May 16, 2017 (Calgary, Alberta) – Today, Calgary Opera announced today the return of Opera in the Village, presented by Imperial, Canada’s only outdoor summer opera festival, in a brand-new location at ENMAX Park, featuring a main stage production of South Pacific by Rodgers & Hammerstein, a one-act opera of Cinderella based on music by Rossini & Massenet, a special performance featuring Brett Polegato, Baritone, and an array of free musical programming from the local arts community, over the span of two weekends. Opera in the Village will be held the weekends of August 10 – 13, and August 17 – 20, 2017.
“Calgary Opera, along with Imperial, is excited to present Opera in the Village for the fifth consecutive year with a full production in a brand-new location,” said Taras Kulish, Interim Artistic Director for Calgary Opera. “Opera in the Village is Canada’s only outdoor summer opera festival, and we are proud to bring both ticketed and free opera and musical performances to the community.” Thanks to Opera in the Village sponsor Imperial, the summer festival will be held at ENMAX Park, on Stampede Park, located off 12th Avenue SW behind the Saddledome. The new location will provide Opera in the Village with a 900-seat tent for ticketed programming of South Pacific and Cinderella, as well as an outdoor theatre for free musical programming and operatic arias throughout the festival.
“Imperial is pleased to partner with Calgary Opera once again to offer our community an artistic and cultural experience with broad appeal,” said Rich Kruger, Imperial chairman, president and CEO.
South Pacific by Rodgers & Hammerstein, will be directed by renowned Stage Director Glynis Leyshon, and conducted by Topher Mokrzweski, with set and lighting design by Scott Reid, and costume-designed by Heather Moore. The musical is set in an island paradise during World War II, and focuses on two parallel love stories which are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. Nellie, performed by Vanessa Oude-Reimerink, Soprano, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile, performed by Peter Barrett, Baritone. Nellie learns that the mother of Emile’s children was an island native and, unable to turn her back on the prejudices with which she was raised, refuses Emile’s proposal of marriage. Lamenting the number of available women on the island, sailor Luther Billis, performed by James McLennan, Tenor, visits the island of Bali Ha’i and meets the formidable Bloody Mary, performed by Erica Iris Huang, Mezzo-Soprano. Meanwhile, the strapping Lt. Joe Cable, performed by Adam Fisher, Tenor, is introduced to Bloody Mary’s daughter, an innocent Tonkinese girl, Liat, performed by Chantelle Han, and falls in love, but deals with the same fears that haunt Nellie. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission to Bali Ha’i with Captain George Brackett, performed by David LeReaney, that claims Joe’s life, Nellie realizes that life is too short not to seize her own chance for happiness, thus confronting and conquering her prejudices.
The musical includes such famous hits as “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Bali Ha’i,” and “Some Enchanted Evening.”South Pacific runs August 10, 11 and 12 at 8 p.m., and on August 13 at 3 p.m., and again August 17, 18, 19 at 8 p.m., and on August 20 at 3 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $125 and are available online now at www.calgaryopera.com.
A one-act opera of the classic Cinderella, adapted and arranged by Rob Herriot (from works by Rossini and Massenet), is directed byAaron Coates, conducted by newly-appointed Calgary Opera Repetiteur and Resident Conductor Kimberley-Ann Bartczak, with Musical Direction by Mel Kirby. The cast includes alumni members of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists, with Soprano, Lauren Woods; Soprano Anne-Marie MacIntosh; Mezzo-Soprano Morgan Traynor; Tenor Jason Ragan; Baritone Johnathon Kirby; and Bass-Baritone Simon Chalifoux. Cinderella will be performed in the mainstage tent at 12:00 noon on August 12 and August 13, and on August 19 and 20. Tickets for this family-fun entertainment are only $15! Available online at www.calgaryopera.com.
A special performance by renowned Canadian Baritone Brett Polegato, entitled And So It Goes, will be held on Saturday, August 19at 4 p.m. in the mainstage tent. Mr. Polegato will be accompanied by pianist Kathleen van Mourik, and will perform musical theatre review, featuring the works of Romberg, Novello, Porter, Rogers & Hammerstein, Billy Joel, and Stephen Sondheim. Tickets for this one-time performance are $35 and available at www.calgaryopera.com.
In keeping with a commitment to provide free musical programming to the community, Opera in the Village will once again present outdoor arias featuring the Emerging Artists alumni, as well as performances by the Stampede Band of Outriders and Cantare Children’s Choir, among other notable acts.
See attached the schedule of events and biographies of artists for this unique summer outdoor festival. For more information, visit http://www.calgaryopera.com/.