We are opening up the Gladstone August 19-31 to Volcano Theatre as they stage the moving opera, A Synonym for Love, that travels (with the audience) throughout the hotel!
A Synonym for Love is an innovative, site-specific opera experience making it’s Canadian premiere here at the Gladstone. With a modernized English libretto and a live Baroque orchestra playing period-specific instruments (like the harpsichord!), three singers will lead their audiences through the hallways, bedrooms, bathrooms and bars of the hotel exploring the inevitability – and the impossibility – of love.
In 1707, at age 21, a young genius named George Frideric Handel moved to Italy and composed a stunning cantata, experimenting with musical and dramatic forms titled Clori, Tirsi e Fileno. The cantata was never staged and, when the composer died, it was thought lost to history.
In 1960, a single complete copy was discovered in Germany. Now, in 2012, Volcano and Classical Music Consort are reimagining Handel’s love-triangle for Toronto audiences.
Volcano’s Version: Three guests are staying at the historic Gladstone Hotel in Toronto – one of the most beautiful boutique hotels in the city. A woman is at the bar ordering drinks. A man is waiting at a table for her to return. She looks at him, and sings of her love. Another woman – who has just checked in, and who also happens to be the first woman’s lover – enters. She sees the couple, and, enraged, storms out, and up to her room.
This is the beginning of our love triangle. In our version, the two sopranos remain women – one is gay, one is bisexual. The man is straight, and feeling threatened. Everyone is at the same hotel. They all sing like angels.
A Synonym for Love will be sung in a new English version by award-winning writer, and internationally recognized theatre maker Deborah Pearson. Arranged specifically for the Gladstone, every single ticket sold will be specific to one of the three main characters. Each audience member will follow that character for the entire performance, making, in effect, three audiences that weave through the hotel.
Audiences will meet whenever there are duets or trios, or whenever one character is eavesdropping on another with scenes happening in stairways, bedrooms, hallways and bathrooms, alleyways and bars and more.
Don’t forget to join us for a pre-opera dinner and take advantage of the special A Synonym for Love Prix Fixe menu (advanced tickets here). And stay tuned to the blog for a closer look at A Synonym for Love’s talented cast.