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A mash-up of Handel’s music with a new transladaptation

By | Behind the scenes, Bound, Joel Ivany, Media Release, Press | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 31 October, 2017

BOUND uses baroque music to highlight stories of citizen displacement, fear, hope and reconciliation

TORONTO — This December, Against the Grain Theatre’s Artistic Director Joel Ivany matches one of opera’s most dramatic composers to a narrative inspired by the current, chilling refugee stories populating our newsfeeds: stories of migration and displacement due to war, discrimination, hate, and intolerance. The result is a newly created AtG “transladaptation” for the 21st century, BOUND, which will break down Handel arias and ensembles in form and text, and reconstruct them to highlight the current state of those displaced, dehumanized and mistreated across the globe.

“Handel was one of opera’s most dramatic composers,” says director Joel Ivany of the source inspiration for BOUND. “His music constantly explored stories of abandonment, neglect and betrayal. We aim to look at contemporary world events through his musical lens.”

To bring Handel’s music into the present, Ivany and AtG Founding Member and Music Director Topher Mokrzewski collaborate with recent Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award winner, composer Kevin Lau, who will introduce new sound ideas and compositional devices. BOUND will be developed at the Canadian Opera Company’s Jackman Studio over multiple weeks of workshop sessions with finished presentations, featuring the piano accompaniment of Mokrzewski, that will showcase the intensive weeks of development. This is the first iteration of a three-year concept-to-realization production: each year, the workshop will focus on different aspects of operatic creation, from sets and costume design, to orchestral transcription. Over the next few seasons, BOUND will continue to develop, grow and return in new forms.

“We’re looking at how we as artists can express ourselves in a political capacity using our strengths, and our voice,” Ivany continued. “At a time where the world seems to be spinning away from hope and unity, BOUND will look to moments of beauty, acceptance and diversity. These are themes that are important now more than ever to iterate, proclaim and stand by.”

The premise: Seven citizens are detained by a government and held against their will in a waiting room; the audience will watch and hear about their struggles, hopes and fears. Drawing from the experiences of artists, and individuals the world over, BOUND will be a Handel mash-up for the ages.

The cast of BOUND features a roster of Canadian talent, including COC Ensemble member and soprano Danika Lorèn, recent DORA Award-winner and tenor Asitha Tennekoon, counter-tenor David Trudgen, baritoneJustin Welsh, bass Michael Uloth, mezzo-soprano Victoria Marshall and AtG Founding Member and soprano Miriam Khalil. This workshop will be lit by Resident Lighting Designer Jason Hand and presented in the COC’s Jackman Studio (227 Front Street East, Toronto) at 8 p.m. on December 14, 15, and at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on December 16, 2017. With one night sold out, limited tickets ($35) are still available for the remaining three presentations: againstthegraintheatre.ticketleap.com/bound/

A special preview of BOUND will be offered on December 13, 2017 at 12 p.m. as part of the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Details about the series may be found at coc.ca.

LISTING INFORMATION
Against the Grain Theatre’s BOUND
December 14, 15 at 8 p.m.
December 16 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Doors open 30 minutes before curtain
COC’s Jackman Studio (227 Front Street East, Toronto)
Tickets: $35
More info: againstthegraintheatre.com/bound

ABOUT AtG
Toronto’s Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) has invigorated opera audiences since its first sold-out production to an audience of fifty guests in December of 2010. AtG revitalizes the operatic art form by presenting an eclectic array of musical works in unconventional spaces and innovative ways. Since its first season, AtG has consistently performed to standing room-only crowds, to both critical and public acclaim, and continues to introduce hundreds of new opera-goers to the art form. Founded by an adventurous collective of friends and artists, the company endeavours to be serious in intent and execution, yet fun and irreverent in spirit. Current members include Joel IvanyTopher MokrzewskiJonathan MacArthurAmanda Hadi,David EliakisJason HandMiriam Khalil, and Michaela Dickey.

