"I'm chuffed!"

"I'm chuffed!"

Jenna Simeonov

Did you hear? Against the Grain Theatre is partnering with the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Canadian Opera Company to premiere a new opera training program! Led by AtG’s artistic director Joel Ivany and music director Christopher Mokrzewski, eight singers will have the chance to workshop operatic skills in an innovative way. They’ll collaborative on Mozart’s _Don Giovanni_  (with an Against-the-Grain-twist, to be sure), and present it at various venues within the Banff community.

“This residency demonstrates something heartening,” said Christopher Mokrzewski. “Two of the most established and respected cultural institutions in Canada — which already employ innovative and creative thinking of their own — are willing to support the development of an indie opera company that occasionally turns convention on its head. This shows vision, confidence and a true commitment to the vitality of the artform. I’m chuffed!”

Guest faculty and instructors will include the COC’s Alexander Neef and Johannes Debus, world-class playwright Daniel MacIvor (Hadrian, anyone?), pianist/conductor Stephen Hargreaves, and legendary Canadian mezzo-soprano Judith Forst.

“This is a significant moment for AtG, as we share our work with a broader audience with the help of The Banff Centre, and in partnership with the Canadian Opera Company,” said Joel Ivany. “The _Open Space_ program will stretch us in new ways, which is crucial for a young company, especially one as independent as ours. I couldn’t be more excited and proud to partner with these two organizations. We’re doing something different and important. I can’t wait to collaborate with the young artists who will participate in our program.”

I’m excited! Are you excited? Let us know in the comments below. For more details, click here.

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