Wednesday, October 2, 2013

News: (Toronto) Against the Grain Theatre announces 2013-14 season (Press release)

Against the Grain Theatre’s hotly anticipated third season boldly remasters two classics

TORONTO (Oct. 1, 2013) — After mounting what Musical Toronto called “the most entertaining opera production of the season in Toronto” last June with Figaro’s Wedding,Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) roars back to life with its hotly anticipated 2013/2014 season. The line-up includes a December, 2013 performance of AtG’s Messiah—a creatively re-imagined staging of Handel’s beloved oratorio—and an innovative new production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in June, 2014. 
As it proved with its popular re-workings of Le Nozze di Figaro and La Bohème, AtG has never shied away from new interpretations of cherished standards. Next up it’s Handel’sMessiah, re-titled AtG’s Messiah, because really: who doesn’t love a rousing Hallelujah Chorus? The score remains intact, but forget about the usual gowns and leather-bound choral folders. AtG artistic director Joel Ivany teams up with dancer/choreographer Jennifer Nichols to give the piece a brand new form and movement, sure to be unlike anything Toronto audiences have seen before.

Presented at The Opera House, Toronto’s favourite east end rock hall, AtG’s Messiahruns for two nights on Dec. 14 and 15, 2013 at 8 p.m. The all-star lineup of fearless soloists includes soprano Jacqueline Woodley, mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó, tenorIsaiah Bell and baritone Geoffrey Sirett. AtG music director Christopher Mokrzewski conducts the AtG orchestra and chorus. Tickets start at $40 and are available at A 19+ event, this isn’t your grandma’s Messiah (but she would love it, so bring her).

The season continues in June, 2014 with an homage to Claude Debussy, as the AtG crew tackles the composer’s only complete operatic work: Pelléas et Mélisande. Sung in French with English titles, the production features an outstanding Canadian cast comprising baritone Etienne Dupuis as Pelléas, soprano Miriam Khalil as Mélisande, baritone Gregory Dahl as Golaud and bass Alain Coulombe as Arkel. AtG friend Anne Larlee steps in as music director, and the creative dream team that sent chills down everyone’s spine with AtG’s lauded 2012 production of The Turn of the Screw is reunited, with direction by Joel Ivany, set design by Camellia Koo and lighting design by Jason Hand. Tickets start at $40. Full details will be announced at as they become available, but rest assured this will be the hottest ticket on Toronto’s opera scene this season.

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About AtG
Against the Grain is a cutting-edge Canadian theatre collective dedicated to presenting classical and contemporary musical repertoire in innovative ways and unconventional spaces. Comprising Joel Ivany, Christopher Mokrzewski, Caitlin Coull, Miriam Khalil, Lucia Cesaroni, Cecily Carver and Nancy Hitzig (on leave) at its core, the wider but tightly-knit AtG community includes musicians, actors, dancers, visual artists, photographers and arts professionals. AtG’s 2012/2013 season included two sold-out concert performances of Kafka/Janáček/Kurtág and a wildly successful four-run production of Figaro’s Wedding (an English adaptation of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro).

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