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FALL 2012


enters the world


fable Director



aida VERDI

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by Giuseppe Verdi

4 Message from Sandra Gajic, CEO Message from Irv Kipnes, Chair

7 Composer Bio

Cast and Production Credits

9 Director’s Message

10 Synopsis

12 Program Notes

15 Artists’ Profiles

28 Rob Hood Fund

31 Planned Giving

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37 Edmonton Opera Chorus and Orchestra

39 Edmonton Opera Board and Staff

41 Director’s Circle

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44 Shelter

47 Endowment Fund

48 Partners and Sponsors

50 Upcoming Events

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Going to the theatre should be a great experience. Here are some tips on how to make your night memorable without making a scene of your own. the lines at intermission by pre-ordering your refreshments 1 Skip at any of our concessions. it true “High Def” by asking about infrared listening devices 2 Make and binoculars at Patron Services.

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Welcome to the Edmonton Opera’s 49

season. During the 2012/13 season, we are pleased to present five operas from around the world, starting with ancient Egypt and one of the grandest of all operas. Aida will be presented in its full splendor — approximately 100 people sharing the stage, as there are six principal artists along with chorus members, supernumeraries and Brian Webb dancers accompanied by a full symphony. Angela Brown, in the title role of Aida, has been called one of the most promising Verdi sopranos — fitting, for the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth. Showcasing the Italian composer’s soaring arias, surging choruses and exhilarating orchestral music, this story of conflicting loyalties and forbidden passion first debuted in Edmonton in 1972, and now returns for a fifth time. th

Later this year, we will feature mainstage performances by way of France and Russia — Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Eugene Onegin. The set for Hoffmann, designed by Camellia Koo, promises to be a beautiful and memorable piece of work as the build comes together at our new production facility. We are also preparing for the world debut of Shelter in November, as part of the ATB Canadian Series and the University of Alberta’s Festival of Ideas. Librettist Julie Salverson’s fable involves a father who protects his family at any cost, a mother who chases storms, a child who glows in the dark, nuclear physicist Lise Meitner and the dashing Pilot. This first-time series production of two Canadian works — the award-winning Svadba – Wedding will be performed in January — is a chance to build new audiences by introducing them to contemporary Canadian opera. The Edmonton Opera’s purpose and vision is to present opera that moves and inspires — throughout the city, in the community and in classrooms, and through the rest of northern Alberta. Through programs like Opera Alive, Edmonton Opera Explorers and encore!, Edmonton Opera encourages a love and appreciation for one of the world’s oldest art forms. Patrons are also encouraged to learn more about opera through programs such as Opera Talks and Opera 101, which make the productions more accessible. We are able to bring opera to Edmonton as a result of our generous donors and supporters, and hope that these relationships continue far into the future. Members of our exclusive Director’s Circle are integral to the opera’s continued success and are recognized in numerous ways, including insider benefits, acknowledgement of their gift in production playbills and a tax receipt for the maximum permitted amount. As we move towards our 50th anniversary next year, we will continue to make opera come alive in the capital city. Ladies and gentlemen, the curtain is about to rise.



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n behalf of the board of directors, I am pleased to welcome you to the production of Aida, the first in the Edmonton Opera’s season schedule this year. The Edmonton Opera has a long history in the capital city — for nearly 50 years, it has contributed to the arts and cultural scene, growing from two productions in 1963/64 (Madama Butterfly and Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci) to three mainstage and two second-stage productions this year. Over the years, the company has always strived to produce great performances that bring powerful emotions to the community, whether that is by securing well-known performers and great directors, or by using beautiful sets to support the story. In recent seasons, the Edmonton Opera has struck a balance between new and old — presenting Aida this fall as it was meant to be presented, in its full splendor, while last season’s The Mikado was recognized with a Sterling Award for Costume Design, by costume designer Deanna Finnman. Together, it is the shared passion of the board and the Edmonton Opera to bring the greatest opera possible to Edmonton. The success of this mandate is due to numerous people who have seen fit to support the opera over a number of years — donors, sponsors, patrons and subscribers, many who are part of the exclusive Director’s Circle. The financial sustainability of the Edmonton Opera is determined by individuals, corporations, foundations and grantors, and both the board and company are very grateful for these patrons. With Edmontonians supporting the arts, the Edmonton Opera is able to continue to produce high-quality, memorable productions to thrill long-time opera enthusiasts, while also attracting a new generation of opera lovers. As the fourth largest opera company in Canada, the Edmonton Opera looks forward to another exciting season — the classic and recognized operas on the main stage, the world debut of Shelter and the presentation of the award-winning Svadba – Wedding. Enjoy!


Otello VERDI The Tempest ADÈS La Clemenza di Tito MOZART Un Ballo in Maschera VERDI Aida VERDI Les Troyens BERLIOZ Maria Stuarda DONIZETTI Rigoletto VERDI Parsifal WAGNER Francesca da Rimini ZANDONAI Giulio Cesare HANDEL

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Edmonton Opera presents


Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

Opera houses around the world have plenty of material to work with during the 2012/13 season, as it is the 200th anniversary of the births of two great opera composers — Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Venues including opera houses in Vienna, Dallas and La Scala plan to stage at least one Verdi opera each this season, in recognition of the composer born Oct. 10, 1813, in Le Roncole, Italy. Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi showed musical aptitude from a young age, and when he was seven, his father, a landowner and an innkeeper, found him a spinet that Verdi learned to play. He also played the church organ and left his hometown to pursue musical studies in Busseto, a nearby village. There, he studied under Ferdinando Provesi, living in the house of his patron, Antonio Barezzi. He left for Milan in order to study at the Milan Conservatory, but was denied entrance because he was over the admittance age. Instead, he studied under Vincenzo Lavigna, eventually returning to Busseto where he held the music director position. During that time, he also married his childhood sweetheart, Margherita Barezzi, the daughter of his patron. The couple returned to Milan where Verdi started to work on operas — his first, Oberto, debuted in Milan in 1839 to great success. His second opera in 1840 however, Un giorno di regno, was met with failure, mirroring the personal failure in Verdi’s life — his wife and two infant children had died, all within a few years of each other. Until Falstaff, his last opera, Un giorno di regno was Verdi’s only attempt at a comic opera. After the failure of Un giorno di regno, Verdi was ready to give up his composing career, but was convinced by the success of his following opera, Nabucco, to continue composing. His success continued while his country experienced political turmoil in efforts to become a unified Italy. Often, after performances, the audience would chant, “Viva Verdi!” While they were wishing long life on the composer, “Verdi” was also an acronym for “Vittorio Emanuele, Re d’Italia” — they were chanting, “Long live Victor Emanuele, King of Italy.” Verdi’s operas continued to debut across Europe; he also married Giuseppina Strepponi, who had had the lead role in Nabucco. Rigoletto was the first opera to play at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo, Egypt, which was built to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Aida would make its world premiere there on Christmas Eve, 1871. In 1874, Verdi debuted a non-operatic work, Requiem for the poet Alessandro Manzoni. Strepponi died in 1897, and Verdi lived at Villa Verdi in St. Agata until his death in Milan on Jan. 27, 1901, following a stroke a few days previously. Before he died, he established Casa di Riposo, a retirement home for aging musicians.

