by Paula Citron.
Gazzaniga’s Don Giovanni/Stravinsky’s Renard
Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio
Conducted by Steven Philcox/Derek Bate
Directed by Tom Diamond/Serge Bennathan
Starring the COC Ensemble
At the Imperial Oil Opera Theatre tonight and Jun. 20 and 22.
The annual Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio production is always a class act. The double bill offered this year is Gazzaniga’s Don Giovanni and Stravinsky’s Renard, a historical jump from 1782 to 1922, and nothing has been spared in terms of theatrical values.
Director Tom Diamond has concentrated on the humour in his period Don Giovanni, which turns out to have delightful music that is Mozart lite conducted with verve by Stephen Philcox. Director Serge Bennathan has used the droll metaphor of Mexican wrestlers to grapple with Stravinsky’s barnyard fable intelligently conducted by Derek Bate. Yannick Larivée’s costumes are gorgeous for the former and amusing for the latter.
There is an unusually strong group of emerging artists in this years Ensemble and they all got their chance to shine. Particular favourites of mine are the sweet-voiced soprano Lisa DiMaria and the commanding baritone of Justin Walsh.
Gazzaniga’s Don Giovanni and Stravinsky’s Renard continue at the Imperial Oil Opera Theatre tonight, Jun. 20 and 22.