Rocking Horse Winner: A Brief History

The award-winning production of Rocking Horse Winner is now one of the most-performed Canadian operas!

How did we get here?

2009: Librettist Anna Chatterton and Composer Gareth Williams collaborate at the 2009 LIBLAB. 

2016: Anna and Gareth’s adaptation of D.H. Lawrence‘s short story gallops onto the stage with a fantastic ensemble of mostly unknown designers, performers, and creatives, marking Artistic Director Michael Hidetoshi Mori‘s directorial debut for Tapestry Opera.

Rocking Horse Winner cast from the 2016 production
(Photos by Dahlia Katz)

Asitha Tennekoon as Paul with The House
(Photo by Dahlia Katz)

Carla Huhtanen as Ava and  Asitha Tennekoon as Paul
(Photosby Dahlia Katz)

2017: A surprise hit, the production earns 5 of 9 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including Asitha Tennekoon, who wins Outstanding Performance, Male, Opera Division.

2018: Rocking Horse Winner goes international with a production by Opera Saratoga.

Christine Suits as Ava and Tyler Nelson as Paul
(Photo by Gary David Gold)

2020: The pandemic pauses a planned remount with Crow’s Theatre.  Undeterred, the company pivots, takes advantage of Zoom to hold rehearsals and ultimately releases the cast recording.

2023: Rocking Horse Winner travels once again with productions by Opera Louisiane and Opera Maine.

Rocking Horse Winner Cast | Opera Maine
(Photo by Martha Mickles) 

November, 2023: Returning to Toronto, Rocking Horse Winner rides again with just eight performances at Streetcar Crowsnest. 

Rocking Horse Winner
November 1 – 12, 2023
The Guloien Theatre at Streetcar Crowsnest

A Tapestry Opera Production in association with Crow’s Theatre
Composed by Gareth Williams | Libretto by Anna Chatterton
Directed by Michael Hidetoshi Mori | Music Direction by Kamna Gupta