Tapestry Opera announces exciting Oksana G. casting change

Soprano Natalya Gennadi steps into starring role of world premiere

MARCH 22, 2017

TORONTO: Tapestry Opera is pleased to announce that Ukrainian-Canadian soprano Natalya Gennadi will sing the title role of Oksana G., an upcoming world premiere by composer Aaron Gervais and librettist Colleen Murphy. Ambur Braid, previously announced in the role of Oksana, has withdrawn to pursue an opportunity overseas. Oksana G. opens on May 24, 2017 and runs at the Canadian Opera Company’s Imperial Oil Opera Theatre until May 30, 2017.

The bold casting of Gennadi marks the young singer’s breakout role, who was recently selected by soprano Sondra Radvanovsky for a Career Blueprint Grant from the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists. Gennadi graduated with a Master’s degree in Opera Performance from the University of Toronto in 2013. Only moving to Canada from the Ukraine 10 years ago, Gennadi has family and friends who have been touched by human trafficking, as portrayed in the opera.

According to Tapestry Opera’s Artistic Director, Michael Mori, the company considered a small number of artists who would be capable of taking on the role with such short notice. “The moment Natalya auditioned, the choice was clear,” he said. “She is a rising young star with a powerful voice and presence, amplified by her lived experience. As a Ukrainian youth during the difficult period of the 1990s—which is when the opera is set—Natalya witnessed firsthand many of the social dynamics that are explored in this piece.”

The opera follows the wrenching story of a young woman lured into the world of sex trafficking by a recruiter who unexpectedly falls in love with her. When Oksana escapes to a refugee shelter in Italy, she finds herself entangled in a complex triangle between the recruiter and a Canadian priest who runs the shelter. With its fierce, contemporary heroine, Oksana G. challenges the operatic convention of the tragic victim and offers insight into the realities of modern human trafficking.

Tapestry Opera, Canada’s leading contemporary opera company, has packed its 37th season with powerful stories that champion women who overcome hardship against all odds. In celebration of Canada’s 150th year, the company’s 2016/2017 program is comprised entirely of new works by all-Canadian composers and librettists, and features the best of Canada’s vocal artists.

Oksana G. runs from May 24 to 30, 2017, at the Imperial Oil Opera Theatre of the Canadian Opera Company, 227 Front St. E. Tickets are now on sale at www.tapestryopera.com.

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