Opera, improv and bassoonpalooza highlight Ottawa arts weekend

Opera, improv and bassoonpalooza highlight Ottawa arts weekend

This weekend offers a  chance to act out, enjoy a beloved opera and celebrate the bassoon.


Even before Ottawa's opera company Opera Lyra folded in 2015, the opportunities to see and hear these musical spectacles were far too few for the city's opera lovers.

Opera Pellegrini is filling the void with its production of Tosca, one of Puccini's most famous works — a steamy tale of love, lust and murder.

Tosca offers big scene-chewing roles, and towering arias for the three main characters tangled in a tragic love triangle.

Polish soprano Maria Knapik stars as Tosca, the beguiling chanteuse who is the unfortunate object of desire of Scarpia, the evil police chief played by baritone Jeffrey Carl.  Tenor Steeve Michaud is her lover, the romantic artist Cavaradossi.

Where:  Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 355 Cooper St.

When: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Advance tickets range from $20 to $40 and can be purchased here.  Tickets at the door are $50.

Improv Embassy

Ottawa's Improv Embassy is hosting its annual Improv Festival at Arts Court, and they want you to get in on the action. As well as presenting Improv teams working at the top of their game from across North America, the company is also inviting all comers to participate in a free improv workshop.  

"If you have a little bit of creativity or you want to explore that side of yourself, improv is such a great gateway," said Val Perelshtein of the Improv Embassy ."When you come in we make the space inclusive and positive and fun."

Where: Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave.

When: Performances begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.  The improv workshop takes place a noon on Saturday.

Cost: Tickets to the shows range from $15 to $20 and can be purchased here. Sign up for the free workshop here.

Bassoon man

Bassoonist Ben Glossop is the featured soloist when Ottawa Symphony Orchestra performs two works starring his often unsung instrument: Canadian composer Osker Morawetz's Bassoon Concerto and Shéhérazade by Rimsky-Korsakov.

Glossop says the bassoon is a tricky and unforgiving instrument, but it's capable of a wide range of emotions, from "plaintive to gnarly". The concert will take place at the National Arts Centre on March 13, but the orchestra is holding a rehearsal that's open to the public this Sunday.

Where: Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd, Orléans.

When: Sunday at 1 p.m.

Cost: $15 dollars for adults, children under 12 are free. Tickets are available at the box office.

If you have an event you want to let us know about, email Sandra at sandra.abma@cbc.ca