Local restaurants present libations inspired by Edmonton Opera’s Lucia di Lammermoor

Lucia's Libations. Image courtesy of Edmonton Opera.

Lucia’s Libations. Image courtesy of Edmonton Opera.

On April 18, 21 and 23, the Edmonton Opera has brought back a show that hasn’t been seen in this city for nearly 20 years. Lucia di Lammermoor, a Donizetti story reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, is an Italian opera set on the gothic moors of Scotland. As the tale goes, Lucia is forced into a loveless marriage by her brother, and as desperation consumes our protagonist, she commits a chilling murder on her wedding night.

The Edmonton Opera, working with Yelp Edmonton, challenged local restaurants to flex their creativity, asking them to come up with a libation inspired by this dark thriller. As Tim Yakimec, Edmonton Opera’s general manager and artistic director, said, “Opera pairs well with many things, food and drink included.” A first-time project for this organization, presenting opera as a cocktail is smart – they can reach a new audience while also building relationships within the culinary community.

Three restaurants stepped up to give their take on this show. &27, BLVD and Mercer Tavern’s bartenders all chose to acknowledge the Scottish landscape through the use of various scotches, adding additional ingredients to marry the other themes of the show.

From now until April 23, you’re invited to patronize these restaurants and encouraged to try each of their specially designed Lucia di Lammermoor influenced cocktails in order to ready yourself for this opera. Or, if you’d like, perhaps you can attempt to whip one up at home using these recipes.

 

Lucia's Loch from &27

Lucia’s Loch from &27. Image courtesy of Edmonton Opera.

&27
10612 82 Avenue
Created by Janice Bochon

Lucia’s Loch

1 oz Kahlua
1 oz Bowmore 12 year
1 oz Lavender simple syrup
2 oz milk

“A drink reminiscent, both visually and flavour-wise, of Scotland’s misty lochs and moors,” Bochon said. “Complemented with the lavender subtle flavour notes as well as its more seductive symbolism of devotion, ardent attachment and distrust.”

 

BLVD-COCKTAIL

Lucia’s Royal Blue Hour on the Moors from BLVD. Image courtesy of Edmonton Opera.

BLVD 
10765 Jasper Avenue
Created by Brendan Brewster

Lucia’s Royal Blue Hour on the Moors

1.5 oz Blue Hour Reposado Tequila
0.5 oz Blue Alize
0.25 oz Campari
0.25 oz Drambuie
0.25 oz fresh lemon juice

Short stir for dilution, double strain into a clean flute, top with Prosecco. Garnish with an edible hibiscus flower, which will act like nucleus points for the carbonation in the Prosecco.

“Made with a highlands Reposado, it has a fine balance between the agave notes, the wood, scotch-smoke and the bittersweet strawberry of the Campari. Kind of like a Rosita meets a Seelbach, burnt,” Brewster explained.

 

mercer-cocktail2

The Fat Lady cocktail from Mercer Tavern. Image courtesy of Edmonton Opera.

Mercer Tavern
10363 104 Street
Created by Taylor Zottl

The Fat Lady cocktail

0.5 oz Dubonnet
0.5 oz Campari
0.5 oz Averna
0.5 oz Glenlivet 12year
1 dash of lemon bitters

Build in glass with all ingredients, Stir for 20 seconds with ice cubes. Garnish with an orange peel and the lemon bitters on top.

 

I know that I can’t wait to sample these drink creations over the next two and a half weeks, and will, of course, be posting about them through social media, if I do. So, please be sure to share your experiences via Twitter (@edmontonopera) and Instagram (@edmopera), using the hashtags #eoLucia and #eoMixology; Edmonton Opera can also be found on Facebook.

Here’s hoping to a successful first endeavour for the Edmonton Opera, as I’m certain opera and cocktail fans alike would love to see round two.

For more information about Lucia di Lammermoor, or to purchase tickets, click here.

Edmonton Opera presents Lucia de Lammermoor

Edmonton Opera presents Lucia de Lammermoor

*Please don’t drink and drive. Arrange for a cab or a designated driver.*
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Be a Friend of the Arts

Poster for the 31st Annual Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival

It’s summer in Edmonton and with that comes what seems to be an endless array of festivals, but my favourite one of the year is the upcoming Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, which runs every August. The inaugural year having taken place in 1982, 2012 marks the 31st anniversary and the biggest one to date. With 1800 performances and 215 shows in 52 venues, this remains the largest theatre festival in North America.

Over the last few years I’ve really grown to love the Fringe. So much so that I have managed to break my record of shows attended each year with a total of 29 in 10 days in 2011. Every week and a half of the festival is a whirlwind of performances. I always forgo reading reviews beforehand, taking a chance on what I see, and I truly have never been disappointed by a show.

These are my favourites from the last two seasons.

2010

The Pumpkin Pie Show – Commencement

A heartwrenching show about the aftermath of a school shooting, the families of the victims and the shooter and the only friend the shooter didn’t even know he had.

 

Wanderlust

A captivating story of a man’s travels through West Africa.

 

Death: LIVE!

Death recalls his top 10 most successful deaths of all-time.

 

2011

6 Guitars

A brilliant solo performance spanning characters, decades and musical genres.

UPDATE: 6 Guitars is back again for the 2012 festival with the “full version” coming in at 90 minutes instead of the 60 minutes of last year’s perfomance. It is showing daily at the Stanley A. Milner Library in downtown Edmonton. Click here to see all the available showtimes.

 

Zack Adams: Love Songs for Future Girl

Dumped by his girlfriend, Zack Adams looks back on his past relationships to see what went wrong and to determine whether or not he’s missed out on his soulmate. Charming and hilarious. This is the only video I could find.

 

Men Telling Stories

Two guys telling us what it’s like to be average men in this world. They say they’re going to be your best friends for 45 minutes and I honestly walked out wishing they really were.

 

I’m not sure if your city has a Fringe Theatre Festival. If they do, I urge you to support the arts and attend a couple shows. These performers put everything they have into entertaining you. Whether it’s funny, sad, heartwarming or haunting, I guarantee that whatever you see will get you thinking, generate conversation and maybe even make a lifetime Fringer out of you. If you don’t have a local Fringe or Theatre Festival, but you love the arts, think about making a trip to the one nearest you in the next year or two or three. And, barring any of that, just visit your local theatre and see what’s being offered. Live theatre is often more creative and original than any movie you would spend your $10-$15 on. It can take you places you’ve never dreamed of and more than likely you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Have you been to a Fringe Festival this year or in the past? What shows have stuck with you? As always, I’d love to hear from you, so please share in the comments below. Shows travel, so you never know. Maybe I’ll have a chance to see what you’ve suggested.

Photo source: CKUA.com