Monday, April 8, 2013

Entertaining Edmonton Opera Brunch

Brunch at Sutton Place Hotel
We were invited to attend the Edmonton Opera brunch at Sutton Place Hotel for their upcoming production of Eugene Onegin. Although we had never attended an Edmonton Opera brunch before, my female human and I were fairly familiar with opera and in particular the Edmonton Opera and their work, as she had worked with them years ago as part of the stage management team on a few of their productions. So we jumped at the chance to spend a Sunday eating brunch while listening to opera singers in a venue more intimate than the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

Lots of food
Arriving at Sutton Place Hotel, we were glad we opted to dress up, as the majority of attendees were dressed anywhere from business casual to semi formal, as was the case with several children in attendance. When we arrived at our assigned table, we were immediately greeted by serving staff offering coffee, orange juice, and mimosas.

Chocolate Mousse
The brunch offerings for the day was themed after the opera, Eugene Onegin, offering several Russian dishes, as well as heartier brunch fare than normally found in Western brunches. Most of the items were very tasty, including the Russian dumplings, which were hearty, smooth and creamy. The more traditionally brunch items such as turkey sausage were lean, yet plump and juicy, while the potato hash was well seasoned, with textures ranging from soft to crispy. Although I was leery of eating eggs benedict off a buffet line, the poached egg was perfectly cooked soft so that the yolk oozed out when cut into. There was also a huge array of desserts from healthy fruit to lighter pastries to rich cakes. Our tablemate, Stella, advised us to go for the chocolate mousse ASAP as they are both delicious and coveted by many in attendance, and there are never enough to go around. The chocolate mousse was rich yet airy let, and we were glad that we went to get dessert immediately after were finished with our main brunch items.

James McLennan
Just before noon, they began the formal program with the principal cast of Eugene Onegin each singing a Slavic song, including Russian, Ukrainian and Czech. There appeared to be an unintentional theme to the songs, with all of them being about mothers or gypsies. The singing was moving, emotional, and touched me to the core, and the small size of the space allowed you to physically feel the power of each singer’s voice. We were seated at a table with young opera aficionados who seemed to be around the same age as my humans, Stella, Paul, Bart and Kirsten were friendly, welcoming, and made the lunch fly by, even inviting us to hang out with them at the opera if we decided to attend.

Dina Kuznetsova
Overall if you enjoy opera or classical music, the Edmonton Opera brunch is a nice way to spend a Sunday, and your best opportunity to see opera singers sing in such a private setting. Good food, amazing music, and good company are all in store and I hope we can attend again in the future. Tickets to Edmonton Opera brunches can be purchased individually or as a season package directly from the Edmonton Opera by call 780-429-1000.

Tickets for Eugene Onegin are available directly from the Edmonton Opera by calling 780-429-1000 or through their website, and will be playing at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium on the following dates:
Aleksey Bogdanov and Olga Savova

Friday, April 19, 2013 – 8:00pm
Sunday, April 21, 2013 – 2:00pm
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 – 7:30pm
Thursday, April 25, 2013 – 7:30pm

Oh, and don’t worry about trying to understand the singing which is in Russian! The Edmonton Opera holds a free talk 45 minutes before curtain in the Kaasa Lobby at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium to give you a run through of exactly what happens in the show. As well, there is always a synopsis of each act included in the program, and surtitles, translations of the lyrics, in English are projected above the stage so you know exactly what they are singing as they are singing it!

More photos at PhotoBucket!

Edmonton Opera
780-429-1000 (Box Office)
Twitter: @edmontonopera

(Note: There was no financial compensation from the Edmonton Opera for this blog post, although they did provide two free tickets to their Eugene Onegin Edmonton Opera brunch event. Any review provided by me will completely reflect my thoughts and opinions - good or bad, and will not be swayed by having free tickets provided.)

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