by Paula Citron
Respighi’s 1934 opera La bella dormente nel bosco or Sleeping Beauty was originally intended for puppets or child actors. The charming Glenn Gould School’s recent version had the professional training students actually act and sing the roles on stage.
Opera Atelier’s Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Zingg did the staging and choreography respectively and the opera was meticulously directed, with Zingg’s own ballet students doing the dances. There was a droll humour to the piece that was delightful.
Tafelmusik’s Ivars Taurins was on hand as conductor and he was able to extract all of Respighi’s amusing and colourful orchestral effects from his student orchestra. Thus, both visually and musically, this opera was very polished indeed.
Among the large cast, the stand-out voice was soprano Katie Murphy as the Blue Fairy who has coloratura with bite. Tenor Darrell Hicks as the Prince should develop well, while Catherine Rooney as the Nightingale showed a pretty light coloratura.
From the Royal Conservatory of Music Concert Hall, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.