In the circles I share in person or online I am thinking about the question of buzz, to which I alluded recently.
I’m excited to be going to a brand-new opera tomorrow night, namely Julie Sits Waiting. It’s hard for there to be a buzz before anyone has heard a new work, so we shall see how “she” (Julie) is received at her opening. Newness excites me, so I am sure this will be fun.
In the meantime, TIFF has drowned out any other sort of buzz. When paparazzi from all corners of the globe suddenly learn how to spell “t-o-r-o-n-t-o-“ and even start clogging our streets, chasing the beautiful people, live performance, particularly of classical music & opera, can be forgiven if it doesn’t just fall by the wayside, but cowers, daunted in comparison.
And so, my question is not so much “what’s next” as “what is the next thing you’re interested to see and hear”? I will offer my answer: an opinion about what I think should be getting the attention.
So far in my small corner of the world, the new Canadian Opera Company Die Fledermaus is more than holding its own, and that’s probably according to plan. I would bet that the COC are making the effort to show us flamboyant photos of the Fledermausketeers, confident in their other fall offering. When the other opera is Il trovatore starring Ramón Vargas, Elza van den Heever, Elena Manistina and Russell Braun, there’s likely no reason to worry that nobody is yet discussing it. After all, both of these operas open at the end of this month (Trovatore on Sept 29th, Fledermaus onOctober 4th)
There’s another entry, though, that deserves buzz. Nobody that I am aware of has yet said anything about it, but I get buzzed just thinking about Opera Atelier’s Der Freischütz. Set to open October 27th (when the COC operas would be coming to their last few performances in their runs) the first historically informed Der Freischutz in Canada is definitely news.
I have to wonder if that whole historically informed performance (HIP) smokescreen has been counter-productive for Opera Atelier. Not long ago, as we sat around the table for the last COC podcast, discussing our personal highlights of the past season, nobody mentioned Opera Atelier. I wish I had remembered to at least give their Don Giovanni a mention. The HIP discourse, a conversation that has served to shelter Artistic Director Marshall Pynkoski from certain kinds of criticism is like a sword that cuts both ways. I believe that as a result of their constant emphasis of HIP, Pynkoski has been under-estimated as a creative force in this city, and therefore not getting the credit he richly deserves. His Don Giovanni was a very witty take on a work that I thought I knew inside out, a breath of fresh air.
When they come to the romantic music of Freischütz I expect Pynkoski to be as original as he’s already been with the baroque and classical periods. Much will depend on David Fallis, back from Glimmerglass with a fresh score–and a different century– to conquer.
So what about it… what are you looking forward to?