October 19, 21, 23, 25 Music by Giuseppe Verdi Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni Premiere: Dec. 24, 1871, Cairo

Conductor Director

Richard Buckley Dejan Miladinovic

The Cast (in order of vocal appearance)

Ramfis Radamès Amneris Aida King of Egypt Messenger High Priestess Amonasro

Burak Bilgili Carl Tanner Elena Bocharova Angela Brown Mikhail Kolelishvili Ron Long Cara Brown Donnie Ray Albert

with members of the Edmonton Opera Chorus and The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Scenery Designed by Costumes Designed by Lighting Designer Chorus Master Repetiteur Stage Manager Assistant Stage Managers Apprentice Assistant Stage Managers

Roberto Oswald Anibal Lapiz David Fraser Michael Spassov Peter Dala Ha Neul Kim Gina Moe and Candace Maxwell JoAnna Black and Gil Miciak

There will be one 20-minute intermission between Acts 2 and 3. The performance is approximately 2 hours and 47 minutes including intermission. Projected titles by Sonya Friedman Edmonton Opera is a professional company operating within the jurisdiction of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association. Edmonton Opera is a member of the Professional Opera Companies of Canada and Opera America. AIDA 7

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he curious eyes of the 14-year-old boy followed the flickering torch carried by the Arab guide. The corridor was narrow and steep. Even with the torch, guide and visitors felt as if they were engulfed by thousand-year-old darkness. The boy couldn’t believe that he was walking in the footsteps of pyramid robbers. In the main hall of the Cairo Museum the boy watched the colossal statues with curiosity. He hesitated for only a moment with slight fear touching his face at the entrance into the Mummy Room. At the exit door the boy stopped in front of the bust of Queen Nefertiti. Motionless, he stared in amazement at such incomparable beauty. The boy had a precious chance to visit the museum every day, week by week, thanks to his father’s all-season engagement as a conductor with the newly founded Cairo Symphony Orchestra. As a conductor, the father insisted that concert programs promote serious symphonic music composed by Arabs and Copts, such as Rahim, Khairat, El-Shawan or Greiss. So, the brother of the late Egyptian composer Greiss, a doctor in Egyptology, became the boy’s one-month teacher, telling him stories about ancient Egypt, its people, its customs, its Pharaohs, and its gods and deities. The curious boy was an attentive listener and a quick learner. One day, all three of them — the father, the Egyptologist and the curious boy — went to the Sahara Desert to visit a newly discovered tomb, a mastaba (“house for eternity”) of a rich ancient Egyptian merchant. For the first time in his life the boy stepped on the Sahara sands. It was an unforgettable feeling. The Egyptologist told the boy: “Grab a handful of sand from the spot where you left your footprint and take it with you. This sand will always be a link with what you have experienced and learned about ancient Egypt.” The Egyptologist was right. The boy was enchanted forever. When I staged Aida for the first time, memories of that teenage boy were awakened. Although I have since enriched my

knowledge about the grand, mystical culture of ancient Egypt, I have remembered in great detail all Dr. Greiss’ stories. There is the story about the final epic battle between the gods Horus and Seth, a metaphor for the everlasting battle between good and evil. There is the fascinating battle between the sun god Atum Ra and the monstrous snake Apophis (deification of darkness and chaos) in the underworld, which acts as a metaphor for the ending of one day and the beginning of the next. I’ve heard the stories about the goddess Bastet with the head of a cat, known as “the devouring lady,” the lion-headed goddess of war Sekhmet and the goddess Hathor, of feminine love, who has horns on her head. Above all, of course, there’s the story about Ptah, creator of the universe. The last words in the opera — “Immenso Ptah...” — were the initial start for my directorial thoughts about staging Verdi’s Aida. Furthermore, the battle between Atum Ra and Apophis is an excellent visual expression for the scene in which the sword is consecrated. The victory of Horus over Seth is the perfect triumphal representation of victory over Amonasro’s army. Thus, combining creative theatrical presentation with portions of the original spectacular rituals, along with emotionally strong personal scenes, is the proper way for reviving the spirit (Kha) of ancient Egypt. It seems to me the parts of my boyhood memories and the corresponding parts of Verdi’s music are choosing each other by themselves. In my directorial approach, I want to convey all my long-time intact excitements and emotions to the spectators, so they could feel all the same as what the boy felt when he encountered the mummified time and space of the Pharaohs. – Dejan Miladinovic AIDA 9



Act I Egypt is again threatened by Ethiopia. An Egyptian officer, Radamès, is chosen to command the attack force against the Ethiopians. Left alone on stage, Radamès sings of his love for Aida, the Ethiopian slave of Amneris, the Egyptian princess. Radamès dreams of triumph in battle and being granted a victory prize by Pharaoh — having his beloved Aida freed. Amneris enters, and it is soon clear that she loves and admires Radamès. However, when Aida follows Amneris shortly after, Amneris observes Radamès trying to conceal his glances toward Aida. In the trio that follows, Radamès worries that Amneris may have discovered his love for Aida — a valid concern. Pharaoh arrives and a messenger delivers news of Ethiopia’s invasion. With Thebes now under threat, Pharaoh and the gathered assembly cry out for war. Radamès will lead their troops into battle and Amneris is elated. Radamès thanks the gods, confident of victory. He is led to the temple of Vulcan to be anointed. The powerful scene continues with the chorus of priests and citizens invoking their gods to bring victory to Egypt and death to the Ethiopians. Amneris presents Radamès with a staff that is blessed to ensure his victory. Aida, now alone, is filled with self-reproach for repeating the impious words calling for Egyptian victory. She is torn between her love for Radamès and her loyalty to Ethiopia. If the Egyptians are defeated and her father rescues her from slavery, Radamès may die. If Radamès is victorious, her father may be enslaved or killed and her country destroyed. At the temple, priests chant hymns to their gods. Radamès receives the consecrated armour and sword, and now acts with the powers of the gods to protect and defend Egypt.

Act II Egypt is victorious against the Ethiopians. Amneris is prepared for the victory celebration by her attendants while she dreams of Radamès. Aida enters. Amneris is suspicious about her slave’s feelings, but does not yet know Aida’s true identity. At first, Amneris responds with genuine affection to Aida, but then deliberately misleads her, telling her that Radamès died in battle. Hearing this, Aida cannot hide her despair. Amneris knows she has


discovered the truth. With complete guile, Amneris contradicts the news, telling her Radamès lives. Aida is elated, but having discovered her secret, Amneris declares herself Aida’s rival. The Grand March accompanies the entrance of Pharaoh and the court, and a ballet of celebration displays the treasures taken as the spoils of victory. During the Triumphal scene, Radamès is praised as Egypt’s saviour. As his reward, Radamès asks Pharaoh for mercy for the prisoners. One of the prisoners is Amonasro, King of Ethiopia and Aida’s father, disguised as an officer. Recognizing him, Aida cries out “My father!” When they embrace, he tells her quietly not to reveal his true identity as king. But the high priest Ramfis and the priests are indignant to Radamès’ wish. They advise Pharaoh to sentence the prisoners to death for fear the captives will rise up and attack Egypt again. Radamès reminds Pharaoh of his promise to free the Ethiopians; he believes their king was killed in battle and the enemy has no hope of mounting another attack. Ramfis suggests a compromise: free the prisoners, keeping Aida and Amonasro as hostages. Pharaoh agrees and announces the marriage of Radamès to Amneris. In the grandiose finale, Amneris gloats at her triumph, Aida despairs, Radamès is torn and confused, and Amonasro, thinking his daughter is despondent at the thought of never being free, urges her to be patient. He is still unaware of his daughter’s love for Radamès.

Act III Amneris and Ramfis arrive at the temple to pray amid hymns for wedding preparations. Homesick for Ethiopia, Aida appears for a secret meeting with Radamès. Meanwhile, Amonasro has learned his daughter loves Radamès. Amonasro warns his daughter that Amneris will destroy her. Invoking patriotism, Amonasro tells Aida that she is obligated to help the Ethiopians defeat the Egyptians, promising she can have her country, her throne and Radamès. Amonasro manipulates his daughter, convincing her to learn Radamès’ tactical military secrets. When Aida refuses, Amonasro calls her a traitor to her people, unless she relents and betrays Radamès. Aida agrees.

by Stephan Bonfield Writer/musicologist

Radamès appears. Aida denounces him as Amneris’ husband, but Radamès swears he only loves Aida. She argues that the only solution is to flee to Ethiopia, describing their blissful life together. Radamès hesitates; Aida renounces him and tells him to go to Amneris. Radamès refuses, deciding to flee with Aida. He reveals that the road along the gorges of Napata will be safe until tomorrow, when the Egyptian armies attack the Ethiopians at dawn. Amonasro, in hiding, hears this and reappears, announcing he is both the presumed-dead king and Aida’s father. Upset, Radamès realizes he has betrayed his country. Amneris and Ramfis exit the temple, overhearing Radamès’ betrayal. They accuse him of treachery. Radamès prevents Amonasro’s attempt on Amneris’ life, and Amonasro and Aida flee. Guards appear and arrest Radamès.

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Act IV With Ethiopia defeated, Aida fears Radamès will be considered a traitor, condemned to die by the priests. Amneris decides if Radamès renounces Aida, she will use her power to persuade Pharaoh to pardon Radamès. Radamès, however, has accepted his fate. He believes Aida is dead and does not care about his own life. Amneris reveals that Aida lives and pleads with him to save his life by living for her. When Radamès refuses Amneris, she lapses into anger and intense frustration, only underscoring her defeat more. Radamès, oblivious, is led off to trial.

