APRIL 26 – MAY 3, 2014
“One of the company’s finest achievements.”
- William Littler, Toronto Star review of Persée
When we first produced it in 2000, Opera Atelier “rescued Persée from two centuries of slumber, to the astonishment and delight of audiences and critics alike” (The Toronto Star). We are thrilled to be returning to one of the company’s cornerstone productions this season, and to be bringing it to Versailles, where it has not been on stage since it inaugurated the Royal Opera House in 1770. Called “an exquisite piece” (The Globe and Mail) and “a masterful ‘run-don’t-walk’ production” (Classical 96.3 FM), and “a resounding triumph” (The WholeNote), Persée is a lavish retelling of the Classical Perseus myth.
Saturday, April 26, 2014, 7:30 PM
Sunday, April 27, 2014, 3:00 PM
Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 7:30 PM
Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 7:30 PM
Friday, May 1, 2014, 7:30 PM
Saturday, May 2, 2014, 7:30 PM
All performances take place at the Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street.
More about Persée and Versailles
Lully’s Persée is a landmark production for Opera Atelier. The company’s 2000 production was the first fully staged incarnation of the opera since it inaugurated the Royal Opera House at Versailles in 1770 during the wedding celebrations of the future King Louis XVI to Marie Antoinette. Opera Atelier’s 2004 remount of Persée was the subject of a documentary which has subsequently become an international calling card for Opera Atelier, both for the public and for presenters around the world. Following the astounding success of Armide in 2012, The Royal Opera House has invited Opera Atelier back to Versailles with Persée, which will mark the first time the opera has appeared on that stage since 1770. Persée will be performed three times at The Royal Opera House, Versailles on May 23, 24, and 25, 2014. This prestigious engagement has allowed Opera Atelier to enhance Persée’s visual elements, making it the company’s most lavish production to date. The moving story of a man’s ascension from his questionable beginnings to his rightful place as a god, Persée is a retelling of the classical Greek Perseus myth.
“Persée was recognized in its day as the crowning achievement of French lyric theatre,” say co-artistic directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg. “We are honoured that Opera Atelier has been chosen as the company to bring Persée back to the Royal Opera House, which it officially opened almost 250 years ago.”
The role of Persée will be performed by Chris Enns making his Opera Atelier debut with his first haute-contre role. Mireille Asselin will take on the role of Andromède, whose rival Merope will be played by Peggy Kriha Dye, who returns to Versailles after her star turn as Armide. They are joined by Olivier Laquerre (Céphée/Meduse) Carla Huhtanen (Cassiope), João Fernandes (Phinée), Lawrence Wiliford, Curtis Sullivan, Aaron Ferguson, Meghan Lindsay and Vasil Garvanliev.
Persée runs April 26, 27, 29, 30 and May 2 and 3, 2014 and is sung in French with English surtitles. Running time is approximately three hours including intermission.
Persée will be directed by Marshall Pynkoski and choreographed by Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, with set design by Gerard Gauci, lighting design by Bonnie Beecher and costume design by Dora Rust D’Eye. Both productions will feature the Artists of Atelier Ballet and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra under the baton of David Fallis.