Glynis Leyshon

Director

 

Glynis Leyshon

Director

Canadian Citizenship

Glynis Leyshon is one of Canada’s most respected opera and theatre directors. The British Columbia native’s projects for the current season include South Pacific for Calgary Opera and Handel’s Rodelinda for Pacific Opera Victoria. She directed the world premiere of Estacio’s Ours last season for Opera on the Avalon and will be involved in future remounts of this affecting work. Credits in recent seasons have included Lucia di Lammermoor for Pacific Opera Victoria, Mikado for Calgary Opera, Falstaff and Die Fledermaus for Calgary Opera and Opera Hamilton, Albert Herring for Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria and Madama Butterfly and La Traviata for Calgary Opera. Her special association with these two companies has also resulted in acclaimed productions of The Rake’s Progress, Barber’s Vanessa, Otello and Simon Boccanegra and Der Fliegende Holländer.

Ms. Leyshon directed productions of Rigoletto for Vancouver Opera and Die Zauberflöte in both Victoria, British Columbia and London, Ontario. Further credits include Cenerentola, The Merry Widow and Tales of Hoffmann for Calgary Opera; Salome, and Madama Butterfly for Vancouver Opera; Trail by Jury for Edmonton Opera and Falstaff for Opera Lyra, Ottawa. From 2002-04, Ms. Leyshon was Head of the Opera as Theatre Programme at The Banff Centre where she mounted original opera programmes, created by renowned opera librettist John Murrell, focusing on operatic works based on the plays of Shakespeare.

During her longstanding relationship with Pacific Opera Victoria, Ms. Leyshon has created over 20 new productions. Highlights include Eugene Onegin, Macbeth, two separate productions of Don Giovanni, Pirates of Penzance, and a rare revival of Vittorio Giannini’s The Taming of the Shrew and the Canadian premier of Blitzstein’s Regina.

While the majority of this operatic work has been in the traditional repertoire, Ms. Leyshon’s experience as a dramaturge and director of new theatre work has led her to develop and direct a number of new opera productions including Game Misconduct by Leslie Uyeda and librettist Tom Cone, which had a successful premier at Festival Vancouver. She has also been invited to workshop a number of contemporary pieces at The Banff Centre and assisted in the preparation of Mary’s Wedding, a new opera based on Stephen Massicotte’s award-winning play for Pacific Opera Victoria’s world premiere in 2011.

As Artistic Director of the Playhouse Theatre Company in Vancouver (1997 – 2009), Ms. Leyshon directed a wide range of work, including a Jessie award-winning production of Equus, Copenhagen with Tony award winner Brent Carver, A Little Night Music, Mrs. Warren’s Profession (co-production with The Citadel Theatre, Edmonton), The Beauty Queen of Lenane (co-production with the National Arts Centre) and Wit (co-production with Canadian Stage, Toronto).

Before the Playhouse, Ms. Leyshon served as Artistic Director of the Belfry Theatre in Victoria for 11 seasons. During her tenure she directed over 25 productions, including national tours of The Ballad of Phil Ochs and was instrumental in heading a capital campaign that allowed the theatre to purchase and renovate a landmark heritage building.

Ms. Leyshon has also been invited to direct for theatre companies across the country, including the hugely successful Gershwin musical Lady Be Good and the rarely mounted Sullivan musical The Zoo for the Shaw Festival. Other theatrical works include the Chalmers award-winning The Hope Slide at the Tarragon Theatre, The Taming of the Shrew at Vancouver’s International Shakespeare Festival Bard on the Beach, Vigil for Theatre Calgary, and the world premiers of Warriors by Michel Garneau and Moo by Sally Clark at the international ATP Playrites Theatre Festival. In June of 2008 she premiered a new play, Where the Blood Mixes, at Luminato, Toronto’s Festival of Arts and Creativity and at the Magnetic North Festival in Vancouver.

Ms. Leyshon has a particular passion for working with and teaching young and emerging artists and is the recipient of Canada’s Commonwealth Medal for her contributions to the arts. She has conducted master classes for opera training programmes in Calgary, Victoria, Courtenay, and Banff. In addition to this work, she has also conducted courses at the University of Victoria, William Head Penitentiary, the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and the University of British Columbia, where she serves as an Adjunct Professor.

