Iron Road 2001

Iron Road

Constantinople 2008

Dark Star Requiem 2010

Dark Star Requiem

Date Established: 1979

Milestones:

  • 1995: Establishment of the Composer-Librettist Laboratory (LIBLAB) – Canada’s flagship opera creation program – in partnership with the Canadian Opera Company
  • 1999: Tapestry takes over the sole leadership, funding, and administration of the LIBLAB
  • 2001: World Premiere of Iron Road at the Elgin Theatre – Tapestry’s largest production to date.  A grand opera composed by a Chinese-Canadian composer and focused on the Chinese-Canadian experience premieres to an audience of 10,000.
  • 2001: Establishment of the Opera Briefs (a.k.a Tapestry Briefs) – an annual production of the best scenes emerging from our LIBLAB
  • 2003: Tapestry moves into its current office in the Distillery, which includes an attached multi-purpose space, The Ernest Balmer Studio.
  •  1992-present Tapestry develops successful partnerships with Vancouver Opera (The Overcoat 2017); Scottish Opera (The Sloan’s Project/Pub Operas 2011, M’dea Undone 2015/2017, and *The Devil Inside 2016 *Tapestry as presenter); Wilfred Laurier University (Ruth 2013); Edmonton Opera (Shelter 2012); Luminato Festival (Dark Star Requiem 2010); Bravo!FACTS (The Perfect Match 2008); Manhattan School of Music (Elijah’s Kite 2006); The Banff Centre/Gryphon Trio/Ex Machina (Constantinople 2008); Theatre Direct/Luminato (Sanctuary Song 2008); Canadian Stage Theatre (Canadian premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion 1997); and Tarragon Theatre (Nigredo Hotel 1992).
  • 2010: Establishment of an all-Canadian aria and scene anthology titled The Tapestry Songbook, including the best selections from Tapestry’s 20 years of opera creation.
  •  2013: *Establishment of Indie Opera T.O., a service association for small to medium-sized independent opera producers in Toronto (*established under Artistic Director Michael Mori with explicit support from Tapestry)
  •  2015: Tapestry Awarded funding from Opera America to support a digital marketing initiative of Indie Opera T.O.
  •  2015: Establishment of Tapestry Explorations aka Tap:Ex, a successful  series that radically redefines the future of opera through unconventional collaborations (DJs, physical theatre, punk bands)

Accomplishments include:

  • 160 world premieres of opera shorts
  •  20 world premieres of 15-20 minute chamber operas or experimental operatic works
  •  16 world premieres of full length Canadian works, including Rocking Horse Winner (2016), M’dea Undone (2015), Shelter (2012, 2014), Pub Operas (2011), Dark Star Requiem (2010), The Shadow (2009), Get Stuffed (2009), Sanctuary Song (2008), Elijah’s Kite (2006, 2007, 2008), Constantinople (2008), Nigredo Hotel (2006, 2005, 1992), Facing South (2003), Iron Road (2001), Elsewhereless (1998), Still the Night (1996), and No No Miya (1995).
  • 33 Dora Mavor Moore (Toronto Theatre Awards) Nominations
  • 11 Dora Mavor Moore Awards

Ongoing Activities:

  • World Premiere Productions: Productions of Tapestry commissions or co-commissions featured in Tapestry’s season.
  • The Composer-Librettist Laboratory aka LIBLAB: an internationally renowned, two week speed-dating-style creation intensive that pairs four librettists with four composers to create 16 short works. Canada’s flagship – and only – professional opera creation program for composers and librettists. Over 150 artists have emerged from the program and over 20 world premieres have been produced from works emerging at LIBLAB.
  • Opera Briefs aka Tapestry Briefs: a staged studio production featuring the best “shorts” of the LIBLAB.
  • Tapestry Explorations aka Tap:Ex: An annual staged concert, researching experimental possibilities and unconventional partnerships for opera in bold ways.
  •  New Opera 101: a masterclass program to introduce contemporary Canadian opera to emerging and professional artists (singers & pianists), and to coach these young artists on the contemporary performance-practices of Canada’s best role creators and interpreters.
  • Tapestry Songbook Concert: a concert featuring star performers and the young artists from the New Opera 101, performing repertoire from exclusively Canadian composers.
  •  Youth Inside Opera: a full-scholarship performance and show creation program for youth and children in St. Jamestown.  Using Tapestry’s model, the youth participants create and perform their own piece.
  •  Indie Opera TO: sponsorship and ongoing support of an association of 12 companies (and growing) created by Tapestry’s AD Michael Mori, including Against the Grain Theatre, The Bicycle Opera Project, E ssential Opera, FAWN Opera & New Music, Friends of Gravity, Liederwolfe Opera Collective, Loose TEA Music Theatre, MYOpera, Opera 5, Opera After Hours and Urbanvessel.
  •  New Work Development (at any given time, Tapestry has at least 3 works in development)
  • Commissioning: Hiring creators to write and compose new works for production in future Tapestry seasons
  •  Workshops: Working through a new work from first draft to final draft, including libretto workshops, piano-vocal workshops, orchestral workshops, and staging workshops.
  • Dramaturgy: Providing ongoing feedback and guidance to creative teams through the writing and workshop process.
  • “Tap In” Workshops: Facilitating, casting, and providing dramaturgy for workshops for external producers and creators to benefit from Tapestry’s expertise in process and Tapestry’s artists’ expertise in interpreting new works.

Tapestry’s role and place in the art form of opera/music theatre:

Tapestry is the champion of Canadian works and artists and often a provocateur and revolutionary in the opera/music theatre sphere.  We produce new works in new ways that will provoke reaction, engagement and interest in opera.  In this role we strategically foster new Canadian works and creators as well as new performance and presentation techniques, keeping the art form relevant for current and future generations.

Tapestry within the local, national, and international ecology of opera and new/contemporary opera:

 Local

  • Leaders and connectors: Tapestry and Artistic Director Michael Hidetoshi Mori have brought together the alternative opera scene through their work and leadership with Indie Opera T.O.  Close ties include Bicycle Opera, an innovative small company that has relied on Tapestry-created repertoire for nearly 50% of its programming each year, and has often commissioned and hired LIBLAB graduates.
  • Professional opportunities for local emerging artists:  Tapestry provides musically and dramatically demanding roles in English for workshops, studio-productions, and mainstage productions that are both professional development opportunities as well as resume building and potentially career-launching opportunities for artists.
  • Tapestry operates, maintains and sub-leases the Ernest Balmer Studio – a 1320 sq. ft studio and performance space that is used extensively by music and performing arts companies for auditions, performances, meetings, and special events.  Tapestry offers subsidized rental rates to over 30 NFP companies and/or artists per season and also offers the space at complimentary or heavily subsidized rate of only $10 per hour to members of the Indie Opera T.O. collective.

National (and North American)

  • Industry Leader:  AD Michael Mori is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Opera.ca, serving on its strategic planning committee. He has been invited numerous times to speak at the Opera America conferences on new opera and Indie Opera T.O. as a ground-breaking model.
  • Partner and collaborator: Tapestry has partnered with Vancouver Opera, The Canadian Opera Company, Edmonton Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera.ca, and the Banff Centre to commission, workshop, cultivate opera creators, and co-produce new Canadian operas.

International

  • Partner and collaborator: Scottish Opera, The Manhattan School of Music, American Opera Projects, and Opera America.
  • Tapestry represents Canada at New Opera forums and conferences in the US and UK.
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