CAST SOS S I YA
the overcoat: a musical tailoring MAR 27-APR 14
B LU MA APPE L TH E ATR E
A Co-Production with Tapestry Opera and Vancouver Opera
AARON DURAND M OV E M E NT P E R FO R M E R
COLIN HEATH TAI LO R â€™ S WI FE MAD CHORUS 3
ERICA IRIS HUANG M O K I YA
KEITH KLASSEN L A N D L A DY
ANDREA LUDWIG H E A D O F D E PA RTM E NT P E TROVI C H
PETER MCGILLIVRAY S EC R E TA RY
MEHER PAVRI MAD CHORUS 1
17.18 Season Sponsor
MAGALI SIMARD-GALDES AK AKIY
GEOFFREY SIRETT M OV E M E NT P E R FO R M E R
COURTENAY STEVENS M A N AG E R
Special thanks to the National Youth Orchestra for the loan of their celesta.
THIS PERFORMANCE RUNS APPROXIMATELY 2 1/2 HOURS, INCLUDING INTERMISSION
ASITHA TENNEKOON K H O D OZ AT
GILES TOMKINS MAD CHORUS 2
CR E ATIVE
VI O L A
JAMES ROLFE LI B R E T TO + D I R EC TO R
MORRIS PANYCH CO N D U C TO R
LESLIE DALA SET DESIGNER
KEN MACDONALD COS T U M E D E S I G N E R
LI G HTI N G D E S I G N E R
ALAN BRODIE M OV E M E NT
WENDY GORLING A S S I S TA NT D I R EC TO R
JESSICA DERVENTZIS A S S I S TA NT M U S I C D I R EC TO R
JENNIFER TUNG S TAG E M A N AG E R
KATE PORTER A S S I S TA NT S TAG E M A N AG E R
ANDREW BENSLER BA S SO O N
BIANCA CHAMBUL BA S S
MIKE COX P E RCU S S I O N
TIM FRANCOM VI O LI N 1
BRENNA HARDY-KAVANAGH CLARINET
OMAR HO C E LLO
BRYAN HOLT VI O LI N 2
CLARA LEE P I CCO LO
AMELIA LYON OBOE
LIEF MOSBAUGH K E Y B OA R D/R E P E TITE U R
MARIJKA ASBEEK BRUSSE
A S S I S TA NT S TAG E M A N AG E R
TR U M P E T
creative, cast + musicians
Marijka Asbeek Brusse
Erica Iris Huang
Clara J. Lee
ENGAGE PRE SHOW CHATS Friday March 30 + Friday April 6 POST SHOW TALK BACKS Wednesday April 4 @ 8pm Wednesday April 11 @ 1pm
Ben Promane 3
creative JAMES ROLFE Toronto composer James Rolfe has performed in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, and been commissioned by soloists, ensembles, orchestras, choirs, theatres and opera companies. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the K. M. Hunter Music Award, and the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. His operas include Beatrice Chancy (performed in Toronto, Halifax, and Edmonton) and Inês (nominated for a Dora Award), both produced by The Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company. Tapestry Opera co-produced Elijah’s Kite with the Manhattan School of Music, and the Canadian Opera Company premiered Swoon, and subsequently commissioned Crush. His song cycle, I Think We Are Angels, will premiere in Toronto by Soundstreams June 6 and 7, 2018.
MORRIS PANYCH A well-known Playwright and Director for nearly four decades, Morris Panych’s plays have garnered countless awards including two Governor General’s Literary Awards, fourteen Jessie Richardson Awards and five Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Productions of the muchlauded Vigil, Seven Stories, Girl In The Goldfish Bowl, Gordon, The Shoplifters and Lawrence and Holloman have been mounted throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Newer works include Trap Door, Picture This, Sextet, and The Waiting Room. An original wordless production of The Overcoat toured worldwide to great acclaim and its film version, which Mr. Panych also directed, won an honourable mention at the Prix Italia. He is the most recent recipient of the Lifetime & Honorary Membership Award from the Playwright Guild of Canada. 4
LESLIE DALA Leslie Dala is the Music Director of the Vancouver Bach Choir, the Associate Conductor and Chorus Director of Vancouver Opera, and the Music Director of the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. He has worked at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Canadian Opera Company, the Santa Fe Opera, l’Opéra national du Rhin, Edmonton Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria and Saskatoon Opera and he is a frequent guest conductor with the UBC Opera Ensemble, the COSI Program in Sulmona, Italy, and Soundstreams Canada. Recent highlights include Le Nozze di Figaro in the inaugural Vancouver Opera Festival; Don Giovanni at the COSI Program in Sulmona, Italy; the Verdi Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and Mahler’s 8th Symphony with the Vancouver Bach Choir.
