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Cavalia at full gallop

Return of horse and acrobatics extravaganza extends spring run after early ticket surge

In only one week, the equestrian- and acrobatic-arts production Cavalia Odysseo has already sold 5,000 tickets for its return to the city next May.

Demand for the show, which was a smash hit in Winnipeg in the fall of 2015, convinced the show’s creator, Normand Latourelle, to extend Odysseo’s encore performance by two weeks.

Odysseo is slated to begin in Winnipeg May 12 under the White Big Top on the corner of Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway, and now is scheduled to run through June 10, wrapping up just a few days before the city’s summer festival season unofficially kicks off with the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival.

“Just remember, we were here late autumn and we were still selling tickets and we had to leave. After we put the big top down, three days later it started to snow, so it was good timing to leave, but it’s great timing for us to return,” Latourelle said at a news conference Tuesday at Bell MTS Place.

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In only one week, the equestrian- and acrobatic-arts production Cavalia Odysseo has already sold 5,000 tickets for its return to the city next May.

Demand for the show, which was a smash hit in Winnipeg in the fall of 2015, convinced the show’s creator, Normand Latourelle, to extend Odysseo’s encore performance by two weeks. 

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>More than 100,000 tickets were sold for Cavalia Odysseo when it hit Winnipeg in 2015, and sales for next May’s return visit have convinced the show to extend its run until June 10.</p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

More than 100,000 tickets were sold for Cavalia Odysseo when it hit Winnipeg in 2015, and sales for next May’s return visit have convinced the show to extend its run until June 10.

Odysseo is slated to begin in Winnipeg May 12 under the White Big Top on the corner of Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway, and now is scheduled to run through June 10, wrapping up just a few days before the city’s summer festival season unofficially kicks off with the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival.

"Just remember, we were here late autumn and we were still selling tickets and we had to leave. After we put the big top down, three days later it started to snow, so it was good timing to leave, but it’s great timing for us to return," Latourelle said at a news conference Tuesday at Bell MTS Place.

But before he started talking Odysseo, Latourelle had a story to share about his first experience in Winnipeg: he was 17 years old and came as part of a choral and performance group who were touring the country on a school bus they bought.

It was during a "hippie time," and much of what the creator of Odysseo remembered about the city involved beer.

So when his son, David, proposed Winnipeg as a potential market for Odysseo — considered to be the largest touring production in the world — decades later, the elder Latourelle was, admittedly, hesitant.

"What I remember was a lot of beer, a lot of fun, but I’m not sure about the market," Latourelle said with a laugh.

Ultimately, though, the provincial and municipal governments, along with True North Sports and Entertainment, convinced Latourelle to take a risk on Winnipeg, and it paid off in a big way. During its six-week run in the fall of 2015, Odysseo sold more than 100,000 tickets.

Because of that success, Winnipeg is one of only four cities to see a repeat visit (the others are Laval, Que., Toronto and Montreal), and Latourelle said when he and his team were deciding which cities to revisit, Winnipeg was high on the list.

"No doubt when we look at the map, there was no doubt Winnipeg was the place we wanted to come back to in this part of Canada," said Latourelle. 

For those who caught Odysseo in 2015, much of the 2018 show will remain the same — the forest, the 10-metre mountain and the lake will all return — but Latourelle noted there will also be a few substantial changes to the finale. 

"Live show is always in evolution... There is a significant change at the end of the show — the finale is totally transformed," he said.

"You’re going to see a lot of new stuff in the finale we perform in the water and I might have a surprise... I don’t want to talk about it now, but I will have a surprise that will be major."

Tickets for Odysseo are available at Cavalia.com or Ticketmaster, and range in price from $47 to $125.50, plus fees. VIP packages are also available.

erin.lebar@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @NireRabel

Read more by Erin Lebar .

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History

Updated on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 3:35 PM CST: Adds video

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