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The priests intone the charges against Radamès, who enters no plea for his life. He is sentenced to be buried alive. Amneris remains outside, cursing the priests and crying to the gods. In the crypt, Radamès is joined by Aida, who has elected to die with him. Their duet affirms they believe they will be immortalized in heaven. Above the tomb, Amneris prays for Radamès: “Pace t’imploro, pace t’imploro, pace, pace, pace!” (“I pray for peace, I pray for peace!”)

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Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

We have to thank for Verdi’s Aida two marvellously eccentric, somewhat megalomaniac, but undoubtedly colourful characters: Isma’il the Magnificent, the ruler of Egypt from 1863 to 1897, and the energetic and celebrated Egyptologist, the Frenchman Auguste Mariette. Isma’il had taken advantage of a boom in cotton prices, especially high during the American Civil War, to modernize Egypt along European lines. He built bridges and railways, started the Egyptian Post Office and the sugar industry, oversaw the opening of the Suez Canal, initiated democracy in the country, and supervised a massive expansion of public education. Mariette, the excavator of Saqqara, had a virtual monopoly on digs in Egypt, was Isma’il’s Conservator of Egyptian Monuments, and founded the famed Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The Khedive (as Isma’il was known) also had a passion for opera, and to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal he decided to build a new opera house — the first in Africa. Verdi was his favourite composer, and Isma’il asked him to write the ceremonial hymn for the opening of the canal. Verdi replied (somewhat ingenuously) that he didn’t write ceremonial or occasional music. So, contrary to popular belief, it was not Aida (not yet conceived) that opened the Cairo Opera House in November 1869, but Rigoletto. Indeed, Verdi was equivocal about Egypt itself, writing in 1868 that Egypt was “a land which once possessed a grandeur and a civilization which I could never bring myself to admire.” He had settled into comfortable retirement with his wife Giuseppina in his country estate; Don Carlo, his last opera, had been completed two years earlier. The Khedive, however, wanted a new Verdi opera for his new opera house, one that would reflect the historical glory of Egypt. Verdi dismissed the suggestion, writing “the Maestro is not composing, and has no desire to compose….” The Khedive was tenacious. Mariette prepared a scene-by-scene, act-by-act 24page booklet with the scenario (substantially the one we have today), not attempting to recreate accurate historical events, but


ensuring there was a mise-en-scène that would accurately reflect the costumes and settings of ancient Egypt. He managed to get the booklet to Verdi, through an intermediary. Verdi was intrigued: “There is an expert hand in it, one accustomed to writing, and one who knows the theatre well.” Mariette cunningly included a note in the booklet, saying that, if Verdi would not do the opera, they would approach Wagner or Gounod. That was enough for Verdi, but, ever the businessman, he insisted on twice as large a fee than he had ever received before, paid in gold (he didn’t trust the Egyptian currency). He would retain all rights outside Egypt, stipulated that he didn’t have to attend the premiere himself, and demanded that he had control over librettist and the cast. He also set a deadline of Jan. 1, 1871 — if the opera hadn’t been premiered in Cairo by then, he could premiere it himself, elsewhere, six months later. All these terms were accepted, and the experienced Antonio Ghislanzoni was hired to turn Mariette’s scenario into a libretto. Mariette himself designed the (greatly admired) sets and costumes, going off to Paris to supervise their construction. Verdi was more interested in the La Scala production, which would follow the Egyptian premiere, and which he was to conduct. However, in 1870 the Germans laid siege to Paris, trapping Mariette and the sets and costumes. It was clear the opera could not be put on within the deadline of January 1871, but Verdi, instead of invoking his contract, generously persuaded La Scala to postpone so that Cairo could come first. The premiere finally took place in the Cairo Opera House on Dec. 24, 1871, attended by European royalty and nobility, and by the Khedive himself, complete with his harem of wives and concubines, who occupied three boxes. La Scala followed on Feb. 8, so full that even the floor spaces were full of standing audience members. Verdi received 32 curtain calls and a golden sceptre. It is not difficult to see why both productions were a triumph. Aida is grand opera par excellence, its epic scenes guaranteed to mesmerize, especially as they take full advantage of the West’s

by Mark Morris

obsession with the exoticism of the Egypt of the Pharaohs, as old as Rome’s preoccupation with Cleopatra, and unabated to this day. What is often overlooked, however, is that much of the opera is so intimate, even in such epic settings as the Nile near the temple of Isis in Act III, which is why Aida also works so well in smaller opera houses. Verdi, as always, was primarily interested in the conflicts of characters and emotions forced by circumstances into the extreme, and Mariette’s scenario admirably explores that human dimension. There is, too, a flow more continuous than in any earlier Verdi opera, undoubtedly influenced by the new ideas of “music theatre” coming out of Germany, and responsible for the convincing juxtaposition of the intimate and the epic. Not everyone has been hooked, however. In 1872, one Signor Bertani of Reggio wrote to Verdi, saying he had seen the opera, disliked it, but, on hearing the praise of all around him,

had tried again, and still disliked it. “I came to the following conclusion: the opera contains absolutely nothing thrilling or electrifying, and if it were not for the magnificent scenery, the audience would not sit through it to the end.” He demanded the money for his tickets back from Verdi, plus his rail fares, and 2.00 lire for “a disgustingly bad dinner at the station.” Verdi instructed his publishers, Ricordi, to pay the bill, less the dinner (“He could perfectly well have eaten at home”), on the condition that S. Bertani provided not only a receipt, but a written declaration that he would never again hear any of Verdi’s new operas. What a fate! To miss Otello and Falstaff, on the strength of a bad dinner at a railway station! The Khedive would have been horrified.

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PROFILES Richard Buckley

Dejan Miladinovic


Renowned American conductor Richard Buckley has been heralded by critics around the world for his dynamic contributions and passionate conducting style in both the orchestral and operatic genres. His extraordinary career includes performing with Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Baltimore Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Canadian Opera Company and L’Opéra de Montréal. He has enjoyed return engagements at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, L’Opéra National de Paris, Hamburg Staatsoper, National Theatre of Mannheim, Teatro Colon, Royal Danish Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, Göteborg Opera, Norwegian National Opera, De Nederlandse Opera and Teatro San Carlo Lisbon, among many others. This season’s engagements include Rigoletto with the Lyric Opera Baltimore, and I Pagliacci, Le Nozze di Figaro and Faust for Austin Lyric Opera, where he serves as artistic director and principal conductor.


Dejan Miladinovic was born into a family of opera artists. Dejan has served as principal stage director and artistic director of the National Opera of Novi Sad, Serbia. He has served as director and artistic councillor for Grand Opera Projects with Convention Centre “Sava” in Belgrade, Serbia. He was appointed as a professor and artistic director of Opera Theatre, Meadows School of Arts at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He was principal stage director and artistic director of Belgrade National Opera. Dejan was appointed as a professor of opera theatre at Music Conservatory, Belgrade, and as an associate professor at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles, California. He was the artistic director of Madlenianum Opera & Theatre in Belgrade. Dejan has staged more than 100 opera productions with professional opera companies in former Yugoslavia. In the United States and Canada he has staged more than 60 opera productions for major opera companies, for some of which he also created set designs.

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PROFILES (in order of vocal appearance)

Burak Bilgili Ramfis

The young Turkish bass has performed in many of the world’s leading opera houses including Teatro Alla Scala, Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, Geneva, Florence, Palermo, Cagliari, Avignon, Seattle, Miami, Toronto and Detroit, just to name a few. Most recently Burak debuted at the San Francisco Opera as Ferrando in Il Trovatore, in Geneva as Leporello, and at the Michigan Opera Theatre as Zaccaria in Nabucco and as Leporello in Don Giovanni. His concert engagements in 2010/11 included Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with the Atlanta Symphony and Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Washington National Symphony. Future engagements include his debuts with the Washington Opera, the National Symphony, Beijing, Dallas Opera, Edmonton Opera, Atlanta Opera, the Caramoor Festival as Procida in Vespri Siciliani as well as performances in Nabucco with the Auckland Symphony and Lakme in Montreal. He will perform Leporello in Cincinnati Opera.

