Featured Artists and Guests
Composer Abigail Richardson-Schulte was born in Oxford, England, and moved to Canada as a child. Ironically, she was diagnosed incurably deaf at five years old, but, upon moving to Canada her hearing was fully intact within months. Her music has been commissioned and performed by major orchestras, presenters, music festivals and broadcasters including the Festival Présences of Paris. Abigail won first at the prestigious UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers with broadcasts in 35 countries. She won the CBC Karen Kieser Prize, Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Opera, Quenten Doolittle Award, CMC Prairie Region Award and the City of Hamilton Arts Award. Abigail has been Affiliate Composer with the TSO and curated for their New Creations Festival. In 2012, she wrote a piece on the classic Canadian story, “The Hockey Sweater” by Roch Carrier, in the country’s first triple co-commission by the TSO, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. This orchestral “hit” has had over 150 performances in Canada and 14 performances in France. A recording of the work has been released on the Centrediscs label in both French and English with Roch Carrier and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. Other notable orchestral works include: a WWI memorial piece, “Song of the Poets”, with choir and orchestra for NACO’s UK tour, and a complete children’s orchestra concert of Dennis Lee’s “Alligator Pie”. Abigail has a busy schedule as a composer, teaches composition at the University of Toronto, and is in her ninth year as Composer-in-Residence with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.
Alexis Diamond is an anglophone theatre artist, librettist, lyricist, translator, dramaturg and theatre curator working on both sides of Montréal’s linguistic divide. Her award-winning plays, operas and translations for audiences of all ages have been presented across Canada, in the U.S. and in Europe. Her translation of Pascal Brullemans’ plays for young audiences, Amaryllis and Little Witch (Playwrights Canada Press), was shortlisted for the 2020 Governor General’s Award. Perfect Screw (Tapestry New Opera), the mid-length opera created with Abigail Richardson-Schulte, received a Dora nomination in 2009.
Other recent family-friendly musical works include Making Light (2018), also with Richardson-Schulte,for Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; Zoom-Boom-Boom (2009), an electroacoustic piece for very young audiences created with Stephanie Moore for Jeunesses Musicales Canada; the widely-toured opera Get Stuffed! (2008), with Richard Payne, for Tapestry/Words in Motion; Enid and the Swans (2005), with James Rolfe, an operatic adaptation of “The Ugly Duckling,” for Soundstreams/Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus. Since 2011, Alexis has translated more than a dozen concert-plays for Jeunesses Musicales Canada.
Alexis has a B.A. Honours in English and Creative Writing from Concordia University and an M.A. in English Literature from the Université de Montréal.
Amanda Cordner—actress, clown, dancer, singer, theatre creator, playwright and filmmaker— graduated from York University with a BFA in Theatre and has not looked back. Her play Body So Fluorescent (co created with David Di Giovanni) debuted at Summerworks, (awards for Outstanding Production, Play, and Direction) and will be remounted in 2022 at the High Performance Rodeo in Calgary. Amanda won the Jon Kaplan Spotlight Award for Outstanding Performance and was one of NOW magazine’s Top Ten Theatre Artists of 2018. She continues to partner with independent theatre companies and performance artists. As a television performer, Amanda has garnered enthusiastic reviews for her breakthrough performance as 7ven in the hit CBC/HBOMax television series SORT OF. She is also featured on Slo Pitch, The Expanse, The Baroness von Sketch Show, and Odd Squad. As an audio book storyteller-you can hear her in The Beguiling (Zsuzsi Gartner). Amanda lives in Toronto and loves to dance.
Jordan Laffrenier is an award-winning director, producer, playwright, dramaturg and educator. He is currently the Associate Artistic Director of Prime Mover Theatre Company, the Artistic Producer of Theatre Sheridan and the Co-Program Coordinator of Musical Theatre Performance at Sheridan College.
He has held many musical theatre development roles in New York City, Los Angeles and Toronto, including Amélie on Broadway, Paradise Square/ Hard Times (Berkeley Repertory Theatre California), Sousatska (Tiberius Entertainment) and as co-dramaturg of Cahoot’s Theatre Company’s flagship HotHouse Program.
As the founding Artistic Director of Then They Fight Theatre, a dramaturgically based theatre company dedicated to developing new work from the initial spark of an idea into a fully realized production. Through Then They Fight, Jordan has produced work that has continued development with Cahoots, Factory, Soulpepper and more. Two of the shows that were incubated through Then They Fight Theatre won Dora Awards this year.
He is an advocate of theatre that supports the community on and off stage and has partnered theatre productions directly with local charities such as The Mental Health Coalition in Hamilton and Vibe Arts (where he is an artist mentor).
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Directed by Elisa Citterio
Amanda Cordner Narrator
Jordan Laffrenier Stage Director
Alyssa Martin Assistant Director
Glenn Davidson Set Designer
Fox Procenko Lighting Designer
Jennifer Goodman Costume Designer
Season Presenting Sponsor
In this blog post, get to know more about the guest artists behind The Gull, the Raccoon, and the Last Maple.
Below, explore more content related to this program.
Fun for Kids
Behind the music from The Gull, the Raccoon, and the Last Maple