KEN MACDONALD Selected design credits include The Barber of Seville, Macbeth, Pacific Opera Victoria; Three Penny Opera, The Rake’s Progress, Susannah, Vancouver Opera; A Thousand Splendid Suns ACT (San Francisco) and Theatre Calgary; The Shoplifters, Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.) and Theatre Calgary; Engaged, Our Town, Sweet Charity, Arms and The Man, Our Betters, Doctor’s Dilemma, Shaw Festival; Wanderlust, Moby Dick, The Trespassers, Stratford Festival; Parfumerie,‘Night Mother, Blithe Spirit, The Government Inspector, Soulpepper Theatre; The Arsonists, The Overcoat, Vigil, Canadian Stage; Sextet, Amorous Adventures of Anantol, Marry Me a Little, Benevolence, The Dishwashers, Tarragon; The Waiting Room, Hamlet, Art, Arts Club Theatre. He has won the Gemini Award for Outstanding Production Design for The Overcoat (CBC), two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, a Betty Mitchell Award and seventeen Jessie Richardson Awards. www.kenandmorris.com
NANCY BRYANT Nancy Bryant designs costumes for theatre, opera, dance and film. Her favourite costume designs with Morris and Ken include The
Constant Wife, The Imaginary Invalid, Arts Club; The Overcoat (1997) Playhouse Theatre and Canadian Stage, Sweeney Todd, Canadian Stage; You Never Can Tell, Hotel Peccadillo, The Shaw Festival; Three Penny Opera, Vancouver Opera. Other costume designs for theatre include Helen Lawrence, Canadian Stage; Angels in America, Tear the Curtain!, Arts Club; Opera, Das Rheingold, The Flying Dutchman, Rodelinda, Pacific Opera Victoria; Sweeney Todd, VOC; Dance, Parade, Plot Point, Netherlands Dance Theatre; Tempest Replica, Betroffenheit, Kidd Pivot/ Electric Co; Seasons’ Cannon, Paris Opera; and Flight Pattern, Royal Ballet. Nancy is the recipient of numerous awards. See her upcoming designs in Revisor, Kidd Pivot; Fidelio, Pacific Opera Victoria; and The Full Light of Day, Electric Company Theatre.
ALAN BRODIE Since 1989 Alan Brodie has been creating lighting designs across Canada and abroad. Toronto credits include Tear the Curtain!, The Overcoat and Vigil (Canadian Stage), Ghosts and A Christmas Carol (Soulpepper), The Turn of the Screw (Canadian Opera Company) and Emergence (National Ballet). Alan has numerous Shaw Festival credits including Dracula, Sweeney Todd and Ragtime, and Stratford productions include Wanderlust, Camelot, Moby Dick and Oklahoma!. Recent productions at home include lighting for Fun Home (Arts Club) and directing The Father (Peninsula Productions) and 2BR02B (Studio 58). Alan holds a BFA from UBC and an MFA in directing from UVic. Alan is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada. He resides in Vancouver with his wife Michele and their boxer “Ellie”. www.alanbrodie.ca
WENDY GORLING Wendy is an actor, choreographer and teacher, garnering six Vancouver Jessie Awards. She co-created, with Morris Panych, five non-verbal theatre pieces including The Overcoat. She choreographed the movement for Moby Dick and Trojan Women (Stratford Festival), Verdi’s Macbeth (Pacific Opera Victoria and Opéra de Québec),
Susannah, and Sweeney Todd (Vancouver Opera), Pericles and The Winter’s Tale (Bard on the Beach) and The Waiting Room (Arts Club). Wendy, a graduate of École Lecoq, was featured in the book Theatre Beyond Borders. An inductee into British Columbia’s Entertainment Hall of Fame, she teaches at Langara College’s Studio 58. She is passionate about guiding young Canadian theatre artists.
JESSICA DERVENTZIS Jessica Derventzis a stage director from Toronto, Ontario. Recently, she joined the Tapestry Opera team as the Metcalf Foundation Artistic Intern for 2018. Select directing favourites include Die Zauberflöte, La Bohème (Opera Kelowna), The Medium, L’Heure Espagnole (Stu & Jess Productions), Cinderella (Calgary Opera School Tour), Dido and Aeneas (Opera McGill), La Voix Humaine (Little Opera on the Prairie), and Our Town (Opera Nuova, Canadian premiere). She has also assisted for many internationally acclaimed directors at the major opera houses in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. Jessica is an executive member of Indie Opera Toronto and Production Manager for Opera 5.
