The opera is coming to Okotoks later this month.
Coming to the Okotoks Alliance Church on Sept. 24, the Calgary Concert Opera Company (CCOC) will perform Adriana Lecouvreur, a tale that bears all the hallmarks of a classic opera.
“There’s love, infidelity, murder, then there’s really glorious music around this whole thing,” said mezzo soprano Barbara King.
“It’s actually a really beautiful opera, and the music is stunning – and the plot is a little bit crazy.”
The plot revolves around a love triangle between Adriana (Lecouvreur), the Princess de Bouillon, Maurizio, the Count of Saxony, and various symbols that recur throughout.
“Then there are violets; they represent everlasting love and faithfulness, but in this opera, there’s so many misunderstandings happening, there’s jealousy, there’s secrets,” King said.
“These violets are supposed to represent goodness and faithfulness, but really, it’s everybody's being unfaithful, so it backfires on her because Adrian and the princess both love Maurizio.
“Adriana gives Maurizio these violets to represent their love and her faithfulness towards him, but then the princess meets with Maurizio in private and he ends up giving her these violets.”
The entanglements and conflicts that ensue take a deadly turn as love is poisoned with jealousy.
Much of the cast hails from Calgary, with King performing as the Princess de Bouillon, Kathleen Morrison playing the role of Lecouvreur, joined by Toronto tenor Ernesto Ramirez to play Maurizio.
This will be the Calgary Concert Opera’s second full performance at Okotoks Alliance Church after it returned to regular performances in 2022 with Roberto Devereux.
“It’s a beautiful space – lots of seating, comfortable seating for the audience,” King extolled.
“It has really good acoustics, it finally has a grand piano, which makes a big difference for us.”
Bringing opera to audiences outside of the city has been a passion for King and the CCOC since they first performed there in 2011, as she sees the arts community of Okotoks expanding its horizons.
“It’s growing like crazy, the arts industry is really growing in Okotoks, and we love coming back each year,” she said.
“The people really appreciate it, especially the people who can’t afford or even get into Calgary to go see opera in Calgary, we can kind of scale it down and make it more intimate for the audience and it’s much more affordable.
“They're still getting professional opera singers and getting a professional performance – it's always a good thing to take it to small towns.”
The CCOC will also be holding performances of Adriana Lecouvreur at the Airdrie Lutheran Church of the Master on Sept. 22 and Jack Singer Lobby on Sept. 26.
For tickets and more information, visit calgaryconcertopera.com.
There will also be tickets available at the door, however King strongly recommended purchasing in advance.