Phantom of the Opera meets ballet at Lester Centre

A timeless story mixed with a timeless artistic medium is set to dazzle North Coast audiences

The Phantom of the Opera will be in Prince Rupert on Saturday

The Phantom of the Opera will be in Prince Rupert on Saturday

A timeless story mixed with a timeless artistic medium is set to dazzle North Coast audiences this coming Saturday at the Lester Centre of the Arts.

Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada’s Phantom of the Opera stage performance will hit Prince Rupert on Saturday, April 15 and the classic story, inspired by Gason Leroux’s novel written in 1910, will be adapted by artistic director Igor Dobrovolskiy (choreography), Paul Daigle (costumes) and Brian Perchaluk (set design).

Francis Poulenc’s music makes the story come alive with Atlantic Ballet Theatre’s cast of dancers, who tell the tale of Erik, the Phantom, and his hidden romantic heart and sensitive soul.

As the story evolves, Erik’s desire for the beautiful Christine takes a few turbulent twists as he tries to reconcile his appearance with hopeless love.

“This is the first time that I have brought out Atlantic Ballet, so I’m really excited about working with them,” said Crystal Lorette, general manager of the Lester Centre.

“I’ve heard nothing but good things. I’ve seen them pitch before, but I haven’t seen the show in its entirety … It’s taken us over a year to bring them in, but I think it’s going to be well worth it.”

Although the story is told through ballet, the manager said the artistic director will bring their own adaptation to the classic, but audiences will still recognize familiarities that permeate through all renditions.

“You’re definitely going to see Phantom of the Opera, it will just be in a different format,” she said.

The Moncton-based Atlantic Ballet will be travelling to Kitimat as well, but not into Terrace on its short trip to northwest B.C., giving organizers a chance to promote an overnight stay in Rupert while taking in the ballet for out-of-towners.

“Hopefully we won’t have any snow on the roads and we’re encouraging people in Terrace to also participate and enjoy our wonderful facility and Phantom of the Opera,” Lorette said after March was filled with record snowfall levels.

Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada focuses on collaborations and innovative works that “foster cross-sectoral innovation, learning and dialogue that interface with the community and public in new ways.”

Dobrovolskiy is the sole choreographer of the performances and his style emphasizes diversity, original movement and strong technical and expressive skills, while mixing ballet technique with theatrical expression, or “theatre of movement.”

Co-founding the program with Susan Chalmers-Gauvin in 2001, the two have taken the eastern Canadian company from a start-up to an international touring force.

In the past six months alone, the company has performed Phantom, Piaf, Ghosts of Violence and A Christmas Carol The Musical. They have also delighted with Merlin, Romeo and Juliet Fantasy, King Lear, Don Juan, Amadeus and Figaro.

Tickets are going fast, with most of the lower bowl already sold and Lorette said if you’re interested at all, don’t wait.

“Tickets have taken off … Don’t hesitate, you want to get your tickets early,” she said, adding they’re available at the Lester Centre and Cook’s Jewellers.