Blog / Tag / "opera"

Performance in HD 2017

Performance in HD 2017

La Traviata- March 11 @ 10am

Violetta Valéry knows that she will die soon, exhausted by her restless life as a courtesan. At a party she is introduced to Alfredo Germont, who has been fascinated by her for a long time. Violetta choses a life with Alfredo and they enjoy their love in the country, far from society.

Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, pays Violetta a visit. He demands that she separate from his son, as their relationship threatens his daughter’s impending marriage. Violetta’s resistance dwindles and she finally agrees to leave Alfredo forever. Only after her death shall he learn the truth about why she returned to her old life. But all the memories of home and a happy family can’t prevent the furious and jealous Alfredo from seeking revenge for Violetta’s apparent betrayal.

Violetta is dying. Her last remaining friend, Doctor Grenvil, knows that she has only a few more hours to live. Full of remorse, Germont has told his son about Violetta’s sacrifice. Alfredo wants to rejoin her as soon as possible. Violetta is afraid that he might be too late. But Alfredo does arrive and the reunion fills her with a final euphoria. Her energy and exuberant joy of life return. All sorrow and suffering seem to have left her—a final illusion, before death claims her.

Run time: 2 hrs 33 minutes

Ticket price: $22.00

Buy your tickets here

Sleeping Beauty- March 25 @ 2pm

Embrace the exquisite enchantment of the world's favourite fairy tale! One of the finest ballets in the classical repertoire is set to Tschaikovsky’s timeless score. Featuring technical brilliance and bravura dancing by outstanding performers, stunning sets, and lush costumes, this magical masterpiece delivers all the essential ingredients: romance, fate, good vs evil, and of course true love!

Run time: 2 hrs 45 minutes

Tickets: $22.00 / Youth $12.00 / Family pack $60.00

Buy your tickets here

Are you in an Opera?  Take this test to see!

Are you in an Opera?  Take this test to see!

Sometimes people fall into an Opera quite by accident.  If you think you are in an Opera, be calm.  Do not flail.  Keep your voice down.  Stop arguing.

However, it’s sometimes hard to determine whether you’re in an Opera or not.  So we’ve designed these seven easy indicators that you should refer to frequently in case you feel like you may have fallen into one.

1.     You happen to be a scoundrel, a tart, a supernatural figure, or a powerful, but waning despot, or you are in the room with these people.  And they are well-dressed.
2.     Conversations seem to go on and on.  People repeat themselves over and over again, only changing their emphasis on certain words.  Only changing their EMPHASIS on certain words.
3.     You are betrayed over the course of a few days—this will usually involve a love triangle or power triangle.  Just to be certain you know a love triangle when you see it: someone is infatuated with you, while you are in love with someone unattainable; that person is usually a scoundrel, a married person, or a cold, cold heart.
4.     You find it impossible to state your case or defend yourself in less than two hours—and may evolve into a rant, a melodic rant, but a rant nonetheless.
5.     One thing after another happens to you in rapid fashion—so many twists you’d think your life was in braid.
6.     Something explodes around you that doesn’t stop anyone from talking, but actually increases the volume and the speed at which they talk.
7.     Someone, often yourself, dies.

So, if you find yourself dying after an explosion, caused by a betrayal, looking fantastic in a suit or ball gown, as the product of a love triangle that included chatty people—some of them royal, or supernatural, you might be in an Opera.

Stay calm.

The best thing to do is exit gracefully, forcefully, with a spoken plan.  If you can speak another plausible future for yourself, away from the dizzying melodic maelstrom you have gotten yourself into, the audience will believe you.  You can then walk out of this scene, and most certainly live.

If however, you are in a comic opera, and you’re single (which you have to be in a comic opera, I’d think) then you could end up with a husband or a wife.  The clincher is whether there is loudly-stated pride (LSP) followed by acute tragic betrayal (ATB).  If there is ATB, you are in a tragedy---run.  If you can avoid stating your pride or arrogance to a room full of people, you can steer yourself into a comedy.  If you’re in a comedy, and you are hoping for a nice husband or wife, enjoy yourself.  Become a coloratura just for fun.

