2019 Halifax Summer Opera Festival season announced

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For Immediate Release
June 28th, 2019

Mozart’s family-friendly The Magic Flute is the centrepiece of Eastern Canada’s largest opera festival

(Halifax, NS) –  To celebrate the fifteenth season of one of Canada’s largest opera festivals, over 50 performers will bring to life three magical operas.

This year the Halifax Summer Opera Festival includes four performances each of Mozart’s delightful The Magic Flute, Jacques Offenbach’s fantastic The Tales of Hoffmann, and a masterpiece of Baroque opera, Alcina by G.F. Handel. The main stage operas will be performed between August 2 and 11, and the entire season is supported by our print media sponsor, The Coast.

One of Mozart’s most beloved operas, The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) (1791) has enchanted audiences since its debut. Our all-new production sets this colourful and magical opera in a hybrid world of urban fantasy. This is the perfect opera for newcomers to the art form, adults and children alike! Meet the bird man Papageno, Prince Tamino, Princess Pamina, Sarastro and the amazing Queen of the Night as they sing some of the most glorious music ever composed. The Magic Flute will be sung in German with spoken English dialogue and projected translations, so audiences won’t miss any of the magic. Fully-staged and costumed and performed with piano and flute. Opens August 2.

The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d’Hoffmann, 1881) is Offenbach’s greatest and strangest opera! The poet Hoffmann tells stories of the three women he has loved — a mechanical performing doll, the consumptive daughter of a famous singer and a bejeweled Venetian siren—all of whom break his heart in different ways. Our new steampunk production brings this magical and fantastic world to vivid life! Fully-staged and -costumed, accompanied by piano and sung in French, with projected translations. Opens August 3. 

Handel’s Alcina (1735) tells the story of the powerful sorceress Alcina, and brave Bradamante who sets out to rescue her lover from Alcina’s clutches! This work was composed for the opera-mad audiences of Handel’s London theatre and has some of Handel’s most exquisite music.  Our modern dress production explores Alcina as a cult leader, seducing her followers and keeping them prisoner, and their struggle to escape her. Fully-staged and costumed, sung in Italian with projected English translation and accompanied by harpsichord and cello continuo and violin. Opens August 4. 

Tickets for the festival are on sale online at TicketHalifax.com, by phone at (902) 422-6278 (ext. 500), in person at The Coast’s offices, 2309 Maynard Street, or at the venue an hour before the show, payable by cash, credit card, tappable debit, ApplePay or cheque.  Audience members can also buy season passes, which will get them into every performance of every show (which can be quite interesting since there are two casts for each opera, providing two quite distinct interpretations).

The Festival kicks off with a series of free noon hour lecture recitals at the Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library on July 17, 18 and 19. Other special events include a musical theatre concert on Saturday July 20 at 7:30 pm at the Lillian Piercey Concert Hall and an evening at the Library featuring music by women composers of opera on Wednesday July 24 at 7 pm. The Festival also presents its annual Pride concert in collaboration with Halifax Pride, Opera Backwards, Friday July 26, 8:00 pm at the Bus Stop Theatre.

Halifax Summer Opera Festival and Workshop educates and develops both singers and audiences through the performance of operatic repertoire.  For fifteen seasons, HSOF has presented fully staged operas each summer, giving singers from university undergrads to professionals opportunities to learn roles in the context of performing an entire, full-staged opera.  Participants are selected from live or recorded auditions and participate in rehearsals and master classes on everything from auditioning techniques to dramatic and musical interpretations by seasoned pros.  HSOF is a not-for-profit society with a volunteer Board of Directors, based in Lunenburg and Halifax.  You can find out all the details at www.halifaxsummeroperafestival.com.

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Information / interviews: 
Bodhi Anders: mobile: 902-293-0264 or email: bodhi.anders@gmail.com

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