Against the Grain Theatre announces livestream of La Bohème on CBC Gem, October 13

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AtG, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and CBC Arts celebrate the opera company’s 10th anniversary with a historic livestream from Toronto’s Tranzac Club on CBC Gem 

September 25, 2019 — Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) today announced that as part of its upcoming cross-country tour of  LA BOHÈME, reimagined for contemporary settings and staged in bars across Canada, CBC’s free streaming service, CBC Gem, will carry the company’s October 13 performance live, marking Canada’s first-ever professional opera livestream.

As announced earlier this month, La Bohème, the innovative AtG production that started it all and uprooted opera from the opera house will return this fall with a multi-province and territory tour from September 27 to November 7 in a partnership with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and CBC Arts. The tour will open with a performance at the legendary Banff Legion, then tour across the country with 23 performances in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and the Yukon. The October 13 performance from the Tranzac Club in Toronto will be available to audiences across Canada at 7:30pm ET (4:30pm PT) on CBC Gem and worldwide on the CBC Arts YouTube channel (direct link here)

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“We’re proud of Joel’s success and wanted to promote the idea that opera belongs to every Canadian, that’s why we’re thrilled to be supporting the tour,” said Janice Price, President and CEO of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

“This is an incredible moment for the staff, volunteers and artists that have poured their energies into AtG over the past 10 years.  This partnership shows the continued possibilities that can exist between the large and smaller companies that make up our arts ecosystem,” Founder and Artistic Director of AtG, Joel Ivany said.

“This modern take on La Bohème aligns perfectly with CBC Arts’ ongoing objective of elevating innovators who are changing how Canadians engage with the arts through contemporary, accessible storytelling and a fresh and distinct lens,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Programming for CBC.

Tickets for the cross-Canada tour are currently available at ranging in price from $25-$40.00, for these venues:

  • Friday, Sept 27, Banff, AB – Royal Canadian Legion Branch 26 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept 28, Calgary, AB – WordFest at 7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 30, Medicine Hat, AB – Mainliner Pub at 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct 1, Regina, SK – Fat Badger at 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct 2, Brandon, MB – Westman Centennial Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct 4, Winnipeg, MB – Pyramid Cabaret at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct 5, Kenora, ON – Bob’s Burger Bar at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct 6, Thunder Bay, ON – Red Lion Smokehouse at 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct 8, Sudbury, ON – SRO Night Club at 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24 & 25 – The Tranzac Club in Toronto at 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday and Tuesday, Nov 4 & 5, Whitehorse, YT – The Old Fire Hall at 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov 7, Dawson City, YT – KIAC Ballroom at 7:00 p.m.

In 2011, AtG made its debut in the Toronto opera scene with an innovative interpretation of Puccini’s classic love story. The Italian libretto was translated into English and updated the 19th-century Parisian Latin-quarter setting to Toronto’s historic Tranzac Club. Our new production keeps the bar setting, but reinvigorates it with a new Canadian cast touring towns and cities in central Canada. The majority of the cast are alumni of the Opera in the 21st Century program at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Canada’s largest post graduate arts school.

Meet Les Bobos: the well-known story follows tenor Marcel D’entremont (recent winner of the 2018-19 Wirth Vocal Prize) as Rodolfo, an aspiring screenplay writer with a flighty heart who falls in love with a florist and sewing enthusiast named Mimì, sung by Jonelle Sills. Baritone Clarence Frazer (Canadian Opera Company Ensemble graduate) sings Marcello, an OCAD-trained illustrator whose flirty sweetheart named Musetta, a visual artist (“I don’t paint; I visualize”) sung by soprano Danika Lorèn (recently performed Musetta at the Canadian Opera Company), is anything but faithful!

Rounding out the cast is baritone Andrew Adridge as street musician Schaunard (always showing up with snacks and cash); bass-baritone Giles Tomkins as Colline (a PhD student); and baritone Greg Finney in the roles of Benoît (the landlord) and Alcindoro (an investment banker).

La Bohème is directed by AtG Founder and Artistic Director Joel Ivany and Music Director David Eliakis at the piano with set and costume designs by Adriana Bogaard, and lighting by Imogen Wilson.  Destinations for the tour include Banff, Calgary, and Medicine Hat, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba; Kenora, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Toronto, Ontario and Whitehorse, Dawson City, Yukon.

All tour show information is available at Toronto performances (October 11-25) take place at the Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Avenue, with doors scheduled to open at 7:30 p.m. for an 8:00 p.m. start. Tickets are currently on-sale. The seating is cabaret style, and all tickets are general admission with no assigned seats. Make sure to arrive early and ensure a great seat at “Café Momus” to catch all the romance and action of our 2019 riff on the Puccini classic.

La Bohème is presented in partnership with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and CBC Arts.

In December of 2010, Toronto’s opera scene received a jolt of energy with the formation of Against the Grain Theatre (AtG). With a goal to reinvigorate the operatic art form by presenting an eclectic array of musical works in unconventional spaces and innovative ways, AtG staged its first performance to a sold-out audience of 50 people, and with that the company was off and running. Since that first season, AtG has packed every single one of its productions with standing room-only crowds, winning a consistent level of critical and public acclaim, and picking up nine Dora Mavor Moore Awards along the way. The arts community has embraced the AtG, as has a much wider, more diverse audience of people who may have never considered attending an opera. The company has brought free monthly Opera Pubs to its diverse audience, and was the inaugural Company-in-Residence at the Canadian Opera Company. Founded by an adventurous collective of friends and artists, the company’s mission is to preserve the company’s unique ability to be serious in intent and execution, yet fun and irreverent in spirit. Current members include: Joel Ivany, Robin Whiffen, Jonathan MacArthur, Amanda Hadi, Michael Zarathus-Cook, Jason Hand, Miriam Khalil, David Eliakis, Michael Morreale, Michaela Dickey, Madison Angus, and Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh.

AtG’s mission is to create and introduce communities to outside the box opera experiences. 

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.

For more information, please visit AtG online at


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