‘Armide’ by Opera Atelier.

Opera Atelier’s current production of Lully’s Armide is a heart-wrenching work of passion, perfection, beauty, and theatre in its highest form. The show is an “Armide fit for Versailles,” as the Toronto Star’s rave review stated earlier this week. Opera Atelier is indeed heading back to the Palace of Versailles to perform a run of Armide immediately following the Toronto shows this week at The Elgin Theatre. What an incredible representation of Toronto on the world stage! Get your tickets while you still can HERE.

Armide Synopsis: The action concerns the Muslim Warrior Princess Armide and the Christian Knight Renaud. Although a virgin, Armide’s greatest power lies in her sexual allure, which reduces men to a state of hopeless submission. Armide herself is protected by the fact that she herself has never experienced desire. Renaud also draws his strength from an almost mystic virginity which renders him impervious to Armide’s allure.

Armide is played by soprano Peggy Kriha Dye, who has once again evolved her craft into a new and higher realm of drama and technique. Her performance had me weak at the knees and shedding tears over Armide’s inner battle with the all-consuming power and torment of Love. I have had the pleasure of shooting Peggy twice now. The first time was in the Palace of Versailles during Opera Atelier’s production of Persee last year. We shot again at The Elgin Theatre earlier this year during the opera’s production of Orpheus and Eurydice. She is a goddess of a woman; strong, fearless, and gorgeous. Take a look:

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Soprano Peggy Kriha Dye by Jennifer Toole // Shot at The Elgin Theatre in Toronto

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Soprano Peggy Kriha Dye by Jennifer Toole // Shot at The Elgin Theatre in Toronto

Peggy Kriha Dye

Soprano Peggy Kriha Dye by Jennifer Toole // Shot at The Palace of Versailles

Tyler Gledhill dances the role of Cupid in this production with much grace, elegance & power. Adorned with the wings of an angel Tyler weaves the delicate yet steady thread of Love through the plot; ever-present and rapturous. Tyler dances this role as a god among men. We shot together a while back for a fashion spread featuring the bespoke designs of Toronto fashion house Northbound Leather. Take a look:

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Tyler Gledhill by Jenifer Toole // Shot at The Extension Room in Toronto

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Tyler Gledhill by Jenifer Toole // Shot at The Extension Room in Toronto

Soprano Meghan Lindsay is another incredible talent I have been so lucky to shoot who is also one of the stars of Armide. She adds her pure, silvery tones and striking looks to the supporting role of Sidonie. Her face was made for the camera. We shot her at The Elgin as well during the opera’s run of Orpheus and Eurydice earlier this year. Take a look:

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Meghan Lindsay by Jennifer Toole // Shot at The Elgin Theatre in Toronto

I have to express my gratitude to Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, the directors of Opera Atelier, for continuing to elevate the level of theatre in the world from our fine city. Your vision is pure, passionate, and will continue to resonate. In a world full of cut corners in the name of efficiency, your company provides an anti-thesis of decadence and skill. Looking forward, xo

Meghan Lindsay.

In the midst of her busy performance schedule playing Amour in Opera Atelier’s production of Gluck’s “Orpheus & Eurydice” at The Elgin Theatre, revered soprano Meghan Lindsay and I managed to carve out some time for a portrait session. We captured Meghan’s strength, her provocative beauty, her capacity for dramaturge, and a particular “je ne sais quoi” in her eyes that elicits mystery and sparks curiosity. The next chance to hear Meghan’s ethereal soprano vocals will be at the opera house in the palace of Versailles playing Sidonie/Nymph des Eaux in Opera Atelier’s production of Armide November 20th to 22nd. The show will also do a run in Toronto beginning October 22nd, 2015. Buy tickets HERE.

* Shot at The Elgin Theatre in Toronto

Photography: Jennifer Toole // Hair & Make-Up: Elena Pacienza

Peggy Kriha Dye II.

Peggy 04-15-6I had the pleasure to shoot revered soprano and director of Opera Columbus, Peggy Kriha Dye, last month during her run at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto as Eurydice in Opera Atelier’s performance of Orpheus & Eurydice. This was our second time shooting together, the first being our shoot in the gardens of Versailles last year. She is ever powerful, composed yet free, brave, and full of grace ie. a captivating subject and strong role model. I love my job! x

Photography: Jennifer Toole // Hair & Make-Up: Elena Pacienza

Peggy Kriha Dye.

Peggy-6Peggy-4Peggy-3Peggy-10Peggy-2     Peggy Kriha Dye, an internationally working operatic soprano & director of Opera Columbus, starred in Opera Atelier’s recent production of Persée by Lully which was performed in Toronto at The Elgin Theatre and then in the opera house of The Palace of Versailles. I was honoured to be invited to Versailles to shoot some new press shots for Peggy. It was a rainy day and we had the place to ourselves. We made some regal photo magic fitting to such a great talent. xo

Location Scouting in Versailles.

VersaillesGardens-2 VersaillesGardens-3 VersaillesGardens-5 VersaillesGardens-7 VersaillesGardens-8 VersaillesGardens-9 VersaillesGardens-10 VersaillesGardens-11 VersaillesGardens-12A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting Peggy Kriha Dye, internationally esteemed soprano and general manager of Opera Columbus, in the gardens at the Palace of Versailles. This is a little taste of my pre-shoot location scout. Stay tuned for a peek at Peggy’s shots coming soon. xo

Versailles Street Style: @ Le Chateau

If you’re thinking about red shoes…VersaillesSS-1VersaillesSS-3

 

If you’re thinking about floral minis…c. Jennifer Toole

If you’re thinking about pink…VersaillesSS-4 VersaillesSS-5 VersaillesSS-6

The Louvre.

Louvre-1 Louvre-2 Louvre-3 Louvre-4I had the enormous privilege of travelling to France this time last year on a photo assignment. These are a few snaps from a private tour of the Louvre after hours. It was such a pleasure to enjoy the art up close and unobstructed without the regular throngs of tourists jostling for the best angle. Springtime seems to be the right time for France and I am thrilled to announce my return to Versailles next month with Opera Atelier. They will be performing Persée by Lully from April 6th to May 3rd in Toronto and in the Palace of Versailles from May 23rd to the 25th.