LSM Newswire

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wish Opera Appoints Kerry Stratton and Announces New Season


Maestro Stratton brings over 30 years experience to Wish Opera. Canadian Fashion Designers and Artists fuse their talents to give a contemporary sheen to Friml & Stothart's operetta Rose Marie and Gounod's Roméo et Juliette.

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada (November 22, 2010)
Founded in the spring of 2010, Wish Opera is a young company with a mature vision. By incorporating elements of contemporary fashion and design, the company presents opera that is vibrant, current, and relevant in the present day, while maintaining the integrity and intentions of the original work. In choosing repertoire, Wish Opera seeks to address issues which stimulate and challenge today’s audiences, and lead to contemplative introspection. With a mandate to support Canadian artists, and to encourage and nurture emerging talent, the company is confident in the vast natural resources available to fulfill this dynamic and compelling vision. Wish Opera delivers on this promise by constantly seeking to answer the question on which it is founded:
How would you create the perfect, Canadian, operatic experience?
Wish for it…
Wish Opera’s 2011 Season will be presented at their new home, the John Bassett Theatre (MTCC) and will commence April 15/16 with the Operetta Rose Marie, music by Friml and Stothart, lyrics by Hammerstein II. Set in the Canadian Rockies, Rose Marie La Flemme, a French Canadian girl, loves miner Jim Kenyon - Mounties, music and mayhem ensue! The work premiered on Broadway in 1924, running for 557 performances. It was the longest-running Broadway musical of the 1920s until it was surpassed by The Student Prince in 1926. The charming score is full of popular melodies, including the much loved Indian Love Call - “When I’m calling you…”
Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette will be presented October 28/29. This retelling of Shakespeare’s masterpiece of romantic tragedy will be given a contemporary setting, and will utilize the combined talents of leading Canadian fashion and interior designers to create a setting that will be both stimulating and accessible to a modern audience. The timeless beauty of the story reaches across the centuries, and addresses issues of hatred and intolerance that are as relevant today as they have ever been. In accordance with its mandate, Wish Opera will seek to leave opera goers not only entertained, but challenged to reflect on issues which are before the public eye.
“We are delighted that Maestro Stratton has joined our Artistic Management team” said Cianciulli. “Kerry brings a wealth of experience to the Company. He is a brilliant musical talent, and is one of Canada’s foremost conductors.”
Maestro Stratton will be responsible for the musical leadership of the Company, and will be instrumental in the development and execution of the Company’s artistic vision. A devotee of Eastern-European music and orchestras, in 2007 Maestro Stratton joined the ranks of renowned individuals to receive the Czech Republic's Gratias Agit Award for his significant contribution to promoting Czech culture. Maestro Stratton has conducted orchestras in Europe, North America and Asia – among them the Czech Philharmonic, Slovak State Philharmonic, Concert-Verein Orchestra of the famed Vienna Symphony, Prime Philharmonic in Korea, the Beijing Symphony in the Forbidden City, the National Symphony in Taiwan, Mexican State Symphony Orchestra, and many Canadian orchestras.
"It is very exciting for me to be invited to take part in this imaginative venture that is Wish Opera, and I look forward to the creation of a vital presence in the Canadian opera community" said Kerry Stratton.
Listeners to Toronto's Classical 96.3 FM know Maestro Stratton as host of Conductor's Choice. Local concert-goers also know him as Conductor and Music Director, since 1988, of the Toronto Philharmonia, which he developed into a professional ensemble. He also founded and conducts the Grand Salon, Canada's Palm Court Orchestra, which recalls the elegant salon era of the early 20th century.


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