Rocking Horse Winner

Composed by Gareth Williams | Libretto by Anna Chatterton | Directed by Michael Hidetoshi Mori | Music Direction by Kamna Gupta



In association with Crow’s Theatre, Tapestry Opera presents a reimagined production of the 2016 world-premiere Rocking Horse Winner. Winner of five Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction, Rocking Horse Winner is a modern adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s masterful short story. 

This powerful one-act opera combines magical realism and lyrical minimalism to offer an intimate, psychological look at love, luck, greed, and obsession. 

Creative Insights

Director Michael Hidetoshi Mori takes us behind the scenes with insights into the creative processes that bring this powerful one-act opera to life.

2023 Production Images

All photos by Dahlia Katz Photography

Eight performances only!

The 2017 Dora Mavor Moore Winner for Outstanding Production, Rocking Horse Winner, reunites much of the original cast and creative team that made audiences feel all the feels. Tenor Asitha Tennekoon, winner of the Dora for Outstanding Male Performance, reprises his role as the childlike Paul, while tenor Keith Klassen and baritone Peter McGillivray return to recreate their roles as Oscar and Bassett. Celebrating his 10th anniversary with Tapestry Opera, Michael Hidetoshi Mori returns to direct the production that kickstarted his successful career with the company. Acclaimed Canadian soprano Lucia Cesaroni returns to her hometown for this company debut, joining the original cast as Ava. Also marking her first engagement with Tapestry Opera is the New York-based, French-born conductor Kamna Gupta.

This is the story of Ava and her son Paul. Their house and an old rocking horse whisper words only Paul can hear. When the voice of the house grows more urgent in whispering, “There must be more money,” Paul enlists his lucky rocking horse to tell him the names of live horse race winners. He begins betting with great success, but each win comes at an enormous cost.

Rocking Horse Winner Access Guide

This guide uses plain language to provide audiences, particularly neurodiverse audiences, with specific sensory details of programming in advance to help guide your experience.

Join Tapestry for the 2023-2024 season and see all our shows with a TAP Package! Perks include 20% off all tickets, premium seating at Rocking Horse Winner and access to a reserved seating section at all concerts in 2024.

We have TAP Packages that will give you access to our ENTIRE SEASON, or you can enjoy any two or three performances.

It’s up to you!

Content Warning

Rocking Horse Winner contains a character’s death, a dysfunctional mother-son relationship, and gambling. Some sequences are dark and shadowy.

Accessibility Needs and Requirements

When booking your tickets online, patrons can note any accessibility needs or requirements in the Notes section of the booking process. Patrons can also call or email the Crow’s Theatre Box Office to book tickets and detail any accessibility needs or requirements. Any notes can also be shared with the Box Office after booking tickets.
Crow’s Theatre Box Office: boxoffice@crowstheatre.com or 647.341.7390 ext. 1010. 

Relaxed Performance

Relaxed Performances are open to everyone, but we have adapted the environment specifically for those who are neurodivergent and may experience sensory sensitivities, folks with communication or learning disabilities, and people who would benefit from a more relaxed theatre environment. During a Relaxed Performance, patrons can enter and exit the theatre, use fidget toys, make noise or vocalize, stand up and move about the space as needed, and use their phones. Some technical elements, including lighting and sound, have been adjusted for this performance. The house lights will remain on at a reduced level throughout the show, and a quiet space will be available in the lobby for those who need to take a break during the performance.

An Access Table will be available onsite with Relaxed Performance Consultants Emily Maxwell and Ali Hand, who will also have fidget toys and earplugs for patrons needing them.

In association with Crow’s Theatre

Streetcar Crowsnest

345 Carlaw Ave, Toronto, ON M4M 2T1

  1. Preview
  2. Matinée | Post-show talkback with creative team
  3. Matinée | Mask Required
  4. Relaxed Performance
  5. Matinée | Pre-show chat


  • "a very successful revival"

  • "For those new to or intimidated by opera, this is a great starter show, with lush, creative musical lines and a poignant, relatable story."

  • "talent shines through every moment"

  • "a sumptuous indulgence of the senses"

  • "★★★★☆" "a sensually spooky production"

  • "evocative and beautiful" "Rocking Horse Winner is a winner."



Creative Team

  • Kathleen Johnson: Head of Wardrobe


Production Team