EDMONTON, ALBERTA – As part of the Vocal Arts Festival, Opera NUOVA is presenting two 40-minute operas geared towards children and families on June 13 at 7:00pm & June 14 at 3:00pm, 2014 at the Cosmopolitan Music Society (Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre – OSPAC). Dean Burry’s The Brothers Grimm and Isaiah Bell’s The Lives of Lesser Things will run as a double-bill on both days. Both productions are performed by NUOVA’s summer program participants with the help of NUOVA faculty. These productions are perfect introductions to the operatic
artform for those young audience members who love music and live performance.
The Brothers Grimm tells the story of two ingenious brothers who conceive of the ideas for Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rumpelstiltskin with the help of some friends. The stories come to life as they write, unfolding before the audience as in their heads. Dean Burry’s opera for children was written in 2001 and has seen a successful life across Canada and abroad. Opera NUOVA first produced this touring production for schools in and around Edmonton in 2007/8. The 2014 Vocal Arts Festival production is directed by directing intern Francesca Ranalli, with musical direction by Kathleen Lohrenz Gable. The cast includes Corey Arnold (Wilhelm) of Ottawa; Paul Winkelmans (Jacob) of Winnipeg; Paula Berry (Dortchen) of Ottawa; Neva Lyn-Kew (Frau Viehmann) of Pickering; and Daniel Thielmann (Brentano) of Edmonton. The performances will be accompanied by collaborative pianist participants Maria Jung (Toronto), Lisa Rumple (Winnipeg) and Risa Tonita (Ottawa).
In 2009, Opera NUOVA commissioned alumnus Isaiah Bell to write three operas for young audiences. The Lives of Lesser Things (LOLT) is the first of the triptych and delivers important messages about preserving the environment from the perspective of insects. The 2014 Vocal Arts Festival production is staged by local director and choreographer Marie Nychka, with musical direction by Kathleen Lohrenz Gable. Caterpillar will be sung by Leanne Kaufman of Calgary; Dungbeetle will be sung by Ryan Hofman of Peterborough; Mantra will be sung by Louis De Nil of Toronto; and the Gnats are sung by Allison Harker of Vancouver and Chelsie Pall of Grand Prairie. Accompanists are Carol-Anne Fraser of Wetaskiwin; and Natasha Fransblow of Fredericton.
The annual Vocal Arts Festival celebrates Canada’s emerging operatic artists through a concert series and orchestrated opera productions. Opera NUOVA supports these artists as they make their move from school towards careers in opera as singers, collaborative pianists, stage directors, stage managers, and conductors. Now in its 16th year, Opera NUOVA has trained thousands of artists, some now nationally and internationally recognized and acclaimed
Tickets to the double-bill performances of The Brothers Grimm and The Lives of Lesser Things are $26/$22/$10 and are
available online at operanuova.pleasantticketsolutions.com or by phone at 780-487-4844. The performances take place at the Cosmopolitan Music Society (Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre – OSPAC) at 8426 Gateway Blvd NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4B4 on June 13 at 7pm & June 14 at 3pm.
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