However, you might be in what is known as a tragic-comic opera---

The only way to explain this one is… to show you. 

MANON, by Massenet, is such a tragic-comic opera.  “Manon is Massenet's most popular and enduring opera and, having ‘quickly conquered the world's stages’, it has maintained an important place in the repertory since its creation. It is the quintessential example of the charm and vitality of the music and culture of the Parisian Belle Époque.”  So says Wikipedia who also puts this creation around 11,000BC and says the opera includes live elephants.

We can believe part of it.  Manon is referred to as an opera comique.  Everyone falls in love with Manon, who’s on her way to a convent.  (Yeah, bad timing.)  And she has a case of rethinking the convent, perhaps to fall in love.  And then people fight over her, and she falls in love with the wrong guy, and goes to a ball, and then she gets ARRESTED.  She was going for the “pure” look and ended up the tart.  And yet, there’s a rescue plan—and well, I won’t reveal more.  The comic part is one thing after another happening.  The tragic part—well, you know what that is.  (Oh, wait. Where do the live elephants come in?  Wikipedia??)

Come see it happen---this is how you will recognize, for SURE, that you are in an opera.  

Anna Netrebko, after playing Anna Bolena, is back.  You’ll love her voice, and that dress.

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 1pm.  Manon tickets are on sale at the box office, 667-8574, through Arts Underground, or online at 

Damned If You Do: Faust and Others Who Made Deals with the Devil

Damned If You Do: Faust and Others Who Made Deals with the Devil

Western Culture is littered with works that have as their core a deal with the Devil, or the Devil's Contract--a folk motif that pops up in everything from popular music to film to great works of literature.  Started within Christian tradition, the Devil's Contract is a staple among the folktales of European nations, and the US turned it into a cultural tradition--not the pact, but talking about the pact.  You know the drill:  Someone trades their immortal soul for power, wealth, knowledge, love, sex--and in the tragic versions, of course, the Devil gives nearly anything for that soul... and in comic tradition, the main character finds a way to cheat the Devil out of the contract.

You've probably seen more versions of this deal than you remember.   Damn Yankees, the Devil's Advocate, Crossroads, Stephen King's Christine, The Devil and Daniel Webster, The Master and Margerita, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, even Bedazzled where Satan is played by Elizabeth Hurley.

Sometimes the deal with the devil can be a metaphor--not the actual devil, but a very bad deal that you can't get out of--a deal you make with unscrupulous characters. Think Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street; think Tom Cruise in The Firm; think Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in Star Wars.  Not to mention A LOT of music--from classical and opera to heavy metal and pop (Franz Lizst, meet Sting). 

Sometimes it can be a legend--think Robert Johnson, famous blues musician at the Crossroads, signing away his soul for the ability to play great blues music.  (I'm sure other jealous musicians thought that one up).

You can thank Faust for all these diabolical tales.  Two famous adaptations of his story, from Goethe and Marlowe in particular, have been helpful: a scholar sells his soul to the devil because study can't seem to satisfy him, and the answers to the universe are not in books.  So he throws it all away on mysticism and sorcery.  Goethe has Faust rescued and Marlowe has him condemned.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

How many more versions of the "Deal with the Devil" can you think of?  Do these Fausts win or lose against the Devil?

Gounod's Faust, the Opera on Sunday, is now set in an Atomic Bomb Factory and Faust is a middle-aged scientist trying to create the bomb first.  We got a whole new context for our deal with the Devil. 

Come hear Gounod's fabulous score and hear Jonas Kaufmann as Faust and Rene Pape as the Devil! 

If you come on Sunday, you get to enter into a draw for TWO FREE TICKETS to the Opera of your choice. 

Hey, it's Faust.  We had to make a deal with you, eh?


"Somebody's knockin'.  Should I let him in?  Lord, it's the devil, would you look at him!  I've heard about him, but I never dreamed.  He'd have blue eyes and blue jeans..."

from "Somebody's Knockin'" by Ed Penney and Jerry Gillespie, as sung by Terri Gibbs (1980)