Tales from the Opera York

Welcome to our blog!

Tales from the Opera York is a blog dedicated to our love of opera and the arts, where we share our own experiences, entertain you with fun facts, and educate you on the wonderful world of opera. Follow along and be enthralled by our adventures!

Our blogging master (better yet blog-meister) is Sybille Forster-Rentmeister. We now leave you with a note from Sybille…

The reason why

Why am I writing for an Opera York blog? The answer is simple: I want to contribute in any way I can to keep the art form of musical theatre alive in all its forms, and that also means opera and operetta. I have done it for over 30 years and find it the only truly worthwhile form of reporting. Other reports, though often interesting and important, rarely do for people what the arts can do. It is the artist who can change the world by changing perceptions. Music and musical theatre is an important way with a long tradition of uplifting the spirit.

I have reviewed performances of Opera York almost from the start of its inception 20 years ago and got to know the co-founders Joan Sax and Philip Trow very well. From the beginning I was impressed by their enthusiasm and commitment to bring opera to a broad spectrum of individuals in the North York region. The use of accomplished professionals and seasoned performers with young and coming artists in the mix was and is part of what makes it a truly community-oriented affair, and so far, it has been a love affair by all participants, performers, and spectators alike.

The hiatus that was forced on us by the Covid epidemic has left me hungry for live performances, for getting together with likeminded people and enjoying a renewal of cultural events. Opera York has been working on its return to live performances. This new season’s offering is The Magic Flute by Wolfgang A Mozart.

The all-time favourite never loses its charm, no matter how often it is viewed. I must have seen it at least a dozen times and I still find the storyline lifelike and relevant. Human failures and emotions are always on the menu. It is the stuff that all good stories are made of, and they are popular because they imitate life in a concentrated way. Pair that with luscious music and unforgettable arias and we have a winner! I recall the first time I saw” Die Zauberfloete” in the Krefelder Stadttheater, Germany, as a very young person. When the “Koenigin der Nacht”  sang her famous coloratura aria, I wanted to become an opera singer. I even took lessons. To this day I get shivers up and down my body when I hear it. To see a soprano on stage mastering this incredibly difficult piece of music is simply divine and worth going to the theater, no matter what else is going on.

Opera York has offered “Die Zauberfloete” before to much acclaim. I am certain that this next offering will be just as exciting.