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THE SCOOP | Tapestry Opera Announces Multi-Year Plans Including New Robot Opera

By Michael Vincent on May 25, 2021

“I’m just a man whose circumstances went beyond his control.” Styx — Mr. Roboto

Tapestry Opera has broken with the tradition of announcing its upcoming season, with plans for the next few seasons, including a robot opera by Nicole Lizée.

The announcement reveals two new premieres in 2022, plus three major works in development due to premiere in the following two seasons.

“From singers in mid-air in Gould’s Wall to pioneering new integrations of technology in R.U.R., this season is going to be one of Tapestry’s most exciting seasons,” said Tapestry Opera’s Michael Mori and Jaime Martino. “We’ve been developing these and future projects during the pandemic, so that we can come back bolder than ever to thrill and engage with our audiences.”

Opera and Robots

Nicole Lizée will return from lockdown with R.U.R. Torrent of Light — a new chamber opera exploring humanity’s relationship to technology. Inspired by Karel Čapek’s science-fiction play Rossum’s Universal Robots, the opera is set 20 years in the future. Teamed with a libretto from Governor General award-winning writer Nicolas Billon, you can expect a wild ride here.

Glenn Gould, reimagined with acrobats

In another equally strange, yet interesting project is Gould’s Wall — a chamber opera on the life of Canadian icon and classical pianist Glenn Gould. The project is from the hearts and minds of Brian Current, with libretto by Dora Award-winning actor, director, and writer Liza Balkan. The opera features singers climbing along the interior wall of The Royal Conservatory’s atrium. The orchestra will feature The Glenn Gould School’s New Music Ensemble. Audiences will be situated in RCM’s café area.

Other Tapestry events include:

  • Dragon’s Tale | Music by Ka Nin Chan, text by Mark Brownell — a new opera inspired by poet Qu Yuan and the origin of the Dragon Boat race in Chinese mythology. Due to be performed this June, now rescheduled; to be performed on Toronto’s waterfront in partnership with Soundstreams.
  • Of the Sea | Music by Ian Cusson, text by Kanika Ambrose — a mythical exploration of father and daughter who fall to the bottom of the ocean and meet an underwater people, refusing to stay where fate has sent them, but striving to reach the surface, in partnership with Obsidian Theatre.
  • 10 Days in a Madhouse | Music by Rene Orth, text by Hannah Moscovitch — the extraordinary story of reporter Nellie Bly admitting herself to a women’s sanatorium in 19th Century New York, in partnership with Opera Philadelphia.

We’re not quite sure what to make of this announcement quite yet, but Tapestry Opera certainly know how to get our attention.

More details coming Fall 2021.

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Michael Vincent
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Ludwig Van Toronto

CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical Events You Absolutely Need To See This Week: Sept. 7–12

By Michael Vincent on September 7, 2021

Classical music and opera events for the week of September 7–12.
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CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical Events You Absolutely Need To See This Week: Oct. 4 – 10

By Michael Vincent on October 4, 2021

Classical music and opera events for the week of October 4 to 10.
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THE SCOOP | Ben Heppner Bids Farewell To Saturday Afternoon At The Opera

By Michael Vincent on September 8, 2021

Tenor Ben Heppner just hosted his farewell show of 'Saturday Afternoon At The Opera' over Labour Day weekend.
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