Archive | September, 2012

Interview with Allen Moyer – Set Designer for the COC’s ‘Die Fledermaus’

29 Sep

Lavishness and grandeur are two of the aesthetic qualities many expect from an operatic performance, and responsible for delivering on those expectations is a tight-knit quartet comprised of the director, lighting designer, costume designer, and of course, set designer.

Allen Moyer is one said set designer, and a highly prolific and respected one at that – with over fifty opera productions, countless theatre and musical productions, and an impressive list of awards and nominations to his name. No stranger to the Canadian Opera Company stage (having designed both The Flying Dutchman and Nixon in China) Moyer is back in town working on Johann Strauss II’s bubbly Die Fledermaus which opens October 4th.

We had a chance to speak with Moyer about his career, creative process, influences, and his bucket list. Have a listen to our extensive  conversation, and be sure to check out examples of his other work below, as well as a special COC video about the construction of the daunting Fledermaus set.


For tickets and more information about the COC’s production of Die Fledermaus head over here.


Interview with Mezzo Soprano Rihab Chaieb – ‘Inez’ in the COC’s ‘Il Trovatore’

28 Sep

Opera lovers take note: The COC launches their 2012/2013 season with an enduring and tuneful favourite, Verdi’s Il Trovatore. The opera, which opens tomorrow night, features a remarkable all-star line up including Ramón Vargas, Elza van den Heever, Elena Manistina, and Russell Braun. Also joining them is rising talent and member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio program, mezzo soprano Rihab Chaieb. We had a chance to sit down with Rihab and chat with her about her role in Il Trovatore, as well as her experiences as a young performer, and her unusual foray into the art.

For tickets and more information about their production of Il Trovatore, head over to the COC website.


Preview: ‘I am Very Far’ by Pressgang Theatre

5 Sep

Time constraints don’t allow for a full review or preview, but I had the pleasure of sitting through a dress rehearsal of Pressgang Theatre’s I am Very Far, and was taken by this abstract and quilt-like exploration of loss. Strong performances, diverse modes of expression (including film montage, contact improv dance, and ethereal live music), and creative staging make for a hypnotic experience. Solid stuff from this gang of (mostly) U of T alumni.

For more information about the show, which opens Thursday and runs until the 15th of September, check out their Facebook event here.

Interview with Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster – ‘Mary Warren’ in Soulpepper’s ‘The Crucible’

4 Sep

Soulpepper has a hit on their hands with their production of Arthur Miller’s famed McCarthy Hearings allegory, The Crucible, thanks a remarkable creative team which includes Soulpepper Academy member, Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster. We had a chance to chat with Courtney about the power and relevance the work still wields today, the role of superstition in the world of theatre, and the interaction between performance and aesthetics. Have a listen below!

(Fair warning, we do go into some detail about the story, so if you don’t want any plot points spoiled you may want to skip 1:15 to 3:45.)



Interview with Tara Macri – Musician and Musical Performer

4 Sep

Tara Macri may have made a name for herself as a musical theatre performer, appearing in shows such as Jersey Boys, Hairspray, and local favourite Evil Dead: The Musical, but her focus is now on her original passion: music. With her recently released single, Strawberry Moon, getting some positive attention, and a full length album in the works, Tara is enjoying the early days of her reinvented artistic self. We had a chance to chat with her about Strawberry Moon, her transition from the stage to the studio, and her musical origins. Have a listen to both our interview and Strawberry Moon below.



For more information about Tara and her music, check out her website here.