Monthly Archives: December 2015

Tradition. Sideways.

By | AtG's Messiah | No Comments

By joining us for AtG’s Messiah, you were playing a part in upending a familiar holiday tradition. In the continued spirit of seeing — and hearing — the season anew, we asked the Messiah creative team to share their own holiday traditions and memories (we also told them: “The weirder, the better.”).

Joel Ivany

Joel Ivany, Stage Director

“Growing up performing in the Salvation Army Brass Band, Christmas meant playing a tuba outside, standing beside a Sally Ann donation kettle. Nothing like playing ‘Feliz Navidad’ in -25°C.”

Jennifer Nichols
Jennifer Nichols, Choreographer

“A big tradition is playing snooker with my dad by the wood stove, listening to Elvis’ Christmas Album on vinyl.”

Christopher Mokrzewski
Topher Mokrzewski, Music Director

“Well, I really love smashing Christmas ornaments. People get me ornaments sometimes as a present, so I can smash them when frustrated. #smashbulbs”

What’s your holiday (non)tradition? Share by tagging @atgtheatre with #AtGMessiah.

Death & Desire makes Globe and Mail’s Best of 2015

By | AtG in the News, Death & Desire, Press | No Comments

Globe and Mail critic John Doyle gave some love to our Spring 2015 production of Death & Desire in this roundup of top cultural moments of the year:

Death & Desire, at the Neubacher Shor Contemporary Gallery, Toronto

A mild evening in June in a tiny art gallery. A man strode to the piano and began playing Schubert. Two singers wandered through the audience. What ensued was dazzling, a rapturous evocation of naive, unbridled desire meeting neurotic, unfocussed longing. The naive desire was male, Stephen Hegedus singing Schubert’s delicate, inflamed Die Schone Mullerin (The Miller’s Lovely Daughter); and the manic longing was in Krisztina Szabo performing Olivier Messiaen’s starkly distraught Harawi: Chant d’amour et de mort (Song of Love and Death). This was Against the Grain’s Death & Desire, a fabulously inspired mash-up. Simply done, it was the most unforgettable night of the year and made, as a poet said, one little room an everywhere.

See more 2015 roundups that included Death & Desire:

2015 in Review | Opera Ramblings
“There was also much to like in the category of hard to define productions. Against the Grain produced two fine combinations of music and choreography. Death and Desire; a mash up of Die Schöne Müllerin and Messiaen’s Harawi featured a searing performance from Krisztina Szabó, well paired with Stephen Hegedus.”

Jon Kaplan’s Top 10 Theatre Artists of 2015 | NOW Magazine
“Mezzo Krisztina Szabó was equally haunting in the double bill of Die Schöne Müllerin/Harawi.”

End of Year Highlights | Definitely the Opera
Death & Desire named a 2015 highlight.