Opera Atelier’s Press Releases

Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg

Order of Canada Awarded To Opera Atelier’s Co-Artistic Directors

Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg
Appointed Members of The Order of Canada

Toronto, ON, Dec. 27, 2018

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, today announced the appointment of Opera Atelier founding Co-Artistic Directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg to the Order of Canada. This announcement comes on the heels of Opera Atelier’s most extensive international touring in the company’s 33-year history. This honour recognizes Pynkoski and Zingg’s outstanding impact on the performing arts in Canada and their longtime commitment to the mentorship of young artists through The School of Atelier Ballet.

Pynkoski and Zingg founded Opera Atelier in 1985. The company – dedicated to historically informed productions of baroque and classical opera and ballet is an acknowledged Canadian jewel with an unrivaled international touring schedule. Most recently, Opera Atelier’s production of Charpentier’s Medée was chosen to a part of the official Canada 150 celebrations in France.

“It seems fitting,” says Pynkoski, “that Jeannette and I received a phone call from the Governor General’s office while we were in the Louvre researching for an upcoming Opera Atelier production.”

“We feel that we share this honour with Opera Atelier’s entire creative team and the committed artists who have provided us with such inspiration over the years,” adds Lajeunesse Zingg.

Pynkoski and Zingg have directed and choreographed for leading opera houses and festivals worldwide including the famed La Scala, the Salzburg Festival, the Pesaro Rossini Festival and Opera Atelier tours regularly to the Royal Opera House at Versailles.

The Co-Artistic Directors are particularly happy to receive this award concurrently. “Our work is inseparable,” says Pynkoski, “and it is our hope that this award will heighten the public’s interest in the repertoire we most love.”

Pynkoski and Zingg are the recipients of numerous awards including the Toronto Arts Award, the Ruby Award for Outstanding Contribution to Opera in Canada, the Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France, and were named by TIME Magazine as one of Canada’s Best in Music.

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada, one of our country's highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Close to 7 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the Order: DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM ("They desire a better country"). Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.

Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg Appointed To The Order Of Canada: A Few Thoughts

Saturday December 29, 2018

by Brian Hay

From humble beginnings, literally starting with nothing but their own knowledge Marshall and Jeannette combined to produce stagings that paid reverence to the old while breaking ground for it in ways that seem, and feel completely new. Their productions never have a static feel — bringing dance and large measures of intricately choreographed motion to them guaranteed that. Attention to detail and superb interpretations of the music insured the audio experience their audiences had would be a great one. Bringing in cast and crew members committed to a similar vision gave their stagings an identity, a brand “look” that combined timelessness with elegance. It’s been a class act with consistency and an appeal that’s always remained fresh.

Marshall and Jeannette are full value for this appointment. Hats off to them.  

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Measha Brueggergosman in Idomeneo

Photo by Bruce Zinger

Megan Lindsay in Pygmalion

Photo by Bruce Zinger

Announcing Opera Atelier’s 2018-2019 Season: French Baroque Double Bill and Mozart’s Idomeneo

Canadian Superstar Measha Brueggergosman Returns to the Toronto Opera Stage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (January 25, 2018): Toronto, ON – Opera Atelier’s founding co-artistic directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg today announced the company’s 2018-2019 season. The season opens with a French Baroque double bill of Charpentier’s Actéon paired with Rameau’s Pygmalion (Oct. 25 – Nov. 3, 2018), which will embark on an international tour to the Palace of Versailles and a soon-to-be-announced prestigious US venue. The season continues in spring 2019 with Mozart’s Idomeneo (Apr. 4 – 13, 2019), starring Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman in her Dora Award-winning performance as Elettra.
Charpentier’s Actéon & Rameau’s Pygmalion (October 25 – November 3, 2018) - These famous Greek myths, taken from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, are transformed into riveting operatic masterpieces in the hands of two of the greatest composers in French music history.

