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Mozart Reimagined: SSO & Saskatoon Opera Break the Rules

Published on June 15, 2021

black & white reimagining mozart with SSO & Saskatoon Opera

To say artists have had to remain flexible during the pandemic is an understatement.

In its original form, Mozart Reimagined was slated for spring 2020. As a co-production of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and Saskatoon Opera, a live audience was invited as guests at the wedding of the famous composer. The performance included Mozart’s own work and original compositions by Saskatchewan composers created in response but, that was not to be. With COVID restrictions in place, the team lead by director Danika Lorén was forced to postpone and rejig their plans. The result is a revolutionary blend of composition, musical performance and dance captured in a theatrical presentation.

“Whenever I don’t know what to do, I do more research,” says Lorén. “In my experience with performance and indie theatre, you’re always recalculating. I found letters written by Mozart to the women in his life. His wife, sister and sister-in-law, they became the centre of this piece.”

“We tear up the traditional way of presenting opera. We’re breaking all the rules and evolving with the times.”

With Mozart’s music in hand and the works by four Saskatchewan composers inspired by Mozart, Lorén has created a tableau performance featuring the SSO, vocalists Kelsey Ronn, Emma Johnson and Olivia Guselle and Free Flow Dance Company’s Kyle Syverson as Mozart. The story centres around the women and how they respond to Mozart.

Mozart Reimagined is a Never-before-seen Streamed Opera Performance

Romance, jealousy and sibling rivalry all make Mozart Reimagined, a streamed opera performance never seen before. It’s a mixture of live performance in colour and theatrical flashbacks in black and white. There are period costumes, powerful performances and plenty of action on the screen. Mezzo-soprano Olivia Guselle says it will change the way you think about opera.

“There are so many great cinematic moments in this performance. It’s so much more than just one camera set up at the front of the stage,” says Guselle. “It’s very modern. We tear up the traditional way of presenting opera. We’re breaking all the rules and evolving with the times. It’s super innovative and I’m so excited to be a part of it.”

Lorén hopes the performance will help reinvigorate the art form. “There’s an electricity to it. I want people to have fun with it and start reimagining everything, how we take in classical music,” she says. “If we can’t reinvent the way we perform opera, it won’t survive. Now is the time to push the boundaries and see how far we can go.”

Mozart Reimagined

Thursday June 24 – 7:30p.m.

Live Stream on YouTube

Tickets – $25

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The Author
Britainy’s love of the arts and training as a journalist has been a life-long pursuit. She has worked with CBC, CTV, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Refined Magazine and britspicks.com. As a publicist and consultant, she has worked with groups such as Sum Theatre, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Dancing Sky Theatre and Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre to bring their work to the masses. When she’s not working, Britainy is the proud mom of William and Katie.

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