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COC's The Nightingale and Other Short Fables Soars at Brooklyn Academy of Music

Toronto, Ontario More than a year after its groundbreaking premiere by the Canadian Opera Company in November 2009, The Nightingale and Other Short Fables continues to delight and amaze audiences. This spectacular production, directed by Canadian visionary Robert Lepage, is making headlines in New York in its U.S. premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. 

Hailed by audiences and critics alike, the New York Times describes the effect of The Nightingale’s palace scene as “more splendid than the Imperial Palace scene in the Met’s popular production of Puccini’s ‘Turandot,’ a Zeffirelli extravaganza;” that “the Canadian Opera Company’s orchestra and chorus were vibrantly conducted by its accomplished young music director, Johannes Debus,” and remarks “the first half of the program employs nimble acrobats and the most affecting and intricate puppetry I have ever seen.”  The New York Post says that The Nightingale and Other Short Fables “confirms why [Robert Lepage is] one of the most imaginative directors currently active” and has created a show full of moments of “pure magic” and “childlike wonder.” The Associated Press praises the production’s “terrific” cast, singling out for praise soprano Olga Peretyatko (the Nightingale) for a “fresh, silvery sound” that “easily negotiates the tricky coloratura flights Stravinsky has given his heroine.  Tenor Lothar Odinius is a warm, sympathetic presence as the Fisherman; bass Ilya Bannik makes a pitiable Emperor; and mezzo-soprano Meredith Arwady is commanding as Death.”  Time Out New York proclaims the production “theatrical and operatic bliss.”

The Nightingale and Other Short Fables is a co-production by the Canadian Opera Company, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Opéra national de Lyon and De Nederlandse Opera, in collaboration with Ex Machina (Quebec). It has received extraordinary critical acclaim since its world premiere in 2009 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto and subsequent performances at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in France in July 2010 and in Lyon, France this past fall.  The Nightingale and Other Short Fables moves on to Amsterdam in early 2012.

The Nightingale and Other Short Fables opened at BAM on March 1, 2011, and continues its engagement at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House through to March 6, 2011.  For more information on this production and its U.S. premiere visit and

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