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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

BREAKING | Two Canadian Opera Company Performers Seriously Assaulted In Possible Hate Crime

By Jennifer Liu on May 3, 2017

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Violent elements of the Canadian Opera Company’s ongoing production of Louis Riel appear to have spilled over into the real world, as sources involved with the opera report that an attack on their cast members took place during the early morning hours of May 1 in downtown Toronto.

This morning, cast member James Westman recounted the details on Facebook. In a possible homophobia-motivated hate crime, two male dance performers from the Louis Riel production were violently attacked. The injuries sustained led to one victim’s withdrawal from the following Louis Riel performance, the other will allegedly require surgery to his clavicle. Of note also that both men appear to be of Indigenous heritage. James Westman did not respond to our request for further comment.

Baritone James Westman, public statement issued on on Facebook, May 3, 10 a.m.
Baritone James Westman’s statement issued on Facebook, May 3, 10 a.m.

The Canadian Opera Company also addressed the event on their social media channels, further adding that an “unscripted remark” was made about the attack, in-performance on May 2 by an unnamed cast member. The Canadian Opera Company have refused further comment.

Canadian Opera Company public statement issued on on Facebook, May 3, 11 a.m.
Canadian Opera Company public statement issued on Facebook, May 3, 11 a.m.

Musical Toronto spoke with Const. Caroline de Kloet by telephone for verification of the attack and she confirmed that as of this publication, no report has yet been filed.

Musical Toronto is aware of the identities of the victims and has chosen not to release their identities at this time.

We are actively investigating and will update the story once we find out more.

#LUDWIGVAN

Jennifer Liu

Jennifer Liu

Jennifer holds a master's degree in piano performance and is pursuing her degree in journalism at Carleton University. Previously, she lived for classical music in Toronto and Montreal.
Jennifer Liu
Jennifer Liu

Jennifer Liu

Jennifer holds a master's degree in piano performance and is pursuing her degree in journalism at Carleton University. Previously, she lived for classical music in Toronto and Montreal.
Jennifer Liu

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