TORONTO, ON: Canada’s leading contemporary opera company, Tapestry Opera, in conjunction with the Toronto Arts Council and the Todmorden Mills Heritage Site, is pleased to announce the world premiere of Bandits in the Valley. Set in 1860s Toronto, Bandits in the Valley tells the story of a local bandit group, aided by a troupe of travelling Gilbert & Sullivan players, who attempt to steal a mysterious object from a wealthy citizen’s home in the Don Valley. Six performers will make their way through the site singing and playing a variety of instruments, such as the accordion, guitar, piano and recorder, as the story is revealed. Performances are 55 minutes and run every Saturday and Sunday in September (with no performance on Sunday, September 17) at Todmorden Mills, boasting multiple shows daily. There is also a special performance on Friday, September 22 at the Westben Festival Theatre.
An ode to local history, Bandits in the Valley is a new multimedia opera based on the Don Valley’s past as a haven for smugglers and bandits during the late 1800s. This work is a free historic site activation that takes place near the original haunts of Toronto’s bandit gangs, using the area’s illustrious buildings and engaging the audience by having them follow the performance through several locations at the Todmorden Mills. The project is made possible through funding for Animating Historic Sites from the Toronto Arts Council and will be accompanied by a program for youth funded through the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
The opera is directed by Tapestry Opera’s Artistic Director Michael Hidetoshi Mori, the 2017 Dora Award Winner for outstanding direction in opera or musical theatre, and was written by playwright Julie Tepperman and composer Benton Roark. The cast includes tenor Jacques Arsenault, baritone Alex Dobson, tenor and star of last season’s Oksana G. Keith Klassen, soprano Sara Schabas, soprano Jennifer Taverner, and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Tritchew.
ABOUT TAPESTRY OPERA:
Now in entering its 38th season, Tapestry is the leading producer of contemporary Canadian opera. The company is a champion of Canadian works and artists and is a provocateur and revolutionary in the opera/music theatre sphere. Tapestry produces new works in new ways that provoke reaction, engagement and interest in opera, keeping the art form relevant for current and future generations. This past season Tapestry was nominated for nine Dora awards, taking home five awards, making it the most awarded company of the season.