By Michelle Hwu, Retail Co-ordinator
This spring at the Opera Shop at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, we're very excited to have a special selection of toy theatres from Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop in England: one being a presentation of Le nozze di Figaro, and the other being Cinderella. Internationally renowned for their whimsical toy theatres, Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop has been widening children's imaginations since the 1880s when the brand was founded by its namesake in London's Covent Garden.
Included within the each toy theatre set you'll find pieces that make up an opera's cast, set changes, props, and even plot summaries of the opera. The enclosed components have been specially designed to press out and slot together with no cutting or gluing necessary. Once the toy theatre is complete, the opera can be performed using your choice of recording and libretto.
In 1934, Le nozze di Figaro was the first opera performed by Glyndebourne. This toy theatre above, which can be found at the Opera Shop, is a beautiful working model of Le nozze di Figaro as it was performed at the new Glyndebourne Opera House in 1994. The toy theatre was designed by Mel Harris.
The second toy theatre, similar to the Glyndebourne model, brings the fairy tale of Cinderella to life. This theatre is one of Benjamin Pollock’s bestsellers, with beautifully designed sets with multiple layers.
Both toy theatres make a wonderful project for families to build together on a rainy day, and are great gifts for opera fans of every age. The Glyndebourne Opera House featuring Le nozze di Figaro is $60 including tax, and Jackson’s Pantomime Theatre of Cinderella is $35 including tax. Limited quantities of both toy theatres are currently on sale at the Opera Shop until the last performance of Dialogues des Carmélites on May 25.
The Opera Shop is located on the main floor of the Isadore and Rosalie Sharp City Room in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, open before, during and (sometimes) after all performances. You can also shop for other COC items at our online Opera Shop!
Photos: (top) La nozze di Figaro; (middle) Pieces for La nozze di Figaro; (middle) Stage shot of La nozze di Figaro; (middle) Stage shot of Cinderella by Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop; (bottom) Cinderella instructions. Photos by Jeff Higgins and Michelle Hwu.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Opera Shop / comments (0) / permalink
For Episode 12, the “It ain’t so bad…is it?” edition, we welcome back opera journalist Joseph So; blogger John Gilks as well as Alia Rosenstock, Associate Artist Manager with Dean Artists Management. Gianmarco Segato, the COC’s Adult Programs Manager is your host. Here are just some of the exciting stories we covered this week:
Are you out there listening? Do you like our new introduction? What would you like us to talk about next? Let us know by sending us your ideas/comments by commenting here, on Facebook, Twitter or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Posted by Gianmarco Segato / in The Big COC Podcast / comments (0) / permalink
by Claudine Domingue, Director of Public Relations
For many people, the final scene of Poulenc’s opera Dialogues des Carmélites is one that they will never forget.
The emotional impact as each nun goes to her death singing the "Salve Regina" is heightened by the realization that this opera is based on true events.
On July 17, 1794, 16 members of the order of Carmel in Campiègne, France, were executed by guillotine. They included 11 nuns, three lay sisters, and two novices. Their names were as follows:
Prioress Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine (Mother Teresa of St. Augustine), 1752 – 1794
Marie-Anne Brideau (Mother St. Louis), 1752 – 1794
Marie-Anne Piedcourt (Sister of Jesus Crucified), 1715 – 1794
Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret (Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection), 1715 – 1794
Marie-Antoinette Hanisset (Sister Teresa of the Holy Heart of Mary), 1740 – 1794
Marie-Françoise Gabrielle de Croissy (Mother Henriette of Jesus), 1745 – 1794
Marie-Gabrielle Trézel (Sister Teresa of St. Ignatius), 1743 – 1794
Rose-Chrétien de la Neuville (Sister Julia Louisa of Jesus), 1741 – 1794
Anne Petras (Sister Mary Henrietta of Providence), 1760 – 1794
Marie-Claude Cyprienne (Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception), 1736 – 1794
Marie-Geneviève Meunier (Sister Constance), 1765 – 1794
Angélique Roussel (Sister Mary of the Holy Ghost), 1742 – 1794
Marie Dufour (Sister St. Martha), 1742 – 1794
Julie Vérolot (Sister St. Francis Xavier), 1764 – 1794
Catherine Soiron, 1742 – 1794
Thérèse Soiron, 1748 – 1794
"I learned from a person who was a witness to their martyrdom that the youngest of these good Carmelites was called first and that she went to kneel before her venerable Superior, asked her blessing and permission to die. She then mounted the scaffold singing "Laudate Dominum omnes gentes". She then went to place herself beneath the blade allowing the executioner to touch her. All the others did the same. The Venerable Mother was the last sacrificed. During the whole time, there was not a single drum-roll; but there reigned a profound silence."
- The Superior General of the Sisters of Charity of Nevers (1794) writing of the execution of 16 Carmelite nuns by the French Republic.
From Confessions of a Ci-Devant blog, Gareth Russell, July 17, 2010
Photos: (top) A scene from the Canadian Opera Company's production of Dialogues des Carmélites, 2013. Photo by Michael Cooper; (middle) The Martyred Carmélite Sisters, artist unknown.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in 2012/2013 / comments (1) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001