Category Archives: Joel Ivany

Joel Ivany makes his COC mainstage directing debut with Bizet’s Carmen

By | AtG in the News, Joel Ivany | No Comments

We’re just going to go out and say it: Joel has been a bizet man (hard to resist the pun) this season. In just a few days, he makes his mainstage directorial debut with the Canadian Opera Company’s Carmen, and the AtG team couldn’t be prouder. Read the links below to find out more, and don’t forget to book your ticketsCarmen runs April 12 to May 15 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

By night, Ivany is the founder and one of the artistic leaders of Against the Grain Theatre, perhaps Toronto’s most creative opera producers, responsible for their great and highly original Mozart adaptations.

Read more from The Globe and Mail: “Director Joel Ivany delivers a production of Carmen you can trust”

Although the sets date back to that 2005 production, he and set/costume design coordinator Camellia Koo have tweaked it to create, as he puts it, “a Carmen 2.0.” In preparation, Ivany sat in every section of the 2,000-seat hall to see what the stage picture would be like.

Read more from NOW Magazine: “Who’s afraid of opera?”

Photo: Anita Rachvelishvili as Carmen (centre) as Alain Coulombe as Zuniga looks on (at left) in the Canadian Opera Company production of  Carmen, 2016. Conductor Paolo Carignani, director Joel Ivany, set designer Michael Yeargan, costume designer François St-Aubin, lighting designer Jason Hand, and set & costume design co-ordinator Camellia Koo. Photo: Michael Cooper

Toronto Star: Joel Ivany “a Torontonian to watch in 2016”

By | AtG in the News, Joel Ivany, Press | No Comments

I’ve been waiting for 2016 to arrive for some time.

Creatively you love having different sized canvases to use. I’m lucky enough that several projects this coming calendar year are not like each other. I’m lucky to work with The Toronto Symphony Orchestra for the first time in their big venue, Roy Thomson Hall. Then I make my Main Stage debut at the Four Season Centre for the Arts, directing Carmen for the Canadian Opera Company. Before the summer hits, we’re planning on presenting A Little Too Cozy which will be in a much smaller venue for a much smaller capacity.

The very cool aspect of all of these projects is that they all happen in Toronto. Anyone who works in opera, and if they’re working in opera, knows that your career will take you all over the world. To have three unique projects line up in your hometown is a treat.

The Toronto Star picked up on this and I was honoured to be considered for their list of Torontonians who are set to have big 2016’s.

Very thankful for the people around me who have made these opportunities possible. Toronto is a great city for the arts and for opera.

Joel Ivany

Toronto’s arts and culture scene should be as vibrant as ever in the new year. But for five city residents in particular — representing a range of disciplines from pop music and literature to art, opera and film — 2016 will present an opportunity to test their skills and creativity to the max.

JOEL IVANY
Joel Ivany’s long apprenticeship is paying off.

After studying opera at the University of the Toronto, Ivany, 35, did further study in Norway, Ireland, Washington and Minnesota before coming back to Toronto and founding his own independent company, Against the Grain Theatre, which he calls a “small and scrappy company which is growing with each production.”

His Dora-winning work has not gone unnoticed by two of the biggest players in the Toronto cultural landscape.
On Jan. 21, Ivany’s production of Mozart’s Requiem with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra will debut at Roy Thomson Hall.

On April 12, Ivany will oversee a production of Carmen for the Canadian Opera Company.

“In North America, let alone the world, (the COC) is increasingly becoming known as a landing spot for top artists, for singers, for directors, for productions. So to be included in that company is very humbling, especially for someone who is Canadian, and grew up and trained in Canada,” Ivany said.