Marshall Pynkoski’s fascination with music, theatre and dance of the 17th and 18th centuries began in classes with the late Leonard Crainford and John Marshall, respectively Chairman and Major Examiner, Royal Academy of Dancing in London. His further studies with Florentina Lojekova (Master Artist of Czech Republic) and David Moroni (the Royal Winnipeg Ballet) were pivotal in his decision to pursue a career as a dancer and director.
Early in Mr. Pynkoski’s professional career, he had the opportunity to undertake in-depth studies of Baroque opera and ballet in Paris. His studies continued with renowned Baroque dramaturge Professor Dene Barnett at Flinders University in South Australia.
In 1985 he founded Opera Atelier with his partner Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg and he has since directed a wide range of period productions of Baroque and early Classical opera and ballet in close collaboration with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. He has acted as guest instructor at the Centre for Baroque Studies, Versailles under conductor Marc Minkowski and has collaborated with many of the finest artists in the world of early music. His productions of opera and ballet have toured throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
He is a recipient of numerous awards including the Toronto Arts Award, the Ruby Award for outstanding contribution to opera in Canada, and the TIME Magazine award for Classical music. He has been named Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France. In 2013 Mr. Pynkoski had his Salzburg Festival debut with Mozart’s Lucio Silla and he recently made his directorial debut at La Scala in Milan. In August 2018, he was joined by OA’s entire creative team to direct and open a new production of Rossini’s Ricciardo e Zoraide for the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy.
Mr. Pynkoski was awarded the Order of Canada in 2018. In 2019 he directed Grétry’s Richard Cœur-de-Lion for the Royal Opera House, Versailles. Most recently he was made an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the government of France.
The Eye and Eye’s Delight has been inspired by a mystic poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, titled The Annunciation. Rilke’s poem became the takeoff point for an exploration of visions, hallucinations and dreams, featuring Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman and Artists of Atelier Ballet. The music for The Eye and Eye’s Delight has been specifically commissioned by Opera Atelier from Canadian composer Edwin Huizinga and Rilke’s poem was translated for Opera Atelier by American writer/playwright Grace Andreacchi.
Canadian filmmaker Marcel Canzona has created a dreamworld in which there is no narrative per se, rather a series of arresting vignettes which, much like the lines of Rilke’s verse, are constantly shifting and dissolving, one into the other.