When Atom Egoyan's new opera, Elsewhereless, opens at the du Maurier World Stage Festival on May 1st, the focus will rightly be on the Oscar-nominated film director.
Few people will know, or perhaps care, that the opera is a Tapestry Music Theatre presentation, in association with Vancouver New Music and Ottawa's National Arts Centre. Yet Tapestry's role in Elsewhereless is not insignificant -- it is the only company in Canada dedicated to the development and production of original works of Canadian music theatre and opera.
Now celebrating its 20th year, Tapestry has an enviable record of successes: In 1991, Nigredo Hotel , a chamber opera by Ann-Marie MacDonald and Nic Gotham, won two Dora Awards and was nominated for a Chalmers New Canadian Play Award. The opera toured several times.
In 1994 Tapestry scored again with Jim Betts' Colours In The Storm , a musical play about Group of Seven painter Tom Thomson. And in 1996, Teresa Tova's Still The Night, a small-scale show about the survival of two young Jewish women during World War Two, won four Doras including Best Production and Best New Musical. The show is now poised for a national tour and a possible New York visit.
That same season, Tapestry's co-production with Canadian Stage Company of Sondheim's Passion, drew large audiences. And when Elsewhereless premieres next month at World Stage, it will be the beginning of an extensive tour, including Ottawa, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Paris and Rome. And where it goes, Tapestry Music Theatre goes too.
Elsewhereless opens on May 1 at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St. Call 416 973-4600 for tickets and information.
--By Mira Friedlander