Monthly Archives: April 2018

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Your tickets to Orphée⁺ 🔥 What You Need to Know

By | Bound | No Comments

Your visit to The Underworld

Doors open at 7:30pm. Orphée⁺ begins at 8pm, and is under 2 hours long (including one 20-minute intermission). Please allow yourself time to pass through the gates of Hell (it’s a bit of labyrinth).

Tickets

This email is not your ticket. Your physical tickets will be available for pickup at the Venue Box Office the night of the performance. (Unless you ordered “Direct Mail” delivery, in which case tickets were shipped to your home. Don’t have them Don’t worry! Box Office will help.)

Venue Box Office (Fleck Dance Theatre)
Located on the same level as the theatre (see more below)
Opens 6pm each night — we recommend picking up tickets up to 30 minutes before showtime

All tickets are seating-assigned, and your physical ticket will have your seat number & section printed on it. This venue is wheelchair accessible.

At-the-door Tickets

Have a friend who wants to attend the performance because they heard it was a damned delight? Tickets are available for purchase at the Venue Box Office (cash/credit welcome).

Getting here

Fleck Dance Theatre (Third Floor)
207 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON, M5J 1A7
Enter front building marked “207 Queens Quay”

Detailed map of venue

By Car

The closest on-site parking is the “P2” (York Quay Underground) lot. Evening rates: $18–24. More info here.

Accessibility

Pull up and stop for a direct drop-off if desired. This venue is wheelchair accessible; let us know in advance if you are arriving in an assisted mobility device.

Elevator access to the Theatre Box Office and Theatre Entrance (both on the third floor) is available from the main floor, at the south end of the building, directly opposite the Brookfield common cafeteria seating.

By Bike

Bike lock stands are located at the corners of the building. (Try the North end of the building, near the Sobey’s storefront.)

By TTC

Take the 510 Spadina or 509 Harbourfront streetcar; stop is “Queens Quay West at Harbourfront”

What to expect

Aerial artistry, burlesque dancers and a virtual choir of 100 singers from around the world and…

Drinks!

In keeping with the AtG spirit, The Fleck Dance Theatre is fully equipped with two bars (tap-only credit card and cash) right in our performance space (upper and lower level). Skip the lines, and place your intermission drink orders as soon as you arrive at the theatre: enjoy some wine, beer, spirits, non-alcoholic bevs and snaaaaacks.

Pre-show chats!

We know you have questions, and we thought we’d put stage director and AtG Artistic Director/Founder Joel Ivany in the hot seat. Head to the upper level/dance studio of the venue at 7:45pm.

Pasties!

Tonight’s performance features dancers from NYC’s Company XIV, a unique blend of circus, Baroque dance, ballet, opera, live music and lavish design.

Where to eat

207 Queens Quay “Terminal Building” may not sound exciting, but it boasts a bunch of hidden gem eateries and patios facing the waterfront, like the Goodman Pub & Kitchen and Joe Bird.

(There’s also a pharmacy, grocery store and barber inside the building if you’re looking to run some errands before the show. Just don’t forget to pick up the thing.)

 

What to read

This show is great, but don’t just take our word for it.

It’s an electronic, baroque, burlesque trip into hell and Marcy Richardson has a bird’s-eye view | Toronto Star

Why soprano Marcy Richardson—who sings, acts and dances in the air, without a safety apparatus—is used to looking down to see “jaws drop wide open” during her performances.

Why Orphée+ Might Be The Most “Authentic” Opera You’ll See All Year | Ludwig van Toronto

“A list of 4 reasons why AtG’s approach to Orphée et Eurydice continues a lineage of adaptation seen over the past 200 years…”

Culture Countdown: Orphée⁺ | Toronto Life

“It’s the most adventurous musical event of the month.”

Newfangled production of French opera a surprising success | Opera Columbus

“The show is a smashing success — an ideal instance of the old being made marvellously, yet thoughtfully, new.”

Soprano Mireille Asselin steps into baroque era to find strong women of opera | The Globe & Mail

“This will likely be the first time Orphée is performed with burlesque dancers, aerialists and electronic music.”

Orphée⁺ “How do we grieve in 2018?” | Schmopera

“Against the Grain Theatre’s spring production is upon us, and it boasts all the innovation and surprises for which the award-winning company is known.”

Eagerly anticipating Against the Grain’s Orphée next week | barczablog

A reviewer shares his anticipation.

Read our house program

 

 

Marcy Richardson

Orphée⁺ — An email conversation with Marcy Richardson

By | Behind the scenes, Orphee, Upcoming | No Comments

Curious about Orphée⁺ , our contemporary re-imagining of the Gluck baroque opera? Joel Ivany knows you, and our cast, have a lot of questions about our ambitious undertaking (electric instruments! baroque dancers! aerial artistry! a virtual global chorus!). So, Joel sparked an email conversation with New York-based classical soprano, aerialist and burlesque performer Marcy Richardson (aka @operagaga, of Company XIV), who will sing the role Amour airborne.

Orphée⁺ is a new AtG co-production with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Opera Columbus.
April 26, 27, 28 at 8 p.m.
Fleck Dance Theatre
207 Queens Quay West, Toronto

Buy tickets ($42–$110) online at againstthegraintheatre.com/orphee, by phone (416-973-4000, press 1), or at the Harbourfront Box Office (no fees!).

 


FROM: JOEL IVANY
TO: MARCY RICHARDSON

Hi Marcy,

Hope all is well!

I just saw your performance at the Gala for Opera Columbus. You were singing, spinning and making it look so so so easy.

