Sung in German with English SURTITLES, Salome runs for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on April 21, 27, May 1, 4, 7, 10, 16 and 22, 2013.
Adapted from Oscar Wilde's play, the opera recounts the ancient story of Salome, who demands the head of Jochanaan (John the Baptist) in return for performing the Dance of the Seven Veils. Salome lives in a hedonistic royal court, with her perverse and shameless stepfather, Herod, and her imperious mother, Herodias. Salome's desire for the imprisoned Jochanaan is mirrored by a soldier's tortured infatuation for her, and Herod's own lust for his stepdaughter. Consumed by passion, the family is inevitably torn apart by its destructive obsessions.
Renowned Canadian filmmaker (The Sweet Hereafter, Chloe) and director Atom Egoyan brings some of the original erotic shock value back to Strauss's Salome. The setting of the opera is moved from a first-century palace in the Holy Land to a foreboding and abstract environment, stripping away the markers of an affluent environment to focus on the characters themselves. Multi-media elements, such as film and video, as well as shadow puppetry and lighting effects, further serve to heighten the opera's impact and emphasize the perverse natures of Herod, Herodias and Salome.
Acclaimed American set designer Derek McLane, projections designer Phillip Barker, costume designer Catherine Zuber, lighting designer Michael Whitfield and choreographer Serge Bennathan all return for the revival of the COC's Salome. Shadow puppet designer Clea Minaker makes her COC debut.
Among the variety of film, video and photographic projections designed by Barker for the COC's Salome are works by CanadIan Edward Burtynsky, who, since the 1996 premiere of the production, has achieved international recognition for his large-format photographs. Burtynsky is responsible for many of the still images that appear in Salome.
COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts seven of Salome's eight performances with COC resident conductor Derek Bate taking the podium on May 22. They lead a 106-piece orchestra through a lush and exotic score that seethes with the emotions, neuroses and unspoken drives of the opera's characters.
In Swedish-American soprano Erika Sunnegårdh, the COC has a Salome who can meet the role's challenging vocal and physical demands. Since her critically acclaimed operatic debut in 2004 in the role of Turandot at Malmö Opera, Sunnegårdh has established herself as not only one of the most versatile and exciting sopranos on the world stage, but also earned a reputation for fearless and emotionally nuanced characterizations, with performances at Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Welsh National Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Oper Frankfurt, Metropolitan Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others. Sunnegårdh makes her COC debut in the title role.
Celebrated Canadian tenor Richard Margison, last with the COC for 2011's Ariadne auf Naxos, makes his role debut as Herod. Hailed for his ringing top notes and spine-tingling power, Margison is one of the most critically acclaimed singers on the international stage today. He performs regularly in many of the world's leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie and Gran Teatre del Liceu. Cast opposite Margison, as Herodias, is one of the world's greatest mezzo-sopranos, Hanna Schwarz. She has sung under the batons of classical music's greatest conductors, including Sir Simon Rattle, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Lorin Maazel, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Christoph von Dohnányi and Leonard Bernstein, and her international career has brought her to San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Royal Opera House Covent Garden. The role of Herodias marks Schwarz's COC debut.
Rounding out the impressive cast is a line-up of familiar and new opera stars.
Sharing the role of Jochanaan are two internationally renowned singers: German baritone Martin Gantner (April 21, 27, and May 1, 4), in his COC debut, and American bass-baritone Alan Held (May 7, 10, 16, 22), whose recent COC performances in Tristan und Isolde and the double-bill of A Florentine Tragedy/Gianni Schicchi have won him the admiration of Toronto audiences and critics alike.
American tenor Nathaniel Peake, a 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Winner who makes his COC debut in the COC's 2013 spring production of Lucia di Lammermoor, sings Narraboth, the captain of the guard. Israeli mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani, praised for her "big, voluptuous sound" and "vigorous stage presence" (The San Francisco Chronicle), makes her COC debut as the Page of Herodias.
British tenor Adrian Thompson, recently with the COC in 2011's Nixon in China, sings the First Jew. Singing the Second, Third and Fourth Jews, respectively, are three graduates of the COC's Ensemble Studio: tenors Michael Colvin, Michael Barrett, and Adam Luther. The Fifth Jew is sung by American bass Jeremy Milner, who makes his COC debut. American baritone Craig Irvin, recently seen in the COC's 2012 production of Gianni Schicchi, sings the First Nazarene. Ensemble Studio tenor Owen McCausland is the Second Nazarene. American bass-baritone Evan Boyer, who can also be seen this spring in the COC's Dialogues des Carmélites, makes his COC debut as the First Soldier. American bass-baritone Sam Handley makes his COC debut as the Second Soldier. COC Ensemble Studio members, bass-baritone Neil Craighead and soprano Claire de Sévigné, sing the roles of a Cappadocian and a Slave, respectively.
Single tickets for Salome are $12 - $325 (includes applicable taxes). Tickets are available online at coc.ca, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office, located at 145 Queen St. W., Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sixty $12 Standing Room tickets are available at 11 a.m. the morning of each performance, in person only at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office. Limit of two tickets per person. Subject to availability.
Special young people's tickets are priced from $23 to $110 (includes applicable taxes). These ticket prices apply to those who are 15 years of age or under, accompanied by and sitting next to an adult.
Opera Under 30
Patrons between the ages of 16 and 29 may purchase $22 Opera Under 30 tickets as of April 6, 2013 at 10 a.m., online at coc.ca, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office. Program patrons may opt to pay $35, whereby their seats are automatically upgraded to the best available on the morning of the performance they are attending. Opera Under 30 is presented by TD Bank Group.
Student Group Tickets
Student group tickets are $25 per student and may be purchased by calling 416-306-2356.
Rush seats, starting at $22 and subject to availability, go on sale at 11 a.m. on the morning of each performance at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office. Limit of two tickets per person.
About the Canadian Opera Company
Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world's attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world's foremost Canadian and International Artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006, and is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada.
For more information on the COC, visit its award-winning website, coc.ca.
Dancer Carolyn Woods in the Canadian Opera Company's 2001 production of Strauss's Salome conducted by David Atherton and directed by Atom Egoyan with film and projections by Phillip Barker at the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts. Photographer: Michael Cooper repro during 2002 season only Michael Cooper PHOTOGRAPHIC 134-1173 DUNDAS ST. EASTTORONTO, ON M4M 3P1416 466-4474, firstname.lastname@example.org
The set of the Canadian Opera Company's 2001 production of Strauss's Salome conducted by David Atherton and directed by Atom Egoyan at the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts. Photographer: Michael Cooper for reproduction during the 2002 season only Michael Cooper PHOTOGRAPHIC 134-1173 DUNDAS ST. EASTTORONTO, ON M4M 3P1416 466-4474, email@example.com
Helen Field as Salome in the Canadian Opera Company's 2001 production of Strauss's Salome conducted by David Atherton and directed by Atom Egoyan at the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts. Photographer: Michael Cooper for reproduction during 2002 season only Michael Cooper PHOTOGRAPHIC 134-1173 DUNDAS ST. EASTTORONTO, ON M4M 3P1416 466-4474, firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Honeywell as Narraboth and Helen Field as Salome in the Canadian Opera Company's 2001 production of Strauss's Salome conducted by David Atherton and directed by Atom Egoyan with film and projections by Phillip Barker. All performances at the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts. Photographer: Michael Cooper for repro during 2002 season onlyMichael Cooper PHOTOGRAPHIC 134-1173 DUNDAS ST. EASTTORONTO, ON M4M 3P1416 466-4474, email@example.com