Carl Tanner Radamès

Carl Tanner debuted this past summer with the Greek National Opera and Grange Park Opera (United Kingdom) in the roles of Cavaradossi (Tosca) and Herman (Pique Dame) respectively, to great acclaim. The 2011/12 season included the role of Calaf with both Deutsche Oper Berlin and at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre (debut); Radamès in Hamburg, a gala concert at the Kennedy Center in a tribute to Chinese culture, and his debut at the Mariinsky in St. Petersburg in the San Carlo production of Pagliacci. After returning to Dresden in spring 2011 for his first Otello in Germany, the American tenor debuted at the Colon in Buenos Aires as Luigi in their new Tabarro followed by a triumph in the Teatro San Carlo’s new Pagliacci in Napoli. Recent season highlights include performances at the Metropolitan Opera (Fanciulla) and the London Symphony Orchestra (Chairman Mao in Nixon in China) as well as debuts at La Scala (Don Jose), Covent Garden (Cavaradossi) and Bayerische Staatsoper (Radamès). Upcoming engagements include Liege (a new Fanciulla) a return to the Bolshoi (Turandot), and a return to Grange Park for a new production as Peter Grimes, others TBA and to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden for Il Tabarro.

Elena Bocharova Amneris

Elena Bocharova opened the Mumbai Festival in India as Santuzza in her first Cavalleria in early 2012. Prior to this she replaced Olga Borodina as Dalila during the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse performances in Toulouse and at the Salle Pleyel in Paris (with Ben Heppner) to rave reviews. 2010/11 was an important season for Elena’s evolution to the spinto mezzo repertoire with performances covering Azucena at the Metropolitan Opera, debuting as Marina in Dallas Opera’s new Boris Godunov as well as performances in Trieste’s Verdi Requiem; in the title role of Dalila for Trieste’s Samson et Dalila she received great public and critical acclamation. The 2009/10 season included performances such as Azucena at the Macau Festival’s Trovatore, the Principessa in Adriana LeCouvreur in Firenze and a New Year’s Eve concert at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Upcoming performances include her debut as Laura in La Gioconda and Amneris (in a new production the following season) for the Paris Opera, as well as a return to Toulouse as Santuzza in a new Cavalleria.

Angela Brown Aida

A noted interpreter of African-American spirituals, Angela Brown produced Mosaic, a collaborative recording featuring spirituals with guitar and piano. Other performances this season include Madison Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburg Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, the Trumpet Awards and Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. She joined Pittsburg Symphony to sing the world premiere of the song cycle, A Woman’s Life, written especially for her by American composer Richard Danielpour and celebrated author Dr. Maya Angelou. Angela made her debut with Hamburg Opera and Vienna State Opera as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera. She reprised A Woman’s Life with the Philadelphia Orchestra in February and sang Verdi’s Requiem with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Angela sang Serena in New Jersey State Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess. Edmonton Opera gratefully acknowledges the support of the Rob Hood Fund in sponsoring Angela Brown.

Edmonton Opera gratefully acknowledges the support of the Rob Hood Fund in sponsoring Carl Tanner.


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PROFILES Mikhail Kolelishvili

Ron Long

The King

Mikhail Kolelishvili vaulted on to the international opera stage as a finalist in the 2005 International BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. In June 2008, he was the grand prix recipient of the Prince Renee III Monte-Carlo World Voice competition. Mikhail has been a soloist of the world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre since 2009. The bass singer was recently heard as Varlaam in Boris Godunov with Dallas Opera, Isaac Mendoza in Betrothal in Monastery, King Rene in Iolanta and Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin with Opera Toulouse and Opéra Comique Paris, and Il Re in Aida in Orange, France. Future contracts include Leporello in Don Giovanni with Den Nye Opera and Varlaam in Boris Godunov with Israeli Opera. In 2014, Mikhail will make his Metropolitan Opera debut as Priest in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.


Ron has performed such roles as Beadle Bamford and Anthony in Sweeney Todd, First Officer Murdoch in Titanic the Musical, Papageno in The Magic Flute, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mars in Orphée aux enfers, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas as well as various comprimario roles for Edmonton Opera. Ron is also a member of the musical comedy group Il Duo which regularly performs at various venues and Fringe Festivals around Western Canada. He has been a soloist in various recitals including CBC’s Wednesdays at Winspear concert series which was recorded for CBC Radio 2. He has also directed many student musicals and operas including numerous Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. He currently is a private voice instructor at MacEwan University’s Alberta College Conservatory of Music and at MacEwan’s Theatre Arts Program.

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Donnie Ray Albert

High Priestess

Cara Brown is recognized as a generous and open artist. Since her operatic debut singing Despina in a concert version of Così fan tutte with The Opera Project, the soprano has been inspiring audiences with her distinct voice and compelling honesty. Cara has performed in recitals and operas across Western Canada, including performing Micaëla in Carmen with Vancouver Island Opera, where an Opera Canada review described her voice as having “enviable clarity of tone.” Cara also sang Nedda in Mercury Opera’s production of Pagliacci and Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro in Rome, Italy, with Operafestival di Roma. She has also graced the stages with Opera NUOVA, performing the roles of the Dew Fairy and the Sandman in Hänsel and Gretel. Cara has also appeared as a featured guest performer with Vancouver Island Opera, Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and Calgary Concert Opera Company, where she returned in September and sang the role of Micaëla in a concert version of Carmen.


Donnie Ray Albert is a regular guest of opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera and Los Angeles Opera. He has also made numerous appearances with Opera Pacific, Houston Grand Opera, Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Dallas Opera, Arizona Opera, Atlanta Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Utah Opera, and the opera companies of New Orleans, Baltimore, Columbus, Kansas City, Omaha and Pittsburgh. In Canada he has performed with the companies in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Manitoba and Vancouver, in addition to the Canadian Opera Company. In Europe, he has appeared at the Cologne Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Royal Opera Wallonie in Liege, the National Theatre in Prague, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Lithuanian National Opera, plus the opera houses in Bordeaux, Köln, Bregenz, Milan, Mannheim, Hamburg and Vienna. He has also appeared in Japan with the New National Theatre in Tokyo and in Brazil in Sao Paolo.

OctOber 27th, 2012 • 7:30pm celtic hall • edmOntOn tickets $125 p: 780.496.6924 • e: entertainment | appetizers | signature beverages | live auction | birds of prey ... and more

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Ha Neul Kim


Peter has worked for the Basel Ballet, Zurich Ballet in Switzerland, the Hungarian State Opera and the National Ballet of Hungary, with performances in Monte Carlo, Germany, Israel, New York, Spain and China. As Edmonton Opera’s chorus master from 1996 to 2012 and resident conductor from 2001 to 2012, he prepared the chorus for roughly 40 operas and conducted numerous mainstage productions. In 2001 he began his affiliation with Alberta Ballet and was appointed music director in 2005. Upcoming performances include Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker in Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa’s National Arts Centre. He will also conduct Mozart’s Requiem — choreographed by Jean Grand-Maître, with the Richard Eaton Singers, and soloists Nathalie Paulin, Allyson McHardy, Ben Butterfield and John Fanning — and Yukichi Hattori’s world premiere of Pomp without Circumstance.

Stage Manager

The 2012/13 season is Ha Neul Kim’s 11th season with Edmonton Opera. A graduate from the University of Alberta with her BFA degree in technical theatre production specializing in stage management, she has been the Edmonton Opera’s stage manager since 2007. She was also the assistant stage manager for many past Edmonton Opera and Manitoba Opera productions. Ha Neul also stage managed many special events including Main Stage for the Queen’s royal visit and Field Stage for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2005 World Masters Games, as well as working in theatres across Canada. Previously, she taught opera stage management at the U of A to produce future opera stage managers.

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PROFILES Candace Maxwell Assistant Stage Manager

Candace is thrilled to be working on her first show with Edmonton Opera. She has been busy working across Canada in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. Selected show credits include Daughter of the Regiment, Carmen and Transit of Venus (Manitoba Opera), Fighting Days, Fiddler on the Roof and Driving Miss Daisy (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre), Bingo! and The Savannah Disputation (Prairie Theatre Exchange) and The Boys in the Photograph (Mirvish Productions and RMTC). Candace majored in theatre production and design at the University of Winnipeg, and attended The Banff Centre for their professional theatre program and opera as theatre program. Banff Centre credits include Pride and Prejudice (with Citadel), Siren Song and La Tragedie de Carmen. Candace will return to Edmonton later this season to work on Les Contes d’Hoffmann. She would like to thank her family and friends for their constant love and support. Enjoy the show!