JENNIFER TUNG Currently the vocal department coordinator and vocal coach at the Glenn Gould School, Jennifer is a versatile artist. As a singer and pianist, she has sung with orchestras, given recitals and master classes and has served on the faculty for summer programs across North America, Europe and Asia. An advocate of contemporary music, Jennifer has worked closely with composers across North America. Currently the assistant conductor of the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Jennifer debuted as Music Director with Hawaii Performing Arts Festival’s production of The Mikado this past summer. As the new Music Director with Toronto City Opera, Jennifer will be conducting productions of Fidelio and Magic Flute in March and will return to Hawaii to conduct Sweeney Todd this summer. 5
KATE PORTER Kate has previously stage managed two pieces directed by Morris Panych: Sextet and The Amorous Adventures of Anatol, both at the Tarragon Theatre. She has recently stage managed L’elisir d’amore and Götterdämmerung at the Canadian Opera Company, as well as Dead Man Walking, Rigoletto and Carmen at Vancouver Opera. Kate’s previous credits at Canadian Stage were as Stage Manager on Tribes and as ASM on Half Life. She stage managed Opera Briefs for Tapestry Opera in 2006, and James Rolfe’s Aeneas and Dido for Toronto Masque Theatre in 2007. Upcoming projects include stage managing La Bohème at the Canadian Opera Company.
MARIJKA ASBEEK BRUSSE Based in Vancouver, Marijka is delighted to be making her Canadian Stage and Tapestry Opera debut as part of the team for The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring. Previous credits include Turandot, Dead Man Walking, Evita, Madama Butterfly, Die Fledermaus, La Bohème, Romeo et Juliette, and West Side Story (Vancouver Opera); Late Company, The Romeo Initiative, True Love Lies, Mimi (Or A Poisoner’s Comedy), and Life After God (Touchstone Theatre); Do You Want What I Have Got: A Craigslist Cantata (Arts Club Theatre); and Between the Sheets (Pi Theatre). After The Overcoat, she will be stage managing the world premiere of C’Mon, Angie! with Touchstone Theatre. Marijka is a graduate of UBC Theatre’s BFA Production & Design program, where she now teaches stage management.
AJ LAFLAMME For Canadian Stage: Declarations, Liv Stein, Chimerica, Julie, London Road, The Arsonists, Red, Another Africa (with Volcano Theatre). Other Stage Management Credits: A&R Angels (Crow’s Theatre); Musik für das Ende (Soundstreams); Onegin (Musical Stage Co./NAC); Maggie & Pierre, You Are Here, Into the Woods, Pirates of Penzance (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Rocking Horse Winner (Tapestry Opera); All Shook 6
Up (Globe Theatre); The Unplugging, Bingo! (Factory Theatre); Waiting Room (Tarragon Theatre); A Beautiful View, The Africa Trilogy (Volcano Theatre); It’s A Wonderful Life, Kim’s Convenience, Spoon River, La Ronde, True West (Soulpepper); Tainted (Moyo Theatre); Tosca, La Traviata, Die Zauberflöte, Le Tragedie de Carmen (Highlands Opera Studio). Upcoming: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Shirley Valentine (Thousand Islands Playhouse).
c ast AARON DURAND Originally from 100 Mile House BC, Aaron is now widely known for his easygoing nature, “beautiful, fluid baritone” (The Globe and Mail) and “sense of the comical and the ludicrous” (Calgary Herald). Durand has performed opera, art song, and musical theatre across Canada, China, and the Czech Republic, and enjoys balancing his love of the classics with a passion for contemporary music. Past highlights include Dead Man Walking with Opera on the Avalon, Rocking Horse Winner with Tapestry Opera, and a BCwide tour of Stickboy by slam poet Shane Koyczan and composer Neil Weisensel. When not working, Aaron can be found listening to Alan Watts lectures, hiking something, or drinking yet another coffee.
COLIN HEATH An original cast member of The Overcoat that gave rise to this opera, Colin is thrilled to play once again with Morris and the brilliant team of creators. Other credits include Lord of the Rings and Crazy For You (Mirvish); The Number 14 and Flying Blind (Axis); Cirque Réinventé, Kooza and Volta (Cirque du Soleil); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage); Benevolence and Molière (Tarragon); several shows with Arts Club, Leaky Heaven, Caravan Farm and the Belfry Theatre. Television credits include Tin Man, Black Stallion, Stargate SG-1 and Voyage of the Unicorn. As playwright: For Art’s Sake, The Apple Orchard, Man From the Capital and an adaptation of Don Quixote. He now lives in Magog, Quebec.
