Hell in the Round: Soup Can Theatre’s A Hand of Bridge and No Exit


Reviewed in this essay: A Hand of Bridge & No Exit, Soup Can Theatre, which ran Mar. 27-30 at the New Tapestry Opera Studio Soup Can Theatre’s double bill of A Hand of Bridge and No Exit in theatre-in-the-round style emphasizes the blunt reality that we can never get away from other people. No Exit The choice to set No Exit on a raised white cube in the middle of New Tapestry Opera Studio...

Looking At The Opera


Considering which member of an opera’s creative team tends to call the shots, Anne Midgette writes in the New York Times, “We have seen the age of the singer, the age of the conductor and, now, the age of the director.” No one, apparently, worries much about the set designer, but that doesn’t mean the Canadian Opera Company (COC) isn’t spoiling us with spectacle. While critics and fans wring...

Fashion Designers At The Opera


  Reviewed in this essay: Fashion Designers at the Opera, by Helena Matheopoulos. Thames & Hudson, 2011. Season after season both fashion designers and opera producers have to contend with the fact that their work will be hotly debated by the masses. Much of the scrutiny they receive comes from that greyest of all grey areas in criticism—personal taste. In the book Fashion Designers at...

On Iphigenia in Tauris by the Canadian Opera Company


Christoph Gluck’s Iphigenia in Tauris, a tragic opera about the fate of survivors, their guilt, and the question of who will pay for the crimes of the past, is a relentlessly dark and difficult challenge for viewers. The program’s awkward synopsis seems to say it all when it opens with the kind of jovial avuncular language that introduces sitcoms: “Every family has its problems, but those of the...

Tapestry at Theatre Passe Muraille: Mangoes, cows, and other operatic arias fresh from the factory-floor


The brown-brick Theatre Passe Muraille is a far cry from the polished maple and clean-glass lines of the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre. A historic brass plaque at the door informs you as you come in that the theatre just east of Queen and Bathurst streets was once a stable and bakery, and something of the Edwardian factory-like atmosphere remains. It seems appropriate, then, that this...