For more information, please visit AtG online atwww.againstthegraintheatre.com, on Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram@AtGTheatre and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AtGTheatre

– 30 –

Media contact:
Jonathan MacArthur
General Manager
Against the Grain Theatre
416-220-5376
media@againstthegraintheatre.com or gm@againstthegraintheatre.com

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New Video! Opera Pub: Opus Pocus

By | Opera Pub, Upcoming, Video | No Comments

#OperaPub
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Amsterdam Bicycle Club
54 The Esplanade, Toronto, ON, M5E 1A6

The greatest event that the The Amsterdam Bicycle Club has ever seen, AtG’s Opera Pub returns for a sinister spooktacular “just in time” for Halloween* (*a full four weeks ahead of Halloween). Host David Eliakis is joined by our favourite operatic Disaster Artists (to be revealed) for a night of:

+ The Best (Haunting and Bewitching) Operatic Music of All Time
+ A special set of I PAGLIACCI devoted to the scariest thing we know: clowns
+ Cheap Pints! Raffle Prizes! Spaghetti!
+ More crazy things we can’t predict

About Opera Pubs:
Running the first Thursday of every month, AtG Opera Pub nights are improvised, wild nights that offer up your favourite beer with a side of operatic arias and ensembles, performed by both established and emerging opera talent performed on our very own Craigslist piano. Free admission, discounted pitchers of beer.

AtG Artist Director Joel Ivany and Music Director Topher Mokrzewski chatted with Jenna Douglas at Schmopera about the idea behind Opera Pub.

Duration: Depending on how many performers sign up, Opera Pubs usually have four 15-minute sets. We take a break between each set to refresh our drinks and chat with the audience.

Video produced by Andy Martin-Smith; Cinematography: Issa Shah; Sound: Adam Laycock

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Against the Grain Theatre #GoForBaroque in 2017/2018 season

By | Bound, Canadian Opera Company, Joel Ivany, Kyrie Kristmanson, Media Release, Opera Pub, Orphee, Upcoming | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 26 September, 2017

A Handel mash-up and an international co-production comprise AtG’s most expansive season to date

TORONTO – Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) returns in its eighth season with BOUND, a pastiche workshop of new interpretations of Handel’s music, and a groundbreaking new production of Berlioz’s arrangement of Gluck’s Orphée. AtG’s acclaimed #OperaPub nights return as a monthly fixture at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club, and the company collaborates with Canadian baroque-pop artist Kyrie Kristmanson at the Alliance Française in Toronto. In addition, AtG enters its second season as company-in-residence at the Canadian Opera Company (COC).

This December, Artistic Director Joel Ivany and Music Director Topher Mokrzewski collaborate with composer Kevin Lau, the recent Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award winner, to bring Handel’s music into the present through a workshop titled BOUND. In the wake of the world’s refugee crisis, this workshop will explore the current state of those displaced, dehumanized and mistreated, with texts and stories drawn from real-life news articles and events. BOUND is the first workshop of a three-year concept-to-realization production. “Handel is one of opera’s most dramatic composers,” says director Joel Ivany of the source inspiration for BOUND. “His music constantly explored stories of abandonment, neglect and betrayal. We aim to look at contemporary world events through his musical lens.” Featuring a cast of young Canadian talent, BOUND will feature soprano Danika Lorèn, tenor Asitha Tennekoon, counter-tenor David Trudgen, baritone Justin Welsh, bass Michael Uloth, mezzo-soprano Victoria Marshall and AtG Founding Member and soprano Miriam Khalil. This workshop will be lit by AtG Resident Lighting Designer Jason Hand and presented in the COC’s Jackman Studio (227 Front Street East, Toronto) on December 14, 15, and 16, 2017. Tickets go on sale Thursday, October 5 at 12 p.m. at againstthegraintheatre.com.

A special preview of BOUND will be offered on December 13, 2017 at 12 p.m. as part of the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Details about the series may be found at www.coc.ca.

In Spring 2018, AtG partners with Opera Columbus to introduce a new, fully realized version of Berlioz/Gluck’s Orphée⁺. A brainchild of AtG Founder and Artistic Director Joel Ivany, Orphée⁺ casts dancers from New York City’s Company XIV, an opulent and intimate baroque burlesque dance company, with choreography by Austin McCormick, Director and Choreographer of Company XIV, and multi-faceted aerialist, pole dancer and soprano Marcy Richardson in the role of Amour. Sung in French, Orphée⁺ blends Berlioz/Glück’s music with new electro-acoustic soundscapes designed by John Gzowski; incorporates a virtual chorus — made up of hundreds of singers — in a digital projection created by set and projection designer Katy Tucker; costume design by Company XIV‘s Zane Pihlstrom; and features lighting by JAX Messenger. Joel Ivany serves as Stage Director and Topher Mokrzewski conducts an 11-piece orchestra, which blends classical and electronic string instruments. Orphée⁺ opens first in Columbus before coming to Toronto’s Fleck Dance Dance Theatre in April 2018. Full cast details and ticket information will be announced later this season.

