Beatrice Chancy was performed in Edmonton as a chamber opera at the Citadel Theatre from February 8 to 13, 2001. The libretto is by George Elliott Clarke and the music by James Rolfe. The director of this opera in Toronto, Halifax and Edmonton was Michael Kavanagh. The conductor was Dairine Ni Mheadhra, and the cast included: Measha Brueggergosman as Beatrice, Vanya Abrahams as Lead, and Gregory Dahl as Francis Chancy.
This opera was well received by enthusiastic audiences.
D.T. Baker of the Edmonton Journal used these words,
"At its best, which is where it spends a good deal of its time, Beatrice Chancy is a deft, moving and memorable work. And get this—it’s new, it’s Canadian and it’s opera."
Based on the tragic story of the Cenci family, Roman nobles of 1600s, George Elliott Clarke transposes the events to Nova Scotia of the early 1800s when there were slaves and slaveholders.
This extraordinary work was begun by Clarke while on a writing sojourn in Italy and has been followed by other collaborations there: The Italian translation of his play, Whylah Falls, and its production in Venice.
George Elliott Clarke’s verse play, Whylah Falls, was translated into Italian by giulio Marra and staged in Venice, Italy, May 24 & June 17, 2002.
The Italian title, Le Cascate di Whylah, suggests the transformation the play underwent to become a piece of Italian theatre. The director, Giuseppe Emiliani used an all-Italian cast with a chorus to sing the jazz, blues, and spirituals for the production at the Theatro Carlo Goldoni.
The main supporter and host for these performances was the University of Venice, Università Cà Foscari Venezia.
Updated February 12 2015 by Student & Academic Services
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