Schmopera with AtG


August 3, 2014 1



The #UncleJohn team deserves a hand. On opening night, we were graced with a beautiful, breezy evening for an outdoor opera. There was a full house of engaged, happy listeners that roared at jokes and applauded great singing. It was one of those nights that made me, and perhaps other members of the creative team, take a step…

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July 31, 2014 0

#UncleJohn: a look back


Tomorrow night, #UncleJohn opens at the beautiful (if odorous) Cave and Basin here in Banff, AB. It has been an extraordinary month at The Banff Centre with Against the Grain Theatre, and with the incredible revolving door of mentors. I’m about to attempt to sum it all up, from my own point of view behind the…

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July 30, 2014 0

#UncleJohn’s maestro: Stephen Hargreaves

S. Hargreaves Headshot

With only a few days left before #UncleJohn opens at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, we figured it was about time to hear from the maestro. Chicago-based conductor Stephen Hargreaves has spent plenty of time working in Canada, at the Canadian Opera Company (Nixon in China, Iphigénie en Tauride, Hercules), the University of Toronto…

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July 28, 2014 0

The COC’s Alexander Neef on #UncleJohn


Last week, the #UncleJohn team was joined by Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company. The COC has provided mentorship and support throughout the Open Space program, and while he was here at The Banff Centre, the singers had a chance to sing for Mr. Neef and ask him some of their questions about the…

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July 26, 2014 0

#UncleJohn: let’s go!


We’ve spent plenty of time so far building anticipation about Against the Grain Theatre’s upcoming production of #UncleJohn. And now, we’re on the home stretch; the show plays at 7:30pm, August 1-3rd at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. The final question is this: how does one get a ticket? All it takes is a…

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July 24, 2014 1

Daniel MacIvor: A playwright talks opera

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Playwright and performer Daniel MacIvor is a self-professed opera newbie. He’s currently in the process of writing his first libretto for Hadrian, the new commission by the Canadian Opera Company, to be set to music by Rufus Wainwright. Hadrian is set to open the COC’s 2018/19 season, and so Daniel joined the Against the Grain Theatre crew at The Banff Centre to observe…

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July 19, 2014 0

#UncleJohn’s Saturday serenade


We’re almost into week three of #UncleJohn rehearsals, and the big picture is continuously taking shape. For a Saturday morning, here’s a small moment of zen from an afternoon of stagings, and from the piano bench. Cameo by the hands of yours truly.

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July 16, 2014 0

Masetto: the Surprise Beatboxer


Between rehearsals for #UncleJohn, baritone Aaron Durand took a break from his role as Masetto to school Schmopera on the basics of beatboxing. Masetto’s skills are often overlooked; but not here at The Banff Centre. Check it out:

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July 14, 2014 0

All in a day’s work


Amidst the gruelling schedule and the trying daily grind of our time here at the Banff Centre, the #UncleJohn team manages to squeeze out some fun. Here’s a small compilation of said fun during our rehearsal of the Act I finale the other day. It’s our first chance to show you the wonders of #MaestroCam, and…

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