Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Directors Honored with Prestigious French Order of Arts & Letters

By Francisco Salazar

Opera Atelier has announced that the company’s Co-Artistic Directors Marshall Pynkoski C.M. and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg C.M. have been awarded the extraordinary recognition of Officers of the Order of Arts and Letters (Officiers de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by the French Republic. 

This will be the first time a Canadian couple receives the distinction simultaneously. The award will acknowledge the pair’s outstanding contributions to the enrichment of French cultural heritage in France and throughout the world. 

“This remarkable distinction demonstrates the global impact of Opera Atelier’s exceptional body of work over 35 years, and is the culmination of a lifetime of rigorous study and passionate devotion to the preservation and celebration of France’s rich cultural heritage on the part of Marshall and Jeannette,” Laura Money, Chair of the Opera Atelier Board of Directors said in a press statement. “We trust this recognition will serve to further solidify Opera Atelier’s place in the global opera sphere and illuminate the immense talent that is cultivated in Canada. On behalf of Opera Atelier’s Board of Directors, I offer Marshall and Jeannette my heartfelt congratulations.”

The company is planning a special Toronto event in celebration of this award in 2020 and the ceremony of investiture will take place on the stage of the Royal Opera House at Versailles in December 2021, when Pynkoski and Lajeunesse Zingg return to mount a Château de Versailles production.