by Paula Citron
Opera Atelier’s magnificent production of Gluck’s French version “Orphée” shows a company that can produce both dance and opera. The composer’s Italian opera “Orfeo ed Euridice” was transformed to appeal to Parisian tastes by adding in the spirited “Dance of the Furies” and an extended ballet finale “Love Triumphant”.
For her choreography, Jeannette Zingg has looked both forward and back in time by incorporating early 19th century Bournonville choreographic touches to layer over 18th century dance vocabulary, including point work and mime.
Director Marshall Pynkoski has gone for the melodramatic jugular. Tenor Colin Ainsworth gives a performance of a lifetime as Orpheus, hitting impossible high notes while never leaving the stage. Soprano Peggy Kriha Dye is a passionate Eurydice, while soprano Jennie Such is a perky Amor. Conductor Andrew Parrott gives a particularly taut and edgy reading of the score.
Gluck would have been pleased by this opera-ballet.
Orpheus and Eurydice” continues until May 5.
From the Elgin Theatre I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.