Gina Moe

Assistant Stage Manager Gina Moe has been the assistant stage manager for Edmonton Opera productions of Tosca, Abduction from the Seraglio, La Bohème, Otello, Pirates of Penzance, Rigoletto and The Flying Dutchman. Her stage manager credits include Concrete Theatre’s 2012 Sprouts Festival, Boeing Boeing (Mayfield Dinner Theatre), Heroine, Jailbait and Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen (Northern Light Theatre), Angels on Horseback, A Grand Time in the Rapids, Mrs. Lindeman Proposes and Witness to a Conga (Teatro la Quindicina), Seasons and StageLab Festival (University of Alberta) Enchanted April, The Retreat from Moscow and Trying (Theatre Calgary), Three Mo Tenors, Three Mo Divas, Cookin’ at the Cookery, Trying, Einstein’s Gift, Wit and Skylight (Citadel Theatre), and BitchSlap! (Guys in Disguise). Gina has also spent seven seasons as a stage manager for the River City Shakespeare Festival (Freewill Players), was the assistant producer at the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival from 2008 to 2010 and was the touring stage manager for the AWHC’s production of Work Plays. Gina is a two-time winner of the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes award for the Outstanding Achievement in Production.

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Rob hood fund

The Edmonton Opera is the grateful recipient of a generous gift from the Rob Hood Fund.

Mr. Hood’s direction was that these legacy funds be used to attract operatic singers of the highest calibre. The first gift from the Rob Hood Fund is an award to Metropolitan Opera stars Angela Brown and Carl Tanner, two of our lead singers in Aida. Dr. Irving Guttman, artistic director emeritus of the Edmonton Opera, shares his memories of Mr. Hood. “I first met Robert when he joined our chorus in 1965. Two things were clear between us, we both loved opera and while he was serious and dedicated about his singing, we agreed that it was important to pursue one’s passions but not necessarily aspire to singing on the Met stage. He contributed to Edmonton Opera as both a board and guild member. That said, I believe his work in our chorus was seminal to his fine appreciation of the power and presence of the human voice. With

his personal experience as a bass, his respect grew for the voices of the operatic greats of the time. He liked to call it ‘fine singing!’ “Aside from his avocation, Rob was well placed in his work with the Alberta government’s culture portfolio. He was always committed to high standards, personally and professionally, and I am certain those were valued qualities in his work, thus making him known and respected in the arts community in the province and beyond. “Rob was very principled in his belief that there were certain ways to do things, which extended to being a rather private person, to dressing properly and to being immensely loyal to his friends and colleagues. “Rob was a knowledgeable and appreciative aficionado of all of Verdi’s work. As 2013 is the 200th anniversary of the great composer and Aida the first offering of this season, it is all coming together — be a part of it and enjoy Rob Hood’s legacy and his contribution to our enjoyment as well as the success of the Edmonton Opera.”

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10930 Mayfield Rd, Edmonton, AB ph. 780.486.1401 • fax. 780.489.3009 28 AIDA



PROFILES Michael Spassov Chorus Master

Conductor and pianist Michael Spassov comes to Edmonton Opera from Atlanta Opera, where he was principal coach and assistant conductor. As a repetiteur, he has assisted conductors including Philippe Auguin, Plácido Domingo, Arthur Fagen, Julia Jones, Richard Bradshaw, Victor DeRenzi and Will Crutchfield. He has worked at the Canadian Opera Company, Washington National Opera, Sarasota Opera, Bel Canto at Caramoor, and has conducted at Des Moines Metro Opera and Pineda Lyric Opera in New Jersey. An enthusiastic collaborative pianist, he has been seen in recital at La Scala, the Kennedy Center and the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre in Toronto. Michael was hand-picked by Plácido Domingo to be a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera, and also trained at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition from The Julliard School, his compositions have been performed by the Julliard Orchestra, eighth blackbird and Toronto’s Continuum Ensemble.

David Fraser Lighting Designer

Previous designs with the Edmonton Opera include Otello and Cavalleria Rusticana/ I Pagliacci. As a Calgary-based artist, David works extensively across the country in theatre, dance and opera. His theatrical designs have been seen from The National Arts Centre in Ottawa to The Belfry Theatre in Victoria, and his designs in dance have been seen both nationally and internationally with choreographer Tania Alvarado. Most recently David designed the set and lighting for God of Carnage with the Citadel Theatre, Lucia di Lammermoor with the Vancouver Opera, and the New York City premiere of Any Night at the 14th Street Y Theatre. He has been nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award, two Betty Mitchell Awards, and 10 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards, and he has been the recipient twice for his designs. David has recently become the production manager at Alberta Theatre Projects, and is also a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.

Brian Webb

Movement Director and Choreographer Brian Webb has developed a national reputation as a contemporary dancer, choreographer and artistic leader. He has brought an international array of contemporary dance companies to Edmonton through the Brian Webb Dance Company, which he founded 34 years ago. In 1979, he formed the BWDC as a “company in residence” at Grant MacEwan College, where he was the chair of the dance program for 10 years. The company began presenting a dance season in 1991 and is now the largest season of contemporary dance west of Toronto. Since the beginning, the BWDC has been dedicated to experimentation and a collaborative creative process. His company has commissioned over 30 musical scores, numerous installations by visual artists and scripts by writers. Brian collaborates with local artists and works to give their work a broad context by tours across Canada and abroad. Amongst many other honours, Brian won Edmonton’s prestigious Artistic Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.


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PLANNED GIVING by Doris Bonora

It takes a lifetime to build up an estate and yet, it seems little time, in comparison, is

spent to determine what should happen with an estate after passing. Preparation of a will is encouraged to ensure that there is proper planning of your estate. A basic will could be done, leaving your estate to your family and those who matter to you. However, you may also wish to consider the ability to continue to give back to the community by leaving a charitable gift in your will. A charitable gift leaves money or other assets to those organizations which have given you joy, such as the opera. This would be such a wonderful legacy to you and such a wonderful way to give back on your way out. There is also a significant tax benefit to charitable gifts.


hen you include Edmonton Opera in your estate plans, you provide a foundation for great opera in Edmonton to future generations. If you wish to know more about giving to the opera you are welcome to contact Sandra Gajic, Edmonton Opera’s CEO at 780.424.4040. Doris Bonora is a partner with the law firm of Reynolds Mirth Richards and Farmer LLP and can be reached at or 780.497.3370.

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BMO Financial Group is proud to sponsor the Edmonton Opera and this production of Aida.

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edmonton opera Chorus SOPRANOs

Rachael Beaudoin Tara Faria Afton Forsberg Elizabeth Grigaitis Jill Hoogewoonink Betty Kolodziej Christine Ledig Lydia Ann Levesque Christina O’Dell Jodi Penner Glynis Price

Cristina Weiheimer Jillian Willems

Laura Winton Karen Zabinski



Stephanie Bent Seang Youn Choi Linda Farrah-Basford Dilys Kulchitsky Krista-Marie Lessard Joanne Linden Patrece Maluzynsky Ann Parry Joyanne Rudiak

Adam Arnold Garreth Borgstrom Kaden Forsberg Tom Hall Ron Long Dave Kantor Cole MacIver Kevin Mott Mike Otto

Robert Rock Mat Rose Daniel Rowley Christopher Scott Joshua Wisniewski Bass/Baritones

John Adria Derek Beaton Gavin Belik Taylor Fawcett Ivan Fedyna Andrew Hladyshevsky

Nick Horobec Walter Hsu Andrae Marchak Greg Maluzynsky Francis Price Shane Taylor Alfredo Villanueva Evan Westfal Peng Wu John Yun

SUPERNUMERARIES Children: Filip Bojic Sadie Rain Bowling Paige Buchanan Adelyn Kim

Coleman Lappa Gabriel Lappa Sam Robinson Toby Robinson

Brian Webb Dance Company Ainsley Hillyard** Richard Lee (HIS)* Alida Nyquist-Schultz**

Adults: Mike Boire Paul Charabin Adam Clarke Fred Deis Rubina Dhanji Michael Dudge

Raena Waddell** Brian Webb (movement director/choreographer)

Terry Ingraham Kendra Lamothe Stephen Noble Aleksey Pavlenko Trevor Robert

Alena Sasnouskaya Greg Shimizu Sam Spinelli Matt Staton Brian Talugeude Lorraine Teel

*Full Equity member **Probationary equity members

edmonton symphony orchestra William Eddins, Music Director Violin 1

Eric Buchmann Virginie Gagné Broderyck Olson Richard Caldwell Joanna Ciapka-Sangster Anna Kozak Neda Yamach Jim Cockell Marie Krejcar Diana Sapozhnikov

