Now well into its fourth decade, Opera Atelier, based in Toronto, styles itself “Canada’s premier period opera/ballet company” and has a shelf of international prizes to back up the claim. This virtual production of Handel’s oratorio The Resurrection (sung in the original Italian) epitomizes the house aesthetic, which we’ll paraphrase this way: Do your homework, but never paint by the numbers of yesteryear! Start afresh!
A notice at the top of the show points up an intriguing parallel. When The Resurrection opened in Rome in 1709, during Lent, papal restrictions forced Handel out of the theater and into the ballroom of the Palazzo Ruspoli. Just so, in 2021, public-health measures in Toronto forced Opera Atelier out of their theater into the ballroom of St. Lawrence Hall. Okay, people, consider yourselves historically informed!