Homegrown gems: TOT presents A Northern Lights Dream

Homegrown gems: TOT presents A Northern Lights Dream

Jenna Simeonov

Next month, a Canadian world premiere! Join Toronto Operetta Theatre for the long-awaited production of Michael Rose’s new Shakespeare-inspired musical set in Ontario, A Northern Lights Dream.

Running at the St. Lawrence Centre’s Jane Mallett Theatre on May 5 and 6 at 8pm, and May 7 at 3pm, A Northern Lights Dream marks a significant shift for the Canadian presenters of light opera.

“LGBTQ+ characters are rarely represented in the traditional repertoire TOT has presented in the past,” the company says in a press release. “That changes here. Out and proud composer Michael Rose [he/him] has brought a fresh, new score and libretto for TOT to share with our audiences. Our story features the heavily fraught relationship of Helen - a designer in the small hamlet of Shakespeare, Ontario - discovering her closeted husband’s secret; and how they come to terms with each other, their past, and their future.”

Clockwise from top left: Gregory Finney (Taylor), Lauren Pearl (Robin), stage director Guillermo Silva-Marin, and composer Michael Rose, for Toronto Operetta Theatre's world premiere production of A Northern Lights Dream, 2022.

“We also meet Taylor, the fabulous, skilled, and proudly gay dressmaker who brings Helen’s creations to life. The Aurora Borealis are very important to everyone in this little hamlet, but they hold a tragic yet endearing significance for TOT’s first gay character. TOT’s fabulous, skilled, and proudly gay favourite Gregory Finney (he/him) steps into these historic shoes.”

If you’re a frequent reader of ours, you’ll recognize that last name: Greg Finney (he/him), Toronto-based baritone, ubiquitous comprimario, and Schmopera contributor, will make a way overdue return to the stage. In case you needed a final shove to catch this new work, do yourself a favour and see Finney live. He’ll share the stage with another Canadian favourite, soprano Lauren Pearl (she/they), as the Puck-inspired fairy, Robin Goodfellow.

A Northern Lights Dream is staged by Latino director and TOT General Director Guillermo Silva-Marin (he/him).

“Representation matters. New works matter. Canadian works matter. We are proud to have the honour and privilege to give space to these characters and voices - and relish the opportunity to do more in the future.”

Full details and ticket info are available here. Please note: the May 5, 2022 performance of A Northern Lights Dream will be capped at 50% capacity.

Related Content



Unlike other sites, we're keeping Schmopera ad-free. We want to keep our site clean and our opinions our own. Support us for as little as $1.00 per month.