Holidays leave no grey area for love, especially with a fresh layer of white snow on the ground and glistening frost in the air. It seems everything from food to fashion to theatrics have a chic vibrancy in the colder months. Today, the romantic season is near in Calgary, a magical winter wonderland that offers an array of season activities and upscale date-night locations. For those with a penchant for the classic, what is more romantic than the lofty beauty of the opera?
For preeminent conductor and artistic director of the Calgary opera, maestro Bramwell Tovey, “there are few aspects of our feelings that are left untouched by the power of opera.” He explains, “Opera singers’ voices are extraordinarily powerful, used as they are without microphones and with their ability to ride the sound of a full symphony orchestra. Such intensity, whether performed fortissimo (loudly) or pianissimo (quietly), means every nuance is accorded extraordinary power.”
It’s meant to pull on your heartstrings as you swoon over the idealistic young dreamers who face a classic and risky choice. Do they follow their hearts for unrequited love or settle for comfort at the expense of their passions and ideals?
La Bohème arrives in Calgary on November 9th and runs on select days until November 15th, making it a short but very sweet introduction to the romantic holiday season.
“There are few aspects of our feelings that are left untouched by the power of opera.” — Maestro Tovey
“La Bohème was one of the first operas I ever experienced and I was blown away by the sheer virtuosity required to present the entire work. Many years later, it’s like greeting an old friend and every time I hear it, I notice a new nuance or conjuring trick by Puccini whose music operates at so many levels – from the familiar to the subliminal,” says Tovey.
This performance of Puccini’s most famous and beloved composition will be conducted by Italian-American maestro Jonathan Brandani and accompanied by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Fan’s will see familiar faces Miriam Khalil as “Mimi,” Antoine Bélanger as “Rodolfo,” Peter Barrett as “Marcello,” and, making her debut, American soprano Joanna Latini as “Musetta.”
“My favourite part has to be Musetta’s Waltz, the marvellous scene where the stage is packed with the adult chorus, a children’s chorus, and the principal singers – no matter where your eye or ear falls there are interactions between different characters in the story, just as in real life where conversations happen in huge crowds and you can’t hear everyone but can catch the general drift, “ reminisces Tovey. He exclaims, “Puccini never lets us dwell too long on one conversation but always keeps the narrative alive with action – all accompanied by flag displays and a brilliant brass band.”
But what is a night at the opera without an embellished culinary accompaniment?
A short jaunt away is Teatro, one of Calgary’s premier luxury dining destinations, set within the iconic sandstone building—the Old Dominion Bank built in 1911. With an eclectic charm, contemporary design, and upscale ambiance, their signature Mediterranean cuisine is the perfect complement to a glamorous holiday evening.
If you’re looking to share, their classic cheese, charcuterie, and oyster plate is a popular date night pick. However, it seems that the calamari has recently become their signature dish, along with their Prosciutto-wrapped Fior di Latte. To warm up, choose a main course from their wood fire oven, such as the duck, a decadent choice garnished with a pistachio gremolata; and round it all off with something indulgent from their renowned wine cellar, which boasts over 10,000 bottles. We also suggest pairing this meal with a bottle of bubbles, specifically Lambrusco Rosé. Cheers to an evening of glamour, vibrancy, and holiday love.
La Bohème will run November 9,13, and 15 at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
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