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THE SCOOP | Indie Opera Makes History Dominating 2018 Dora Award Nominations

By Michael Vincent on May 31, 2018

In a surprise coup for Toronto’s small independent opera companies, this is the first time in 40 years that they have surpassed the Canadian Opera Company in nominations.
In a surprise coup for Toronto’s small independent opera companies, this is the first time in 40 years that the Canadian Opera Company have been surpassed in nominations.

Today, the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) announced this year’s nominees, including 63 mentions for the Opera and Musical Theatre divisions.

In a surprise coup for Toronto’s small independent opera companies, the announcement marks the first time since the inception of the Dora Mavor Moore Awards in 1978 that indie opera companies have surpassed the Canadian Opera Company (COC) in nominations.

Tapestry Opera leads the pack with 18 nods, including ten for the Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring (in co-production Canadian Stage), seven for Oksana G, and one for Bandits in the Valley.

After being nominated for only one award last year, Against the Grain Theatre makes a comeback with 12 nominations this year: nine for Orphée⁺, and three for La Bohème.

The COC stops short from last year’s total of 27 nominations, landing only 10 for The Elixir (five), Rigoletto (two), Anna Bolena (one), and Arabella (one).

Opera 5 obtains one well-deserved nomination in the Outstanding Performance: Ensemble category for Suffragette.

This year also marks the last year of gender divisions in performance categories for the awards. These designations will be replaced by a single Outstanding Performance category for all genre divisions (Dance, Opera and Theatre).

The 2018 Awards Ceremony will be held June 25 at the Winter Garden Theatre of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, and hosted by Astrid Van Wieren.

Detailed list of Opera Division and Musical Theatre/Opera Division nominations:

Tapestry Opera

(All photos: Dahlia Katz)
(All photos: Dahlia Katz)

The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring in co-production with Canadian Stage and Vancouver Opera:

Outstanding Production – Opera Division
Outstanding New Musical/Opera – James Rolfe and Morris Panych
Outstanding Direction – Morris Panych
Outstanding Performance – Male: Geoffrey Sirett & Peter McGillivray
Outstanding Performance – Ensemble: Aaron Durand, Colin Heath, Erica Iris Huang, Keith Klassen, Andrea Ludwig, Peter McGillivray, Meher Pavri, Magali Simard-Galdes, Geoffrey Sirett, Courtenay Stevens, Asitha Tennekoon, Giles Tomkins, & Caitlin Wood
Outstanding Musical Direction – Leslie Dala
Outstanding Choreography – Wendy Gorling
Outstanding Lighting Design – Alan Brodie
Outstanding Scenic Design – Ken MacDonald
Outstanding Costume Design – Nancy Bryant

Oksana G (Tapestry Opera):

Outstanding Production – Opera Division
Outstanding New Musical/Opera: Colleen Murphy and Aaron Gervais
Outstanding Performance – Female: Natalya Gennadi
Outstanding Performance – Ensemble: Danlie Rae Acebuque, Marlo Alcock, Kimberly Barber, Patrick Bowman, Paul Buchanan, Paul Ciantar, Neil Craighead, Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor, Adam Fisher, Gabrielle French, Rebecca Gray, Alexander Hajek, Alex Hetherington, Erica Iris Huang, Keith Klassen, Jesse Kline, Thomas Krasey, Andrea Ludwig, Victoria Marshall, Alex Jacob Mathews, Michael McLean, Natalie Mitchell, Raif Morton, Yujene Oh, Lucas Penner, Jason Pilgrim, Sydney Rasmussen, Doug Rogers, Cairan Ryan, Aaron Sheppard, Susan Sherman, Maria Soulis, Meghan Symon, Krisztina Szabó, Hillary Tufford, David Walsh & Jacqueline Woodley
Outstanding Musical Direction – Jordan de Souza
Outstanding Lighting Design – Jason Hand
Outstanding Costume Design – Teresa Przybylski

Bandits in the Valley (Tapestry Opera):

Outstanding Performance – Ensemble: Jacques Arsenault, Alex Dobson, Keith Klassen, Sara Schabas, Jennifer Taverner & Stephanie Tritchew

Against The Grain Theatre

La Bohème

Outstanding Production – Opera Division
Outstanding New Musical/Opera –  Joel Ivany for New English libretto, based on
Giacomo Puccini
Outstanding Direction –  Joel Ivany


Outstanding Production – Opera Division
Outstanding Performance: Female —  Marcy Richardson
Outstanding Performance: Ensemble – The Ensemble: The Ensemble Dancers of Company XIV
Outstanding Direction –  Joel Ivany
Outstanding Scenic Design –  S. Katy Tucker
Outstanding Costume Design – Zane Pihlström
Outstanding Lighting Design – JAX Messenger
Outstanding Choreography – Austin McCormick
Outstanding Musical Direction – Topher Mokrzewski

The Elixir of Love

Outstanding Production
Outstanding Performance: Male –  Andrew Haji
Outstanding Performance: Female –  Simone Osborne
Outstanding Scenic Design – Allen Moyer
Outstanding Costume Design –  Martin Pakledinaz

Canadian Opera Company


Outstanding Scenic Design –  Allen Moyer
Outstanding Lighting Design –  Duane Schuler

Anna Bolena

Outstanding Performance: Female –  Sondra Radvanovsky


Outstanding Performance: Male –  Tomasz Konieczny

The Abduction from the Seraglio

Outstanding Performance: Female – Jane Archibald

Opera 5


Outstanding Performance: Ensemble – The Ensemble: Alexandra Smither, Elizabeth Polese, Eugenia Dermentzis, Michaela Dickey, Asitha Tennekoon, Kevin Myers, Jonathan MacArthur, Jeremy Ludwig, Alan MacDonald, Jean-Philippe McClish

Congratulations to all the nominees!

The complete list of all Dora Award categories, see here.

Michael Vincent
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