bernstein, as well as two "one-act family operas," Dean Bun-y's The Brothers -Grimm and Isaiah Bell's The Lives of Lesser Things, a work commissioned by Opera Nuova in 2008. This year's full opera productions featured Bizet's Carmen and Massenet's Cendrillon, while Bernstein's Candide offered some of the singers the opportunity to exercise their comic chops.

In Candide, Brian Deedrick's animatedly directed production delivered fine singing and playful theatricality wonderfully. Artistic Director of Edmonton Opera for a -decade, Deedrick's talent for the broad comic gesture is locally renowned, and he brought it all to play here. The stage of the Victoria School for the Arts's Eva O'Howard Theatre (a new venue for Nuova after years at the University of Alberta's Timms Centre) is well-suited to a compact music theatre production, and Deed-rick directed the rapidly shifting scene changes fluidly, giving both chorus and principals ample scope to take the spotlight and shine. …

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