Sweat
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a cappella opera [70’] 2016
soloists: 2 soprani, mezzo-soprano & baritone
chorus: 2 soprani, 3 mezzi

 

“The depiction of the women’s collective experience resonated most powerfully in the rhythmic ensemble evocations—sung and spoken—of the soul-destroying daily grind…and the slowly unfolding, overlapping textures of voices yearning for a better life.” —Wall Street Journal

Librettist: Anna Chatterton
Commissioner:
Soundstreams Canada
Funders: Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts

New York Premiere Production
Center for Contemporary Opera in cooperation with Urbanvessel. National Sawdust, New York, October 26-27, 2016.
Director
Giselle Ty conductor Lidiya Kankovskaya choreographer Nicole Pearce set design Frank Oliva costumes Asa Benally lighting Bruce Steinberg stage manager Jeromy Hunt
Featuring: Larissa Koniuk, Shabnam Kalbasi, Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, Patrick McNally and Eric McKeever
Chorus: Isabella Dawis, Katya Gruzglina, Leanne Gonzalez-Singer, Christine Duncan and Hanne Dollase

Canadian Touring Production
Bicycle Opera Project, August 2017

Director Baņuta Rubess conductor Geoffrey Sirrett choreographer Jennifer Nichols designer Sonja Rainey lighting Kai Masaoka stage manager Julia Howman
Featuring: Stephanie Tritchew, Keith Lam, Larissa Koniuk and Catherine Daniel
Chorus: Cindy Won, Caitlin Wood, Justine Owen, Stephanie Tritchew and Emma Char

Program note:
“Made in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Italy, China, India…the U.S.A.”  Who sews our clothes, who makes our shoes? Where do they live? How much are they paid? What would you dream of, sewing sleeves all day? Is life better in the village you left behind? Sweat is a kaleidoscope of characters and stories collected from factories around the world. Plunging headfirst into the ethical conundrums of the garment trade, the work offers a window into the lives of the unseen millions who work to clothe us and the high-flying designers whose fantasies feed the fashion industry.

Photos: Dahlia Katz, Bicycle Opera Production