ERICA IRIS HUANG Winner of the 2011 Eckhardt-Gramatté Music Competition, Erica was awarded a recital tour across Canada, graciously funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2013, she was the featured mezzo in Vancouver Opera’s Naomi’s Road, written by Ann Hodges and Ramona Luengen and reprised the role three years later with Tapestry Opera. She toured with Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble in Isis and the Seven Scorpions (2014), and Operation Superpower (2016). Erica is in her eighth consecutive season with COC Chorus, and received a 2017 Dora Award for her work with Tapestry Opera in Rocking Horse Winner. On April 15, 2018, she showcases French artsongs with Off Centre Music Salon at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church at 3:00PM in Toronto.
KEITH KLASSEN Keith Klassen has become one of Canada’s busiest tenors, averaging twelve productions a season since graduating with honours from the Opera Division at the University of Toronto. He has been engaged across Canada, as well as in Scotland, Germany, the United States, Ireland and the Czech Republic. In the past seasons, critics and audiences alike have enthusiastically received his performances. Keith has also continued his work with Tapestry New Opera Works, joining their newly formed studio company. He recently appeared in their production of Oksana G as Konstantin.
ANDREA LUDWIG Juno-nominated and Dora-award winning mezzo soprano Andrea Ludwig is an artist of tremendous depth, musicality and scope. Andrea has appeared with the Canadian Opera Company in numerous roles and has also appeared with Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, Against the Grain Theatre, Edmonton Opera, Opera Philadelphia, San Francisco Opera and the Festival d’Aix en Provence. Her concert performances include The Talisker Players in a varied program of Kurt Weil and Toronto-based composer
Monica Pearce; Messiah and Les nuits d’été with Symphony New Brunswick; Mahler’s Songs of the Wayfarer with Symphony Nova Scotia; Beethoven’s 9th with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as well as Schafer’s Minnelieder with the TSO Chamber Soloists; and Schafer’s Tantrika and Amente Nufe with Soundstreams this past March.
PETER MCGILLIVRAY The Saskatchewan-born baritone is a seasoned performing artist who first burst onto the scene as winner of the 2003 CBC Young Performers Competition. An alumnus of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, he is a regular collaborator with Tapestry Opera (Rocking Horse Winner, Dark Star Requiem, The Shadow, etc.). His recent credits include work with Dallas Opera (Moby Dick), Calgary Opera (Barber of Seville, Pagliacci, Moby Dick and Silent Night), Manitoba Opera (Le Nozze di Figaro and La Bohème), Edmonton Opera (La Cenerentola and Die Fledermaus), Vancouver Opera (Albert Herring), Pacific Opera Victoria (Jenůfa, Barber of Seville) and Opéra de Québec (Le barbier de Séville and Madama Butterfly). He currently resides in Sudbury, Ontario, with wife Jennifer and orange tabby cat Siegfried.
MEHER PAVRI Indo-Canadian soprano Meher Pavri feels equally at home performing in opera, musical theatre, theatre, film and television. She is most passionate about collaborating and premiering new works by Canadian composers. Her recent credits include Maria in West Side Story (Lower Ossington Theatre), Mindy in Selfie, a new opera by Julie Tepperman and Chris Thornborrow (Tapestry Opera), Soloist in New York: Harlem with arrangements by Mike Ross (Soulpepper Theatre), and Mother Sen in Arranged Marriage (Ryerson Theatre). In 2016, Meher was a part of Against the Grain Theatre’s ensemble that won a Dora award for Handel’s Messiah. She has appeared in various television shows and most recently in the feature film, Pixels. 7
MAGALI SIMARD-GALDÉS Canadian soprano Magali Simard-Galdés, known for “effortlessly nailing each bright, leaping melody” has critics hailing her as “a voice to look out for in the years to come.” After a season marked by her debut as Soeur Constance (Dialogues des Carmélites – Opéra de Montréal), a Canadian tour of thirty recitals with the Jeunesses musicales du Canada (Maureen Forrester Award), or her debut at the Festival de Lanaudière under the baton of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin, her 2017/2018 season includes the roles of Roxane in DiChiera’s Cyrano and Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto (Opera Carolina), Ève in Dubois’ Paradis Perdu (Tourcoing/ France), a recital with Olivier Godin at the Mexico Liederfest and a Charpentier/ Vivaldi program with the Scherzi Musicali ensemble in Avignon, France.
GEOFFREY SIRETT Geoffrey Sirett has emerged as one of Canada’s leading young baritones, highly sought-after across the country for a wide range of repertoire. Aside from Akakiy in The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring, Geoffrey’s current season includes Welko in Arabella with the Canadian Opera Company, Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore with Edmonton Opera, and Escamillo in Opera Kelowna’s production of Carmen. In addition to Weill’s Seiben Todsunden with the Toronto Symphony, highlights of the 2016-2017 season included Oreste in Elektra and Ping in Turandot for Edmonton Opera, amongst other credits. His affinity for the music of our time can be seen in his performances of Put’s Silent Night for Opéra de Montréal, and the world premieres of The Bells of Baddeck by Dean Burry and Lorna MacDonald, and Rolfe’s Against Nature.
