Windsor’s first independent opera company, Abridged Opera, begins its fall season this weekend on Friday and Saturday, September 29 and 30 with a new James Bond opera in pastiche, by Canadian director, Kyle MacDonald.
The opera, sung in English, will take place at Walkerville Collegiate Auditorium, 2100 Richmond Street, and feature the Walkerville Centre for the Creative Arts first semester vocal students both onstage as the MI-6 team and offstage chorus.
Abridged Opera has had an ambitious and successful year, bringing Windsor-Essex three full-scale operas already in 2017, with three still to come before December. First up this fall is James Bond: A Convenient Lie “An Opera in Pasticcio.” The opera is an original James Bond story, written by Toronto actor, Kyle MacDonald of Malfi Productions. He has taken famous classical works and set a new text to tell this James Bond tale.
This comic opera features a cast travelling mostly from Toronto, save Windsor’s own, Amelia Daigle as Pierre. Daigle plays the boy genius from Paris who is kidnapped by an evil villain Mr. Melitto in order to build a machine that will destroy the planet. Her character sings famous arias from well-known operas like The Marriage of Figaro and Romeo and Juliet.
Daigle is a young artist and alumna of the University of Windsor School of Creative Arts. She has a commanding stage presence, warm, rich voice and is able to fully immerse herself in her many and varied roles. Abridged Opera is fortunate to have been able to feature Daigle in four of six productions this year. The most recent being her interpretation of the famous gypsy, Carmen at Wagner Orchards and Estate Winery in August.
Following James Bond, in October, will come a ghost story in time for Halloween, The Turn of the Screw. This opera will feature members of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, four local children and the incredible Tracey Atin as Mrs Grose, the housekeeper. The audience will have a theatre-in-the-round experience, as they follow the actors through the different rooms on the main floor of the historical Willistead Manor. This opera has very limited seating and those interested are encouraged to get tickets in advance.
Last but not least for Abridged Opera’s 2017 season will be the romantic masterpiece by Richard Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier. A story of love, young, old and time. Strauss was a master at expressing complex emotion through music. His music is exhilarating, like a full-bodied red wine. Speaking of, the opera will take place at Pelee Island Winery with table seating and of course, wine. The opera will feature local sopranos, Erin Armstrong and Alyssa Epp as well as the Music Moves Kids chorus as the ‘orphans’ who sing complicated three-part harmonies in German.
For more about Abridged Opera, please visit www.abridgedopera.com.