I’ve directed more than a handful of short operas. The most recent one was Boots, a site-specific opera installation produced by Urbanvessel at Opera Peep Show, presented in a bedroom at the Campbell House in Toronto, April 28-30, 2016
Boots was an interactive performance installation written and composed by Juliet Palmer, starring singer Christine Duncan and a cast of over thirty pairs of boots. Christine had amassed these boots over the past ten years and added to her collection on a weekly basis. Boots explored Christine’s shoe fetish through voice, text and found sounds.
I also directed two incarnations of Opera to Go for Tapestry New Opera. Each evening offered a series of chamber operas for two singers and the two productions embraced nine composers and libretti by seven authors.
Together with conductor Wayne Strongman, I worked with all authors and composers as a dramaturge and director.
I brought Latvian designer Ieva Jurjāne to work on the first incarnation at the Isabel Bader Theatre, as a showcase production for Opera America, Toronto, 2002.
For the second Opera to Go, we had an empty factory space at the Distillery District, and I was able to move the audience from one location to another for five different operas. While the first Opera to Go touched on themes like abusive teachers and murder, the second round included stories of a tormented Goya, a figure skater, a queen and a pirate, and the first woman to climb Mt. Everest.
"This is a great night out for any lover of music and theatre, a showcase of great talent, and an example of how a shoestring budget can put on a great show." Toronto Star
The Distillery show was designed by Teresa Przybylski and Angela Thomas.
The photo of the queen and the pirate is of Lynne McMurtry & Xin Wang in Opera to Go II.
All photos by Michael Cooper @ 2004 @2002