Back by popular demand, AtG’s standing-room-only #OperaPub nights return October 5 at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club (54 The Esplanade, Toronto). Hosted by new AtG Collective member David Eliakis, these free events will continue to feature opera arias and ensembles alongside witty banter, craft beers and an ever-faithful Craigslist piano. Beginning at 9 p.m., the festivities will continue the first Thursday of every month until May 2018.

Also new this season, AtG collaborates with Canadian baroque-pop artist Kyrie Kristmanson for the Canadian release of her album Modern Ruin, a repertoire for voice and string quartet inspired by the lost songs of the women troubadours of medieval France. Led by stage director Amanda Smith, an AtG ensemble including percussionist Nathan Pettipas, dancer Mary-Dora Bloch, and baritone Adam Harris perform original arrangements for marimba and voice, inspired by French song. This event takes place on October 13 at 8 p.m. at the Théâtre de l’Alliance Française (24 Spadina Road).

In its second year as company-in-residence at the Canadian Opera Company (COC), AtG continues its work in the COC’s pilot program designed for independent companies looking to gain administrative expertise within their organization. “The training and mentorship opportunities are incredible,” praises AtG General Manager Jonathan MacArthur. “As an emerging administrator, receiving mentorship from the COC’s many different departments is an invaluable, one-of-a-kind experience that fosters individual leadership skills and applicable management practices required to grow a sustainable arts organization.”

ABOUT AtG
Toronto’s Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) has invigorated opera audiences since its first sold-out production to an audience of fifty guests in December of 2010. AtG revitalizes the operatic art form by presenting an eclectic array of musical works in unconventional spaces and innovative ways. Since its first season, AtG has consistently performed to standing room-only crowds, to both critical and public acclaim, and continues to introduce hundreds of new opera-goers to the art form. Founded by an adventurous collective of friends and artists, the company endeavours to be serious in intent and execution, yet fun and irreverent in spirit. Current members include Joel Ivany, Topher Mokrzewski, Jonathan MacArthur, Amanda Hadi, David Eliakis, Jason Hand, Miriam Khalil, and Michaela Dickey.

For more information, please visit AtG online at www.againstthegraintheatre.com, on Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram @AtGTheatre and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AtGTheatre

– 30 –

Media contact:
Jonathan MacArthur
General Manager
Against the Grain Theatre
416-220-5376
media@againstthegraintheatre.com or gm@againstthegraintheatre.com

 

Kyrie Kristmanson by ULA BLOCKSAGE

Oct 13: AtG Concert with Kyrie Kristmanson & the Warhol Dervish Quartet

By | Kyrie Kristmanson, Upcoming | No Comments

New this season, we’re proud to collaborate with Canadian baroque-pop artist Kyrie Kristmanson for the Canadian release of her album Modern Ruin, a repertoire for voice and string quartet inspired by the lost songs of the women troubadours of medieval France. Hailing from Ottawa, ON, Kyrie is currently a Paris-based singer-songwriter whose Medieval-pop blend “evokes the ghost of Aliénor d’Aquitaine, protector of the trobaïritz (female troubadours).”

Led by stage director Amanda Smith, an AtG ensemble including percussionist Nathan Pettipas, dancer Mary-Dora Bloch-Hansen, and baritone Adam Harris, will perform original arrangements for marimba and voice inspired by French song. This opener will be followed by Kyrie’s mainstage album performance with the the Warhol Dervish Quartet. The evening unfolds at Théâtre de l’Alliance Française.

Friday, October 13  8pm
Théâtre de l’Alliance Française (Spadina Theatre)
24 Spadina Road, M5R 2S7 Toronto, ON

General admission $15 (Seniors, Alliance Française students, members & teachers: $10 | Under 18? Free admission)

Photo: Kyrie Kristmanson by Ula Blocksage

Banff Kopernikus Against the Grain Theatre

The reviews are in: Kopernikus

By | AtG in the News, Kopernikus, Press | No Comments

Each summer, we take a break from Toronto and return to the drawing board to reconnect, recharge, and brainstorm new works (which will eventually make their way back to TO). We head to the mountains, to the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, for the country’s de-facto national opera lab: the program Open Space: Opera in the 21st Century, a five-week residency partnership created by us, Banff and the COC.  Singers and apprentice pianists from across Canada join us to work with our Artistic Director Joel Ivany, AtG Music Director Topher Mokrzewski, and a faculty of renowned teachers and coaches. For our fourth residency this summer, we created a production of Canadian composer Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus, an electrifying chamber piece in which a young woman finds renewed existence after death — and the reviews are in.

