October 16, 2014
TAPESTRY BRIEFS: BOOSTER SHOTS
An Opera Crawl in the Distillery
TAPESTRY presents TAPESTRY BRIEFS: BOOSTER SHOTS, ten original, provocative opera shorts brought to life in site-specific installations in-and-around the Distillery Historic District, for four performances only, November 13-16, 2014.
Launching Tapestry’s 35th anniversary season, TAPESTRY BRIEFS: BOOSTER SHOTS is HBO-style opera ripped from the headlines of contemporary life. With a language and style that is both familiar and surprising, Canada’s most vital music and theatre artists have created BOOSTER SHOTS. The development of a Canadian classical canon through TAPESTRY BRIEFS is only one part of Tapestry’s commitment to refreshing the relevancy, and redefining the future, of opera.
Each night begins in the Ernest Balmer Studio, Tapestry’s studio and bar in the Distillery Historic District, a restored pedestrian-only village that blends Victorian Industrial architecture and stunning 21st century design. The crawl continues with subsequent scenes animating other Distillery spaces–from freight elevators and brick lined halls, to intimate corners and public galleries. Select locations will be paired with “booster shots” of flavour stimulants, ranging from craft beer and sake to artisanal ice cream, for this “new tastes” opera crawl.
Ten new opera shorts will be performed by four incredibly diverse performers; soprano Catherine Affleck, a recent graduate of Yale University School of Music where she appeared as Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte and the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta; baritone Alex Dobson, whose recent highlights include title roles in Wozzeck and Don Giovanni, both conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin; tenor Keith Klassen, who recently appeared in the Tapestry premiere of Shelter by Juliet Palmer and Julie Salverson, and Opera on the Rocks, a site-specific production by Dave Carley; and mezzo soprano Krisztina Szabò who will next appear as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro for Calgary Opera, as a soloist at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s New Creations Festival, and as The Woman in Schoenberg’s Erwartung for the Canadian Opera Company.
TAPESTRY BRIEFS: BOOSTER SHOTS has been created by a team of internationally renowned, critically-lauded and award-winning playwrights and composers including: Governor General Award-winning playwrights Nicolas Billon and Morris Panych; Siminovitch Prize-nominated writer Hannah Moscovitch; Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning playwright Donna-Michelle St. Bernard; Governor General Award-nominated playwright David Yee; composer Ivan Barbotin who specializes in music for film and television; composer of the Canadian Opera Company commissioned The Brother’s Grimm, Dean Burry; Jules Léger Prize-winning composers James Rolfe and Nicole Lizée, who is also a turn table artist; co-recipient of the Tournon Branley Prize for collaborative work in architecture and music, Benton Roark; and SOCAN Award-winner and artistic director of the Toy Piano Composers, Chris Thornborrow.
1984: THE FOLDED PAPER by Nicolas Billon and Christopher Thornborrow
Orwell’s iconic Winston Smith is secretly handed a love note from Julia. Not sure if it is real or a trap, he hides it, agonizing over what it could mean.
BESSIE by Morris Panych and Christopher Thornborrow
A star jazz singer is struck by her boyfriend just as she is about to go on stage. She fights him, egging him on to finally leave her. He does, she touches up, and goes on stage to thunderous applause.
BLIND WOMAN by David Yee and James Rolfe
A dancer who has lost her vision remembers her former self dancing in a conversation with her shadow. They dance together, but not quite together anymore.
BROOKS BUSH GANG by Hannah Moscovitch and Benton Roark
Based on real events, the sexuality, criminality, and humanity of the Toronto-based, women-run, 1860s Brooks Bush Gang–culprits of a high-profile murder on the Don River Bridge–are explored.
DAMNATION by Morris Panych and Ivan Barbotin
A man is condemned to hell, in an office that’s too hot, with a fan that doesn’t work, and a fly that won’t stop buzzing. Instead of cracking, he devises a plan to escape and return to the living.
FETISHIST by David Yee and Ivan Barbotin
An Asian woman undergoes surgery to look more white and be generally more accepted in society. Her Caucasian boyfriend, she discovers, has an Asian fetish and doesn’t know how to love her anymore.
MEMES by Nicholas Billon and Dean Burry
A hipster couple on a first date discover they don’t have anything in common . . . until they discover a shared passion for trending memes. Virtual romance and hilarity ensue!
OUBLIETTE by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard and Ivan Barbotin
Laura has just escaped imprisonment in a basement in suburbia. Exulting in her new found freedom, Laura discovers how foreign her own name sounds to her. She sings it over and over again, reuniting with herself as she reunites with the rest of the world.
THE OVERCOAT by Morris Panych and James Rolfe
Panych’s hugely successful reinterpretation of short stories by Russian dramatist Nikolai Gogol, the wordless The Overcoat, is brought to life once again by Panych and Rolfe in a scene where two comically opinionated tailors dominate the man being fitted for a simple overcoat.
R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) by Nicolas Billon and Nicole Lizée
Two scientists confer excitedly in panic as they search for ways to combat the hordes of robots that have turned on them, the creators. “The children are home Domin.”
From secrets in suburbia to dating on Queen West West, from a notorious murder to the dystopian world of 1984, BOOSTER SHOTS offers up a fresh, beautiful and absurd opera and theatre experience with contemporary music and texts.
“The future of opera lies in relevant and current artistic content and those who are passionate about championing it.” Michael Mori, Artistic Director, TAPESTRY.
TAPESTRY BRIEFS: BOOSTER SHOTS
Directed by Michael Hidetoshi Mori • Designed by Yulia Shtern
Featuring Catherine Affleck, Alexander Dobson, Keith Klassen and Krisztina Szabò in works by
Ivan Barbotin, Nicolas Billon, Dean Burry, Nicole Lizée, Hannah Moscovitch, Morris Panych,
Benton Roark, James Rolfe, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Chris Thornborrow and David Yee
Pianists: Dr. Christopher Foley, Jennifer Tung
November 13-16, 2014, All performances begin at 8pm • All Tickets $35
Ernest Balmer Studio, Studio 315, 9 Trinity Street, Distillery Historic District
For more information and to purchase online, visit tapestryopera.com or call 416.537.6066