Comment/Review: All Is Love

by Lynn on May 8, 2024

in The Passionate Playgoer

Live and in person at Koerner Hall April 11-14, 2024. Now closed.

This is a preprint with new comments from a piece I wrote when this first played in Feb. 2022.

Conductor, David Fallis

Stage director, Marshall Pynkoski

Choreographer, Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg

Resident set designer, Gerard Gauci

Lighting designer, Kimberly Purtell

Choreographer (Inception), Tyler Gledhill

Composer (Inception), Edwin Huizinga

Singers: Colin Ainsworth

Jesse Blumberg

Measha Brueggergosman-Lee

Meghan Lindsay,

Danielle MacMillan

Cynthia Akemi Smithers

Karine White

Douglas Williams

Dancers: Eric Cesar Del Mello Da Silva

Juri Hiraoka

Elizabeth Kalashnikova

Kevin Law

Courtney Lyman

Julia Sedwick

Edward Tracz

Dominic Who

Xi Yi

This production is a remount (with some cast changes) of a shorter run of All Is Love that ran Feb. 2022, but it is worth comment to give a 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.

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 Colin Ainsworth, Danielle MacMillan, Cynthia Akemi Smithers, Jesse Blumberg and Measha Brueggergosman-Lee among others. Composer-violinist Edwin Huizinga played from his “Inception” with Tyler Gledhill dancing to the choreography he created for the piece.

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 Lajeunesse Zingg’s choreography established that world of form, beauty, elegance and grace.

I do have a quibble. The male singers are dressed in the same kind of costumes as the male dancers: leotards, flowing shirts etc. Why then can’t the singers be guided/directed to be as graceful as the dancers. The dancers enter silently, whether running or jumping. The singers seem to ‘clump’ on. It sounds jaring. It’s a quibble since the whole is exquisite, but still…..

Presented by Opera Atelier

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