"Ivany and Mokrzewski have created something exceptional, uniquely gripping, generously inclusive. A transformative production. Limitless. Heartening. Utterly extraordinary."

− Opera Going Toronto

"An astounding revelation of an older work made new again... it constitutes a full step into a new directional maturity for the Ivany/Mokrzewski creative team."

− National Post

"Kopernikus is astonishing... give the damn thing a national tour."

− Musical Toronto
 

Read the reviews:

Review: Vivier’s Kopernikus at Banff Centre the ideal opera of the future | National Post

Kopernikus Heralds Opera In The 21st Century | Musical Toronto

Review: Kopernikus | Opera Going Toronto

Vivier’s Kopernikus in rehearsal at Banff

Preview: Centering Kopernikus | Opera Going Toronto

 

Learn more about our collaboration at the Banff Centre:

Opera in the 21st Century: Against the Grain Theatre and the Future of Opera

 

 

 

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Everything You Need to Know About Attending La Boheme

By | Ayre | No Comments

We’re looking forward to seeing you at La Boheme

Doors open at 7:30pm. The show begins at 8pm, and is approximately 2.5 hours including two 20-minute intermissions (so you can refresh our pianist’s drink at the bar).

Tickets

Please note: This email is not your ticket. Check your inbox for your electronic tickets from TicketLeap, which you can print or display to us on your phone/tablet for entry. (In the TicketLeap email, click the link “Download the barcode ticket”.) NB: If you can’t find your tickets, we can scan you in by first & last name. Just bring a government-issued ID.

All tickets are general admission and seating is cabaret-style, available on a first-come, first-seated basis. (So the earlier you arrive, the quicker you can choose your seat!) But don’t worry: If you have a ticket, you are guaranteed a seat. This venue is wheelchair accessible.

I can't find my ticket / I have a ticketing question

At-the-door/Rush Tickets

Have a friend who wants to attend the performance? Advance tickets for #AtGBoheme are now off-sale due to record-breaking interest. But! They can buy Rush Tickets (seated or standing room) at the door and line up for these (as early as 7pm or 7:30pm) outside the Tranzac. So far all people in the Rush line have been able to get in!

 

tranzac

About the Tranzac Club

Located off Bloor Street West, on 292 Brunswick Avenue, the historic Tranzac Club is one of the oldest dive bars in Toronto — and the site of our original 2011 production of #AtGBoheme.

The club is actually a multi-story performance space, with two front rooms and a second floor. We are performing on the main floor, in the back space.

 

map

Getting here

Tranzac Club
292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 1Y2

By car (Free parking after 6pm!)

PAID Green P Parking lots: 365 Lippincott S Of Bloor, Toronto, or 4 Spadina Rd, 334 TO 350 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5V3Y9. PAID metre parking on Bloor West (FREE after 9pm). FREE street parking (6pm–8am) on Brunswick Ave and residential side streets. Note: Brunswick is a one-way street, going south.

By TTC

Nearest subway stops: Bathurst or Spadina Station. Nearest 510 streetcar stop: Bloor & Spadina or Harbord & Spadina. Nearest bus stop: Harbord & Brunswick (94 Bus).

By bike

Bike locks available at the corner of Bloor and Brunswick. Bike lanes off Bloor, Harbord and Spadina.

Accessibility

The Tranzac Club’s entrance is fully accessible. Pull up in front of 292 Brunswick Ave and stop for a direct drop-off if desired. Note: Brunswick is a one-way street, going south.

life

What to expect

Drinks!

In keeping with the AtG spirit, The Tranzac is fully equipped with a bar (cash or Visa, ATM on site) right in our performance space, so you can bring your drinks to your seats.

Life-drawing!

You’ll notice that inside the venue, members of Toronto’s Ex Libris Arts (Jessie Durham and Dmitry Bondarenko) are recording our performances through a medium Puccini’s boho characters would approve of: life-drawing. Their sketches are for sale and they love chatting with curious appreciators of art, so visit them during the intermissions.

Discover Ex Libris Arts

Smartphones on and out!

Take photos and live-tweet all night, including during the show! (Just no flash, and absolutely no audio or video recording, please.) Use the hashtag #AtGBoheme and tag @AtGTheatre (social links below).

 

What to read

Check out these articles and previews

4 NNNNs: La Bohème set in contemporary Toronto soars | NOW Magazine

“English version of Puccini’s classic will entertain long-time opera fans and newcomers.”