COURTENAY STEVENS Courtenay was a bright-eyed, bushytailed theatre student at Studio 58 when he performed in the first Overcoat. And he’s been involved in every version since - thank you Morris and Wendy! In 8
between twenty years of Overcoating he has worked in theatre and film across Canada (Stratford, The Grand, Axis Mime, Bard on the Beach, Arts Club, Caravan) and around the world for four years as a clown with Cirque du Soleil (Dralion). For the last year or so, he’s been touring the silent, physical theatre/clown show The Pianist to Asia and Europe. He is also a frequent collaborator with Common Boots Theatre in Toronto.
ASITHA TENNEKOON Since moving to Toronto in the fall of 2014, Sri Lankan tenor Asitha Tennekoon has firmly established himself as a versatile singer that can perform in a wide range of repertoire. He won the Dora Award for Best Male Performance as Paul in Tapestry Opera’s Rocking Horse Winner and earned glowing reviews as Gernando in Haydn’s L’Isola disabitata with Voicebox: Opera in Concert. Asitha recently starred in Edith Smyth’s The Boatswain’s Mate with Opera 5, and in 2018 he debuts as Polidoroin Scarlatti’s Erminia with Opera Lafayette in Washington and New York. Asitha shared the stage with soprano Erin Wall in Songmasters Recital Series and has appeared as a soloist with Toronto Bach Festival, Theatre of Early Music, Ottawa Bach Choir and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
GILES TOMKINS The Canadian/British bass-baritone is widely praised for his vocal virtuosity and lyricism in an impressive range of repertoire. His rich, resonant voice brings “authority and power” to the concert and operatic stage. This season’s concert highlights include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Bach’s Peasant Cantata/All the Diamonds with Toronto Masque Theatre. Giles starred as Gandalf in Dean Burry’s The Hobbit with Canadian Children’s Opera Company, and has appeared in leading roles throughout Canada as Don Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Timur (Turandot), Superintendent
Budd (Albert Herring), and Sergeant of Police (Pirates of Penzance). Upcoming engagements include Don Basilio (Barber of Seville) with Opera 5 and Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata with Edmonton Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria.
Stratford Festival Orchestra, Andrew was featured as an on-stage soloist during the Stratford Festival’s 2008 production of Hamlet. He plays on a Guillaume Turgeon viola made in Montreal.
Alberta-born soprano Caitlin Wood was “absolutely vibrant” and showed “great comic flair” as Susanna in Vancouver Opera Festival’s The Marriage of Figaro and delighted audiences in Edmonton Opera’s La Cenerentola as Clorinda. Caitlin showed “exquisite vulnerability” as the young law student Ava in City Opera Vancouver’s world premiere of Marie Clements/Brian Current’s powerful Missing. In 2017, Caitlin toured Ontario with Bicycle Opera Project in Sweat (Palmer/Chatterton). Concert highlights include “Under the Stars” with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Carmina Burana with Okanagan Symphony, and Finzi’s Et in Terra Pax with Russell Braun and Ottawa Choral Society. This season, she stars as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro with Windsor Symphony Orchestra and looks forward to Countess Adele in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory with Edmonton Opera in 2019.
Torontonian Bianca Chambul received the Award of Excellence from the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 2012 and 2013. She was named National Academy Orchestra’s Apprentice of the Year in 2015. Bianca has performed professionally with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic, and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. As a soloist with the orchestra, she performed for John Weinzweig’s Centenary Celebration and the University of Toronto Contemporary Music Ensemble. She won concerto competitions held by the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Bianca obtained her performance undergraduate degree in 2016 at the University of Toronto. She received the William and Phyllis Waters Graduating Award, and was on the University of Toronto music faculty as a sessional bassoon instructor for the 2017 winter term.
