The Arts

Opera Atelier 2009 – Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride

Opera Atelier 2009 – Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron
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Iphigénie en Tauride
Opera Atelier
Composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck
Conducted by Andrew Parrott
Directed by Marshall Pynkoski
Choreographed by Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg
Starring Peggy Kriha Dye, Kresimir Spicer, Thomas MacLeay, Olivier LaQuerre, Cassandra Warner, Curtis Sullivan and Ambur Braid
At the Elgin Theatre until Nov. 7

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Opera Atelier first mounted Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride six years ago. It is still controversial because the homoerotic love story between Oreste and Pylade is graphically depicted by director Marshall Pynkoski.

Iphigénie is a priestess on the island of Taurus, doomed to kill all foreigners, until her brother Oreste and his friend are washed ashore after a shipwreck. The three lead singers are nothing short of magnificent. The emotional performance of soprano Peggy Kriha Dye is heart-rending. As Oreste, tenor Kresimir Spicer has a heavier voice than usual for a light lyric, and uses it in passionate singing. One to watch is young tenor Thomas MacLeay as Pylade whose mellifluous sound and great acting skills will take him far.

With conductor Andrew Parrott and Tafelmusik, and choreographer Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg using the ballet to cleverly represent the offstage chorus, this beautiful production is musical theatre at its best.

Iphigénie en Tauride continues at the Elgin Theatre until Nov. 7.

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