November offers those in Toronto and vicinity a chance to see the Canadian premiere of a new Scottish opera with a Canadian connection, and the revivals of seldom-seen American and Canadian operas. This is a further demonstration, if anyone needed one, of how vital such companies are in maintaining the diversity of Toronto’s opera scene.

18_opera_sloans_inside18_opera_sloans_outsideFirst to appear, on November 10, 11 and 12, is Pub Operas by Scottish composer Gareth Williams, to a libretto by Canadian David Brock. The two met in 2009 at Tapestry New Opera’s LibLab, Tapestry’s composer/librettist incubator, and the project grew out of that meeting. The opera premiered earlier this year in July, at Sloan’s Bar in Glasgow as part of the Merchant City Festival. The venue was no quirk because Pub Operas was written specifically to celebrate the history of Sloan’s, which is Glasgow’s oldest pub, having been founded in 1797. The libretto, about life’s cycle of love, marriage, birth and death, is based on letters sent in by the public for whom Sloan’s played a real role at key points in their lives.

For the performance, the Ernest Balmer Studio in the Distillery District will substitute for Sloan’s. The singers will be Xin Wang, Heather Jewson, James McLean and Benjamin Covey with Wayne Strongman leading a six-piece band. Sue Miner directs. For more information about the opera, visit www.tapestrynewopera.com; and for the history of Sloan’s visit www.sloansglasgow.com.

18_john_beckwith_photo_andre_leducAlso playing on November 11 and 12 will be the Toronto premiere of the 1989 opera Crazy to Kill by John Beckwith to a libretto by James Reaney. Toronto Masque Theatre will mount this production of “Canada’s first detective opera” at the Enwave Theatre starring singers Kimberly Barber, Doug McNaughton and Shannon Mercer and actors Brendan Wall and Ingrid Doucet. The work, scored for piano and percussion, wiill feature Greg Oh as pianist and conductor and Ed Reifel as percussionist. David Ferry will direct.

18_opera_puppets_218_opera_puppets_3The story for the libretto comes from the 1941 novel of the same title by Ann Cardwell (pseudonym of Jean Makins Pawley) that is still in print. It concerns Detective Fry who, with the help of “model patient” Agatha Lawson, investigates a series of murders at Elmhurst, a private mental asylum for the wealthy in Southwestern Ontario. Reaney has stated that it was reading this novel that inspired him to become a writer. The commission (from the Edward John Music Foundation and Billie Bridgman for the Guelph Spring Festival) limited the cast to three singers and two actors. To get around these constraints Reaney had the idea of giving Agatha the habit of making life-sized doll puppets, eighteen in all, who, manipulated by the performers, also portray characters at Elmhurst. After a workshop at Banff in 1988, the one-act opera premiered at the Guelph Spring Festival on May 11, 1989, with Jean Stilwell as Agatha, Paul Massel as Fry and Sharon Crowther as Mme Dupont, an Elmhurst patient. For more information visit www.torontomasquetheatre.com. Also note that the fall edition of Opera Canada includes an article adapted from a chapter from Unheard Of: Memoirs of a Canadian Composer by John Beckwith, to be published in 2012 that deals with the background of Crazy to Kill and other of his operas of the period.

On November 23 and 26, Opera by Request (OBR) and Ensemble TrypTych (ET) co-produce the first Canadian performance of The Saint of Bleecker Street by Gian Carlo Menotti. The 1954 opera had its Canadian premiere at the University of British Columbia in the 1980s, but as far as OBR artistic director William Shookhoff can determine, has not had a full performance in Canada since then. OBR and ET chose the opera in consultation with the performers to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the composer. OBR traditionally does one choral opera per season with the University of Toronto Scarborough Concert Choir, and as this is Menotti’s only choral opera it fit the bill. Besides, this seldom-heard opera provides something more out of the way than The Medium (1946) or The Consul (1950).

Bleecker Street, which won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for Music and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, is set in New York City’s Little Italy, where a young woman named Anina manifests the stigmata and begins to see angels. A conflict develops between her atheist brother Michele, who thinks she needs medical attention, and the neighbourhood which regards her as a saint. Shookhoff says, “As with The Consul, there is a timelessness to it which resonates particularly with younger participants, as it does with all of us: the conflict between tradition and new surroundings; between faith and rationale; and the stigma of relationships which go against the norm.”

