Phaedra & Serenade
Allyson McHardy & Colin Ainsworth
Jun 10, 2021 7:30pm
Jun 11, 2021 7:30pm
Immerse yourself in the passion.
A two-night première of Benjamin Britten’s small-scale epic masterpieces. Conducted by Maestro Timothy Vernon, this dynamic double-bill performance from Pacific Opera Victoria and the Victoria Symphony features mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy, tenor Colin Ainsworth, horn player Alana Despins, and musicians of the Victoria Symphony.
Pre-Concert Talk with Robert Holliston & Bob Fraser
Worlds collide as Pacific Opera Victoria’s Robert Holliston and the Victoria Symphony’s Bob Fraser come together for a Phaedra & Serenade Pre-Concert Talk! Immerse yourself in the passion of the works as the two music experts tell you everything you need to know before tomorrow and Friday’s performances by Allyson McHardy, Colin Ainsworth, Alana Despins, and the musicians of the Victoria Symphony.
Phaedra | Thursday, June 10, 7:30PM
When forbidden passion cannot stay silent, a tragic hero journeys through blame and lust on her tempestuous search for serenity. Britten’s last vocal work covers the range of a full-scale opera in 15 minutes, including “…some of the most delicate orchestration ever written.” Bernard Holland, The New York Times. Phaedra is a musical ascension to annihilation.
Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings | Friday, June 11, 7:30PM
An evocative dialogue between horn and voice guides you through the sparkling glory of day and the seeping horrors of night. Powerful music shimmers with gemstone colours as the wild, poetic splendor of nature is celebrated through this eight-movement anthology.
Allyson McHardy made her Pacific Opera Victoria debut in 2001 in the role of Fenena in Nabucco, returning in 2012 for her role debut as Carmen. She performed the role of the Minskwoman in Pacific Opera’s 2020 Canadian première of Jonathan Dove’s Flight and will return in Fall 2020 as Fricka in Die Walküre.
In the 2019/20 season Ms. McHardy’s engagements also include Bach Cantatas for Chicago’s Music of the Baroque; Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the Victoria Symphony; and Messiah with the Newfoundland Symphony. Opera engagements also include Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer for Opéra de Québec and Cleophas in Resurrezione for Opera Atelier.
Colin Ainsworth has been praised for his “exquisite control and emotional directness” and has long distinguished himself internationally as a specialist not only with his interpretations of the major Classical and Baroque tenor roles but also by his performances in contemporary opera. Having traveled the world with his unique and expressive voice, his many performances have included the title roles in Orphée et Euridice, Pygmalion, Castor et Pollux, Roberto Devereux and Albert Herring; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Fenton in Falstaff, Tonio in La Fille du Régiment, Nadir in Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Pylades in Iphigénie en Tauride, Renaud in Lully’s Armide, Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, and Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. An avid supporter of new works, he has appeared in the world premieres of John Estacio’s Lillian Alling at the Vancouver Opera, Stuart MacRae’s The Assassin Tree at the Edinburgh International Festival, Victor Davies’ The Transit of Venus with the Manitoba Opera, and Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna at Sadler’s Wells in London and at the Luminato Festival.
- Conductor | Timothy Vernon
- Director | Rachel Peake
- Lighting Designer | Jeff Harrison
- Stage Manager | Christopher Sibbald
- Associate Conductor | Giuseppe Pietraroia
- Répétiteur | Kimberley-Ann Bartczak
Thank you to Pacific Opera’s artist Patron Robert G. Milne, Artist Underwriter NRS Foundation, and to all the supporters who made free, online opera possible during our ReImagined Season.
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