The Arts

Masques of Orpheus

Masques of Orpheus featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Masques of Orpheus
Toronto Masque Theatre
La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Orpheus and Eurydice by James Rolfe and André Alexis
Conducted Larry Beckwith
Directed and choreographed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière
Performed by Shannon Mercer, Teri Dunn, Lawrence Wiliford, Peter McGillivray and Alexander Dobson
Enwave Theatre

May 5 and 6, 2011

The very first offering by Toronto Masque Theatre 7 years ago was Masques of Orpheus. TMT is repeating the evening at the Enwave Theatre gilded with the experience they’ve gained over the years.

This clever program announced what TMT is all about. The logo of the company is “the arts in fusion”, inspired by Renaissance and Baroque masques that included music, dance, the spoken word and theatrical spectacle.

Another aspect of TMT is the imaginative programming. Masques of Orpheus twins Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s 1686 opera La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers, with Orpheus and Eurydice, a new opera commissioned by TMT in 2004 with music by James Rolfe and libretto by André Alexis. Both are a delight. The cleverness is that both operas use the same players and singers.

The singers, musicians and production values are strong. My one complaint is that everyone should be off book to make the operas truly staged.

Masques of Orpheus continues at the Enwave Theatre until May 6.

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