The work will be performed in concert with Shookhoff as pianist on November 23 at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and on November 26 at Trinity Presbyterian York Mills. Deena Nicklefork will sing Anina and Avery Krisman will sing Michele with six other soloists rounding out the cast. For more visit www.operabyrequest.ca.

Christopher Hoile is a Toronto-based writer on opera and theatre. He can be contacted at opera@thewholenote.com.

opera_opera_atelier_don_giovanni_photo_by_bruce_zinger._phillip_addis__curtis_sullivan_and_artists_of_atelier_balletFrom October 29 to November 5, Opera Atelier premieres its new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Phillip Addis sings the title role with Carla Huhtanen as Zerlina, Vasil Garvanliev as Leporello, Peggy Kriha Dye as Donna Elvira and Meghan Lindsay as Donna Anna. Italian conductor Stefano Montanari leads the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Marshall Pynkoski directs.

During an extensive telephone interview with Pynkoski, I raised the question, “What can be called ‘new’ in a period production?” In answer, he had much to say about Opera Atelier’s goals and what a period production is:

“By period production we’re not talking about a museum. We’re not talking about reproducing something someone did at an earlier time. We could do that if we wanted to, and at times we do, but when we say ‘period production’ we mean we are taking elements of every discipline involved in the production — the acting style, the singing style, the dancing style, the orchestral playing — all of those things, not so that we can copy what they did in the 18th century, but to see if there is anything that we’ve missed in the past and anything that we’ve lost that will challenge us as artists in the 21st century.”

“Our goal is to be more linear. We want to be storytellers. We’re going to follow the text and we’re going to try to figure out how to make it make sense. For example, we’re taking a look at what happened in the early productions of Don Giovanni so that we can challenge ourselves in a new way. Of course, we’ve done Don Giovanni before, but I think we’ve learned a great deal about it over the years. Initially, we were unable to build the production we wanted and had to cobble it together from what we had in stock. This is our first complete statement of what we’d like Don Giovanni to be.”

“The most important thing I want to get across is that it is a comedy. That doesn’t mean that there are no tragic or dark moments. All great comedy has moments that are poignant. But what I have right in front of me is a letter Andrew Parrott gave me, where Mozart refers to Don Giovanni as an opera buffa. I don’t care if everyone else called it a dramma giocoso with an emphasis on the drama. Mozart called it an opera buffa and I’m following what he said, because I think it makes the opera absolutely make sense.”

“I’m sick of seeing a Don Giovanni about a middle-aged Lothario who hates woman and can’t achieve intimacy. It never makes sense because it means every woman on stage is insane. How exactly can a horrible, dirty old man be irresistible? On the other hand, we find things amusing, even charming, in young people that we would find reprehensible in middle age. Just think, the first Don was under 20. The second Don was under 25. Therefore I have to find someone like Phillip [Addis] who registers young, innocent, fresh, irresistible.”

“Basically, Don Giovanni is Cherubino at age 25. He says all the same things. He falls in love with every woman he sees. He doesn’t hate women — he loves them. And women adore him. There has to be something adorable about him, but I have yet to see a Don Giovanni where I understand why women love him. To my mind Don Giovanni is the most innocent and the most honest man on stage. He’s a comic character and everything on stage revolves around him.”

“Anyone in the 18th century would have known from the first scene that we’re in the world of the Italian commedia dell’arte with the servant, like a Harlequin, outside a tavern who wants a drink but has no money while his master is inside drinking. The design will not be as strongly commedia as it was last time. I think we made our point. Martha [Mann]’s costumes will be more Spanish but will still retain very clear commedia touches.”

“What makes it ‘new’ when talking about period is to say it’s a comedy and to discover what that means. It means we have to re-examine every character and fight the stereotypes that have been built up over the past hundred years or so. It’s a big challenge for everyone, especially the singers, because they come in with so much baggage from other productions that we have to strip away.”

