Tapestry 2012/13 announcement

“Press releases and announcements” are presented verbatim without comment.


TORONTO, ON…Tapestry announced details for its upcoming 2012/13 season shows including the much-anticipated Toronto premiere of Shelter, a new opera by composer Juliet Palmer and librettist Julie Salverson.

“This season we are proudly offering Toronto audiences three different opportunities to experience some of the best new opera being created in Canada,” said Tapestry’s Artistic Director Wayne Strongman.  “And we are particularly excited that the Canadian Opera Company is generously supporting the Toronto premiere of Shelter in the Imperial Oil Opera Theatre following on the heels of the partnership with Edmonton Opera for the world premiere in Edmonton.”

In February, emerging young opera singers will perform a selection of favourite contemporary arias from the company’s rich catalogue in The Tapestry Songbook, a concert showcasing pieces written by Canada’s leading composers and librettists.  The singers will be joined by acclaimed contemporary music performer and Tapestry Songbook Clinician, Carla Huhtanen. The Tapestry Songbook takes place February 16, 2013 at the Ernest Balmer Studio in the Distillery Historic District (9 Trinity Street, Studio 316).

Next, audiences are invited to a workshop presentation of Ruth, a new opera by composer Jeffrey Ryan and librettist Michael Lewis MacLennan.  The opera is a contemporary re-telling of a timeless immigrant tale – the struggle to find welcome in a new land: “for your people shall be my people”.  This workshop is presented in collaboration with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Music, with celebrated Canadian mezzo, Kimberly Barber, in the title role.  The workshop performance of Ruth will take place on May 7, 2013 at the Ernest Balmer Studio in the Distillery Historic District (9 Trinity Street, Studio 316).

The season concludes with the Toronto premiere of Shelter, a collaboration between Toronto-based composer Juliet Palmer and Kingston librettist Julie Salverson who first met in Tapestry’s intensive Composer-Librettist Laboratory in 2002. Shelter tells the fictional story of a nuclear family adrift in the atomic age. The opera explores “the dangerous beauty of science” and challenges the audience to consider the impact of mankind’s quest for knowledge and scientific breakthroughs.

“And for those whom opera has primarily meant large-scale mainstage productions, here’s a chance to see completely different, and equally valid operatic values.” Mark Morris, Edmonton Journal

The cast includes mezzo-soprano Christine Duncan as the mother, Claire, baritone Peter McGillivray as the father, Thomas and soprano Maghan McPhee as the daughter Hope.  Tenor Keith Klassen sings the role of the Pilot and mezzo-soprano Andrea Ludwig creates the real-life character of nuclear physicist Lise Meitner.  The creative team includes director Keith Turnbull, music director Wayne Strongman, with stage & costume design by Sue LePage, and lighting & video design by Beth Kates and Ben Chaisson. Tapestry recently travelled to Edmonton for the world premiere of Shelter – a co-production with Edmonton Opera – the show was described as “an engaging coming-of-age story” by the Edmonton Journal.  “Ms. Palmer’s excellent score helps us to relate to the action and to draw the real message from this remarkably provocative production,” said the Calgary Herald.  Shelter will run June 6, 7, 8 and 9, 2013 in the Imperial Oil Opera Theatre (227 Front Street East).

Subscription packages to all three events in Tapestry’s 2012/13 season are $95 (including HST) and may be purchased online at tapestryopera.com or by calling 416-537-6066 ext. 243.  Single tickets are on sale now and can also be purchased online; prices range from $29 to $50 (including HST).


Tapestry is a not-for-profit arts organization whose mandate is to work collaboratively to create, develop and perform new opera nationally and internationally; to promote the advancement of emerging and established artists in the field of new opera; and to offer innovative education opportunities for youth and adults.  Beginning with composers and writers, Tapestry provides dramaturgical guidance and support through the process of new work creation.  Tapestry offers creative teams access to leading directors and performers as part of an intensive dramaturgical program.  Tapestry seeks opportunities to develop and showcase new works to local, national, and international audiences.  These new works are relevant; grown out of contemporary situations by living artists, speaking directly to the experiences of today’s audiences.  Tapestry works to advance the dialogue surrounding opera creation, with each new project helping to redefine the art form. For more information on Tapestry visit www.tapestryopera.com.

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