17th century stagecraft finds a modern outlet
Founded in 1985 by Marshall Pynkoski, the Canada-based Opera Atelier, responsible for the weekend performances, specializes in operas, ballets and dramas from the 17th and 18th centuries. This is the opera company’s second visit to Korea, after performing “Don Giovanni” in 2003.
The company researched Baroque operas in order to accurately recreate them. It adopted original instrumentation, singing techniques and use of rhetorical gesture. It also employed 17th century choreography, stage illumination, costumes and makeup.
Opera Atelier has staged 25 17th and 18th century pieces by Monteverdi, Mozart and Lully. Its 2000 production of Lully’s Persee, which had not been performed since the 18th century, was praised as “the operatic event of the year,” by the Toronto Star. Since 1995, the company has been regularly invited to perform by the Houston Grand Opera and the Cleveland Opera.
Opera Atelier’s intent is not to recreate a particular historical performance but to use 17th and 18th century stagecraft and aesthetics in a way that makes them suitable for modern audiences.
“I don’t like to use words like ‘authenticity’ and ‘recreation,’” Mr. Pynkoski said in a press meeting last week. “That is not our goal. Baroque opera is a fully realized art form, and I think it can be modernized with great success.”
“Acteon” will be performed first, in French (38 minutes), with Korean subtitles. After the intermission, “Dido and Aeneas” will follow in English (61 minutes), with Korean subtitles.
The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are 30,000 won ($32) to 110,000 won. For information, call (02) 580-1301 or 1400.
By Limb Jae-un Staff Writer [firstname.lastname@example.org]