York Music Department stages a Menotti classic

If you love opera – or if you’ve never been but want to give it a try – don’t miss this fabulous opportunity at York this week.

Gian Carlo Menotti’s haunting chamber opera, The Medium, featuring a stellar cast of York music students and recent graduates, comes to campus for one performance only on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 8pm in the Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre, Accolade East Building.

Left: Gian Carlo Menotti

The Medium has enthralled audiences for more than 50 years. It tells the eerie tale of a woman caught between two worlds: a real world she cannot wholly comprehend, and a supernatural world in which she cannot believe.

The fraudulent clairvoyant Madame Flora feels a spectral hand on her neck as she conducts a seance. She accuses her daughter Monica and mute assistant Toby of playing a cruel trick. Is Madame Flora going mad, or is the other world taking its revenge?

Set to Menotti’s magical, melodic score, the story unfolds to a dramatic and shocking climax. For a spoiler, click here.  

Presented by the Department of Music in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, this Summer Opera Lyric Theatre production of The Medium is directed by Guillermo Silva-Marin, with music direction by pianist Nathalie Doucet-Lalkens. The production is sung in English and features Toronto contralto Laura McAlpine in the title role, with York music alumna, soprano Michelle Danese (BFA `07) as Monica, current students Sonia Cosentino as Mrs. Nolan, Amanda Jones as Mrs. Gobineau and Patrick Twaddle as Mr. Gobineau, and alumnus Paul Silvestri (BFA `06) as Toby.

Menotti, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Italian-American playwright and composer, wrote The Medium in 1948. It was an immediate hit, sweeping Broadway and international stages, and going to become an Oscar-nominated movie.

Silva-Marin has distinguished himself as a performer, stage director, writer, designer, teacher and producer over the past three decades. He has performed with leading symphony orchestras and opera companies across North America. His directorial credits include some 40 operettas and music theatre productions, including numerous Canadian works and several world premieres. He is the founding general director of Summer Opera Lyric Theatre and Toronto Operetta Theatre, and also serves as general director of Opera in Concert.

As performer and recording artist, collaborative pianist, music director and coach, Doucet-Lalkens is equally at home in the opera house and on the concert stage. She has toured widely in North America, France and Germany and has served as music director and coach for companies such as Opera McGill, Opera Iowa, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Toronto’s Opera in Concert and Summer Opera Lyric Theatre. She teaches collaborative piano in the Department of Music at York.

Admission is $20 and $10 for students. You can book your tickets online, by phone or in person. Click here for details.