“We’ve recently learned that in the original production the Commendatore and Mazetto were played by the same person with little time for a costume change at the finale. This immediately tells us something about the opening. The Commendatore is not some doddering old man who staggers around the stage before Don Giovanni kills him. He has a daughter, after all, who is probably 17. Therefore he’s a vital, strong, dangerous middle-aged man. Of course, the Don calls him ‘old’ as any young person would. As soon as you see that the duel at the beginning is thus more on an equal footing, itchanges everything. It’s no longer the brutal murder of a senile old fool. Once we learned this we thought, ‘Let’s do it. Curtis [Sullivan] will play both roles. It’s a challenge, but we’re just doing what Mozart did.’”

For tickets and more information visit www.operaatelier.com.

THERE’S MORE!

For devotees of Music Theatre in its many forms, Atelier’s “Don Giovanni” won’t be the only event of interest this month.

On the afternoon of Sunday October 2, Opera in Concert presents a concert titled L’accordéoniste: Latin Heat with Kimberly Barber, mezzo; Peter Tiefenbach, piano; Carol Bauman, percussion; and Mary-Lou Vetere, accordion. The same day, at 7:30pm, Solomon Tencer Productions presents An Evening at the Opera at the Studio Theatre, Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Monday October 10, 8pm, sees the opening of an extended run of Art of Time Ensemble’s “I Send You This Cadmium Red,” an evening of theatre, dance and music, exploring correspondence between artist John Berger and filmmaker John Christie.

Wednesday October 12 at noon Canadian Opera Company/ Queen of Puddings Music Theatre showcase Ana Sokolovic’s new a cappella opera “Svadba — The Wedding.”

Wednesday October 19 at 7:30pm Opera Belcanto’s “Cav/ Pag” double bill kicks off a two-night stand at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

Friday October 21 at 7:30pm, Opera By Request presents Handel’s “Orlando” at College Street United Church; Markham Theatre for Performing Arts has Isabel Bayrakdarian in recital at 8pm; and also at 8pm at St. John’sYork Mills Anglican Church is What They Did For Love, the debut concert of a newly formed opera ensemble, Opera Rouge.

Sunday October 23 brings Zarzuela Gold from Toronto Operetta Theatre, an opening gala concert; the same day, the University of Toronto Faculty of Music’s perennially popular Opera Tea features a Menotti Double Bill in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Saturday October 29 sees not only the start of the aforementioned Atelier “Don Giovanni,” but also what might be described as the “final return” of “Two Pianos Four Hands,” Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt’s musical comedy. about, what else, music.

Thursday November 3 and Saturday November 5 Opera York’s Madama Butterfly is on the boards at Richmond Hill Centre for the Arts. Friday November 4 Opera By Request presents Massenet’s “Herodiade.”

Details on all these, and more can be found in the listings.

Christopher Hoile is a Toronto-based writer on opera and theatre. He can be contacted at opera@thewholenote.com.

So far over 35 productions have been announced for the 2011/12 opera season. Since so many of these are Toronto premieres or unfamiliar repertoire this looks to be quite an exciting season.

opera_oksana1The Canadian Opera Company has several fascinating offerings. The fall season opens with Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride (1779) starring Susan Graham — the world’s foremost Iphigénie. The production, running September 22 to October 15, continues Robert Carsen’s series of interpretations of Gluck that began last season with his highly acclaimed Orfeo ed Euridice. February brings the Canadian premiere of Love from Afar (L’Amour de loin) (2000) by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. This continues COC General Director Alexander Neef’s plan to include a contemporary work every season and it will also mark the first time the COC has staged a work by a female composer. In April, the COC will mount A Florentine Tragedy (1917), its first-ever opera by Alexander Zemlinsky, on a double bill with Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. And in May, the company will stage its first-ever Semele (1744) by George Frideric Handel. For more information visit www.coc.ca.

Opera Atelier’s season premieres a new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, October 29, and remounts Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Armide (1686) in April, last seen in 2005. Toronto has to count itself as very spoiled to have a second chance to see an opera like Armide. In January, Opera Atelier Co-Artistic Director Marshall Pynkoski will direct a concert production of Handel’s oratorio Hercules (1744) with Tafelmusik at Koerner Hall. For more see www.operaatelier.com and www.tafelmusik.org.

