Inspired by the 30-Day Opera Challenge done by Austin Lyric Opera, the staff at Edmonton Opera have taken on their own 30-day challenge. Each week, we'll post answers from staff about various aspects of opera, whether it's their favourite aria, an opera house they'd like to visit or their opinion on a genre. We welcome your own opinions about the question, either on the blog or via social media.
What's the most memorable or most unique place you've seen an opera? Why that place?
Tim Yakimec, interim business manager & director of production: Verona, Italy. Saw Turandot. The outdoor coliseum opens to the air, and utilizing the architecture of the stadium to house the stage at one end, and the tiered stepped seating behind to hold minor set pieces and chorus, etc., was amazing. The sound, incredibly, was excellent, and what they did with literally hundreds of singers and supers was extraordinary. The ceremony at the beginning where 20,000 people all lit a candle to start the production was unifying and really lent itself to a ritual that connected you to the spectacle in itself created. Cool walking around the coliseum prior to see the large set pieces for the other shows in rep lying about. I would love to go again.
Amanda MacRae, education and community outreach manager: My most memorable experience was seeing a performance at the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil. It is located in the heart of the rainforest and we were lucky to catch a performance during their annual opera festival after a 10-day trek in the Amazon. After sleeping in hammocks with was quite a culture shock to be in a lavish theatre.
On social media, it was very cool that someone else mentioned the Verona Amphitheatre as their most memorable place to see opera (sounds like they saw Aida there, while Tim saw Turandot). We also had submissions of the Sydney Opera House and a school gym in northern Alberta.
Want to hear more opera in unexpected places? Be sure to join us for Opera al Fresco on June 21, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Devonian Botanic Garden. There'll be wine, appetizers, and four different performances throughout the gardens!