Against the Grain’s La Bohème is Back for Round 2 | The Globe and Mail

“[With this production, they now stand as one of the most creative theatrical and musical grounds in the country.”

How a Toronto Neighbourhood Inspired a Homeground La Bohème | Musical Toronto

“The production’s accessibility to Toronto is unmissable, with references to familiar locations [like Future’s Bakery and BMV].”

A Very Bohemian Undertaking | Schmopera

“Would [Puccini] be proud? Probably not,” says Joel Ivany with a wry smile, of Against the Grain Theatre’s updated, translated version of La Bohème.

Read the house program Read more reviews

 

 

Photos:

Kimy Mc Laren as Mimi and Owen McCausland as Rodolfo in La Bohème 2017, Photo: Darryl Block
Tranzac Club, Photo: blogTO
Adanya Dunn as Musetta in La Bohème 2017, Photo: Darryl Block

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The reviews are in: La Boheme

By | AtG in the News, La Boheme, Press | No Comments

"Modest in concept but rich in imagination, it’s the don’t-miss performance of the month."

− Toronto Life

"AtG's La bohème is just as likely to make you laugh as it is to make you cry."

− Schmopera

"The production’s accessibility to Toronto audiences is unmissable, with references to familiar locations like Future’s Bakery and William Lyon MacKenzie on the Canadian currency."

− Musical Toronto

"With this production, they now stand as one of the most creative theatrical and musical groups in the country."

− The Globe and Mail

"It's intelligent, funny and very millennial... Topher Mokrzewski seems to play more notes on the piano than two hands have ever played — his orchestral reduction is lush."

− Broadway World

"A raucous, energetic, site-specific version of La Bohème, performed in an Annex club and featuring characters who are completely true to the spirit of Puccini’s original while also commenting on contemporary issues like soaring rents, hookup culture and millennial underemployment."

− NOW Magazine

Read the reviews:

La Boheme set in contemporary Toronto soars | NOW Magazine

AtG’s La bohème Revival Fresh And Endearing | Musical Toronto

La Bohème Review | Opera Going Toronto

AtG’s La Bohème six years on | Operaramblings

Hype for a reason: AtG’s La bohème | Schmopera

Rent in the 6ix Meets Opera in Against the Grain Theatre’s LA BOHÈME | Broadway World

Against the Grain’s La Bohème II closes a sold-out run | Definitely the Opera

Read the previews:

Against The Grain’s La Bohème is back for round 2 | The Globe and Mail

A very Bohemian undertaking | Schmopera

How A Toronto Neighbourhood Inspired A Homegrown La bohème | Musical Toronto

A comprimario amid a “huge, sweeping, romantic love story” | Schmopera

A free Meat Loaf concert, an opera in a bar and six other things to see, do, read and hear this week | Toronto Life

CRITIC’S PICKS: 9 Classical Music Shows You Should Absolutely See This Week | Musical Toronto

 

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The Rent is Too Damn High

By | La Boheme | No Comments

Each week, the editors of  La Bohème newspaper pick a theme for their issue, and solicit real stories from real Torontonians. This week’s story: “The Rent Is Too Damn High”

Recently, Craigslist listed a semi-private studio apartment for $1,750/month. This apartment, which the ad described as being “full of character” and offering “a unique immersive experience of Toronto’s vibrant street life,” is actually an unroofed laneway off Brunswick Avenue.

“When you look around, there’s no realer place for a writer. This is what Balzac and Hugo were talking about,” Rodolfo said. An aspiring screenwriter, he rents the laneway with an OCAD student named Marcello, who is is transforming their refurbished furniture into an art project for GradEx. “It’s a conversation-starter with our guests. Or any pedestrians that wander into the laneway, really. And the silver lining is there’s always a parking space available. If we ever have a car, that’ll be cool.” Originally from Ottawa, Rodolfo was unfamiliar with Toronto’s neighbourhoods, but he’d seen Kids in the Hall, and, he said, “I pretty much knew I was going to live in the West End.”

Rodolfo continues, “The rent is pretty reasonable for this area.” He’d checked out one-bedroom apartments in Queen West, where the average monthly rent is $1,900 (plus utilities) a month. He almost signed one of those apartments but he didn’t have the necessary paperwork to close the deal: landlords now demand 10 post-dated cheques, first and last month’s rent, a cleaning deposit, a repair deposit (your landlord isn’t going to fix that thing on their own), a reference letter from all former employers going back five years, dental records, access to social media accounts and, in some cases, a fresh urine sample. So, Rodolfo eventually landed here: the Mirvish Village laneway with “unbeatable” rent.

