Tragic. Classic. Controversial.
It may be the most famous play in the English-speaking world--the title role has proven irresistible for actors from Berndhardt to Olivier. For all that, Hamlet’s operatic incarnation is a rarity. In 1868 Ambroise Thomas gave the melancholy Dane lyrical life in a work we are delighted to offer this festival season. Baritone Edward Nelson, fresh from his performances at SF Opera in Don Pasquale, takes on the title role. Soprano Emma McNairy also joins the cast as Ophelie, returning after her successes in 2015's Lulu and 2016's Powder Her Face.
Music by Ambroise Thomas
Libretto by Michel Carré and Jules Barbier
In French with English supertitles
Conducted by Jonathan Khuner
Directed by Aria Umezawa
Director Aria Umezawa makes her West Edge debut in Hamlet. Umezawa is Artistic Director of Toronto-based independent opera company Opera 5, and the creator, director, and writer of the webseries "Opera Cheats". A graduate of McGill University, she was an Apprentice Stage Director in the 2016 Merola Opera Program, where she staged the Merola Grand Finale concert. She has been praised for her irreverent, post-modern, imaginative and quirky visual style by online and print publications such as The Boston Globe, The Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Chronicle, and Toronto’s Barcza Blog.
Jonathan Khuner has been Musical Director of West Edge Opera since 1986 and served as Artistic Director from 1994 to 2009. He has conducted over 65 of our productions. He has also worked as assistant conductor at the San Francisco Opera for over thirty years, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York for over fifteen years, and has served as well on the musical staff of Chicago's Lyric Opera since 1992. In 2013 he conducted the first Wagner opera ever performed in the nation of Albania: Tannhӓuser, at the National Theater in Tirana, and the Wagner Mini-Ring at Minnesota Concert Opera