LSM Newswire

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gluck’s revolutionary opera Iphigénie en Tauride returns to Toronto!

Toronto, ON Opera Atelier begins its 2009/10 season with a revival of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s great reform opera, Iphigénie en Tauride. The opera attacked the very core of French operatic tradition and caused a sensation when it premiered at the Paris Opera in 1779, and again when Opera Atelier first staged it in 2003.

Iphigénie en Tauride tells the story of the Greek princess Iphigénie, daughter of Agamemnon, who is abandoned on the island of Tauride for the duration of the Trojan War. Miraculously reunited with her brother Oreste following the murder of their mother (Clytemnestra), Iphigénie’s courage and self-sacrifice ensure their safe return to Greece.

Hailed as a work of genius by ecstatic critics, Iphigénie en Tauride is considered the greatest triumph of Gluck’s career. “It is melodrama in the best sense of the word,” says OA’s co-artistic director Marshall Pynkoski. “Huge human emotions are being explored with a psychological depth that is unique for the 18th century. Gluck points the way to the intense interest in human psychology that is usually associated with the 19th century. There is nothing superfluous.”

Iphigénie en Tauride runs October 31, November 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7, 2009 and is sung in French with English SURTITLESTM. Performances are at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre (189 Yonge Street) and begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the November 1st matinee at
3 p.m.

American soprano Peggy Kriha Dye, a favourite with OA audiences, returns as Iphigénie, the incredibly courageous young heroine. Croatian tenor Kresimir Spicer, who sang the title role in OA’s Idomeneo, makes his role debut as her brother Oreste. Both Ms. Kriha Dye and Mr. Spicer received Dora nominations for their performances in Opera Atelier’s 2008 production of Idomeneo. Canadian tenor Thomas Macleay makes his company debut as Pylade, beloved companion of Oreste. Thoas, King of Tauride, is sung by bass-baritone Olivier Laquerre, and bass-baritone Curtis Sullivan sings the role of Le Ministre. Esteemed British conductor Andrew Parrott will lead the Tafelmusik Orchestra and Chamber Choir and the full corps of Artists of Atelier Ballet. This production is directed by Marshall Pynkoski and choreographed by Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg with set designs by Gerard Gauci, costumes by Dora Rust D’Eye, lighting by Kevin Fraser and fight direction by Jenny Parr.

Tickets for Iphigénie en Tauride are $30 to $135 and are available by calling TicketMaster at 416-872-5555, on-line at or at the Elgin Theatre box office. Operatix are $20 and may be purchased by people under the age of 30 with valid I.D. in person at the Elgin Theatre Box Office (subject to availability). Group discounts (15 people +) are available by calling 416-703-3767 ext. 22. For podcasts and more information visit or check out our Vox Populi blog at

Opera Atelier also gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, and the Creative Trust.

2009/10 Season Sponsor: Sun Life Financial
Iphigénie Production Sponsor: BMO Financial Group
2009/10 Major Sponsors: Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust Music, The Dominion of Canada General Assurance Company

Opera Atelier is Canada’s premier baroque theatre company, dedicated to producing opera, ballet and drama from the 17th and 18th centuries. While drawing upon the aesthetics and ideals of the period, Opera Atelier goes beyond “reconstruction” and infuses each production with an inventive theatricality that resonates with modern audiences. For more than two decades, under the direction of founders Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, Opera Atelier has garnered acclaim for its performances at home as well as in the United States, Europe and Asia.

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