The laneway is prone to intermittent power outages. The thin insulation makes heating a wild fantasy. (From the ad: “This laneway has EXPOSED BRICK! The brick from the outside of the building is visible from inside the laneway!!!”) The smell can only be described as “ripe.” And the landlord prefers the housemates have “NO guests and MUST be there as little as possible during the day.” But its location boasts the the Holy Trinity of “B’s” worshipped by every twentysomething: Beer, brunch, and BMV.

And, Rodolfo adds, “It could be worse. At least it’s not Liberty Village, right?”

When asked for comment, landlord Benoît Baule stated that he planned to raise the rent by $250 a month when the current lease expires in June.

In this issue, we tackle the beast that is the Toronto rental market (will it cool down with Ontario’s recently introduced Fair Housing Plan?), hear from the other side (the landlord), and profile broke folks still living large and aspiring to the bourgeois life.

Image: blogTO

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What I learned from trying (and failing and trying again) to evict my deadbeat tenants

By | La Boheme | No Comments

Gregory FinneyBy Benoît Baule, special to La Bohème

Each week, the editors of La Bohème newspaper pick a theme for their issue, and solicit real stories from real Torontonians. In our “Rent Is Too Damn High” issue, our Perspectives Column was penned by concerned citizen and landlord Benoît Baule.

We’ve all read stories about the lousy kinds of landlords around our great city. In the last few years, “The Six” has seen a spate of terrible, just terrible landlords treating their tenants badly. They ignore repairs, raise the rent, or evict without notice — you name it. But, I have to ask: What do you do if it’s the tenants who are the problem?

I live in the West End* and I’ve been a very successful, very trustworthy landlord in Toronto for many years. I rent properties in Corso Italia, Little Italy, the Annex and the former Mirvish Village area — and I have to tell you, nobody’s ever had a problem with me. Ask any of my old renters and they’ll say, “Benoît? Big Ben? Most trustworthy landlord I ever had. What a guy.”**

Now, the problem tenants in question, who are a couple of young guys, rent an apartment on Brunswick Street. I admit it’s no Palais Royale. But I charge a modest, competitive rate and I include hot water and a parking space — and they still act like they live in a cave. I just heard complaints that they were burning a fire — a literal fire — in the living room for heat, which I’m sure is because they had their electricity cut for not paying their bills. I haven’t gotten a rent payment from these two “artists” in months, but whenever I show up to get my money, guess what? There’s always drinks available! I have a line of potential renters who would kill for a great apartment like this one, and wouldn’t stiff me month after month with promises of “Once my script gets picked up” and on and on…

I’m a patient guy, and I’ve tried many, many times to get them out of there. Somehow, they end up appealing to my sense of goodwill and charity, and I give them another chance. My wife was right, I need to be tougher with these tenants. But I can’t help it. I guess I’m just a humanist.

I’ve got no choice left but to go over there and give them official notice that come the New Year, New People will be living in that space — ones who’ll understand that you can’t take advantage of Big Ben.

———

*Oakville

**Note from the Editor: Former tenants declined to respond to our request for veracity.

Against the Grain Theatre Opera Pub at Amsterdam Bicycle Club. Photo: Darryl Block

La Bohème 🍁 is SOLD OUT (for now)

By | La Boheme | No Comments

We have some news – great for us, but maybe sad for you: AtG’s La Bohème has completely sold out. And when I say “sold out,” I mean all of our tickets for our 8 performances — even for our new show date, May 31 — have gone like the wind. This was our earliest on-sale ever (a full 3.5 months ahead of the show date), and the fastest we have ever sold out the entire run of a show. We’re overwhelmed, gobsmacked and happy but also trying to figure out what that means for possible new fans of AtG who wanted to check out our hit show but maybe waited just a little too long to get their act together.

 

Stay tuned: We’ll have updates about whether we can offer additional seats/tickets as soon as possible.

In the meantime:

  1. Attend our free Opera Pubs. Running the first Thursday of every month, AtG Opera Pub nights are improvised, wild nights that offer up your favourite beer with a side of operatic arias and ensembles, performed by both established and emerging opera talent performed on our very own Craigslist piano. Free admission, $3.50 bottles of beer. Next event: 6 April 2017, at 9pm.
  2. Get tickets to our March 12 show: A concert of Viver and Schoenberg at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Tickets are $14 ($12 for TIFF Members) and include admission to a screening of Schoenberg’s unfinished opera Moses and Aaron.