Geoff Sirett on The Overcoat

Geoff Sirett will sing the main role of Akakiy in the upcoming Tapestry/CanStage premiere of James Rolfe and Morris Panych’s The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring based on the absurdist short story by Gogol.  I put some questions to Geoff about him, the piece and his role in it.


Here’s the Q & A.

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Out like a lamb?

yourewelcome365pxNot much sign of spring as we move into the second half of the month but there are some things musical to enjoy while we await the return of the sun.  On March 18th at 2pm in Mazzoleni Hall there is You’re Welcome Rossini with the glamorous duo of Allyson McHardy and, the not seen often enough in Toronto, Lucia Cesaroni.  This one is officially sold out but there may be rushes.  Ten bucks says they do the Cat duet.
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Whose wearing the Overcoat?

Casting has now been announced for The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring; an opera by Morris Panych and James Rolfe based on Gogol’s short story by way of Panych’s 1990s theatrical version.  The opera is a co-production of Vancouver Opera, Tapestry Opera and Canadian Stage and will premiere in Toronto’s Bluma Appel Theatre (March 29th to April 14th) before heading to the Vancouver Playhouse (April 28th to May 12th).

Geoffrey Sirett as Akakiy in The Overcoat A Musical Tailoring_Photo Credit Dahlia Katz_preview

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(Dido and Aeneas)x2

The decision by Toronto Masque Theatre to pair Purcell’s miniature opera, Dido and Aeneas, with James Rolfe and André Alexis’ piece on the lovers’ inner thoughts, Aeneas and Dido, paid off last night.  It produced an evening of just the right length with two contrasting but complementary pieces working really well together.


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News from Tapestry

So the rumours have been around for a while but today the big announcement about Tapestry’s major project for 2017/18 went public.  It’s a joint production with Canadian Stage and Vancouver Opera of an operatic version of Morris Panych’s adaptation of Gogol’s The Overcoat which, as a stage play, won critical acclaim in 1998.  The music is by James Rolfe and it will premiere at the Bluma Appel Thaetre in March 2018 before moving to the Vancouver Playhouse as part of the second Vancouver Opera Festival.  The idea originated in the 2014 LibLab which produced a very funny scene of a hapless customer being beaten senseless by his tailors.  (something that should have happened to Cheetoh Benito long ago).


Guidebook of Decadence

Coleman, Lemieux et Compagnie’s Against Nature presented last night at The Citadel, is another show combining vocal music and dance.  It combines two baritones; Geoff Sirett and Alexander Dobson with a dancer, Laurence Lemieux, playing a female servant.  Funny how things tend to coevolve in the arts world.  Combining vocal music with dance, once not so common, is now almost ubiquitous with productions from the likes of CASP, Against the Grain and FAWN among others.


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After Hours

Last night’s late, late concert at the Conservatory was basically a preview of Bicycle Opera Project’s 2015 season.  It’s a bit hard to say what the final show will be like as we got mainly excerpts last night and it just feels really different to be in a formal concert hall compared with the usual venues for BOP.  bop

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