Hamlet: An Opera – Workshops

Staged Workshop (Piano) – Abridged

June 26 and 27, 2009
Tryptych Vocal Arts
Trinity Presbyterian Church, Toronto, Ontario

As part of their 10th anniversary celebrations, Tryptych Vocal Arts staged workshop performances of an abridged version of Hamlet with piano accompaniment after several weeks of rehearsals under the guidance of stage director Edward Franko and music director Brett Kingsbury. The performances marked the premiere staging of the opera.

The set was conceived as a minimal design with creative use of its space to suggest different locations. The Ghost, for example, appeared lit from behind a two-way mirror on the stage to evoke an other-worldly atmosphere. And for Ophelia's funeral scene, cast members made their way through the seating aisles to suggest a large cemetery.

The cast of singers included tenor Paul Williamson as Hamlet, soprano Abigail Freeman as Ophelia, baritone Nathaniel Wiseman as Claudius, Virginia Gallop Evoy as Gertrude, and tenor Edward Franko as Laertes.

Workshop and Concert Reading (Orchestra)

August 16, 2008
Stratford Summer Music
St. Andrew’s Church, Stratford, Ontario

This workshop brought together 7 singers and 8 instrumentalists under the guidance of Richards and conductor Wesley Ferreira in a week of intensive rehearsals that culminated in the first public reading of the work. The orchestra consisted of 2 horns, 1 percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello, and double bass.

Since it was a concert performance, it did not involve acting, costumes, or scenery as in a fully staged production—the focus here was on the music. A reception afterward allowed the audience to discuss the new work with the composer and company.

The cast of vocalists consisted of tenor Joseph Schnurr in the title role, soprano Meghan Fleet as Ophelia, baritone Andrew Tees as the King, soprano Catherine Gardner as the Queen, bass Michael Uloth as Polonius, tenor Michael Barrett as Laertes, and baritone Mark Gardner as Horatio.

Photos – Stratford Workshop

Tenor Joseph Schnurr sings the role of Hamlet at the sitzprobe.

Composer Mark Richards follows the score during the dress rehearsal.

Conductor Wesley Ferreira leads the ensemble in the public reading.

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