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Canadian Opera Company’s Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung

Canadian Opera Company’s Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung

First produced twenty-two years ago, Robert LePage’s production of two one-act operas, Bela Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Arnold Schönberg’s Erwartung, makes a glorious return to the Canadian Opera Company. For those who haven’t seen it, suffice to say there are plenty of visual surprises.

 

 

Dan Relyea gives a superb Bluebeard, fearsome and compelling…

erwartung-mc-0760For those who have, what’s immediately obvious is that the stage presentation now takes its rightful place alongside the music it once unintentionally upstaged. Bartok’s richly layered score glows under the baton of maestro Johannes Debus. Bass Dan Relyea gives a superb Bluebeard, fearsome and compelling, as he unveils the horrors of his castle to his determined new bride, Judith, in a glowing portrayal by mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova.

… these works are now a great pleasure to hear as well as to see.

blubeard-mc-0102Strange to think that performances of Schonberg operas were once almost as rare as they were overly earnest. Thankfully, our twentieth-century ears no longer treat modern works as a strange and difficult adjunct to classical music, but as an extended tonal range on a very full palette. With a new generation of performers and singers like mezzo Krisztina Szabó, who sings the role of the psychologically unbalanced Woman in Erwartung with stunning beauty and agility, these works are now a great pleasure to hear as well as to see. Kudos to the Canadian Opera Company.

Canadian Opera Company’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Erwartung is onstage at the Four Seasons Centre May 6 to may 23. Visit the COC for tickets.

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JeffreyRound-300x225Jeffrey Round’s first two books, A Cage of Bones and The P-town Murders, were listed on AfterElton’s Top 100 Gay Books. His most recent books are the poetry collection, In the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci, and The Jade Butterfly, third in the Lambda award-winning Dan Sharp mystery series. Please visit his website: jeffreyround.com.


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