m usicia ns
ANDREW BENSLER Hailing from Stratford, Ontario, violinist and violist Andrew Bensler has performed extensively as an orchestral musician with major orchestras throughout Ontario, Canada, and abroad. A member of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s first violin section since 2014, Andrew held leading positions in the Thunder Bay Symphony for five seasons from 2001–2006. He has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, and plays regularly with the KitchenerWaterloo Symphony, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and London Symphonia. Appearing frequently in the
Double Bassist Michael Cox currently resides in Toronto, where he maintains a busy schedule of orchestral and chamber music performances. He performs regularly with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, including tours of Europe in 2014 and 2017 and a tour of Florida in 2016. Michael has also played with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Thunder Bay Symphony, the Victoria Symphony, and as Assistant Principal Bass of the Ottawa Symphony. He has toured Canada and the United States as Principal Bass of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and attended the 2012 Mount Orford Music Festival where he studied with Berlin Philharmonic Principal Bassist Matthew McDonald. Michael has studied with Jeffrey Beecher, Joel Quarrington, and Gary Karr. 9
TIM FRANCOM Tim Francom enjoys a diverse performing and teaching career. He joined the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in 2004 as Section Percussionist, and has performed with many Ontario orchestras: the Toronto Symphony, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and the Hamilton Philharmonic. Tim received a DMA from the University of Toronto in 2011. His research focused on North Indian tabla drumming, and included an extended period of study in Lucknow and Delhi, India, where he was mentored by UstadIlmas Hussain Khan, the acknowledged authority of the Lucknow tradition of tabla playing. Tim teaches percussion at the Regent Park School of Music in Toronto and maintains his own teaching studio.
BRENNA HARDY-KAVANAGH Violinist-violist Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh’s passion for chamber and orchestral music has taken her all over the world. She has performed in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Ireland, England, Wales, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Romania. Recently appointed to the viola section of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Brenna is the founding violinist of the Amarok Ensemble, and violist in Toronto’s Bach from the Heart quartet. She has performed with the Art of Time Ensemble, Soulpepper, and Pocket Concerts, and served as interim principal second violin of the Regina Symphony for part of the 2017–2018 season. A long-time business owner, Brenna has managed the Canadian music agency Cadenza Strings for over fourteen years. She plays on a violin by Ottawa luthier Guy Harrison.
OMAR HO Omar is equally versed as a soughtafter orchestral musician and as a solo artist. He has performed with many orchestras across Ontario including the Sudbury Symphony, Canadian Sinfonietta, and Windsor Symphony. 10
He has also made appearances as a chamber musician and soloist at the Pablo Casals Festival (France), Orford Arts Centre, Lula Lounge, and Harbourfront Centre. After receiving his Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto, Omar went on to study in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique with internationally renowned clarinetist, Ronald Van Spaendonck. He is also one of the first musicians to explore North Indian raga music on clarinet. Omar has studied in Kolkata with Pandit Shantanu Bhattacharyya and Partha Chatterjee.
BRYAN HOLT Bryan has appeared with many of the leading ensembles in the Greater Toronto Area including Continuum Contemporary Music, Art of Time Ensemble, Soundstreams, Tapestry Opera, and Thin Edge New Music Collective. He has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and Esprit Orchestra. Bryan is one half of VC2 Cello Duo who have recently completed a tour of Atlantic Canada and have presented concerts at home and abroad. They are featured on the 2017 Centrediscs recording “Faster Still” performing music by Canadian composer Brian Current. Bryan is completing a Doctorate of Music in Cello Performance at the University of Toronto, researching distance learning strategies for the transmission of modern cello pedagogy.
CLARA J. LEE Clara J. Lee received her bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School as a fullscholarship student under the tutelage of Joel Smirnoff, Donald Weilerstein and Kyung-wha Chung. She was also a member of the New World Symphony in Miami under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Ms. Lee has won first prize at the Canadian Music Competition in all ages and instrument categories as well as 1st Prize in the Juilliard PreCollege Violin competition. Ms. Lee has
regular orchestral engagements with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, Hollywood Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony and serves as the assistant principal at Britt Summer Festival.
AMELIA LYON Returning to Tapestry after playing in the pit for Oksana G, Amelia is the Principal Flute of the Kingston Symphony, a position she has held since 2015. She has also played with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, London Symphonia, and is a frequent woodwind coach with the National Academy Orchestra. Amelia is a regular in the Indie Opera T.O. pits having also performed with Opera 5 and Against the Grain. An avid chamber musician, she is a member of Euphonia and flute ensemble, Charm of Finches. The quintet has played at the Stratford Music Festival, as well as the Ottawa and Guelph Chamber Music Festivals. Her other passion is knitting, and in 2015 she co-founded “Yarns Untangled,” a yarn store in Kensington Market.
LIEF MOSBAUGH Lief is a multi-instrumentalist freelancer in the Toronto area. He frequently works with the Canadian Opera Company, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Smithsonian Chamber Players in Washington D.C. Prior to his return to Toronto in 2013, Lief held principal oboe positions with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and the Regina Symphony Orchestra. Lief has toured the world as a violist and vocalist with indie band ‘The Hidden Cameras’ and has been featured on numerous indie rock, jazz and classical recordings. Some of his favourite collaborations have been with Owen Pallet, The Queer Songbook Orchestra, Laura Barrett, Spiral Beach, The Toronto Dance Theatre, and as a composer for Bulgarian/Canadian artist Biliana Velkova’s “Biliana Velkova the Musical”.