The performance begins with Charpentier’s Actéon, the deeply moving story of the young hunter turned into a stag by Diana, goddess of the hunt. Actéon’s magical transformation takes place on stage - a tour de force for the singer in the title role. He is then hunted by his own men and hounds. Following the intermission, Opera Atelier presents Pygmalion, Rameau’s glittering Rococo masterpiece, in which a beautiful statue is transformed into a living, breathing woman by the power of love. Pygmalion opens with Opera Atelier’s first Canadian commission for solo baroque violin and contemporary dancing, entitled Inception. This creation has been conceived as a theatrical intervention that leads into and merges with Rameau’s famous overture. Performed by composer/violinist Edwin Huizinga and choreographer/Artist of Atelier Ballet, Tyler Gledhill, Inception is literally a pas de deux for instrumentalist and dancer, transforming the performance space as part of the evening’s theme of metamorphosis.

Colin Ainsworth is featured in both title roles, alongside Mireille Asselin (Diana & Amour), Allyson McHardy (Juno & Céphise), Jesse Blumberg, Christopher Enns, Meghan Lindsay, Cynthia Smithers and Anna Sharpe. Performed in French with English Surtitles.

Following its Toronto dates, Actéon & Pygmalion will tour to the Royal Opera House in Versailles, marking Opera Atelier’s fifth appearance since the company’s debut there in 2012. The production will also tour to a prestigious US venue, which will be announced in the coming months. While in Versailles, Opera Atelier will present an expanded version of Harmonia Sacra, the staged and choreographed performance that premieres in Toronto next month (Currelly Hall at the Royal Ontario Museum, Feb. 15) and debuted to great acclaim in the Royal Chapel in 2017. Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra will be joining Opera Atelier on these tours.
Mozart’s Idomeneo (April 4 – 13, 2019) - The radiant Canadian superstar Measha Brueggergosman makes a triumphant return to Opera Atelier as Elettra in Mozart’s Idomeneo, the role which won her a Dora Award and international accolades. Brimming with Mozart’s show-stopping arias, deeply emotional ensembles and spectacular dancing, Idomeneo tells the story of the Greek hero of the Trojan War who is forced to choose between the life of his son and a terrible promise he has made to the god of the sea.

Measha Brueggergosman is joined by a thrilling cast of Canada’s finest singers. Tenor Colin Ainsworth makes his debut in the title role, with recently named “Breakthrough Artist in UK Opera” Wallis Giunta (Idamante), Meghan Lindsay (Ilia), Olivier Laquerre (Arbace), Douglas Williams (Neptune), and  Bradley Christensen (Priest). Performed in Italian with English Surtitles.

Actéon & Pygmalion and Idomeneo will be directed by Marshall Pynkoski and choreographed by Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, with set design by Gerard Gauci, lighting design by Michelle Ramsay and costume designs by Michael Legouffe and Margaret Lamb respectively. Both productions will feature the full corps of Artists of Atelier Ballet, and our longtime partners Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Elisa Citterio, Music Director) under the baton of David Fallis. We are pleased to announce that this season Opera Atelier will collaborate with the Chorus of the University of Toronto Schola Cantorum, along with members of the Choir of the Theatre of Early Music, under the direction of Lead Vocal Consultant and Chorus Master Daniel Taylor.
In addition to singing this season’s three title roles, Canadian tenor Colin Ainsworth has been named Opera Atelier’s first Artist in Residence for 2018-2019. Opera Atelier is honoured to have an artist of Mr. Ainsworth’s stature and experience join the company in this capacity. Mr. Ainsworth will share his artistry with the next generation of Canadian singers in masterclasses, and will join Opera Atelier for our free Making of an Opera program for diverse, Toronto-area high school students.
Performances in Opera Atelier’s 2018-2019 Toronto season take place at the Elgin Theatre (189 Yonge Street) in Toronto. Subscriptions to the two-opera season start at $99 and are on sale now by calling 416-703-3767 x222 or visiting operaatelier.com/subscriptions. Single tickets go on sale on August 8, 2018 through Ticketmaster. For more information visit Opera Atelier’s website: www.operaatelier.com.

2018-2019 Major Sponsors
Season Presenting Sponsor: BMO Financial Group
Season Underwriter: El Mocambo Productions
Opera Atelier gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.
Opera Atelier is North America’s premier period opera/ballet company, producing the opera, ballet and drama of the 17th, 18th, and 19th 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. Led by founding artistic directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg since 1985, Opera Atelier has garnered acclaim for its performances at home as well as in the United States, Europe and Asia. Opera Atelier is committed to the development of young Canadian artists and offers innovative education programs for youth, as well as $15 tickets for ages 15 to 30.

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