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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 14, 2013
Against the Grain Theatre puts new spin on Mozart classic with Figaro’s Wedding
TORONTO (May 14, 2013) — Against the Grain Theatre (AtG), the daring indie opera company that has received critical acclaim for its unconventionally staged works, presents a brand new production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro this spring, re-titled Figaro’s Wedding. Taking place at The Burroughes on Toronto’s Queen Street West, four performances will be presented on May 29, 30, 31 and June 2, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Staged as a real wedding with audience members as guests, the production is directed by Joel Ivany with musical direction by Christopher Mokrzewski. Marking an AtG first, Figaro’s Wedding is accompanied by Music in the Barns Chamber Ensemble in a special arrangement with Mokrzewski at the piano. The cast brings together several of Toronto’s hottest young opera talents in the lead roles: soprano Miriam Khalil as Susanna, the blushing bride; bass-baritone Stephen Hegedus as Figaro, the stressed-out groom; soprano Teiya Kasahara as a gender-bending Cherubino; soprano Lisa DiMaria as Rosina, the modern Countess; and baritone Alexander Dobson as Alberto, a re-imagined version of Mozart’s Count. Gregory Finney sings the traditional characters of Bartolo and Antonio, who have been transformed into the wedding officiant and florist, respectively. Michael Ciufo is Basilo, the wedding planner, and Loralie Kirkpatrick is Marcellina, the wedding venue coordinator.
The creative team reunites lighting designer Jason Hand and costume designer Erika Connors, who were praised for their work on AtG’s 2012 production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. Patrick DuWors makes his AtG debut as set designer, transforming the 6th floor event spaces of the Burroughes—where real weddings frequently take place—into the setting for Susanna and Figaro’s comedic and contemporary wedding-planning angst.
The bride’s gown—the most important item of any wedding—is custom-designed for the production by Toronto couturier Rosemarie Umetsu. The dress will have its debut on opening night, wrapping Susanna in a truly original creation.
“We’ve set our Figaro in the way everyone always wanted it,” said Ivany. “I’m often asked why we would mess with a good thing; I really think you have to take risks if you want to present truly new, engaging musical experiences. We’ll be true to the most important elements of the opera: Mozart’s sublime score and the funny, charming dramatic core.”
The Burroughes is located at 639 Queen St. W. Tickets start at $35 and are available at www.againstthegraintheatre.com.
A special preview of Figaro’s Wedding will be offered on May 16, 2013 as part of the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The hour-long free performance begins at 12 p.m. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis with the doors opening to the public at 11:30 a.m. Details about the series may be found at http://www.coc.ca.
A video trailer for Figaro’s Wedding may be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il5lWdVqTlo.
For more information, please visit http://www.againstthegraintheatre.com.
Figaro’s Wedding is generously supported by BMO Financial Group; the Canada Council for the Arts; McAuslan Brewery; Cointreau; Chairman Mills; and friends of Against the Grain Theatre.
Susanna is dressed by Atelier Rosemarie Umetsu.
Against the Grain Theatre is a five-person collective comprising Joel Ivany, Christopher Mokrzewski, Nancy Hitzig, Caitlin Coull and Cecily Carver. The wider but closely-knit AtG community includes musicians, actors, dancers, visual artists, photographers, and arts professionals who come together to turn the classics sideways. AtG’s inaugural season in 2010/2011 included three critically acclaimed concert presentations and a fully staged production of La Bohème. Last year’s highlights include sold-out concert performances of The Seven Deadly Sins (and Holier Fare) and a four-run production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.