By: Staff –
Twenty years following the debut of the award-winning theatre adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s The Overcoat, Tapestry Opera, Canadian Stage and Vancouver Opera announce that baritone Geoffrey Sirett will don the famous coat in the upcoming operatic reimagining of the classic tale, “The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring.” The world premiere of this musical production will take place on March 29 at the Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto, followed by the Vancouver premiere on April 28 at the Vancouver Playhouse as part of the Vancouver Opera Festival.
Renowned playwright and director Morris Panych joins forces with award-winning composer James Rolfe to bring a bold operatic voice to the beloved tale of Akakiy Akakiyevich (played by Sirett), a simple working man whose life is turned upside down when he invests in an elegant new overcoat. With a symphony of voices and movement, comedy and tragedy, and set to a soaring neoclassical score, The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring, touted by The WholeNote as one of “the must-sees of the opera season,” brings new life to the original triumphant theatre production.
Other headliners in the exciting musical transformation include: Dora Award-winning tenor Asitha Tennekoon (Manager), who burst onto the Toronto scene in 2015 with his breakout performance in Tapestry’s smash hit, Rocking Horse Winner; baritone Peter McGillivray (Head of Department); mezzo-soprano Andrea Ludwig (Landlady); soprano Meher Pavri (Secretary); tenor Keith Klassen (Mokiya); baritone Aaron Durand (Sossiya); bass Giles Tomkins(Khodozat); and mezzo-soprano Erica Iris along with sopranos Caitlin Wood and Magali Simard-Galdés as the Mad Chorus.
“In looking to the future of the genre, partnering with Morris Panych, not only as a librettist, but as a very physically oriented director, along with the ground-breaking creative team that developed The Overcoat will explore the full potential of opera and music-theatre in the 21st century,” said Michael Hidetoshi Mori, General Director, Tapestry Opera.
“Canadian Stage is thrilled to be partnering with Tapestry Opera and Vancouver Opera on the re-imagining of this seminal work. Transformed by a bold new operatic voice and musical score with a cast of the highest calibre, we couldn’t be more excited to present The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring as a highlight of our 30th Anniversary Season,” added Matthew Jocelyn, Artistic and General Director, Canadian Stage.
“Vancouver Opera is really proud to have been founding partners in this commission, and to present The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring in Vancouver as a highlight of our second annual opera festival–and in the very theatre where the play launched its triumphant cross-Canada trek. Vancouver Opera is committed to the creation of new Canadian work and we believe this is an important new work” said Kim Gaynor, General Director, Vancouver Opera.
The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring features an original score by Rolfe and reunites the original creative team to bring the opera to life, including Panych (librettist / director / creator), Wendy Gorling (movement/creator), Ken MacDonald (set design), Alan Brodie (lighting design), and Nancy Bryant (costumes).