Adam Sherkin: A Joke Before the Gallows

A Joke Before the Gallows

A Tapestry Opera and Piano Lunaire co-production | Performed by Adam Sherkin | Directed by Tom Diamond | Libretto by David James Brock


A musical story brimming with dark humour, A Joke Before the Gallows celebrates the dramatic music of Chopin

Polish composer Chopin is much celebrated for his iconic writing for piano. His bold, dramatic scherzos are in opposition to their translation: ‘scherzo’ means joke!

Join internationally acclaimed concert pianist Adam Sherkin performing Chopin’s four masterpiece scherzi alongside vivid monologues written by David James Brock in this darkly funny, thought-provoking performance directed by Tom Diamond. The premiere is a mixed media event with a live performance followed by a film screening and creative discussion.


7:30 – 10:00 PM

Host | Tom Allen

Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Op. 39 (1838) by Frédéric Chopin

Four Preludes: “Before the Gallows,” Op. 38 (2022) by Adam Sherkin

1. The Killer and the Witch
2. Traded Lullaby
3. True Tall Tale
4. The Blood that Goes for Health

Adam Sherkin | Piano

Premiere film screening | A Joke Before the Gallows, dir. by Tom Diamond (2022)

Creative Discussion | Tom Allen – Host

Please note that the venue, 918 Bathurst is not currently a fully accessible venue. There are three steps up to the front door and a short set of stairs into the theatre. The washrooms are also only accessible by stairs. We apologize to those who this impacts.

Tickets on sale now!

Experience a flavour of A Joke Before the Gallows by listening to Scherzo in B minor by Frédéric Chopin, performed Adam Sherkin.

This Spotify playlist traces the impressive discography of pianists down through generations who have come to record Chopin’s scherzi. The composer’s bold, dramatic pieces are in opposition to the translation of their titles: “scherzo” means “joke!”

918 Bathurst

918 Bathurst St Toronto, ON M5R 3G5