Opera Columbus, Against the Grain Theatre, and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity seeking members for virtual chorus extravaganza

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BANFF, AB, November 14, 2017 - Opera Columbus, along with co-producers Against the Grain Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Alberta are developing Christoph Willibald Gluck’s most famous work, Orphée et Eurydice (Berlioz version). Premiering in 1762, the opera was in the vanguard, changing the way that the musical form was experienced. Opera Columbus’ interpretation of the piece – while staying true to the music and feel of the Baroque original – will place the work firmly in the 21st century with new electronic orchestration, baroque burlesque dancers, sopranos singing from silks, and aerial dancers. Most importantly, the co-producers are seeking singers of all types who are interested in becoming part of the production’s virtual chorus. 

“We are reaching out globally for interested participants to video-record themselves singing designated parts of Orphée et Eurydice. We will select 100 of these entries and, for the run of this production, these singers will become ‘virtual’ members of our company,” said Peggy Kriha Dye, Artistic Director of Opera Columbus. “We are looking to innovate and transform the way that this spectacular opera – which was cutting-edge when it first premiered  is presented and experienced.” 

Opera Columbus, Against the Grain Theatre, and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity are looking for singers to record their voice type to three excerpts from the opera. The submitted videos will be stitched together, then projected onto the set and sound mixed to synch with the live orchestra. 

Vocalists, crooners, and divas of all varieties can access links for videos on the requirements for videotaping, French diction, and specifics for timing, as well as the sheet music, at operacolumbus.org. The process should take about 30 minutes. After the participants have followed the instructions and completed the video to satisfaction, they can upload their entry onto the website, along with their name, address, and a brief description of their background.  Entrants will be informed in due time if their performance made the cut. 

Questions can be emailed to virtualchorus@operacolumbus.org. The deadline for submission is January 15, 2018. 

"As far as we know, this concept hasn't been applied to opera and we're excited to see the possibilities that can exist from a visual, technical, and ultimately, musical standpoint.  If you've ever wanted to sing in an opera, this could the easiest way in," said Joel Ivany, Founder and Artistic Director of Against the Grain Theatre.  

Opera Columbus’ co-production of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice will take place on April 20 and 22, 2018 at the Southern Theatre, with the Columbus Symphony providing orchestration. The opera will also be performed in Toronto, Ontario, and Banff, Alberta. A video of the production itself will be subsequently uploaded to YouTube.com. 

For more information, please contact: 

Sarah Irvin
Irvin Public Relations

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity:  Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. banffcentre.ca