Gould's Wall: A woman suspended in the air reaching towards a piano, also suspended

Gould’s Wall

Gravity-transcending opera

Composed by Brian Current | Libretto by Liza Balkan | Directed by Philip Akin

Dare to climb the wall?

A young, extraordinarily talented musician is striving for perfection in her art. Her path to greatness? A magnificent wall.  

Bursting with the compulsion to reach the top, she invokes Canadian icon, classical pianist Glenn Gould to guide her towards dizzying heights – but the path isn’t easy. Each brick represents her art, her rigour, and her challenge. Does she have the strength, or will she slip and fall into the abyss?

Artists climb and perform suspended from The Royal Conservatory’s atrium in this daring new opera, which connects the wall’s historic past to the present in a thrilling staging that transcends gravity.

Award-winning theatre artist and librettist Liza Balkan evokes the young artist’s rigorous journey, weaving many of Gould’s own words into the libretto, and acclaimed Canadian composer Brian Current delivers a thrilling, kinetic score played by a chamber orchestra and five pianists, including students from The RCM’s Taylor Academy. Gould’s Wall is directed by multiple Dora Award-winning Philip Akin.


Note that Regular seats for Gould’s Wall will be positioned on the floor and angled to allow viewing up the Atrium wall. Regular seats have a partially obstructed view.

New dates confirmed

We’re delighted to confirm new summer dates, presented by The Royal Conservatory of Music and in collaboration with Toronto Summer Music! If you already have tickets, The Royal Conservatory box office will be in touch with you. Your tickets will automatically be adjusted to the new corresponding dates, for example if you had a ticket to the second night in January, your ticket is valid for the equivalent second night in August.

August 4, 2022, 8.30pm
Formerly Jan 12, 8pm

August 5, 2022, 8.30pm
Formerly Jan 13, 6pm

August 9, 2022, 8.30pm
Formerly Jan 14, 8pm

August 10, 2022, 8.30pm
Formerly Jan 15, 10.30pm

August 12, 2022, 8.30pm
Formerly Jan 16, 6pm

Audience comfort and safety

Gould’s Wall is 75 minutes with no intermission. Please note, there is no latecomer admittance. We suggest you arrive at the venue 20 minutes before the performance start time.
Please find the Royal Conservatory of Music’s COVID-19 policy here.

Featured on The Gould Standard podcast

Listen to composer Brian Current, librettist Liza Balkan, director Philip Akin and Tapestry’s Artistic Director Michael Hidetoshi Mori talk with Brian Levine on The Gould Standard podcast.

Royal Conservatory of Music Atrium

273 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1W2



Creative Team

  • Alex Gilbert: Wardrobe Coordinator
  • Susannah Feng: Wardrobe Cutter and Stitcher
  • Aiden Cosgrove: Producer
  • Paul Zivontsis: Production Manager, RCM
  • Lesley Abarquez Bradley: Stage Manager
  • Anna Spencer: Assistant Stage Manager
  • Paul Zivontsis: Royal Conservatory of Music Production Manager
  • Alice Sellwood: Royal Conservatory of Music Programming Manager
  • Mark Nielson: Rigger
  • DangerBoy (Tom Comet, Mark Nielson, Jules Tindungan, Lee Smith and Justin Moses): Rigging design, installation and operation
  • Running Crew: The Production Crew of Koerner Hall


  • Natalie Yu: Stage Piano
  • Huy Dang: Stage Piano
  • Colin Chang: Stage Piano
  • Kenneth Chen: Distanced Piano
  • Martin Kesuma: Orchestra Piano
  • Sophie Lanthier: Flute
  • Zack Goldstein: Clarinet
  • Anjali Covill: Bass Clarinet
  • Miles Mateus: Bassoon
  • Sarah Bell: Horn
  • Declan Scott: Trumpet
  • Thomas Lagrange: Trombone
  • Brayden Krueger: Percussion / Vibraphone
  • Arlan Viens: Violin I
  • Tiffany Tsai: Violin II
  • Tilman Sandvoss: Viola
  • Emma Schmiedecke: Cello
  • Jesse Dietschi: Bass

January 2022 Scheduled Premiere

  • Stéphane Mayer: Répétiteur
  • Costume Coordinator: Alessia Urbani