Transit of Venus (opera)

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Transit of Venus is an opera in three acts by Victor Davies. The English libretto is by Canadian playwright Maureen Hunter based on her play of the same name first produced at the Manitoba Theatre Centre in November 1992.

Performance history[edit]

The opera was first performed by Manitoba Opera on November 24, 2007.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 24 November 2007
(Conductor: James Meena)
Le Gentil, age 35, astronomer baritone Russell Braun
Celeste, age 15, his fiancée soprano Monica Huisman
Margot, age 36, his mother’s companion mezzo-soprano Jean Stilwell
Demarais, age 18, his assistant tenor Colin Ainsworth
Madame Sylvie, age 65, his mother mezzo-soprano Judith Forst
Male and female servants chorus


The story is based on the expeditions of the 18th-century French astronomer, Guillaume le Gentil de la Galaisière. He attempted to record the transit of the planet Venus across the sun as a way of estimating the distance between the earth and the sun. Celeste, his fiancée, loves him at first but then turns to his assistant, Demarais.