Against the Grain Theatre have announced the line up for their 2017/18 season. First up is a workshop of a Handel mash up called BOUND. It’s a collaboration with composer Kevin Lau and will explore aspects of the refugee crisis through Handel’s music as well as contemporary real life stories. It’s the beginning of a three year concept to production cycle. The workshop cast will include soprano Danika Lorèn, tenor Asitha Tennekoon, counter-tenor David Trudgen, baritone Justin Welsh, bass Michael Uloth, mezzo-soprano Victoria Marshall and soprano Miriam Khalil. It will play at the COC’s Jackman Studio on December 14, 15, and 16, 2017.
The main stage production is a copro with Opera Columbus of the Berlioz/Glück Orphée. The concept and direction are Joel Ivany’s and this will be a very “not Opera Atelier” baroque production involving dancers from New York City’s Company XIV, a baroque burlesque dance company, and the fabulous aerialist, pole dancer and soprano Marcy Richardson as Amour. Musically, the show will blend the original score with electro-acoustic soundscapes designed by John Gzowski and incorporates a virtual chorus, made up of hundreds of singers, in a digital projection created by set and projection designer Katy Tucker with lighting by JAX Messenger. Topher Mokrzewski will conduct an 11-piece orchestra, which blends classical and electronic string instruments. This one’s booked for April at the Fleck Dance Theatre. More details as and when. It’s high time somebody took an approach like this to the French baroque. I might have picked something like Rameau’s Les Paladins as a more sympa base work but I’ll take the Glück!
There’s also a collab with Canadian baroque-pop artist Kyrie Kristmanson for the Canadian release of her album Modern Ruin, a repertoire for voice and string quartet inspired by the lost songs of the women troubadours of medieval France. Led by stage director Amanda Smith, an AtG ensemble including percussionist Nathan Pettipas, dancer Mary-Dora Bloch-Hansen, and baritone Adam Harris perform original arrangements for marimba and voice, inspired by French song. This event takes place on October 13 at 8 p.m. at the Théâtre de l’Alliance Française.
Finally, Opera Pub Night returns. It will run the first Thursday of the month at 9pm at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club from October 5th through May 2018.