When you’re performing like this, does one ever take precedence over the other? Is it constantly switching?

You must have such control!

Joel

 


FROM: MARCY RICHARDSON
TO: JOEL IVANY

Hi Joel! Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed and were able to check it out!

Singing is always the most important. My priority is that if you close your eyes, it sounds just as perfect and beautiful as if I were just standing there. It is inevitable that sometimes you hear heavier breathing because of the physicality and I do have to breathe more frequently. But if the singing is not really beautiful, [the aerial performance] is just a gimmick and makes it look like you’re trying to distract or hide a flaw. Which defeats the purpose in my mind—I want the combination to elevate the singing and music and make it even more beautiful and transportive.

That being said, my voice teacher actually thinks my singing is the strongest when I’m in the air or inverted, because my core and lower support is so activated, and my head and neck even more free, so I am never concerned about the singing suffering at this point.

The key is really making any transitions between phrases so as not to bump the vocal line, or to know which transitions are possible to do in the middle of a line without disturbing it.

I do have a lot of control, yes! I am thankful for it of course—I started studying pole and acrobatics almost eight years ago, and the control comes over time like with dance or any other physical skill I guess! :)

M


FROM: JOEL IVANY
TO: MARCY RICHARDSON

May sound silly, but have you ever had a voice lesson in the air?

Or does your teacher come to performances?

Joel


FROM: MARCY RICHARDSON
TO: JOEL IVANY

My teacher has not come, no—it’s not so easy for her to come to stuff, especially if it’s further in Brooklyn. (Plus she is always insanely booked/busy!)

But she’s seen a zillion videos and we Snapchat videos from shows and lessons to one another—she actually thinks many vocal things she wants from me happen naturally in the air, so it wouldn’t be necessary.

M


FROM: JOEL IVANY
TO: MARCY RICHARDSON

I love that the freest singing can be done up there.

Have any other singers you know given it a try?

Do you miss being in the air when you sing in an opera where you’re just walking around? :)

Joel


FROM: MARCY RICHARDSON
TO: JOEL IVANY

There are some singers I’ve seen testing the waters in workshops, student showcases, etc., but I’m the only one doing it as pretty much my main profession—AND I’m the only one I know of equally adept at doing it on Lyra/hoop, silks, and acrobatic pole. It’s taken a lot of work to be performing at a professional level in all three, though hoop and pole are my favourite.

Of course I do lots of gigs where I’m just doing aerial work without singing, and gigs where I’m just singing without aerial work. With just an aerial gig, I’m able to enjoy the music (I’ll often perform improvising in the air with a live band/rock singer and love reacting to them with movement). I also love the stand-and-sing concert format as well or fully staged operas — at that point, it is all about the character or musicality. That’s beautiful in its own right. I think it would be boring to not have that variety!

M


FROM: JOEL IVANY
TO: MARCY RICHARDSON

Variety is key!

Is there anything you’re curious about in this production coming up?

Will it work? Do you think all the elements (virtual chorus, aerial and burlesque performance, digital orchestra, projections) are too much?

I’ve been telling people that the way we digest information has never been more overwhelming in terms of sheer volume. We enjoy stimulation and details subconsciously in a weird way, which still allows us to focus on the dominant voice.

Joel


FROM: MARCY RICHARDSON
TO: JOEL IVANY

As far as all the elements in Orphée—there’s never too much!

I’m actually most curious about Act 2 and the parts of Act 3 where my character [Amour] isn’t even involved. What does the underworld look like? How do the Company XIV dancers come to play in that space?

M


 
FROM: JOEL IVANY
TO: MARCY RICHARDSON

That’s what’s kind of cool.

In my mind, you don’t disappear in Acts 2 and 3. I see your character more as Orphée’s subconscious.

In Act 1, when he’s all alone and no one is around, you show up and speak to him.

For me, what he sees in Act 2 and 3 are manifestations of you.

We know in the opera he descends to the underworld to retrieve his lost lover, Eurydice. But in this production, in reality, he hasn’t even left his room (or forest spot)—rather it’s his subconsciousthat takes him on this journey.

Act 2 is everything missing in his life that he remembers as erotic, sensual, carnal; it’s one part of his love for Eurydice. And it’s something he won’t get back (from that one woman).

Act 3 is what he imagines to be the peaceful, the tranquil, the “better place” underworld. It’s a place so wonderful that even if we knew our lost loves still lived on there, we’d still want to pull them back. Because as humans we’re selfish beings.

Also love is a powerful thing.

Joel

 


FROM: MARCY RICHARDSON
TO: JOEL IVANY

Hmmm—so do you think love conquers all in the end, and that Eurydice is reunited with Orpheé in real life, or was it all somewhat of a dream brought on by his subconscious?

In any case, love IS a powerful thing. I think it’s easy to look at Amour as a character and interpret her (or him) as something cute or childlike, when in reality, amour or “love” is strong and powerful. I hope to bring, quite literally, strength to the character/Orpheé’s subconscious, and can really see “love” being the powerful driving force that takes him on this journey.

M


FROM: JOEL IVANY
TO: MARCY RICHARDSON

Yes.

And not just on this journey of the opera, but past the opera… and for us all.

It’s universal.

I don’t think Eurydice comes back to life in the end.

It’s all a learning/coping mechanism of Orphée’s, simply because no one tells us how to grieve.

We experience it. We can’t know what it’s like until it arrives.

And you, Marcy, are a main main main part of this story.

Can’t wait!

Joel

***

Photo: Marcy Richardson (Company XIV), by Corey Weaver