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Tapestry Opera presents an Acadian cooking party and Iron Chef-inspired operatic adventures on stage

conductor Jennifer Tung as Iron Conductor;  A: Acadia (Image courtesy of Tapestry Opera)
conductor Jennifer Tung as Iron Conductor; A: Acadia (Images courtesy of Tapestry Opera)

Kitchens appear to be a recurring theme in two concerts presented by Tapestry Opera later this month. First, an Acadian cooking party, then an Iron Chef-inspired musical concoction, take the vocal arts in very different directions.

Both events give Toronto audiences the opportunity to hear some of their favorite artists in an intimate and fun setting.

The Kitchen Party (May 21)

Expect the warm but lively atmosphere of a true Acadian cuisine celebration with host and Associate Artistic Director of Tapisserie and Women in Music Leadership Fellow Juliane Gallant, and a trio of Maritime musicians: Jacques Arsenault (tenor/ accordion), Marie Andrée Gaudet (violin/accordion). violin) and Pierre-André Doucet (piano).

The program includes a world premiere by composer Sophie Dupuis based on a poem by Pierre-André Doucet.

The artists

Born in New Brunswick, Julienne Gallant is currently resident conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and one of two conductors in Tapestry’s inaugural Women in Musical Leadership program. She has worked with several orchestras across Canada, including the Victoria Symphony, the Hamilton Philharmonic and the National Arts Center Orchestra, among others.

Originally from Acadia, Jacques Arsenault studied the accordion as a child in Prince Edward Island. He later discovered his passion for singing as a tenor. He earned a Master of Music degree from the University of Alberta and has performed across Canada since his professional debut in 2015.

Violinist Marie-Andrée Gaudet holds two master’s degrees from Laval University in Quebec, one in musical performance, followed by another in chamber and orchestral music. She is originally from New Brunswick and lives in Moncton. After beginnings in the classical world, she returned to her roots to explore Acadian music.

Pianist and writer Pierre-André Doucet is a winner of the Knigge Piano Competition and recipient of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Career Development Competition, as well as the Prix d’Europe. He has performed across Canada and South Africa.

Sophie Dupuis is a composer and violinist originally from New Brunswick. She has performed and composed works for various artists and ensembles, including Ballet-Opéra-Pantomine, Duo Holz, Ventus Machina, Made in Trio and Din of Shadows, among others. Sophie holds a Master of Music and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor of Music with Composition from Dalhousie University.

  • Find more information and tickets for the event at Théâtre Passe Muraille (HERE).

Iron Orchestra Conductor | May 22

Associate Artistic Director, Dora-nominated conductor and Women in Musical Leadership Fellow Jennifer Tung will co-host this event with tenor Keith Klassen, known to Tapestry audiences for his sense of humor.

Among the musical creations on the program is a world premiere by composer Ivan Barbotin and librettist Donna-Michelle St. Bernard.

Artists

Dora named conductor Jennifer Tung is artistic director of the Toronto City Opera and assistant conductor of the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra. The multifaceted artist works as a music director, collaborative pianist and soprano. She directed the Tapestry Opera and Obsidian Theater co-production Of the Sea (Ian Cusson/Kanika Ambrose) and is on the faculty of the Glenn Gould School.

Graduate of the Opera Division of the University of Toronto, tenor Keith Klassen has performed more than 100 roles in traditional and new opera repertoire. His career has taken him across North America, Europe and the Bahamas. His critics have noted him for both his vocal and dramatic talents.

Mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabo graduated from the University of Western Ontario. She then completed her postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She made her professional debut as a member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Studio Ensemble in 1998 and has gone on to have a busy career that has taken her across Canada and beyond, including playing the role principal in Atom Egoyan’s production of Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle for the COC. She also works as an assistant at the University of British Columbia.

Composer Ivan Barbotin and librettist Donna-Michelle St. Bernard first met through Tapestry’s LIBLAB program. They later worked together as part of the SOS Sketch Opera Singers writers’ room.

Ivan is from St. Petersburg, Russia, and he founded a rock band when he was a teenager. He joined the famous Russian band Forum at age 16 and toured Russia to sold-out audiences. His career took a detour after immigrating to Canada in 1990, but he returned to music a decade later to write his first ballet, The Velveteen Rabbit. He has since composed two further ballets, as well as a variety of works for film and television, including for the Discovery Channel and the BBC.

Canadian playwright, theater director, animator and arts administrator Donna-Michelle Saint-Bernard is the recipient of the Dora Mavor Moore Award, among other honors. She is artistic director of New Harlem Productions and was a finalist for the Siminovitch Prize for Theater and lives in Hamilton. Her works have been produced across the country and she is in the middle of her “54ology”, a cycle of 54 pieces, one for each of the countries on the African continent.

Randy the puppet will also make an appearance.

  • Find more information and tickets for the event at Théâtre Passe Muraille (HERE).

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