FAWN Opera

Seeing Sound: FAWN Opera’s Synesthesia III


“I’ve had people come up to us at the last Synesthesia, elated, saying they had no idea classical music could sound like this.” ~ Amanda Smith

$20 (General) / $15 (Under 30) at FAWN Opera

Synesthesia is a condition where one kind of stimulus produces both the expected response — hearing a trumpet or smelling an orange, for instance — but also an unrelated experience: Synesthetes can “hear” smells and “see” sounds.

Synesthesia is also the upcoming performance by FAWN Opera, taking place at 8pm tonight (Saturday, May 3), at the Brockton Collective Studio (442 Dufferin Street Studio M). The aim of the performance? To bring contemporary short films and new classical music together.

In collaboration with an online cinema magazine, The Seventh Art, Synesthesia III will pair eight short films by Canadian filmmakers—Sofia Bohdanowicz, Stephen Broomer, Dan Browne, Liam Crockard, Christine Lucy Latimer, Eva Kolcze, Blake Williams—with eight classical pieces, composed especially for each film by Canadian composers Patrick Arteaga, Massimo Guida, Trevor Hewer, James Lowrie, Amanda Lowry, Chris Thornborrow and Patrick Murray, who also happens to be FAWN’s music director.

Read on…

Fawn draws full house at Scime’s L’Homme et le Ciel preview


On Friday night at the Ernest Balmer Studio in the Distillery District, FAWN Opera premiered excerpts of Adam Scime’s L’Homme et le Ciel, which has been intensively developed overly a one-week workshop. The venue, sponsored by Tapestry New Opera Works, accommodated a standing-room-only audience for this electro-acoustic chamber opera.

The music in Scime’s L’Homme et le Ciel features use of electronics alongside a chamber ensemble of piano, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, and percussion and extended techniques. The text draws on the text from a 2nd century early-Christian myth entitled “The Shepherd of Hermas”, which was suggested by his friend Ian Koiter, who is currently a doctoral candidate studying early Christianity. Read on…

The Next Generation of Indie Opera Companies in Toronto

“Opera has the best chance out of all the performing arts to engage those new audiences, because it’s at the extreme end of the live performance spectrum.” ~ Michael Mori, Artistic Director of Tapestry New Opera


Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the “indie opera potluck”, a get-together of independent opera companies that have recently emerged in Toronto. Michael Mori, artistic director of Tapestry New Opera initiated the first one back in January, and this second event was hosted by Rachel Krehm, general manager of Opera Five.

“Do the companies here mind sharing when they actually got started?” Maureen Batt of Essential Opera asked on a hunch during a discussion between courses.

It turns out that almost all the companies represented — FAWN opera, Bicycle Opera Project, Against the Grain, Metro Youth Opera, and montreal-based Opera da Camera — were founded in 2010 or shortly after, a social phenomenon that had caught the attention of Christina Loewen, executive director of Opera.ca, who was also in attendance.

Read on…

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