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THE SCOOP | Against The Grain Announces A New Take On Handel’s Messiah In Partnership With The TSO And Banff Centre

By Michael Vincent on November 9, 2020

Select soloists from AtG’s national production of Messiah/Complex (From left: Elliot Madore, Miriam Khalil, Rihab Chaieb, Jully Black, and Jonathon Adams.)
Select soloists from AtG’s national production of Messiah/Complex (From left: Elliot Madore, Miriam Khalil, Rihab Chaieb, Jully Black, and Jonathon Adams.)

Against The Grain has announced a reimagined Handel’s Messiah to premiere online this holiday season in partnership with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Banff Centre.

The production, Messiah/Complex, will merge choral traditions from across Canada, accompanied by the TSO under the baton of Johannes Debus.

“In response to COVID-19 restrictions, AtG has pivoted, recognizing a valuable opportunity to work alongside incredible artists and organizations across our country,” says AtG’s co-founder Joel Ivany. “To support, employ, and collaborate with artists from coast to coast on this unifying project has given us some hope — something we all seem to need in this fragile moment.”

What makes the project unique is that it will showcase multilingual choral translations sung by a cast of soloists and ensembles from every Province and Territory across the country.

“We share a belief that a new lens is required for so much of what we do as arts organizations, and this project is an example of a commitment to including diverse voices in our art form,” said TSO’s CEO Matthew Loden.

The production will be co-directed by Joel Ivany and Reneltta Arluk and feature soloists Elliot Madore, Miriam Khalil, Rihab Chaieb, Jully Black, and Jonathon Adams.

“How can we sing, act, write, speak, create art with one another in ways that allow for full, uncompromising voices to be heard?” Reneltta Arluk asks. “By having the courage and vulnerability to trust that what we feel and hear will help us grow to be a better community and ultimately a better country. Creating a safe space for leading Indigenous voices to be heard is the reason I do this work.”

AtG’s Messiah/Complex premieres on December 13, 8 p.m., and will be available On Demand until December 26, 2020.

Registration will begin at 12 p.m. on November 9, 2020. Full details here.

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Michael Vincent
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