Opera Erratica: Orlando/Lunaire

Sorry for the late notice, but there's an interesting art event happening in the Junction Triangle this week. Opera Erratica are performing their Orlando/Lunaire show between August 22-28, 2010 (yes, it ends tomorrow). Interestingly, this is taking place inside a metal shed down on Sterling Rd., which probably lends itself well to the "erratica" part of this group's name.

So, rather than try to write about an underground opera event that I really don't know much about, I'll leave it to the pros. Check the Opera Erratica website for more details.

From a review in the Globe & Mail on Monday August 23:

Orlando/Lunaire, the chosen title of ‘an underground opera,’ is described by its presenters as ‘a mashup’ of George Frideric Handel’s 1719 opera Orlando and Arnold Schoenberg’s 1912 settings of 21 poems from Albert Giraud’s Pierrot lunaire (Moonstruck Pierrot) for Sprechstimme and chamber ensemble. It had, on Sunday, the first of several Toronto performances in an industrial storage shed near Bloor and Lansdowne.

This pastiche of fragments from two masterworks, Handel’s baroque opera and Schoenberg’s early-20th-century set of commedia-del-arte parodies, is the brainchild – or, perhaps more accurately, the impulsive notion – of two likeable young Toronto groups: Opera Erratica and The Classical Music Consort, or more likely of their leaders. Opera Erratica leader Patrick Eakin Young reconceived, designed and stage-directed the ‘mashup’ of the two utterly disparate works, and Ashiq Aziz conducted the consort and the two singers – soprano Carla Huhtanen and countertenor Scott Belluz.

From a BlogTO review on Tuesday August 24:

The underground opera has arrived in Toronto. There I am, walking along quick-paced in the west end's industrial area. Massive, condemned factories line the street with holes poked in their square windows. It's an area of the city, when dusk rolls around, that I take the cash out of my wallet and stuff into my left sock. When I reach my destination - a tin shed behind 128 Sterling Rd. in the industrial vicinity of Bloor and Landsdowne - I'm washed with comfort, yet bemused.
This isn't your typical I'm-in-my-Sunday's-best night out to see a highbrow opera. Well, it might be. Avant-garde is one way to put it, but doesn't quite do justice. It's a collaboration in experimentation by a number of Toronto artists sewn together on a stage. And while parts work (the haunting and transcendent operatic voices, the sketchy but fitting physical environ, the modern-cum-classic costume design) other parts either fall flat or come off as simply pretentious, eruditely smug even.

If you're interested in seeing this and supporting artistic performances in our 'hood, be sure to check it out.