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Atom Egoyan

Luminato Festival: Atom Egoyan Directs Chinese Opera Feng Yi Ting

Director Atom Egoyan tells a Chinese legend in the Luminato Festival's Feng Yi Ting (photo: Julia Lynn)

Directed by Atom Egoyan, Feng Yi Ting tells a Chinese legend at the Luminato Festival (photo: Julia Lynn)

JUNE 20 TO 22  Love and conflict are interwoven in Feng Yi Ting. The contemporary Chinese opera, directed by Atom Egoyan, tells of a legendary beauty whose seductive charms spark a brutal rivalry between a warlord and a general. At stake is the fate of an empire. MacMillan Theatre, 8 p.m., $25 to $65; call 416-368-4849 or visit luminatofestival.com for more information.  —Anna Marszalek

Luminato Festival: TimesTalks Give You the Inside Scoop

Robert Wilson, Elizabeth Diller and Atom Egoyan are among this year's Luminato Festival TimesTalks participants

Robert Wilson, Elizabeth Diller and Atom Egoyan are among the participants in Luminato’s TimesTalks

JUNE 15 & 16  Enjoy a marvelous meeting of media and minds as Luminato welcomes a return of the New York Times‘s acclaimed TimesTalks series. This year’s offerings include four dialogues with some of the most influential artists of our time. The discourse begins on June 15 with theatre director and visual artist Robert Wilson and Academy Award-winning actor Willem Dafoe opening up about the art of collaboration (Wilson directs Dafoe in The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic). Later on the same day, designers Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio explain how particular forms of architecture affect a city’s appeal. On June 16, Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan, whose work includes films like The Sweet Hereafter and the Luminato operetta Feng Yi Ting, discusses his recent directorial efforts, particularly in the realm of opera. The series ends as exceptionally as it started, as iconic singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell and peerless jazz drummer Brian Blade join the Times‘s Jon Pareles to chat about Mitchell’s impact on 20th-century music. Isabel Bader Theatre, $35 per talk; call 416-368-4849 or visit luminatofestival.com for a full schedule and ticket information.



Heads Will Roll in the Canadian Opera Company’s Salome

Canadian Opera Company Salome Atom Egoyan Toronto

The Canadian Opera Company’s production of Salome is directed by Atom Egoyan (photo: Canadian Opera Company)

APRIL 21 TO MAY 22  A tragedy of biblical proportions plays out as the princess of Judea lusts after a kiss from John the Baptist in the Canadian Opera Company production of Salome. Adapted from the Oscar Wilde play—and original Richard Strauss opera—by Toronto-based auteur Atom Egoyan, this searing show explores themes of eroticism, jealousy and obsession as its characters scheme, seduce and, ultimately, lose their heads. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, $22 to $325; call 416-363-8231 or visit coc.ca for showtimes and tickets.  —Macrina Smart

Weekend Roundup: February 17 to 19

Friday: Only a few shows remain for Cruel and Tender (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Friday, February 17
Don’t miss one of your final opportunities to see Atom Egoyan’s return to his theatre roots as he directs his wife, Arsinee Khanjian, in Martin Crimp’s tour-de-force Cruel and Tender. This drama, which contrasts private battles and public wars, is on stage at the Bluma Appel Theatre until February 18.

Independent music showcase Wavelength celebrates its 12th anniversary with a four-night extravaganza of the newest and brightest in pop, rock and electronic music. Tonight’s lineup features Toronto’s own critically lauded hardcore band F*cked Up.

Virtuosic pianist Leon Fleisher commands the attention of the audience at Koerner Hall, as he and the Royal Conservatory Orchestra perform a bold selection of works by such masters as Ravel, Beethoven and Prokofiev.

Bonus Pick! Make your way to Indigo’s Manulife Centre location tonight to hear newly minted Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan discuss her acclaimed novel, Half-Blood Blues, with the Globe and Mail‘s Sandra Martin. (more…)

Save the Date: the Canadian Opera Company’s 2012/13 Season

The Four Seasons Centre is sure to fill up for the COC's seven 2012/13 productions

The title of this post is a little misleading. In actual fact, we encourage you to save multiple dates—the Canadian Opera Company this morning announced its 2012/13 season lineup of seven classic and modern works. With so many big-name Canadian singers and directors headlining the program, we can no doubt look forward to an amazing few months of drama and music.

Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore kicks off the season at the Four Seasons Centre on September 29. The story of a vengeful gypsy and her son’s romance with a noblewoman has captivated audiences for more than 150 years—the COC’s production is likely to continue that trend. In particular we’re counting on a fiery appearance by Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas in the lead role of Manrico.

Later, look for arguably Canada’s most famous opera singer, Ben Heppner, when he performs his signature role in Wagner’s grandiose saga Tristan und Isolde. The company’s first show for a shiny new 2013 (opening January 29), it’s conducted by celebrated Czech maestro Jiri Belohlavek and helmed by world-renowed director Peter Sellars, whose incorporation of imagery by video artist Bill Viola makes this staging truly contemporary.

Speaking of acclaimed directors, following on the heels of his theatrical work for the Canadian Stage Company’s Cruel and Tender (on now), Atom Egoyan takes another break from film with an adaptation of Salome (opening April 21, 2013) Richard Strauss’s one-act opera based on Oscar Wilde’s play of the same name.

The best is perhaps saved for last when the COC’s 63rd season wraps up in May 2013 with Francis Poulenc’s haunting Dialogues des Carmelites, said to contain one of opera’s most devastating yet memorable finales. Toronto-born, internationally celebrated director Robert Carsen returns to the Four Seasons Centre for a third consecutive year (his recent productions of Orfeo ed Euridice and Iphigenia in Tauris were hailed by critics and audiences alike). The bar is raised even higher thanks to a cast that includes a marquee pair of Canadian sopranos, Isabel Bayrakdarian and Adrianne Pieczonka.