                                                                                                                                                November 2017

 

 

APPOINTMENTS

1997 – 2008 Artistic Director of Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company
2002 – 2004 Head of the Opera As Theatre program at The Banff Centre
1986 – 1997 Artistic Director of the Belfry Theatre

OPERA

* New Production
** Premiere

Pacific Opera Victoria IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA *
DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL *
LA BOHÈME *
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR *
MACBETH *
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM *
THE TURN OF THE SCREW *
DIE FLEDERMAUS *
THE MERRY WIDOW *
HMS PINAFORE *
PIRATES OF PENZANCE *
DON GIOVANNI * (2 separate productions)
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW *
AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS *
EUGENE ONEGIN *
REGINA *
DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE *
MARY’S WEDDING **
Vancouver Opera SALOME*
MADAMA BUTTERFLY
RIGOLETTO
CENERENTOLA* Three Vancouver Opera School Tours
LA BOHÈME* Vancouver Opera School Tour
DON PASQUALE* Vancouver Opera School Tour
Calgary Opera CENERENTOLA *
CENERENTOLA (student matinee)
THE MERRY WIDOW
TRIAL BY JURY
THE MIKADO
LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN
RIGOLETTO *
DON GIOVANNI *
Edmonton Opera TRIAL BY JURY
Opera Lyra Ottawa FALSTAFF
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
Orchestra London DON GIOVANNI *
DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE *
Banff Centre MR. GILBERT AND MR. SULLIVAN PRESENT
SHAKESPEARE AND OPERA (excerpt programme)
20TH CENTURY OPERA (excerpt programme)
Opera Piccola COSÌ FAN TUTTE
DIE SCHÖNE GALATEA
TROUBLE IN TAHITI
Festival Vancouver GAME MISCONDUCT (world premier)
Music by Leslie Uyeda and libretto by Tom Cone
University of Victoria THREEPENNY OPERA
HÄNSEL UND GRETEL
THE IMPRESARIO

THEATRE (Selected Credits)

Vancouver Playhouse

OLEANNA * Jessie Award Best Production
THREE TALL WOMEN
HUMBLE BOY (co-production with Canadian Stage, Toronto) * Jessie Award
WIT (co-production with Canadian Stage) * Jessie and Dora Awards
BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE (co-production with National Arts Centre)
COPENHAGEN * Jessie Awards nominee
EQUUS * Jessie Awards Best production and Direction
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC * Ovation Award Best Production
A PERFECT GANESH (co-production with Manitoba Theatre Centre)
MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION (co-production with Citadel Theatre, Edmonton)
TARTUFFE adaption by David King (co-production with Citadel Theatre)* Jessie Nominee
PROOF (co-production with Western Canada Theatre) * Jessie Award
STONES IN HIS POCKETS (remounted for Belfry Theatre Victoria) Jessie Nominee
ROMEO AND JULIET

Belfry Theatre

PUTTING ON THE RITZ
TORONTO, MISSISSIPPI
LIPS TOGETHER, TEETH APART (co-production with Manitoba Theatre Centre)
THREE PENNY OPERA (co-production with the Arts Club)

Shaw Festival

MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION
THE ZOO
PRESS CLIPPINGS
THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE

“Director Glynis Leyshon and set designer Allan Stitchbury somehow found a way to take what may be the smallest opera stage in Canada and make it large enough to allow this wildly dramatic story to feel wild and dramatic.”
Opera Canada, Robbin Miller [Der fliegende Holländer, Pacific Opera Victoria]

“Both in the grand overview, and in almost every last detail, Pacific Opera Victoria’s Rake’s Progress is a triumph. Under the leadership, at once meticulous, inspired, and inspiring, of conductor Timothy Vernon and director Glynis Leyshon, music and drama alike were realized as consummately as I have ever experienced in the course of more than half a century’s acquaintance with this original and compelling masterpiece.”
International Opera Review – Bernard Jacobson

“Are there still people who think The Rake’s Progress is rife with dramaturgical “problems”? They should see Glynis Leyshon’s magnificent production. In this crazy-quilt of literary, theatrical, and musical influences she sees not problems but opportunities; she takes this fantastical fable at face value and revels in the play of genres and styles.”
The Victoria Times Colonist – Kevin Bazzana

“The total effect was powerful and strong… Leyshon was in firm control of the devices of the theatre and used them to project her clear central concept.”
Opera Canada – Kenneth DeLong [Calgary Opera’s Rigoletto]