The curtain rises again at the McGill University Opera Company
The McGill University Opera Company held its last in-person show, a performance of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, in January 2020, shortly before the pandemic put an end to live events. This weekend the curtain will rise once again on live performances at Opera McGill with performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Handel’s Orlando.
An opera production typically takes a year of planning, months of rehearsals, and about eight days in the theater to install lights, organize sets, and resolve technical issues. More than 125 people took part in the preparations for the two operas, which each last about three hours. The singers and musicians are all students in the performance department of the Schulich School of Music at McGill.
Between the dress rehearsals and the performances themselves, “we will have rehearsed [and] played nearly 24 hours of opera in less than five days,” says Patrick Hansen, director of opera studies at the school. “Then there are all the challenges behind the scenes with the wardrobe and the makeup and stage teams having to support two different shows. Just make one. It is as if Opera McGill had become a full-time professional opera company.
Don Giovanni is to be played Friday night and Saturday afternoon, while Orlando will be played Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.