Comment: ALL IS LOVE

by Lynn on February 21, 2022

in The Passionate Playgoer

Live and in person at Koerner Hall until Feb. 20, 2022.

Conductor, David Fallis

Stage director, Marshall Pynkoski

Choreographer, Jeannette Lajeuness Zingg

Resident set designer, Gerard Gauci

Costume designer, Michael Legouffe

Lighting designer, Kimberly Purtell

Choreographer (Inception), Tyler Gledhill

Composer (Inception), Edwin Huizinga

Singers: Colin Ainsworth

Mireille Asselin

Measha Brueggergosman-Lee

Meghan Lindsay,

Danielle MacMillan

Rémy Mathieu

Cynthia Smithers

Douglas Williams

Dancers: Eric Cesar Del Mello Da Silva

Tyler Gledhill

Kevin Law

Courtney Lyman

Rebecca Moranis

Julia Sedwick

Cynthia Smithers

Dominic Who

Xi Yi

Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg

Pianist: Ben Cruchley

Because All Is Love ran for only two performances this past weekend, I’ll just post this as a comment and really not a review, although I hope you get the sense of how exquisite the production was in every single way.

And as I have explained when reviewing other Opera Atelier productions, I will concentrate on the theatricality of the performance and not technically on the dancing or singing—not my forte.

Since the pandemic began Opera Atelier has not stopped creating work. It’s two fearless, creative co-artistic directors, Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg have adapted to constant changing plans. When a planned live performance was cancelled because of COVID restrictions, they filmed a performance. The company has produced three beautiful films of various works over the last two years. When it looked like there might finally be a window in which to actually schedule a live production, Pynkoski and Zingg leaped at the chance. Since this was around the time of Valentine’s Day, a production celebrating love in all its guises was a natural choice.

Director Marshall Pynkoski made his usual on stage appearance before the beginning of the production, welcoming the audience. He was beaming of course, delighted to be in a room with an appreciative audience, ready to celebrate a company who love what they do, who love each other and those who come an see them. What was different was that Pynkoski was himself moved, his voice trembled with the emotion of it all. I must confess it was catchy—to finally, be in a room, ready to see beauty, skill and art created live—misty-eyed here.

The program was composed of songs and dance pieces from Henry Purcell, Matthew Locke, George Frideric Handel, Jean-Babtiste Lully, Raynaldo Hahn, Edwin Huizinga, Claude Debussy and others.

The evening began with Measha Brueggergosman-Lee appearing, as if out of the air, at the top of two small staircases that met from stage left and right. She sang “All Is Love” with an incandescent glow of the transporting power of love, the euphoria of it, the intoxication of it, as she wrapped her arms around her as if enveloped with it.

The evening flowed from dance excerpts involving the Artists of Atelier Ballet, Tyler Gledhill’s thrilling solos along with Eric César Del Mello Da Silva’s beguiling angel of love, to vocal solos with Opera Atelier stalwarts, Colin Ainsworth, Mireille Asselin, Rémy Mathieu and Measha Brueggergosman-Lee. Composer-violinist Edwin Huizinga played from his “Inception” with Tyler Gledhill dancing to the choreography he created for the piece. There was also a bit of a surprise—a scene from Pelléas et Mélisande that Opera Atelier hopes to produce in the future.

The beauty of Marshal Pynkoski’s direction is that each separate piece always looked like it was part of a whole. Transitions from one scene to the next never seemed jarring and always flowed seamlessly. Projections above the stage always enhanced a scene and never detracted from it. Jeannette Lajeunness Zingg’s choreography established that world of form, beauty, elegance and grace. In a word, exquisite.

Presented by Opera Atelier

Runs only until Sunday, Feb. 20 at 2:30 pm.

Running Time: 70 minutes.

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