Toronto Operetta Theatre charts new ground with its first-ever staging of Imre Kálmán’s Die Csárdásfürstin (1915), in late December. The TOT has presented other Kálmán works but strangely not The Gypsy Princess (as it is known in English), even though it’s regarded as one of the pinnacles of “Silver Age” Viennese operetta. In February it will present the first professional staging of John Beckwith’s opera Taptoo!, an opera with a War of 1812 theme given its world premiere by the University of Toronto Opera Division in 2003. Toronto Masque Theatre coincidentally will stage another opera by Beckwith, also to a libretto by James Reaney, Crazy to Kill (1989), earlier in November.
For more information see www.torontooperetta.com and www.torontomasquetheatre.com.

opera_kaija_saariahoNormally, the double bill of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana (1890) and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (1892) would not count as unusual, except that the COC last staged this traditional pairing way back in 1966. Since then, the company has yoked one or the other to various parts of Puccini’s Il Trittico (1918). This season, those who would like to “Cav and Pag” together have three choices: Opera Lyra Ottawa has scheduled them for September 10 to 17; Opera Belcanto presents them October 19 and 21; and Opera Hamilton has them on April 21 and 23. See www.operalyra.ca, www.operabelcanto.net and http://operahamilton.ca for more.

The tradition of presenting operas in concert has immeasurably widened our knowledge of works now rarely staged. This year two companies offer some especially unusual items. Opera in Concert has planned Giacomo Meyerbeer’s once-popular Les Huguenots (1836) for November 27, Verdi’s first opera Oberto (1839) for March 4 and for April 1, Franz Schubert’s virtually unknown Die Freunde von Salamanka (written in 1815 but not performed until 1928). Meanwhile, Opera by Request has scheduled Handel’s Orlando (1733) for October 21, Massenet’s Hérodiade (1881) for November 4 and Giancarlo Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street (1955) for November 23. Look for more information at www.operainconcert.com and www.operabyrequest.ca.

Tapestry New Opera has three unusual offerings. Its season opener, “Opera Briefs,” gives us exciting new works from the Composer Librettist Laboratory, “Liblab,” September 23 and 24, at Theatre Passe Muraille. In November, it presents Pub Operas by Gareth Williams that premiered in Glasgow in July earlier this year. The libretto (by David Brock) is based on the stories of the patrons of Sloan’s Bar, Glasgow’s oldest pub, that has played host to the citizens’ betrothals, weddings, christenings and wakes. Then in June 2012, it will mount the first full workshop production of The Enslavement and Liberation of Oksana G. by Aaron Gervais and Colleen Murphy, excerpts of which have been tantalizing audiences for several seasons now. See www.tapestrynewopera.com for more.

Those with a taste for ground-breaking new operas will have much to cheer them. On February 2, Soundstreams will present The Sealed Angel (1988) a liturgical work by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin that will be staged at Koerner Hall as choral opera with choreography by Lars Schreiber and sung by the combined forces of the Elmer Iseler Singers and the Amadeus Choir. See www.soundstreams.ca for more.

The 2011/12 season ends with a bang with the Canadian premiere of Philip Glass’s seminal 20th-century opera Einstein at the Beach (1976). This, the North American premiere of the first new production of the work in 20 years, will be the centrepiece of Luminato 2012 that runs from June 8 to 17. More information will become available. www.luminato.com.

Christopher Hoile is a Toronto-based writer on opera and theatre. He can be contacted at opera@thewholenote.com.

This summer there is not quite as much opera on offer in town in July and August as there has been in past seasons. Yet, it is not totally absent and nearby summer music festivals should hold much of interest for opera lovers.

16For staged operas with piano accompaniment, Summer Opera Lyric Theatre is always reliable. This year SOLT (www.solt.ca) is presenting Mozart’s Idomeneo on July 29 and 31 and on August 3 and 6 with Michael Rose as music director. Playing with it in repertory is Verdi’s La Traviata on July 30 and August 2, 4 and 6 with Jennifer Tung as music director and Aaron Copland’s seldom-staged The Tender Land on July 30 and August 3, 5 and 7 with Nicole Bellamy as music director. The Tender Land, which premiered at the New York City Opera in 1954, concerns Laurie, a girl about to graduate from high school, who falls in love with an itinerant worker. It was staged at Glimmerglass just last year. All performances take place at the intimate Robert Gill Theatre on the University of Toronto campus.