Violin 2

Dianne New Susan Flook Heather Bergen Zoë Sellers Robert Hryciw Tatiana Warszynski Kate Svrcek Regine Maier


Stefan Jungkind Charles Pilon Rhonda Henshaw Martina Smazal Mikiko Kohjitani Andrew Bacon


Colin Ryan Sheila Laughton Ronda Metszies Gillian Caldwell Derek Gomez Victor Pipkin


Jan Urke John Taylor Janice Quinn Rob Aldridge


Elizabeth Koch Shelley Younge Elizabeth Faulkner


Lidia Khaner Paul Schieman Dan Waldron


Julianne Scott David Quinn



Robin Doyon Bill Dimmer Brian Sand Joel Gray Sylvain Beyries Doug Zimmerman


John McPherson Kathryn Macintosh

BASS Trombone Christopher Taylor

William Harrison Edith Stacey




Allene Hackleman Megan Evans Gerald Onciul Donald Plumb

Percussion Brian Jones John McCormick


Nora Bumanis

Personnel Manager Eric Filpula

Librarian Sheila Jones

Scott Whetham Barry Nemish Aida trumpets have been provided by the Canadian Opera Company. AIDA 37

At ATB, we’re proud supporters of the arts in Edmonton and enthusiastic partners of the Edmonton Opera. That’s why we’re excited to bring you the ATB Canadian Series, a new, innovative opera series written and produced by Canadians for Canadians.

SAVING І BORROWING І INVESTING І KNOW-HOW ™ Trademarks of Alberta Treasury Branches.

edmonton opera board of directors 2012-2013 season

Irv Kipnes, Chair Ken Keenleyside, Treasurer Robert Bessette Bill Campbell Richard Cook Craig Corbett

Jeffrey Jansen Bertrand Malo Reza Mostashari

Kyle Murray Francis Price Robert Rock

Katie Soles Stella Varvis Duane Vienneau

edmonton opera staff CEO


Sandra Gajic


Tim Yakimec, Director of Production Clayton Rodney, Technical Director Jeffrey McAlphine, Assistant Technical Director

Analee Roman, CFO Serene Yau, Accounting Assistant

Production and technical staff

Community Relations Jelena Bojic, Director of Community Relations Gwen Horvath, Admin Coordinator and Board Secretary Amanda MacRae, Education & Community Outreach Coordinator Cameron MacRae, Creative Coordinator Kelly Sheard, Grant Writer Catherine Szabo, Communications Coordinator Lauren Tenney, Marketing Coordinator Stacy Young, Special Events Coordinator

Box Office Tara-Lee LaRose, Box Office Manager Rebecca Anderson, Box Office Clerk

Artistic Administration Michael Spassov, Artistic Administrator and Chorus Master Ha Neul Kim, Company Manager and Stage Manager

Gina Moe, Assistant Stage Manager Candace Maxwell, Assistant Stage Manager JoAnna Black, Apprentice Assistant Stage Manager Gil Miciak, Apprentice Assistant Stage Manager Deanna Finnman, Head of Wardrobe Brenda Inglis, Assistant Head Wardrobe Michelle Warren, Head Dresser/Assistant Head Wardrobe Jaylene Wiebe, Milliner/Assistant Head Dresser Nancy Horn, Wigs and Hair Judy Morley, Wigs and Hair Michael Devanney, Wigs and Hair Cathy Nicoll, Make-up Noreen Jani, Assistant Head Make-up Chantel Fortin, Head Properties and Head Scenic Art Katie Hartfeil, Assistant Head Properties Geoff Bacchus, Head Carpenter Greg Brown, Head Scenic Carpenter Al Kliss, Head Fly Alison Hardy, Head Lighting Joseph Race, Assistant Head Lighting Shanna Orgovan, Head Scenic Artist Jacquie Dawkins, Title Cuer Stage crew courtesy of I.A.T.S.E. Local 210 AIDA 39

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The Director’s Circle recognizes those patrons whose significant financial support and on-going commitment enable Edmonton Opera to continue to produce award-winning and compelling art in our community. Bravo and thank you! For more information about the Director’s Circle or to become a member, please call the donor services line at 780.392.7837.

Season SponsorS $250,000 Dianne & Irving Kipnes Rob Hood Fund Production SponsorS $150,000 Francis Price & Marguerite Trussler Visionaries $50,000 Jim & Sharon Brown $25,000 C.J. Woods MaestroS $15,000 Dr. Thomas & Melanie Nakatsui $11,000 Fred & Alma Gojmerac $10,000 Laurence Jewell Oline Markine Glen & Sandra Woolsey

LEADERS $7,000+ Arnold & Grace Rumbold Russell & Marjorie Purdy $6,000+ Kyle & Colleen Murray Jack & Esther Ondrack $5,000+ Derek & Joanne Beaton Larry & Ellen Eberlein Sandra Gajic Mark & Nancy Heule Steven & Day LePoole Axel Meisen & Barbara Girard Ed Wiebe & Marcia Johnson PATRONS $4,000+ Richard S. Cook Eira Spaner $3,000+ Thomas Fath Stephen & Lynn Mandel Chris & Vivian Varvis BenefactorS $1,750-$2,999 Tricia Abbott Darlene Acton James Archibald & Heidi Christoph Sam & Sonia Azer Rhonda Baker Douglas Bingham & Sheila Janki-Bingham David & Carol Cass David & Patricia Cassie Mary Chisholm Bill & Carol Clark

Marian Clarke Elaine Coachman John & Ann Dea Patrick & Joan Dea Anne Marie Decore Christine Dirksen Heinz & Donna Feldberg Dr. Joseph & Mrs. Pat Fernando Laura Fitzgerald Peter & Astrid Griep Linda Hamilton Brian & Jeanne Hetherington Karen & Pamela Hofmann John & Susan Hokanson Jeffrey Jansen William Johnston & Mary Ritchie Harold Kingston & Marie Desrochers Juri & Helle Kraav Christine Kyriakides Mary LeMessurier Joan Lopatka & Bill Rutledge Hillard & Nancy Macbeth Laurel McKay Carman & Averie McNary Hugh McPhail & Yolanda Van Wachem Michael & Mariette Meier Arliss Miller Ken & Gerda Miller Neil & Susan Miller Reza Mostashari John Oberg Eleanor Olszewski Linda & Gene Pilarski Aline Pratch Leonard Ratzlaff Kelly & Renee Redinger James E. & Vivian Redmond Alan Rose & Judy Schroder Hilary Rose Douglas & Kathleen Sabo David Steer & Larissa Whiting Stella Varvis & Paul Grossman Robert A Wilson Paola Zanuttini Gerhard & Inge Zmatlo AIDA 41


FRIENDS of Edmonton Opera

Sincere thanks go to the following individuals who, through their gifts, have demonstrated their belief in making opera a vital part of our cultural community. To donate or for additional information, phone the donor services line at 780.392.7837 or email SustainerS

($1000-$1749) Peter & Barbara Allen Joyce Buchwald Branko & Ava Calic Doug Cannam Marian Clarke Sheila Davidson Robert & Doreen Fessenden Phyllis Fleck Marie Foster Douglas Goss A.R. Grynoch Dwayne Hunka IBM Patricia Kiel Alan Kuysters Libuse Kuzel Bertrand Malo Risha Milo Alan Mather & Helgard Proft-Mather Rod & Heleen McLeod Kevin Neveu Larry Pals Protostatix Engineering Consultants Maria Schneider Martin Thorne Dr. Dennis Todoruk & Dr. Susan Stauffer Catherine Von Hohenbalken


($500-$999) John Adria Joan Bensted Bruce & Carol Bentley Bob Bowhay Katherine Braun John Burlet Sheila Davidson Glen & Kristie Demke Ivan & Ksenia Fedyna Robert Gilles Bill Grace Gabor Gyenes & Erika Mullner Rob Jolley Stewart & Julie Hamilton James & Hasmik Houlder Bernadette Kollman Peter & Jean Langford-Jones Rachel Mandel Devon J. Mark & Allen Vander Well Les Moss Wesley Pedruski George & Teresa Pemberton Fay Plomp Clarence & Elizabeth Preitz Robert Prybysh 42 AIDA

Dwayne & Salwa Samycia George Schluessel Devin Sears & Hayley Wan Kelly Sheard Michael & Nance Smith Geri & Lloyd Strain Patricia Taverner Joan Welch


