So Arts Anyway brought us dinosaurs (and where are you guys… we worry you know…). Now it’s back to the stone age with Tapestry Opera’s take on rock opera. Keith Klassen I can hear you!
The Toronto Summer Music Festival is off. Not a surprise but it’s the furthest forward I’ve yet seen for cancellations. I think it indicates that there will be a fair amount of lead time required before anybody can schedule anything for sure which likely doesn’t bode well for the Fall seasons. Also off is Tapestry’s Rocking Horse Winner; at least as far as live performances with audience are concerned. Rehearsals are going ahead remotely so we’ll see what Michael Mori and co. manage to pull out of the hat this time!
So finally to see a show I’ve been thinking about a lot; TapEX:Augmented. It’s simultaneously a show about technology and about using technology in the opera house. The plot concerns the product launch of Elysium; a cloud based afterlife using machine learning to curate (and augment) the customer’s best memories and create their ideal eternity.
Here are a couple of photos by Dahlia Katz relevant to my earlier post about this show.
Here’s Benton Roark with the microtonal keyboard:
And here are the three faces of Eurydice:
I sat down today with Michael Mori and Debi Wong; the co-directors of Tapestry’s upcoming show TapEX: Augmented Opera to talk about the show and issues around it. The TapEX series is all about low cost, low risk experimentation. Previous shows have combined opera with punk, turntables and Persian rapping. This time it’s about exploring ways of using digital technology to enhance opera performance and enable the creation of new kinds of opera. It’s also about how can technology be incorporated in an affordable way. Conventional studio produced VR comes in around $30,000 per minute which might be OK for the Royal Shakespeare Company but is way out of reach of an indie company. And, of course, it can’t be about the technology itself. It needs to be about how we create art with it.
Tapestry and the COC collaborated for yesterday’s concert in the RBA. The performers were members of the Ensemble Studio. The material was a mix of numbers from the Tapestry back catalogue plus a couple of songs by COC composer in residence Ian Cusson.
Here’s what’s coming up…
On the 14th at 1.30pm in Walter Hall Jane Archibald and Liz Upchurch are giving a recital under the auspices of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto (so this isn’t a free concert). The 15th sees the opening of a run of a “play with music” from Theatre Gargantua called The Wager which will run at Theatre Passe Muraille from the 14th (preview) to the 30th. It promises to be a “bold and irreverent investigation into the strange things that people believe”. It’s written by Michael Spence and directed by Jacquie PA Thomas and the cast includes Teiya Kasahara.