Opera Lyra Ottawa is a not for profit organization with the mandate to produce and present opera productions and music in Ottawa. It is in the National Capital Region and promotes opera as an art form, making it accessible to as large a segment of the population as possible through community outreach and education. The company began in 1984 and has grown into one of the largest independent arts organizations in the National Capital region. One music critic suggests that most opera plots boil down to a soprano and tenor wanting to hook up but being prevented from doing so by the baritone! While that’s not always the case, the theme of unrequited love does turn up in opera frequently. Most of all though, the stories of opera are the human stories of love, loss, triumph and hope.
Ballet and opera were born in 17th-century Italy and France. They were spectacular events which celebrated marriages, special occasions, royal visits or as a mark of wealth. They were also fraudulent vehicles of propaganda, which were aimed at impressing foreign dignitaries and other royals. They combined music, dance, and magnificence into processions with awe inspiring technical effects and extravagant costumes. The stories or themes were taken from classical mythology of the Greeks and Romans, and drew parallels between the governing royals and the mythological gods or heroes. The expenditure on vast sums of money on lavish, ephemeral spectacles was not uncommon in 16th and 17th century Europe.
Their purpose was to impress visiting dignitaries and present a positive image of a ruler and his court. They included vast processions, dances, song and acted interludes. Like today, all actors were sumptuously costumed and transported with elaborate coaches and chariots. Equally, the stage effects were contrived using ropes, pulleys and counterweights that moved clouds or helped gods descend in their chariots. Eventually, ballet and opera evolved from these early events.
Jonathan Estabrooks has been hailed by the New York Times as ‘a robust baritone’, and winner of the prestigious 35th Oratorio Society of New York Vocal Competition. He is a Canadian singer who continues to make a unique and rich contribution to the performing arts world. His vocalism and performance style have been called “commanding, rich, fresh and energetic”, even likened to a young Ron Howard. Upcoming performances include Artist in Residence at the Conductors Retreat in Medowmak, his debut as Silvio in I Pagliacci with Opera Lyra Ottawa, “Broadway Sensations” Gala at Alice Tully Hall and concerts in Virginia and Tennessee. And Opera Lyra is happy to have him back in Ottawa.
http://www.operalyra.ca Opera Lyra Ottawa, 613 233 9200 Music Ottawa, Ottawa Events, Local Ottawa, Canadian Opera, NAC is located at 2 Daly Ave. Suite 110, Ottawa Ontario K1N 6E2