Campus Life

Britain and Britten share the stage

It’s a British invasion of operatic proportions!

With a nod to both British opera and British composer, Benjamin Britten, the University of Lethbridge's Opera Workshop presents a sparkling sampler of engaging English opera Nov. 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. nightly in the University Recital Hall.

The Opera Workshop offers a unique evening of entertainment.

“This year is Britten’s death centenary and a good opportunity to celebrate his influence and brilliance as one of Britain’s most famous contemporary composers,” says Dr. Blaine Hendsbee, Opera Workshop conductor. “Britten’s works are complex, dramatic and challenging. Our program reflects some of his great compositions and is a good introduction to his repertoire for both audiences and our student ensemble.”

The talented cast of the U of L’s Opera Workshop present scenes from Britten’s Billy Budd, The Rape of Lucretia, Peter Grimes and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

As well, the evening’s offerings include repertoire by British composers, Henry Purcel, and Gilbert and Sullivan.

“We are also performing a sampling of George Frideric Handel’s Julius Cesar and Rodelinda,” Hendsbee adds. “Although Handel was Italian, his operas were wildly popular in England.”

The program finale is a sneak preview of Opera Workshop’s upcoming fully staged production of The Marriage of Figaro.

“Audiences can whet their appetite for our spring production,” says Hendsbee. “It’s a night that has something for everyone!”

Tickets for Opera Workshop’s performances of The Best of Britten and Britain are available at the U of L Box Office (Open Monday to Friday, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., or by calling 403-329-2616). Tickets are priced at $20 regular, $15 seniors/alumni and $12 students.

Tickets are also available online