Magazine article Opera Canada

Opera Atelier

Magazine article Opera Canada

Opera Atelier

Article excerpt

Mozart was all of 16 years old when he composed Lucio Silla, so he can probably be forgiven for setting a tale that ends so implausibly with a harsh Roman dictator suddenly turning into a good guy in the very last pages of Giovanni de Gammera's text. What is harder to understand is how a teenager, even a teenager named Mozart, could produce such an astonishingly rich and mature-sounding score.

Seldom staged, the formality of classical opera seria being long out of fashion, it was brilliantly brought to life at the Salzburg Festival in 2013 under the direction of Opera Atelier's Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Zingg in a production subsequently and successfully taken to Milan's La Scala before winding up in April, reworked and handsomely designed by Gerard Gauci, on the stage of Toronto's Elgin Theatre.

Perhaps OA's finest achievement, with David Fallis presiding over the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (his colleague Marc Minkowski, who presided in the pit for the Salzburg production and had previously worked with the Toronto company, was also responsible for Salzburg's invitation to Pynkoski and Zingg), the Toronto presentation may have lacked the mellifluous tenor of Rolando Villazon in the title role, but it did boast a fine, well-matched, fresh-voiced cast, with Kresimir Spicer as Lucio Silla, Mireille Asselin as Celia, Peggy Kriha Dye as Cecilio, Inga Kalna as Cinna and Meghan Lindsay as Giunia. …

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