Tapestry Opera to Stage World Premiere of ROCKING HORSE WINNER

Tapestry Opera's exciting recent momentum continues this spring with another world premiere, ROCKING HORSE WINNER, commissioned in partnership with Scottish Opera. This modern adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's masterful short story-an intimate psychological look at love, luck and greed-comes to life with a libretto by Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning playwright Anna Chatterton and music by Irish-Scottish composer Gareth Williams. ROCKING HORSE WINNER premieres in Toronto at the Berkeley Street Theatre on May 28, (preview performance May 27) and continues to June 4, 2016. Tickets are now on sale at www.tapestryopera.com.

A chilling drama about the alienating force of greed, ROCKING HORSE WINNER explores the relationship between Paul, a young man with a developmental disability, and his emotionally distant mother. Paul becomes obsessed with solving the "bad luck" of his family, to win the love of his mother, and to meet the increasing demands of their household. His pursuit arouses a strange magic that both connects him to luck, and makes him vulnerable to haunting voices only he can hear.

An all-Canadian cast and creative team unites some of the most respected young specialists in the country. Directed by Tapestry Opera's Artistic Director Michael Hidetoshi Mori, the production is musically helmed by Conductor-in-Residence Jordan de Souza, who was recently appointed the position of Studieleiter (head of music staff) at the Komische Oper Berlin for its 2016-2017 season. Award-winning designers Camellia Koo, Michelle Ramsay and Ming Wong have created an evocative setting to draw audiences into the magic of Paul's world and the love, greed, and heartbreak in his family.

The cast features soprano Carla Huhtanen as Ava, Paul's remote mother; tenor Keith Klassen as Oscar, Ava's cavalier but secretly poor brother; baritone Peter McGillivray as Bassett, Paul's health-care worker; and in his professional debut with Tapestry Opera, tenor Asitha Tennekoon as Paul.

"Although this opera is based on text written in 1926, it has shocking relevance to us today," says Michael Mori. "The seductive dangers of prestige and money are familiar themes, as we're all keenly aware of modern wealth disparity and news headlines about the one per cent. This compelling story, paired with Gareth's deeply affective score and Anna's lyrical words, creates a mesmerizing experience - I'm very proud to debut it to the world here in Toronto."

Tapestry Opera and Scottish Opera have been working together since 2009 through Tapestry Opera's international LibLab: Composer-Librettist Laboratory. This is their fourth collaboration, following Tapestry Opera's recent critically acclaimed North American premiere of Scottish Opera's The Devil Inside in March 2016; M'dea Undone, which had its world premiere May 2015; and Pub Operas in 2011. ROCKING HORSE WINNER was conceived in 2011, two years after Gareth Williams and Anna Chatterton met at Tapestry's International LibLab in 2009. It was developed during Williams' residency with Scottish Opera.

Librettist Anna Chatterton has been a Playwright-in-Residence at Tarragon Theatre since 2011 and is the 2015-2016 Playwright-in-Residence at Nightwood Theatre. Chatterton's libretti have been commissioned and produced by the Canadian Opera Company, World Stage at Harbourfront Centre, The Banff Centre, and The Theatre Centre. Composer Gareth Williams recently completed a post as Composer-in-Residence with Scottish Opera, where he created many site-specific operas, including Breath Cycle - a work created specifically for patients with Cystic Fibrosis (with Canadian poet/playwright David James Brock, another collaborator of Gareth's from the 2009 International LibLab). His next project is a new work for BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra about the 306 British men shot for cowardice during WW1.

Tapestry Opera continues to drive the evolution of opera with an innovative 36th season, which included Songbook VI, Tap:Ex Metallurgy, and the North American premiere of Scottish Opera's The Devil Inside. Tapestry Opera's 37th season will be announced in late May, 2016.



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