By Nikita Gourski, Development Communications Officer
This April, Handel’s Hercules has its COC premiere in a new co-production with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Here are eight key things you may want to know before you head to your seat!
1) Based on mythology, rooted in real life
Handel’s Hercules is based on an ancient Greek tragedy, Women of Trachis, written by Sophocles around 450 BC. In addition to being one of the most celebrated playwrights of his era, Sophocles was a war general who understood the emotionally intense – even dangerous – landscape that awaited soldiers and their families after a period of war. Though the subject derives from mythology, Sophocles’ treatment of it was profoundly human.
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By Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager
For Episode 22, the “All cross-over, all the time” edition, we welcome back opera journalist Paula Citron and opera conductor Stephen Lord, and joining The Big COC Podcast for the first time is Jenna Douglas, a Toronto-based collaborative pianist and founder of the new opera blog, Schmopera. Gianmarco Segato, the COC’s Adult Programs Manager is your host.
This episode’s stories all somehow settled around that eternal question of “How the heck do we manage to keep opera ‘relevant’?”
Are you listening? Let us know your thoughts, opinions and suggestions by commenting here, or on Facebook, Twitter or by e-mail (email@example.com).
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As with 1744’s Semele, produced by the COC in 2012, Handel’s Hercules (1745) was a response to the waning popularity of the Italian operas which had been hugely successful and had dominated his output in the 1730s. At first glance, Hercules, like Semele, might seem to belong more in the world of oratorio than opera. However, from the start Hercules was recognized as a “musical drama,” as was printed in the original libretto.
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001