Magazine article Opera Canada

Canadian Opera Company

Magazine article Opera Canada

Canadian Opera Company

Article excerpt

The Banff Centre, in collaboration with the Canadian Opera Company, in mid July debuted Crush, a daring and enthralling remake of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Reset smartly by librettist Anna Chatterton to a cleverly composed score by James Rolfe, the new production turned The Club, housed below the Eric Harvie Theatre, into a dingy, red-light district nightclub of a very different kind, featuring heart-shaped mini candles, a dancing pole and a variety of provocatively suggestive, larger-than-life toys adorning the bar pillars that the production crew apparently had an amusing time constructing.

Crush formed an important part of the Open Space: Opera in the 21st Century programs second annual installment. The bold reincarnation of the Dons story, in a fully realized, highly successful workshop version, certainly fit well within the "Mozart reimagined" agenda of Banff's new-directions-in-opera mandate. Originally commissioned by the COC's late General Director, Richard Bradshaw, the project was intended as a sequel to Swoon, a contemporary reworking of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro by the same composer/librettist team. With expressively fine dramaturgy by Guillaume Bernardi, Crush came to life over a five-year creative period.

Here, the club isn't owned and run by a seducing Don, but by an insatiable sociopath named Donna, sung with undaunted fortitude by Simone McIntosh. …

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