An a cappella opera about the fast fashion industry with nine singers

Composed by Juliet Palmer with a libretto by Anna Chatterton

Produced by Bicycle Opera

 From the program:
“Made in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Italy, China, India…the U.S.A.”  Who sews our clothes, who makes our shoes? Where do they live? How much are they paid? Sweat is a kaleidoscope of characters and stories collected from factories around the world.”

Sweat was a project rooted in conviction. Juliet Palmer’s a cappella score paired with Anna Chatterton’s biting script to transformed opera into a political experience. You don’t expect opera singers to be dedicated cyclists, but that’s the task Bicycle Opera set for all its collaborators. I had to work with the designer Sonja Rainey to create a show you could ransport via bicycle; simple enough for the singers to help the build the set, and take it down after the show. The formidable Jennifer Nichols created a masterful choreography. The intrepid singers cycled all over Ontario during the summer of 2017, playing in galleries, museums, at Chamberfest in Ottawa and at the sumptuous Isabel Bader Centre in Kingston. The ensemble clocked 630 km. The tour ended with a splash at the Aki Studio in Toronto. 

Photos by Dahlia Katz for Bicycle Opera productions

A behind-the-scenes look at rehearsal