($250-$499) Stella & Walter Baydala Jennifer Brown Janet Carle Phyllis Clark Craig Corbett Donald Cranston Brenda Dale Sharon & Milton Davies Ken & Judith Duffin Kevin & Rachel Foster Jim & Shirley Funk Stacey Gibson Brad Gilewich Richard Groom Sheila Gynane Dave & Janet Hancock Lois Hingley Michael Hobart Douglas & Dorothy Hollands Elizabeth Hurley Roger & Rose Hutlet Ruben Jeffery Pavel & Sylva Jelen Robert & Dr. Erika Juthner-Krtschan Kent Kanfield Richard Kirby Loretta Klarenbach David & Sandra Kraatz Don & Lorna Kramer Igor & Galia Kwetny Neil & Jean Lund Brenda MacDonald Kelly MacFarlane Sue Marxheimer Beth MacIntosh Peter Mantyniuk Paul Manuel Peggy & John Marko Denis & Ruth McGettigan Elisea Mori Aaron & Jean Oshry Edward & Geri Papp Raj Pisani David Rees Orla Ryan J. Douglas & Devika Short Barbara & Gerry Sinn Lillian Strangway C.T.S. & Rosalind Sydie

Kevin Erker Rick & Noella Fagnan Alred & Coleen Falk Werner Fenske Ferdinand Filiplic David Finlay MEMBERS Karin Fodor ($100-$249) Joan Forge Sonia Allore Derrick Forsythe Laurie Anderson Randy Garvey Bradley Armstrong Allan Gatenby Diana Bacon Shirley Gifford Steve Baker F.S & Margaret Golberg Henry Banman George & Judy Goldsand Vicki Barrow Robert Gomez Jim & Barbara Beck Jon Goor Alan & Alice Bell Carol Graham Brian Bengert Deanna Gupta Tim Berrett Mary Ellen Haggerty Gino Bit Hans Hahn Dennis Blumenthal Donald Harbridge Grace Bokenfohr T. Hayashi Vivien Bosley Kenneth Heavenor Ailsa & Tom Bray R. Henderson Diane Briner Judith Hibberd Annabel Brophy Georgette Holyk Ryan Brown Fred Horne Robert & Helen Buck Barbara Howarth Aubrey Burrowes Arlene Howell John Cameron Marianne Howell Orietta Caterina Sheila Hughes Tony Caterina Barr Humphreys Frank Cavaliere Louis & Mary Hyndman Chris Chandler Erik & Franziska Jacobsen Donald Chisholm Christian Jager Chris Chodan Janet Jansen Bruce Clark Yvonne-Marie Johnson Janet M Clark Ryan Jones Roger & Carol Cohen Valerie Keates Sharon Cohen Richard Kennedy Joseph Collier Hugh & Shirley Kent Karin Conradi Adam Kilbrun Heather Coon Valerie Kneteman Diane Cox Betty Kolodziej Gwen Davies Lorraine Kucey James & Gail Defelice Michelle Kuysters Kathy Demuth John Kuzyk Julie Denep Thierry Lacaze-Masmonteil Dan & Lorna Dennis Nancy Lang R.J. & Janet Dmytruk Walter & Kay Lachman Betty Lou Docherty Jack & Diane Latham Peter Doig Vincent Lee Wendy Doughty & Jim Klingle Leo Levasseur Arthur & Heather Belle Dowling Rena Liciniuk Harvey & Elizabeth Duff Richard Loken Dwayne Dufva Doug & Joan Longley Frank & Muriel Dunnigan Ronald Lucas Tim Eckert Tom Lumsden Casey Edmunds Neil & Jean Lund Marion Elder Richard Lyne E. Ruthanna Elson

Frank Van Veen G. Vermeulen Jim Ward Ezekiel Weis Lorraine Wilgosh

Lowell & Donna Lyseng Marion MacIntyre Berniece Malone Greg & Patrece Maluzynsky Antoinette Marchand Graeme Marr Joan H. Marshall John & Cathleen Matthews Robert Mauro Linda Medland-Davis Jacqueline Meffen Ronald & Carole Middleton Janet Millar Dallas & Laura Miles Renn Moodley Marion Morgan Chris Morrison Marney Mustard Ruth New Larry Newton Danny & Erin Nianchuk Chris Nicholas Brent Nimalovitch Michael O’Dell Hanne Ostergaard Fred Otto Tim Paetkan Frank Palko C.H Parks Fred Parton Anixa Patel Mary Pemberton Homsanith Phetlathy Bruce Picton Sam Prochazka & Andrea Neilson Natalie Prytuluk Eugene & Jeanne Ratsoy Yvonne Rekken Lindsay Reynolds Nancy Reynolds Mary Richardson Gunter & Ingeborg Richter Dean Rokosh Alex & Mary Lou Rose Carolynne E Ross E.J Rudnisky Ena Rudovics Kathleen Ryks Kathleen L. Savey Jelena Savic Tom & Bev Sawyer Don Schultz Werner Schulze M. & A. Schwabenbauer Tony Scozzafava Philip Sembaliyk Sheelagh & Andrew Semper Alison Seymour Charles Shelley

Paul Shelley R & W Sherbaniuk Anurag Shourie Chris Sieben Kierstin Smyth David Sparrow Mike Staines Joseph Stang John & Sparkle Steeves

William Tonn Karen Trace Dennis Vance Maureen Vandenberg Harold Vanderschoe Terry & Michele Veeman Trudy Velichka Joe Viana Duane Vienweau

Sheila Steinhauer-Mozejko Anne Strack Ronald Streeter Jean Sult Martin & Heike Stribrny Louis Te Michael & Elizabeth Thain Janette & Tom Thorvaldson Michael & Heime Thwaites

Doug & Mary Wright H.C Yip Daniel Zalmanowitz Mark Zutz Christine Zwozdesky

A.C Visman Jackson Von Der Ohe Tom Wakeling Todd Wandio Sherri Wawrow Donna & Marv Weisler Shawna Wenchulak Kim Wheaton Jolanta Wiens

Donations made in memory of Ernie LeMessurier:

Donations made in memory of KIMBERLEY HEARD:

Sandra Gajic Louis & Mary Hyndman Dianne & Irving Kipnes Stephen & Lynn Mandel Hilary Rose

Monique & Curtis Bandura James & Kelly Barnie Reta Berte Gail Dennis-Moisey Nicole Duhamel

Christine Jones Maureen Yates-Millions & Keith Millions Motion Industries (Canada) Ltd. Derek & Glenda Pickering

Salisbury Composite High School Laura Svajlenko Dennis & Sharon Turner

Only 2012/2013 season donations and/or pledges processed until August 29, 2012 are listed. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our donor information. If we have made an error or omission, please call the donor services line at 780.392.7837. We apologize for any inconvenience. Although space limitations allow us to list only charitable contributions of $50 or more, we gratefully acknowledge all donations. Each gift, regardless of size, helps to make Edmonton Opera performances possible. Thank you!






Tax receipt Acknowledgment in Intermezzo magazine and on website Access for two to our new Friends of the Opera Lounge

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Two tickets at 10% off for each mainstage production Complimentary poster from our current season


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Two tickets at 30% off for each mainstage production Invitation for two to each dress rehearsal Two invitations to one VIP reception Two invitations to the exclusive DC Lounge Courtesy Jubilee parking during performances Invitation for a backstage tour of each production Two complimentary tickets to Edmonton Opera’s Film Series Two complimentary Opera Brunch tickets Invitations to each Sitzprobe rehearsal Invitation to each cast dinner Two complimentary mainstage subscriptions Two invitations for a backstage experience during performance Invitation for dinner with Edmonton Opera’s CEO Opportunity to be recognized as a production or principal artist sponsor Access to private recitals



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Just as the highway of the atom starts at Great Bear Lake and ends in Japan, the story

behind the opera Shelter starts with one person’s interest and eventually leads to the production that will premiere on the Edmonton Opera stage on Nov. 15. It starts with a true Canadian story told through a documentary, which inspired a book and led to an opera; each medium pursued by a different person.

Great Bear Lake, the National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and the White Sands Missile Range, where the first atomic bomb was tested.

Peter van Wyck, author of The Highway of the Atom, explained in an email that the tipping point for him to write the book was when he saw a documentary, Village of Widows, by Toronto filmmaker Peter Blow. Both the book and the documentary deal with the story of the mining and transportation project that the Sahtúgot’ine Dene First Nations were involved in during the Second World War, when the uranium from Canada’s North was used to develop the atomic bombs.

