February 25, 2009

Opera Atelier - The Brightest Star in All the Firmament

In the 80s when I worked in the gift shop of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, two gorgeous people used to come in and check out the jewelry. They were noticeable not only for their looks but because of the way they were dressed. He wore a pony-tail and a puffy white shirt over tights. She wore an 18th Century dress that showed off her collar-bones to great effect. After hearing announcements on the PA system and putting two and two together, I realized that this couple was Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Zingg who together comprised Opera Atelier, and who danced Saturdays and Sundays at the Museum.

Time has passed and now Opera Atelier holds a unique place in the North American theatre world. My husband, son and I have seen their sold-out performances in Toronto theatres at least five times including their exhilarating productions of Lully, Purcell and Mozart. Today Opera Atelier is known around the globe for producing opera, ballet and drama from the 17th and 18th centuries. These productions stay true to the aesthetics of the period, and feature international soloists, period ballet, original instruments, elaborate stage decor and exquisite costumes designed by Dora Rust D’Eye. These productions would have been recognized and well-respected in their own time, but each new Opera Atelier production is unique and makes its own fans.

Opera Atelier has appeared almost everywhere including the Palace of Versailles and the BBC Proms in London. They’ve collaborated with some of early music’s most distinguished artists including Andrew Parrott, Trevor Pinnock and Marc Minkowski to name a few. They collaborate on a regular basis with Toronto’s own thrilling and award-winning Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

In her role as choreographer and dancer, Jeannette Zingg has introduced modern audiences to beautiful and historically authentic 17th and 18th century dance.

Early in Marshall’s Pynkoski’s professional life he received a contract to dance for one year at Paris’s famous Moulin Rouge. Like a dream come true, along with his partner Jeannette, he was able to embark on an in-depth study of Baroque opera, ballet and drama, working from original documents archived at the Bibliothèque Nationale and the Paris Opera.

Since founding Opera Atelier with Jeannette, Marshall has won numerous awards including the distinction of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Government of France. For three years he was a guest instructor at the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, collaborating with Les Musiciens du Louvre.

As well as performing throughout Europe, Opera Atelier has also introduced Baroque opera to Asia where throughout Japan, Singapore and Korea.


photo credits: Bruce Zinger

1 comment:

Digital Photography Classes said...

The pictures are great. Very well chosen for this post. And the post....very good informations. Thanx for sharing.