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:
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:
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:
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