Van Wyck’s own research was challenging and rewarding, he said. Most archival materials weren’t available to researchers, so he started collecting firsthand stories, records and photographs on trips to Great Bear Lake, Port Radium, Déline, Hay River, Norman Wells, Inuvik, Fort Smith, Yellowknife, Rae, Edmonton and the Mackenzie River.

In the 1990s, a Dene delegation went to Japan to apologize to the Japanese. This was the story that librettist Julie Salverson heard from van Wyck, and what would inspire her to write Shelter, a fable where the father protects his family at any cost, a mother chases storms, and a nuclear physicist is a midwife and tutor to a child who glows in the dark. At the moment the Pilot enters, the tale alters completely. “I’ve always been attracted to catastrophic events,” Salverson wrote in an email. “Joseph Campbell says to ‘Follow your bliss,’ and while most people go after love or fulfillment, I’m drawn to tragedy and the fault lines in the psyche of a culture, the secrets that fester in families, leak quietly into communities and eventually — sometimes — explode. Such is the story of Shelter.” Ontario-bred van Wyck explained that he met Salverson in 1999 at Queen’s University, where he had been awarded a research fellowship in humanities. A professor and graduate program director in Concordia University’s department of communication studies, van Wyck’s background is incredibly varied, with a BSc in environmental and ecological sciences, a master’s degree in philosophy, environmental and cultural studies, and a PhD in communication studies. “Even though — or perhaps because — we came from very different disciplinary backgrounds — (Julie) was a playwright with interest in social justice, ethical philosophy, witnessing and testimony — we began working together almost immediately,” van Wyck said. Salverson recounted her 10 years of research in a piece she wrote for Maisonneuve Magazine called “They Never Told Us These Things.” She visited


“(Julie and I) did a couple of the research trips together — one to nuclear sites in (New Mexico), including the nuclear waste repository in Carlsbad, and another to Déline at Great Bear Lake,” he said. “These were amazingly productive for our projects — we’d write and talk to each other, and slowly her opera and my book took shape.” The structure of Tapestry New Opera’s composer-librettist lab in 2002 would provide the parameters for Salverson to work with composer Juliet Palmer, who is originally from New Zealand. That country has its own ties to the nuclear industry, Salverson noted, and with Palmer’s sense of adventure, it was an excellent project for both of them. “We researched every angle on the atomic story, from the lives of the scientists, to the structure of the atom, and eventually departed from the story of the highway of the atom into the world of fable,” Salverson wrote. They had their “opera audition” with Tapestry in 2003, and staged Over the Japanese Sea, a 15-minute piece for the opening of the company’s new studio theatre. After hard work from singers and actors willing to explore Salverson and Palmer’s world of story, Shelter will debut on the Edmonton Opera stage in mid-November, as part of the University of Alberta’s Festival of Ideas. Before opening night, on Nov. 14 Salverson and van Wyck will take part in a panel discussion, along with Toronto filmmaker Tom Radford, about the highway of the atom. Radford’s notable link to the atomic period is his work on Tickling the Dragon Tails – The Story of Louis Slotin, a scientist selected as part of an elite group invited to Los Alamos to work on the Manhattan Project. Salverson and van Wyck have previously held joint presentations focused on his book, the research they both did along with Palmer and the upcoming opera, and van Wyck said reaction during those discussions has been great so far.


hese were amazingly productive for our projects — we’d write and

talk to each other, and slowly

“It’s gratifying to see the work being used in concrete ways,” van Wyck said, listing uses as a background document by Alternatives North to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board as part of the Giant Mine Environmental Assessment. “But at the same time, the book is not journalism. True, it tells a story — a particularly Canadian story — that is not widely known. But it is also about history and memory, and how such astonishing events, such as Canada’s involvement in the making of the bomb, get forgotten in the first place.” There’s no prior knowledge that people need before coming to the panel, van Wyck continued, adding that similar to a panel he and Salverson participated in at Concordia University in January, they will read from their field notes and drafts.

her opera and my book took shape.”

“It gives a sense, I think, of how the work came together — for our books and for her opera — and how the very particular sort of collaboration between us unfolded,” he said. At one point in her piece “They Never Told Us These Things,” Salverson writes about a dinner she is invited to just before she leaves Déline. “I look around at the people I have met and wonder how I’ll do justice to any of this with the opera I plan to write.” Shelter runs Nov. 15, 16, 17 and 18 at La Cité Francophone, the first of two contemporary operas presented this year as the Edmonton Opera’s ATB Canadian Series.


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Aria Legacy Help Edmonton Opera Sing Forever Edmonton Opera creates award-winning and compelling art, and strives to keep that art accessible for the Edmonton community. Aria Legacy is your opportunity to share that dream in a focused and personal way, with a gift to our endowment program that will last into perpetuity. Endowment gifts of any size are appreciated. For more information on how you can help sustain Edmonton Opera for generations to come, please call the donor services line at 780.392.7837.

Edmonton Opera

ENDOWMENT FUNDS Edmonton Opera applauds the following visionaries for contributing to or establishing a legacy of support for the future of opera in our community. Many of these contributions have been matched by the Canadian Arts and Heritage Sustainability Program. Thank you. Edmonton Opera’s Endowment Funds:

2012/2013 Endowment Donors & Aria Legacy Members

Sam & Sonia Azer Family Fund Frederic & Alma Gojmerac Family Fund Canadian Arts and Heritage Fund Edmonton Opera Staff Contributions Fund Edmonton Opera Endowment Fund Irving Guttman Opera Endowment Fund The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Opera Fund John and Barbara Poole Family Fund Francis Price and Marguerite Trussler Family Fund Dwight Purdy Memorial Fund David Cook Fund for Edmonton Opera

Patricia Abbott John Adria Sam & Sonia Azer Jelena Bojic Katherine Braun Erin Clyde Glenda Dennis Maggie Dower Ivan & Ksenia Fedyna Laura Fitzgerald Karin Fodor

Sandra Gajic Gwen Horvath Laurence Jewell Betty Kolodziej Franklin C. Loehde Amanda MacRae Cameron MacRae Stephen & Lynn Mandel Devon J. Mark & Allen Vander Well

Oline Markine Jeff McCune Kyle & Colleen Murray Clarence & Elizabeth Preitz Sir Francis Price Clayton Rodney Analee Roman Hilary Rose Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP

Kelly Sheard Darren Staten Catherine Szabo Marguerite Trussler Chris & Vivian Varvis Angus Watt Joan Welch Adrienne E. Wong Tim Yakimec

Additional financial contributions from members of the Edmonton Opera Chorus. A generous endowment gift has been made by the Edmonton Opera Guild in honour of the Edmonton Opera Chorus.







the canadian series Sponsor

Dianne and Irv Kipnes

Set and Costume Sponsor


Thomas Fath and Jo-Ann Kolmes Emerging Artist Sponsor

Surtitle Sponsor


City Lumber Corporation and the Rosen Family In honour and recognition of Zita & John Rosen, Founders


Edmonton Opera is grateful for the support of the following Government agencies, sponsors, suppliers and media partners For more information about how you can support the Edmonton Opera, please call the donor services line at 780.392.7837 or e-mail


Official Suppliers


E October 19, 21, 23, 25, 2012

Edmonton Opera presents Aida at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. October 20, 2012

Edmonton Opera presents Storm the Stage, an annual party on the opera set. This year features the set of Aida, live bands Mitchmatic and F&M, operatic performances, a fashion show by Thread Hill and more! November 1, 2012

The Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival and Liquor Depot present The Experience. Proceeds benefit the University Hospital Foundation and Edmonton Opera. November 9-12, 2012

Edmonton Opera kicks off its new Opera Tours with a visit to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to see Simon Boccanegra and Werther. November 14, 2012

Panel Discussion: Highway of the Atom, with U of A Festival of Ideas. 6 p.m. at La Cité Francophone. November 15-18, 2012

The world premiere of Shelter at La Cité Francophone. The second opera production in the ATB Canadian Series, Svadba – Wedding, will be performed in January. February 1, 3, 5, 7, 2013

Edmonton Opera presents Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

For more information on any of these events please call 780.424.4040 or visit To purchase tickets please call 780.429.1000.


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Edmonton Opera Aida  

The Aida program for the Edmonton Opera in magazine format. Handed out at each performance at the Jubilee auditorium