Casting Announced for Operatic Adaptation of Award-Winning Canadian Play “The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring”

- Baritone, Geoffrey Sirett to don the famous overcoat -

Toronto, ON (Jan 22, 2018): Twenty years following the debut of the award-winning theatre adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s The Overcoat, Tapestry Opera, Canadian Stage and Vancouver Opera announce that baritone Geoffrey Sirett will don the famous coat in the upcoming operatic re-imagining of the classic tale, “The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring.” The world premiere of this musical production will take place on March 29 at the Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto, followed by the Vancouver premiere on April 28 at the Vancouver Playhouse as part of the Vancouver Opera Festival, conducted by Vancouver Opera’s resident conductor, Les Dala.

Renowned playwright and director Morris Panych joins forces with award-winning composer James Rolfe to bring a bold operatic voice to the beloved tale of Akakiy Akakiyevich (played by Sirett), a simple working man whose life is turned upside down when he invests in an elegant new overcoat. With a symphony of voices and movement, comedy and tragedy, and set to a soaring neoclassical score, The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring, touted by The WholeNote as one of “the must-sees of the opera season,” brings new life to the original triumphant theatre production.

Other headliners in the exciting musical transformation include: Dora Award-winning tenor Asitha Tennekoon (Manager), who burst onto the Toronto scene in 2015 with his breakout performance in Tapestry’s smash hit, Rocking Horse Winner; baritone Peter McGillivray (Head of Department); mezzo-soprano Andrea Ludwig (Landlady); soprano Meher Pavri (Secretary); tenor Keith Klassen (Mokiya); baritone Aaron Durand (Sossiya); bass Giles Tomkins (Khodozat); and mezzo-soprano Erica Iris along with sopranos Caitlin Wood and Magali Simard-Galdés as the Mad Chorus.

The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring features an original score by Rolfe and reunites the original creative team to bring the opera to life, including Panych (librettist / director / creator), Wendy Gorling (movement/creator), Ken MacDonald (set design), Alan Brodie (lighting design), and Nancy Bryant (costumes).

The Overcoat: A Music Tailoring will premiere as part of Tapestry Opera, Canadian Stage’s, and Vancouver Opera’s 2017/2018 VO season at the Bluma Appel Theatre from March 29 to April 14 (preview performances are slated for March 27 and 28) before heading west for Vancouver Opera’s second annual Vancouver Opera Festival on April 28 and 29 as well as May 4 and 9-12.

The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring Facts:

  • A landmark partnership and co-production between the three companies: Tapestry Opera, Canadian Stage and Vancouver Opera.
  • Was conceived in Tapestry Opera’s 2014 LibLab, a program that pairs up leading librettists and composers.
  • The two venues are the original Toronto and Vancouver homes for the criticallyacclaimed theatre production of The Overcoat, created by Morris Panych and Wendy Gorling. The theatre production in 1998 was praised as an “elegant expression of accomplished theatricality” by Variety Magazine

For tickets visit Canadian Stage (Toronto) or Vancouver Opera (Vancouver).

“In looking to the future of the genre, partnering with Morris Panych, not only as a librettist, but as a very physically oriented director, along with the ground-breaking creative team that developed The Overcoat will explore the full potential of opera and music-theatre in the 21st century,” said Michael Hidetoshi Mori, General Director, Tapestry Opera.

“Canadian Stage is thrilled to be partnering with Tapestry Opera and Vancouver Opera on the re-imagining of this seminal work. Transformed by a bold new operatic voice and musical score with a cast of the highest calibre, we couldn’t be more excited to present The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring as a highlight of our 30th Anniversary Season,” added Matthew Jocelyn, Artistic and General Director, Canadian Stage.

“Vancouver Opera is really proud to have been founding partners in this commission, and to present The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring in Vancouver as a highlight of our second annual opera festival–and in the very theatre where the play launched its triumphant cross-Canada trek. Vancouver Opera is committed to the creation of new Canadian work and we believe this is an important new work” said Kim Gaynor, General Director, Vancouver Opera.

ABOUT TAPESTRY OPERA: Tapestry Opera is an award-winning Toronto-based company, head-quartered in the historic Distillery District that creates and produces opera from the heart of here and now. For 38 years, the company has presented awardwinning works by preeminent artists, brought to life by some of the most talented and versatile performers of the contemporary stage. As Canada’s leader in opera development, Tapestry Opera is committed to cultivating new creators and performers to serve the evolution of the art form and build a lasting Canadian repertoire.

ABOUT CANADIAN STAGE: Founded in 1987, Canadian Stage is one of the country’s leading not-for-profit contemporary performing arts companies, sharing new, innovative stage work from Canada and around the world. Canadian Stage produces and presents a vibrant hybrid of multidisciplinary performance that pushes the boundaries of form and style – integrating theatre, dance, music, multimedia and more.

ABOUT VANCOUVER OPERA: Vancouver Opera was founded in 1958 and is Canada’s second largest opera company. Performing a broad repertoire of operas, from classics to new commissions, Vancouver Opera believes in the power of opera to connect people to the universal human drama, and to contribute to the quality of life in its community.

For national media inquiries, please contact:

Kelly Price, Holmes PR 416-628-5613 /

Tran Nguyen, Holmes PR 416-628-5607 /

Adrienne Kakoullis, Holmes PR 416-628-5610 /

For Vancouver media inquiries, please contact:

Jodi Smith, JLS Entertainment 604.838.9844/ jls@jlsentertainment

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