Friday, July 14, 2006

Canadian Librettist Murrell and Composer Estacio's History-Inspired Opera 'Frobisher' To Follow Upon Their Historical Opera 'Filumena'

"The same creative team responsible for the Canadian opera Filumena is at work this summer creating another made-in-Canada opera. ...

Frobisher will tell the story of English explorer Martin Frobisher's three expeditions to Canada's Far North in the 16th century.

Frobisher, a British seaman who found the deep bay on Baffin Island named after him and thought it was the Northwest Passage, was killed while fighting the Spanish in 1594.

The opera combines his tale with a modern story about a love affair between two Canadian filmmakers who are producing a film about Frobisher.

"Back in the States the American producer has already glommed his own happy ending onto the movie she's made of Frobisher. It's pretty wild," Murrell said, explaining the work to a preview audience at the Banff Centre.

The Banff Centre and Calgary Opera have commissioned Murrell and Estacio to write the work and audiences are responding well to the previews.

Their Filumena, about a young Italian immigrant woman who was the last woman to be hanged in Canada back in 1923, was a smash hit.

The story, set in southern Alberta, opened at the Calgary Opera and went on to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

In Frobisher, soprano Lindsay Sutherland Boal from Vancouver performed the part of Anna, the young filmmaker who hears Frobisher in her dreams and is inspired to see the Canadian North as he saw it.

"I'm very excited about it," Boal said of the opera. "I love the story. It's complicated, it's fabulous and it's going to be a tremendous success."

Frobisher has been four years in the making. Murrell says he is even more excited about this story than about Filumena....

Frobisher the opera will make its world premiere in Calgary next January." "Murrell and Estacio explore Frobisher's tale in new opera" July 13, 2006

Sir Martin Frobisher to again strut and fret upon the stage.

'Sovereign National Opera'?: 'Historical National Opera with a Twist' is better than no historical national opera at all, as is usually true of the MET Opera, the Washington National Opera, and most opera companies in the United States.

Photo credit: With thanks.


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