Opera NUOVA makes big changes for 12th annual Festival – May 22 to July 4, 2015

2015 Festival Press Release Banner Image

FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENT for Immediate Release: March 9, 2015

Opera NUOVA is pleased to announce its annual festival has a new name, new venues and new partners. The NUOVA Opera & Music Theatre Festival, formally the Vocal Arts Festival, runs May 22 to July 4, 2015 in numerous new venues around greater Edmonton including The King’s University, Fort Edmonton Park, Robertson-Wesley United Church, The University of Alberta and Festival Place in Sherwood Park. Unchanged is the musical programming, ranging from art song, to sacred music, to musical theatre, to oratorio and to opera. Audiences can enjoy this wide range of classic vocal music at fourteen Enlightenment Concerts and this year’s 3 mainstage productions: Ned Rorem’s opera Our Town, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical Oklahoma! and Jake Heggie’s contemporary opera Dead Man Walking. Festival Passes go on sale March 15, 2015 and individual tickets go on sale May 1, 2015. Both can be purchased by phone at (780) 487-4844.

Full Festival information can be found at www.operanuova.ca/festival.

The NUOVA Opera & Music Theatre Festival celebrates its 12th anniversary in 2015 in a year of change as Opera NUOVA moves its acclaimed emerging artist summer operatic programs to The King’s University. Opera NUOVA has also partnered with Fort Edmonton Park to host a night of Gilbert & Sullivan and the production of Our Town; and with Festival Place to host the final two productions, Oklahoma! and Dead Man Walking. The King’s University will provide multiple performance venues for many of the smaller concerts to June 19.

The 2015 Festival will focus on English works, both contemporary and classical, and offer a wider selection of
classical musical theatre in the following programming:

All of this year’s programming is in English except for the festival’s first three concerts on May 22, 23 and 29.

As in previous years, the NUOVA Festival runs concurrently with Opera NUOVA’s elite summer opera programs for emerging artists. Over eighty emerging singers, pianists, conductors and backstage creative artists will come to Edmonton from across the country to take part in the programs and festival. The King’s University will be the new host to this year’s programs bringing a much anticipated excitement to the east side of Edmonton. King’s University is looking forward to extending the use of its campus into July, when its halls and residences are normally empty. This year’s emerging artists are guided and mentored by Canada’s finest working professionals from both operatic and classical music genres, including Kimberly Barber, Benjamin Butterfield, Sally DibbleeJohn Fanning, Donna Fletcher, Blaine Hendsbee, Laura Loewen, Jackalyn Short, Marie Nychka, Michael McMahon, Gabriella Minnes Brandes, Leanne Regehr, Dawn Sadoway, David Shefshiek, Kinza Tyrrell and Kim Mattice Wanat.

Guest artists include both returning faculty and alumni. Our Town’s artistic team includes alumni Jessica Derventzis (stage director) and Stuart Martin (conductor). Jessica Derventzis participated in the 2013 program and Stuart Martin’s latest appearance in Edmonton was as Assistant Conductor under Gordon Gerrard on the 2014 NUOVA production of Candide. Directing Dead Man Walking is Edmonton staple Brian Deedrick who partners with Rosemary Thomson at the baton. Oklahoma!, conducted by Kathleen Lohrenz Gable, will be directed by Robert Herriot, last seen in Edmonton directing Edmonton Opera’s The Magic Flute.

The highlight of the festival for both performers and audiences are the mainstage productions. The opera Our Town is based on Thornton Wilder’s 1938 play and will be presented in partnership with Fort Edmonton Park. It tells the story of the residents of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire in 1901, whose stories and relationships reflect our own. Oklahoma! is a Pulitzer Prize winning Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway musical: a flirtatious story of lust and laughter, pride and property, full of dancing, heart and danger. Finally, Dead Man Walking is a contemporary English opera originally commissioned by San Francisco Opera and based on the novel by Sister Helen Prejean. This book became a famous movie starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon, and retells a story full of suffering and redemption for a criminal on death row. Dead Man Walking is suitable for audience members aged 14 and up.

Opera NUOVA first started a music festival, known as the Vocal Arts Festival, in 2004. This festival is the largest of its kind in Canada and offers audiences a vast array of classical musical programming, for many ages and tastes. This year, through its important partnerships with Fort Edmonton Park, The King’s University and Festival Place, Opera NUOVA hopes to expand its Festival offerings to a larger public, drawing in those new to opera through musical theatre and completely English works.

Passes for the festival include the Festival Pass ($230 / $195 / $160) and the Opera/Concert Pass ($145 / $125 / $95) and go on sale March 15, 2015, with individual tickets going on sale May 1, 2015. Both can be purchased through the NUOVA Box Office at (780) 487-4844.

Individual tickets for events at Fort Edmonton Park will be available May 1, 2015 by phone or online from Fort Edmonton Park (http://www.fortedmontonpark.ca/plan-your-trip/admission/).

Individual tickets for events at Festival Place will available by phone or online from Festival Place (https://www.festivalplace.ab.ca/festivalplace/buy.php).

Media Contact: Rebecca Craster
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