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GGS Spring Opera returns to Koerner Hall with Reimagined Production of Rinaldo

GGS Spring Opera returns to Koerner Hall with Reimagined Production of Rinaldo

Published on March 10, 2022

Director Tom Diamond dedicates production to the people of Ukraine 

GGS Opera Rinaldo
GGS Opera Rinaldo in rehearsal. Lisa Sakulensky Photography.

After a series of heartbreaking setbacks for the performing arts throughout the pandemic, The Glenn Gould School’s Spring Opera production of Rinaldo marks a triumphant return to the stage for artists and live audiences at Koerner Hall. 

It is the first large-scale live production the GGS has presented since pandemic restrictions have lifted, and not only features all of the school’s singers but many musicians from the Royal Conservatory Orchestra both in the pit and performing on the stage as well.

“I wanted to create a celebration of a return to the stage, and the love we have of making music and theatre. I decided I wanted as many students involved as possible,” said Tom Diamond, director of the production.

Adrianne Pieczonka, Vocal Chair and Head of the Vocal Department, said the anticipation of this production is palpable throughout the school.  

“Exactly two years ago, we were days away from the opening of our Spring Opera 2020 – an exciting double bill of Ravel's L'heure espagnole and Puccini's Suor Angelica. It was devastating to have the production cancelled after so much preparation,” she said. “You can imagine the collective excitement now … It is unprecedented for GGS to involve each and every voice student in an opera production and having solo instrumentalists on stage during the opera is also an exciting first.” 

Rinaldo is one of George Frideric Handel’s most celebrated operas – a story of love, war, and redemption, originally set at the time of the First Crusade in a magical world inhabited by kings, furies, dragons, and magicians. The beauty of Handel’s score still enthralls 300 years after it was composed. 

“We have eliminated the strong religious component of the original and reset this story in a Fairy Tale world where anything is possible, thus retaining the magical elements from Handel’s original,” said Diamond. “It is also fitting that this opera is about fighting for freedom toward the desire for a utopic world. I dedicate my work on this production to the people of Ukraine who are bravely fighting for their existence.” 

The March 16 & 18th performances of Rinaldo will be conducted by Ivars Taurins with designs by Teresa Przybylski, lighting by Jason Hand and choreography by Marie-Josée Chartier. Tickets are on sale now