GREGORY OH Gregory Oh gained his reputation as a “new music revolutionary,” but tends to wander in genres, which has seen him appear in places from the legendary techno club Berghain to the Lincoln Centre. Recently, he conducted Bearing for Signal Theatre at the Luminato Festival and appeared as the piano soloist in Scott Good’s Hands of Orlac with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the London Symphonia. He frequently works with Continuum Contemporary Music, Soundstreams, Arraymusic, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and New Music Concerts. His other credits include the Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Stage, Soulpepper, Volcano Theatre, Toronto Masque Theatre, Tapestry Opera, Native Earth, EMPAC, Banff Opera, Florida State Opera, and San Diego Opera. He teaches at the University of Toronto and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
BEN PROMANE Juno-nominated trumpeter Ben Promane has performed regularly with many professional ensembles including the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Art of Time Ensemble, Talisker Players, Shaw Festival Orchestra, the Canadian Brass, and the Order of Canada Jazz Orchestra. Most recently, Ben performed in the orchestra for CHARLOTTE: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music with performances in Kingston, Toronto, and Taipei. Ben studied at the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School earning degrees under the guidance of Andrew McCandless, Jim Spragg and Anita McAlister. He is a member of the Toronto Mozart Players and Toronto Winds.
artistic & general director’s note This entire season has, in one way or another, been a celebration of Canadian Stage’s 30th anniversary, a season that has referenced our history as a home for some of the great plays from Canada and around the world, our present as a home for great contemporary work that crosses the boundaries of theatre, dance, music, the visual arts, and our future that will undoubtedly carry kernels of all of the formidable creative forces we have known these past 30 years. This new, musical version of The Overcoat is a particularly special link between our past and our present. Two decades ago, the original version, a veritable revolution in movement theatre in this country, began at the Vancouver Playhouse before coming to Canadian Stage, and then touring to the delight of audiences around the world. Three years ago, Michael Mori of Tapestry Opera had the inspired idea of introducing conceiver/director Morris Panych to composer James Rolfe, and voilà - an opera was born. This is indeed a very new Overcoat, as sumptuous and beautifully crafted as the one Akakiy, hero of the opera itself, procures in order to create a brand new identity - though the opera is destined for a much happier future than either Akakiy or his coat! Morris and James, alongside the creative team behind the original production brought together again at this historic occasion, have created a fantastic and fantasy-filled musical retailoring of one of the world’s great stories, which is destined for a long and happy life. It’s still brand new - so try it on for size. MATTHEW JOCELYN Artistic & General Director, Canadian Stage
an interview with the creators Michael Hidetoshi Mori, General Director of Tapestry Opera in conversation with composer James Rolfe, director and librettist Morris Panych, and conductor Leslie Dala. What happens when you combine a group of revolutionary artists with one of the most historical genres? Something that promises to be fresh and full of potential! When Morris and James created their first seed piece for The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring at Tapestry Opera’s Composer-Librettist Laboratory, you could already feel the sparks flying. Opera at Tapestry has long ceased to be a historical genre, most recently thriving from collaborations with physical theatre, turntablism, punk rock, Persian classical music and hip hop. Twenty years ago, Morris and many of the same collaborators who are now working on this new work, created The Overcoat, the first of its kind as a large scale physical-theatre work with hugely successful runs in Canada and across the globe. Today, collaborating with James, Morris, and Morris’ original revolutionary creative team to create a new large scale physical theatre opera/music piece, is an exciting step in opening the door to a new era of opera/music theatre works. I am grateful to Vancouver Opera and Canadian Stage for their partnerships in making this bold production possible. – MICHAEL HIDETOSHI MORI The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring is based on a 165-year-old short story. What are the threads that resonate the most for our contemporary world? MORRIS: Alienation, loneliness, and celebrity… particularly the false promise of celebrity. Today, the internet provides a false promise and imprint of people’s importance, similar to the overcoat promising to change Akakiy’s life and status; it’s about the desire to be noticed, to be known and be considered important.
captured the dynamics of materialism; the story satirizes the idea that material possessions will transform our lives, make us glamourous and happy. Everyone is susceptible, even if we know it is not true. Today, it would be comparable to social media, which offers people a chance at becoming an overnight sensation, an internet celebrity, based on almost nothing at all, massively inflating their egos and then destroying them a few seconds later.
The thing that really struck me about the original story was how it
You have both worked in multiple genres. What is most interesting to you about opera?
