Toronto Operetta Theatre Presents Franz Lehar's THE LAND OF SMILES, Now thru Jan 5

THE LAND OF SMILES, Franz Lehar's great masterwork from the 1920's is Toronto Operetta Theatre's Holiday Production with performances at the St. Lawrence Centre today, Dec. 27, 28, 29 (mat), 31, 2013 and Jan 2, 3, 4, 5 (mat), 2014. Continuing the Viennese Silvesterball tradition, there will be a Gala New Year's Eve performance and dinner/dance on December 31, 2013 at the HotHouse Restaurant & Bar, steps from the St. Lawrence Centre.

"Our Holiday production is always an entertainment highlight for Toronto's music lovers," said TOT's General DirectorGuillermo Silva-Marin, "and this year we are presenting one of the most beloved operettas of them all." THE LAND OF SMILES (Das Land des Lächelns) is a daring look at love and duty across cultural boundaries when a Chinese prince falls in love with a Viennese beauty. Highlighted by the matchless love song "You are my heart's delight," Lehar's melodic invention reaches new heights, reflecting the lovers' passion and yearning for happiness as they strain against the unyielding demands of empires.

Lara Ciekiewicz - TOT's fiery Maritza two seasons ago - will be heard as Countess Lisa, in love with Prince Sou Chong, sung by Ernesto Ramirez, who captured hearts in LUISA FERNANDA. Ms. Ciekiewicz recently starred asMicaela in CARMEN for Opera Lyra in Ottawa and Nellie Forbush in SOUTH PACIFIC for Pacific Opera Victoria. Ramirez returns to Canada following performances in Mexico as Lindoro in LA CENERENTOLA. Debuting sopranosVania Chan and Cindy Zhang share the role of Mi (sister to Sou-Chong), who falls for the charms of Gustl, played byAdam Fisher, last season's breakout star of LA VIE PARISIENNE. Baritone Curtis Sullivan returns to TOT for the imposing Prince Tschang after an impressive turn in Opera Atelier's last production. Canadian Opera Company conductorDerek Bate leads the cast, chorus and orchestra with Silva-Marin as stage director.

In addition to support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, theJackman Foundation, Bedolfe Foundation and The Dalglish Family Foundation, the company counts among its partners, KPMG, GluskinSheff, HotHouse Restaurant & Bar, Huziak Graphic Designs and media sponsors Deutsche Presse, NTD Television, The Epoch Times and MZ Media.

The theatre is wheelchair accessible and close to public transit and municipal parking. Call the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts at 416-366-7723, 1-800-708-7654 or online at

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