Filumena to open National Arts Centre showcase,
Alberta Scene


After sold-out performances in Calgary and Banff, the acclaimed original opera Filumena heads to Ottawa in the spring of 2005 to open the National Arts Centre’s two-week festival of Alberta culture, Alberta Scene. The Banff Centre will produce two performances of Filumena on the National Arts Centre’s Southam Hall stage April 28 and 30, 2005, in celebration of Alberta’s centennial. “The Banff Centre is thrilled that the rest of Canada will have an opportunity to experience this new work, and to gain an appreciation for the vibrant performing arts in Alberta,” says Mary Hofstetter, president and CEO of The Banff Centre. Filumena will be presented by the National Arts Centre in association with Opera Lyra of Ottawa.

alberta sceneFor more information on Alberta Scene at the National Arts Centre, visit their website.

With music by Calgary Opera composer-in-residence John Estacio and libretto by John Murrell, artistic director of Theatre Arts at The Banff Centre, Filumena was originally co-commissioned, developed, and co-produced by The Banff Centre and Calgary Opera. It tells the tragic true story of Florence (Filumena) Lassandro, who married into a bootlegging family in Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region during the prohibition era, and was convicted of murdering a provincial police constable. She was one of the last women hanged in Canada.

Developed through musical and dramaturgical workshops at The Banff Centre over the course of almost three years, Filumena was premiered by the Calgary Opera in February 2003. The same cast and core creative team then remounted the opera as a highlight of the 2003 Banff Summer Arts Festival, and it went on to win four Betty Mitchell Awards in Calgary.

Filumena was chosen to open Alberta Scene because it symbolizes everything the festival was designed to achieve. “Filumena is a perfect example of the creativity and progressiveness of Alberta’s arts scene,” says Heather Moore, producer and executive director of Alberta Scene. “It’s the pinnacle of the professionalism and talent in the arts in Alberta.” Presented by the National Arts Centre as a showcase of the work of more than 600 artists from around the province, Alberta Scene encompasses 95 events in 19 venues around Ottawa from April 28 to May 10, 2005.

A selection of works from the Alberta Biennial will also be presented at Alberta Scene.

Filumena to highlight 2005 Banff Summer Arts Festival

Filumena also highlights the 2005 Banff Summer Arts Festival with performances on August 3, 4, 5, and 6. This revival of Filumena celebrates Alberta’s 100 years as part of Canadian Confederation.