Following on the indie opera theme, Bicycle Opera Project have announced details of their 2015 season. Things kick off with a preview concert at 10pm at Mazzoleni Hall on May 21st as part of the 21C festival. It will feature works from this summer’s tour program Shadow Box and the singers will be Alexander Dobson and Graham Thomson along with regulars Stephanie Tritchiew and Larissa Koniuk. Featured works will include The Blind Woman by James Rolfe and David Yee; The Yellow Wallpaper by Cecilia Livingston and Nicolas Billon; (What rhymes with) Azimuth? by Ivan Barbotin and Liza Balkan; “The Dreaming Duet” from The Bells of Baddeck (world premiere) by Dean Burry and Lorna MacDonald; and, what else?, Bianchi: A five-minute bicycle opera by Tobin Stokes. They will also be premiering a new commission; Ride of the Bicycle Bells by Christopher Thornborrow. This mashes together the operatic overture with a special bike-y twist – it’s scored for 11 bicycle bells and one bike horn!
The summer will start with a residency in Cape Breton to workshop Dean Burry and Lorna MacDonald’s The Bells of Baddeck. It’s the story of the inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel who came to Cape Breton and fell in love with its people, music, and Gaelic charm. (And why does that make think of the Arrogant Worms?).
Then there’s the Shadow Box tour which will hit Nova Scotia from August 3rd to 11th before returning to Ontario for August 14th to September 6th (details of locations and dates to be announced later). Shadow Box is a bit of a departure for BOP as, although it’s still a collection of short works it will feature a narrative throughline. Live projection artist Sonja Rainey will also be involved. Chris Enns and Geoffrey Sirett will again join Steph and Larissa as the singing cast.
The full line up for Shadow Box is The Yellow Wallpaper by Cecilia Livingston and Nicolas Billon, The Blind Woman by James Rolfe and David Yee, The Auction by John Burge and Eugene Benson, “The Dreaming Duet” from The Bells of Baddeck by Dean Burry and Lorna MacDonald; Submission by Dean Burry and David Yee; What time is it now? by Anna Höstman and P.K. Page, Our Lady of Esquimalt Road by Leila Lustig and Geoff Hargreaves, Bianchi: a five-minute bicycle opera by Tobin Stokes, and, of course, Ride of the Bicycle Bells by Chris Thornborrow.
Photo credit: Alice Irene