I Am A Big Deal

1150 WordsNov 3, 20165 Pages
For some, turning thirty is a big deal. For Opera Atelier turning thirty is an outstanding accomplishment few companies could ever compare or measure up to. Moreover, retrofitting Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas seven times in the companies history is a creative feat unto itself. I first became familiar with Opera Atelier in the 1990’s. A time when it was still considered to be an “indy opera company”. Fortunately, that label has changed and I’ve been able to witness the companies progression. I have attended three of their Dido productions and must admit, this was not my favorite for a number of reasons. So, how does a company like Opera Atelier reinvent a period piece that was initially staged in the basement of an all girls school, at a time when the gods were a part of recent history, and music so boring it could send one to sleep? Perhaps it would be best to understand OA’s genetic makeup. The artistic directors are just as passionate about their company as they were twenty years ago. Not only was their joy for storytelling effervescent but their commitment to the aesthetic vision even more. On a warm Saturday afternoon, the theatre fills with an impressive audience. A number of tourists catch a last minute performance, parents, children, adults, students, and the Tafelmusik Orchestra’s dedicated fans (some of which appeared in period dress). Toronto’s Elgin could not be a more fitting environment to stage Dido, for the gilded ceilings, ornate wrought iron gold leaf
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