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THE SCOOP | Against the Grain Go Baroque For The 2017–18 Season

By Michael Vincent on September 26, 2017

Against the Grain Opera Pub at Amsterdam Bicycle Club (Photo: Darryl Block)
Against the Grain Opera Pub at Amsterdam Bicycle Club (Photo: Darryl Block)

Toronto’s Against the Grain Theatre has announced the long-awaited details on their 2017–18 season this afternoon, including two surprises that we didn’t see coming.

Titled #GoForBaroque, Toronto’s leading indie opera troupe will present a new production of Glück’s Orphée as arranged by Berlioz, as well as BOUND, an interpretive workshop of Handel’s music.

Billed as a three-year concept-to-realization production, BOUND will tackle the timely issue of the worlds refugee crisis which sees thousands of people displaced from conflict countries, often with no where to go and little support. The project will bring Handel into the present day and will include texts and stories drawn from the media and real-world events.

“Handel is one of opera’s most dramatic composers,” AtG director Joel Ivany explains in the press release. “His music constantly explored stories of abandonment, neglect and betrayal. We aim to look at contemporary world events through his musical lens.”

Opening this December, the cast will include soprano Danika Lorèn, tenor Asitha Tennekoon, counter-tenor David Trudgen, baritone Justin Welsh, bass Michael Uloth, mezzo-soprano Victoria Marshall and AtG Founding Member and soprano Miriam Khalil. It will also include a collaboration with former TSO composer-in-resident Kevin Lau.

April brings the meat of AtG’s season with a fully staged production of Berlioz/Glück’s Orphée. Co-produced with Opera Columbus, AtG will push the boundaries of the work with a virtual chorus designed by electro-acoustic composer John Gzowski who was recently heard in last year Electric Messiah with Soundstreeams.

According to the press release, the eclectic cast includes multi-faceted aerialist, pole dancer and soprano Marcy Richardson, New York City-based baroque burlesque dance company, Company XIV, and an 11-piece orchestra, which blends classical and electronic string instruments. The production opens first in Columbus before coming hitting Toronto at the Fleck Dance Dance Theatre.

(Photo: Darryl Block)
(Photo: Darryl Block)

Just in time for Halloween, AtG will bring back the ever-popular OperaPub nights series on Oct 5th at Amsterdam Bicycle Club. For those looking to participate, there is a sign-up form on their website here.

The season also includes an interesting collaboration on Oct. 13 with Ottawa-born baroque-pop artist Kyrie Kristmanson for the release of her second full-length album titled “Modern Ruin” with the Warhol Dervish Quartet. Works are inspired by female troubadours of medieval France, and will be staged by rising young director Amanda Smith, from FAWN.

As will all things AtG, you can never quite predict what will happen next. Stay tuned to Ludwig Van for our takes on these productions.

For full more details visit AtG’s website.

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Michael Vincent
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Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is Publisher of Ludwig Van. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. He has worked as a senior editor over fifteen years and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
Follow me
Michael Vincent
Follow me

Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is Publisher of Ludwig Van. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. He has worked as a senior editor over fifteen years and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
Follow me
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