On July 9, Opera by Request (www.operabyrequest.ca) will present a concert performance of Verdi’s Il Trovatore with Steven Sherwood (Manrico), Carrie Gray (Leonora), Karen Bojti (Azucena) and Yevgeny Yablonovsky (Count di Luna) with William Shookhoff as music director. The performance takes place at the College Street United Church, 452 College St.

The 24th annual Brott Music Festival in Hamilton (www.brottmusic.com) offers several enjoyable options. Opera Ovations! on July 7 presents well-known opera excerpts sung by Ermano Mauro, Sinead Sugrue, Lauren Segal and Peter McGillivray accompanied by the National Academy Orchestra under Boris Brott himself. On August 6 the festival presents Bizet’s Carmen in concert with Lauren Segal (Carmen), Keith Klassen (Don José), Gregory Dahl (Escamillo) and Sinead Sugrue (Michaëla). Brott again conducts the NAO and Giandomenico Vaccari oversees the production. The previous day, Signore Vaccari will hold a dress rehearsal chat about the opera and discuss his role in rebuilding Bari’s famous Petruzzelli Theatre. The festival concludes on August 18 with a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with John McMaster, Leslie Anne Bradley and Theodore Baerg.

To the west, Stratford Summer Music is presenting A Serenade for Maureen Forrester at the Avon Theatre on July 25 commemorating her life and career. Soloists include Kimberly Barber, Allyson McHardy, Catherine Robbin, Krisztina Szabó, Jean Stilwell and Mary Lou Fallis. In addition to musical performances will be tributes from music critic William Littler, director Brian MacDonald, prima ballerina Karen Kain and composer R. Murray Schafer. Video tributes will come from conductors Zubin Mehta and Sir Andrew Davis. For more information and to book tickets visit www.stratfordsummermusic.ca.

To the northeast the Westben Arts Festival in Campbellford is mounting a fully-staged production of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring from July 1 to July 3. The UBC Opera Ensemble is directed by Nancy Hermiston and Philip Headlam conducts the Westben Festival Orchestra. On July 14 well-known singers like Donna Bennett, Gabrielle Prata, Colin Ainsworth and Robert Longo take a break from opera to explore musicals from West Side Story to A Little Night Music and beyond. On July 24, Isabel Bayrakdarian with Serouj Kradjian at the piano presents a concert titled Sunday Afternoon at the Opera. Visit www.westben.ca for more information.

If you’re looking for rarities and would rather stay in Canada, head over to Quebec to the Festival de Lanaudière (www.lanaudiere.org) near Montreal. On July 30 it will present what must be the first fully-staged performance in Canada of the romantic opera Der Vampyr (1828) by Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861), a composer whose operas are known to have heavily influenced Wagner. Wagner, in fact, conducted the work in 1833 with his brother in the tenor role. The opera is ultimately based on the first vampire story in English, the short novel The Vampyre (1819) by John Polidori, doctor to Lord Byron and friend to Percy and Mary Shelley. The singers include Phillip Addis in the title role, Frédéric Antoun, Nathalie Paulin and Robert Pomakov. Alain Gaulthier directs and Jean-Marie Zeitouni conducts the Orchestre du Festival. Toronto last had a chance to hear the work in 1994 when Opera In Concert presented it. Since then others have championed it including Roberto Abbado, who conducted it in Bologna in 2008.

Opera productions in the US within a day’s drive of Toronto include Luigi Cherubini’s Medea (1797) in Italian at Glimmerglass Opera (www.glimmerglass.org) July 8 to August 16; Richard Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae (1940) at the Bard Music Festival (http://fishercenter.bard.edu/bmf) July 29 to August 7; and at the Ohio Light Opera (www.ohiolightopera.org) July 15 to August 6, Cole Porter’s Jubilee (1935), Victor Herbert’s The Fortune Teller (1898) and Leo Fall’s Madame Pompadour (1922).

Christopher Hoile is a Toronto-based writer on opera and theatre. He can be contacted at opera@thewholenote.com.

