The Cultch Historic Theatre20 Sep '18 to 22 Sep '18 @ 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
City Opera Vancouver presents the astonishing and macabre operatic thriller, Nigredo Hotel, on September 20 – 22, 2018 at 8pm at The Cultch Historic Theatre. This one-act chamber opera directed by Alan Corbishley, with music by Nic Gotham and libretto by distinguished Canadian author and playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald, tells the tale of an encounter between a beautiful but crazed hotelier and a brain surgeon who seeks refuge after a traumatic car accident. Internationally renowned opera stars Tyler Duncan and Sarah Vardy will perform a brilliant Jungian-inspired combat between two of the most unusual characters in 20th century opera, backed by a four-player jazz combo.
Commissioned by Tapestry Opera, Gotham’s Dora Award-winning Nigredo Hotel originally featured only the single character of Raymond (Duncan). After approaching MacDonald in 1988 to write the libretto — the first and only opera libretto she has created to date — Gotham was convinced to introduce the powerful female proprietress, Sophie (Vardy). The story follows Raymond who escapes to a decrepit hotel after his car crash. He fears he may have harmed a child. Stressed and confused, Raymond is further disoriented by Sophie’s strange and combative nature and the fact that she seems to know a great deal about him.
Raymond’s descent into crisis is depicted through MacDonald’s brilliant libretto full of riddles and half-remembered stories. She draws on Carl Jung’s “nigredo,” a theory that souls are led to suffer through a dark night to reach enlightenment, and revelations of the dream state. The two characters hold a complicated psychological relationship and share three remarkable stories: his, hers, and — ultimately — theirs. Gotham’s haunting score bridges the continent between jazz and classical music, combining traditional operatic components of overture, recitatives, and arias with improvisational jazz rhythms and harmonies. Gotham's score calls for an extraordinary twenty-one percussion instruments. The unsettling nature of Raymond’s madness is punctuated with an extensive use of bass instruments and percussion, which evoke the brooding quality of film noir.
Internationally renowned Canadian baritone Duncan returns to the Vancouver stage to make his City Opera debut as Raymond after his breathtaking performance at EMV’s 2017 Vancouver Bach Festival. Duncan is a multi-award winning vocalist widely known for his performances of art song, oratorio and operatic roles across North America, Europe, and South Africa.
A multi-award winning Canadian novelist, playwright, actor, and broadcast journalist, MacDonald reached international acclaim for her first novel Fall On Your Knees. The epic story won the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year, the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, and was selected for Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club. Additionally, MacDonald won the Governor General’s Award for her first solo-authored play Goodnight Desdemona, a work for which Gotham composed the incidental music and sound effects.
City Opera Vancouver presents Nigredo Hotel
Dates: September 20 – 22, 2018
Ticket Prices: From $22.25
Address: The Cultch Historic Theatre 1895 Venables Street Vancouver, BC, V5L 2H6