It’s showbiz! The characters and story take on a life of their own in a way that no other compositional genre allows. You breathe flesh and spirit into the piece, and people get involved in the story and care about what happens next, in a really personal way. You don’t often see that in a string quartet.
JAMES: My approach to The Overcoat draws on
With opera, it’s like watching an athlete, like going to a skating competition. Performers have to be vocally athletic in addition to being dramatic and musical. In musical theatre, even with Sondheim, the bottom line is still story over music and the performers have to use mics. I also like that audiences who come to opera have the expectation of serious music, appreciating the equal focus on story and music.
What were the biggest influences in creating The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring? MORRIS: Obviously, our original physical theatre piece The Overcoat from 20 years ago played a big role in creating this show, but in revisiting it with a new libretto, new music, opera singers, and a live orchestra, we were excited about its possibilities and new configurations. This new version more closely follows the Gogol original: Akakiy is an accountant instead of a writer, Petrovich the Tailor and Mrs. Petrovich are back in the story. Why are physical theatre and opera a good match? MORRIS: They both express themselves through larger ideas. Opera is not as verbally intellectual as theatre. Straight theatre is about verbal dexterity and the formation of intricate thought. Music is at its core, feeling, as is dance or physicality. Dance and Opera can also be very intellectual, but at the end it’s what you see and hear... and feel. As a result, in opera and physical theatre you are feeling it more than thinking it. Theatre works through your thoughts to your feelings, whereas opera works through your feelings to your thoughts. James, you have experience writing for theatre, opera, ballet. Where does your compositional approach land for the new Overcoat?
all of these forms. I start with the words and how they express the story and its forward motion; it’s a kinetic approach, building the forward drive of the piece. The words that Morris wrote were very lively and clever and playful, and demanded the same of the music. What should we listen for in this work? Melodies! There are lot of recurring themes and tunes associated with the characters and the chorus. The chorus is a playful group of people, tricksters really, whose music insinuates itself throughout. You’ll be able to hear and track each of the characters’ themes as they evolve and weave themselves through the piece.
LESLIE: There are a few quotations, notably near the end quoting Bach and Beethoven in two of the most iconic pieces of classical music, but also woven throughout. Quotation is not new, even 300 years ago composers were quoting others and even themselves. Mozart, Handel, all of them! For people who know the repertoire, it is another layer to appreciate.
Leslie, how do you approach conducting new works such as James’ The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring differently from established composers such as Verdi, Mozart, or even Bernstein? LESLIE: In some ways the process is the same, respect the score and the composer’s intentions; but the beautiful thing with a new work is that there is no precedent. It’s wonderfully refreshing to work with the composer in the room, to create something without needing to compare it to what other people have done. How do you see The Overcoat within the traditions of theatre and opera? LESLIE: Opera and theatre are both committed to storytelling. If there is a clear connection between the story and its music and eventually its design and staging, the boundaries between opera and theatre are fluid. With The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring, the story is being told in a clear and imaginative way with reflective moments of beauty, so the possibilities for powerful theatre and opera are great. And it’s a treat to work with Morris again! We worked together for the first time on his first opera directing gig almost 20 years ago. 13
Torontoâ€™s Tapestry Opera is the co-commissioner and co-producer of The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring.
A scene from Tapestry Opera’s world premiere of Rocking Horse Winner, the most awarded production of the 2017 Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Photo by Dahlia Katz, featuring Asitha Tennekoon as Paul.
Tapestry Opera is Canada’s only professional developer and producer of Canadian opera. Now in its 38th year, the company fearlessly innovates within the traditions of opera and classical music, often collaborating with artists of different genres. Recent explorations have combined opera with physical theatre, punk rock, hip hop and Persian classical music. Under the direction of Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Tapestry Opera’s creative canvas is adaptive, ranging from the Bluma Appel Theatre to outdoor and site-specific settings, and from full orchestral accompaniment to mixed media and augmented reality stagings. Explore the cutting edge of new and evolving opera with us! For tickets or to subscribe, visit tapestryopera.com or call 416-537-6066.
2017-2018 Season Sponsor
JP Bickell Foundation
In residence at the Berkeley Street Theatre
Njo Kong Kie (Music Picnic)
picnic ın the cemetery
“(A) euphoric assault on the senses... must experience” - BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
17.18 Berkeley Season Sponsor
Presented in partnership with Canadian Stage
A whimsical concert-theatre performance combining the original music of Toronto composer Njo Kong Kie (Mr. Shi and His Lover) and an evocative journey through the passage of time.
APR 26 – MAY 6 Berkeley Street Theatre canadianstage.com 416.368.3110
Published on Mar 9, 2018