Opera in Toronto no longer ends with the close of the Canadian Opera Company’s season. This month sees the world premiere of Svadba – Wedding, a new a cappella opera by Montreal composer Ana Sokolovic commissioned by Queen of Puddings Music Theatre.

p15_opera_the_midnight_courtAny opera by Queen of Puddings is an event, especially when it is on a large scale, this time involving six singers. According to the QoP press release, Svadba – Wedding “takes place the night before a fiancée, Milica, leaves for her wedding. Her girlfriends keep her company all night long and engage in raucous girltalk, invoking pagan rituals as they prepare her for the impending wedding. What elevates this ‘girltalk’ to a supernaturally exhilarating experience is Ana Sokolovic’s style of composition. Using existing Slavic/Balkan peasant folk tales, myths and traditions as her text source, she draws on her native Balkan folk music as a source of inspiration for all her music. She transforms the music and text into her own unique onomatopoeic language and transports listeners to a world of magic realism. The singers have to use every single possible vocal technique – combining opera singing with Balkan folk singing, overtones, extreme chest voice, heightened nasal voice, whispering, creating a wildly inventive intense palette of colours.”

This is Sokolovic’s fourth collaboration with QoP after Love Songs (2008), The Midnight Court (2005) and Six Voices for Sirens (2000). Born in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1968, she studied composition with Dusan Radic and Zoran Eric. She completed a master’s degree at the Université de Montréal under the direction of José Evangelista. Her catalogue includes orchestral and piano works and several chamber music compositions, and she has written numerous scores for the theatre. This year she has been unanimously chosen by the SMCQ (Société de musique contemporaine du Québec) for its 2011-2012 season Homage Series. This season the entire Québec cultural community will recognize and celebrate the work of Ana Sokolovic by programming her music.

Via e-mail, Dáirine Ní Mheadhra, co-founder with John Hess of QoP, writes of Sokolovic and her inspiration for this new work: “The genesis of Svadba was Sirens, that ten minute work for six female voices we commissioned from Ana in 2000. We adored that work and anyone who heard it has never forgotten it and we’ve performed it many times since. She used Balkan vocal techniques in Sirens, something akin to what you hear in that famous Bulgarian women’s choir, Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. While we’ve commissioned other works from Ana since 2000, we’ve always wanted to revisit a full-length scenario for six female voices in which Ana would again be drawn towards Balkan vocal techniques, as she always is when writing vocal music.”

“Balkan folkloric music has always been the inspiration for all of her music. Love Songs included three Serbian poems, and now in Svadba she has come full circle as it’s completely in Serbian. She had the idea of really exploring Balkan literature and folk texts for Svadba and the wedding rituals and texts were the ones that caught her attention. She spent time in Belgrade poring over hundreds of texts. While Ana lives in Montreal, married to a Québécois with two Canadian children, she is never far from her Serbian background in her art. Igor Stravinsky’s Les Noces (a choral ballet from 1923 based on Russian wedding lyrics) may not have been Svadba’s immediate inspiration but it was probably there subliminally.”

In answer to questions about the nature of Svadba as opera, Ní Mheadhra says, “Svadba is more about ritual than narrative, although it does unfold in seven consecutive scenes where the bride and her girlfriends stay up all night long before the impending wedding as they prepare her for the ceremony. It includes scenes like colouring her hair, bathing her in the hammam, dressing her, etc., leading to the farewell, and the music is completely onomatopoeic. The catharsis is a purging through emotion, most definitely, as the forcefield of sound set up by those female voices singing nasally pushes into the far reaches of your cranium and makes your head buzz and your body vibrate so much that you feel totally exhilarated! It’s primal stuff and communicates so viscerally that you want more and more and more … which is after all how those Sirens could lure those sailors onto the rocks with their sound that was so seductive!”

Svadba will be sung in Serbian with English surtitles. The cast is comprised of singers Jacqueline Woodley, Shannon Mercer, Laura Albino, Carla Huhtanen, Andrea Ludwig and Krisztina Szabó, under the music direction of Dáirine Ní Mheadhra. The creative team consists of stage director Michael Cavanagh, set and costume designer Michael Gianfrancesco and lighting designer Kimberly Purtell. Performances take place in Toronto June 24, 25, 28, 29, 30 and July 2 at the Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs. For tickets phone 416-368-3110 or visit www.canadianstage.com/alsoatberkeley. For more about Ana Sokolovic, see www.anasokolovic.com and for more about Queen of Puddings see www.queenofpuddingsmusictheatre.com.

Christopher Hoile is a Toronto-based writer on opera and theatre. He can be contacted at opera@thewholenote.com.

Back to top