Saturday, 18 June 2011

Calling all opera fans

Edmonton Opera can only afford to stage three operas each season, and although they do what they can to attract people like students on a limited budget, the fact is a night at the opera is seen as a pricey proposition, even if it's peanuts compared to a night at an often barely entertaining Oilers game. Well, The Journal on Friday did what it can to give opera lovers the heads-up about two opera productions that are economical and from my experience always pretty entertaining.
Opera Nuova's Timms Centre productions of Rusalka and the Marriage of Figaro next week are real opera with really good singers, and for almost anyone with a little discretionary income for arts outings, the productions should be seen as an obvious opportunity.
There's no doubt the average opera-goer has means and isn't a penurious student, which brings me to my main point. I've been to a few Banff International String Quartet Competitions, where young string players perform their hearts out, just like the Opera Nuova singers do, and the people, many of them from as far away as Europe, who fill the Eric Harvie Theatre three times a day for a week are typical middle-aged and elderly classical music buffs. They're sort of like a throng of appreciating grandmas and grandpas who love the art, and really love it when young people are doing it well. That's the way the opera supporters of Edmonton should see the Opera Nuova Vocal Arts Festival, and in particular, the fully-staged operas on  the Timms stage all next week. Subscribers to Edmonton Opera have an chance to get more live opera next week, and folks who would like to hear some opera but can't normally afford it should check out the well-trained young singers' efforts starting Monday.

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