Oct 11, 2019 @ 7:30 pm
The Queen In Me
A work-in-progress performance for AMPLIFY, The Queen In Me is an exploration of the ways in which the classical music world tries to control and limit queerness, gender expressions, and identities. This one-person show features soprano Teiya Kasahara as the Queen of the Night who, after 228 years, has finally decided to reclaim their narrative and challenge the patriarchy. The show is accompanied by Trevor Chartrand, and directed by Andrea Donaldson. This work is currently in development with Amplified Opera and Theatre Gargantua is projected to have its world premiere in Toronto in the 2020/21 season. For more info visit www.teiyakasahara.com/the-queen-in-me.
Teiya Kasahara (they/them), a biracial, masculine non-binary female artist, takes inspiration from their career as a professional opera singer alongside their lived experiences as a queer, feminist, person of colour to re-imagine the Queen of the Night, one of opera’s most infamous fallen women, and places her in the centre of a metaphor for silenced and discarded women everywhere. The curtain rises mid-performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, at the beginning of the Queen of the Night’s highly anticipated aria, “Der Hölle Rache”. However, this time, the work comes to a halt as the Queen stakes a stand against her expected traditional female narrative and tells her story in her own words for the first time – at a cost.
Each evening will feature a lecture-recital followed by a talk-back panel with additional guest panelists to give audience members a chance to further explore the themes discussed in each concert. Talk-back panels will be curated and hosted by Margaret Cormier. Audience Activation points to create an interactive experience will be designed by Matthew Vaile.
In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, AO has decided to create an online program for AMPLIFY: The Queen In Me.
Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野
creator / performer
Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野 (they/them) is a queer, gender non-binary, multi-disciplinary performer/creator, and first-generation Nikkei-Canadian of Japanese and German roots. Teiya comes from a background of over 12 years of singing both contemporary and traditional operatic roles across North America and Europe from Aspen to Toulon and Essen to Vancouver including an “impeccable” (Review Vancouver) Queen of the Night/The Magic Flute. As a dramatic coloratura soprano, Teiya has been praised as a “force of nature” (Toronto Star) and a “magnetic performer” singing with “a dynamic mix of sweetness undercut by strength” (Opera Canada) in roles such as Lady Macbeth/Macbeth (Opera Niagara), Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni (Music Niagara, Westben Arts Centre) and Solana/When the Sun Comes Out (Queer Arts Festival). International credits include Tytania/A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Aspen Opera), Fata Morgana/The Love of Three Oranges (Essen), and currently Flora Sandes/Dead Equal (Edinburgh Festival Fringe).
As a creator, Teiya’s first ever opera-inspired theatre piece The Queen In Me reflects their passion to revolutionize and queer the operatic art-form which will premiere in 2020 in Toronto. This work and their new work YORU Project 夜の女王 (The Queer* of the Night) are currently in development as a co-pro between Theatre Gargantua’s SideStream Cycle and Amplified Opera, where Teiya holds the position of co-artistic director with director/producer/writer Aria Umezawa. Their inaugural concert series AMPLIFY will launch this October in Toronto.
Teiya is an apprentice with Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers, a founding member of Queer AF Collective, and founder of The Vocal Dōjō. For the 2019/20 Teiya is Nightwood Theatre’s Artist in Residence. Performances will include The Wager (Theatre Gargantua), Revolt. She said. Revolt Again. (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre), and the soprano solo in Beethoven’s Ninth (Kingston Symphony). For more info and latest news visit www.teiyakasahara.com or follow @teiyakasahara.
Dr. Trevor Chartrand is an active collaborative pianist, and maintains a private studio in Toronto, Ontario. Most recently, Trevor performed Carmen with Julie Nesrallah’s production of Carmen on Tap here in Toronto. He also had the opportunity to perform at the Toronto Summer Music Festival with Collectìf in July. Earlier in the summer of 2019, Trevor was the coach and repetiteur for the premiere of a queer contemporary Canadian opera called Pomegranate Opera. In December of 2018, Trevor curated and performed the “Songs of the Season” concert at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts with students from the University of Toronto. Earlier in 2018, Trevor performed Schubert’s Winterreise at Tongue in Cheek Production’s inaugural concert, where “the quality of singing in this supercharged rendition of Schubert’s shattering opus was overwhelmingly applaudable it was, in no small measure, due to Chartrand’s generosity of spirit and brilliance” –operagoto. Trevor was also part of the inaugural concert of the Linden Project in Hamilton, Ontario. In the summer of 2018, Trevor was repetiteur and coach for Opera 5’s production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Trevor also had the opportunity to record at the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) for both “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30” and the Royal Conservatory’s Rebanks’ Fellowship Program. In 2017, he performed an international contemporary recital tour with the Eckhardt-Gramatté winner. Previously this year, he worked at the Orford Music Festival as a collaborative pianist for a violin studio. Also in the summer of 2017, he worked as a repetiteur for Opera 5’s production “Suffragette: Fête Galante and Boatswain’s Mate by Dame Ethel Smyth”. This was his second year with Opera 5 after having been repetiteur for 2016’s production of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. In 2016, Trevor also served as repetiteur, music coach, and continuo performer for University of Michigan’s production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte in the spring of 2016.
He is also active internationally as he was music director in Périgueux, France in the summers of 2015 and 2016 at the Franco American Vocal Academy (FAVA). There, he oversaw the musical preparation of four operas including Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, and Gounod’s Mireille in addition to performing the orchestral piano part during performances. In the summer of 2014, Trevor worked as the music director and performance pianist for Cowtown Opera’s production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, in Calgary, Alberta. In 2013, Trevor was the head coach for UWOpera’s (University of Western Ontario) production of the Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and was the music director for the London Opera Guild Scholarship Concert series, in London, Ontario. Previously with UWOpera’s program, Trevor was repetiteur and music coach for Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, and Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Trevor was also rehearsal pianist for Theatre Western’s production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, in 2006.
In addition to being active in the operatic community, Trevor is a passionate recital performer in both vocal and chamber music having performed the complete works for violin and piano by Sergei Prokofiev as his final dissertation recital at the University of Michigan. Also included in Trevor’s recital credits, is a lecture recital on the life and vocal works of Viktor Ullmann. In 2015, Trevor had the opportunity to perform a portion of Crumb’s Apparition in the Song of America Conference. This pilot event was broadcast live at the Manhattan School of Music in association with the Hampsong Foundation. In Toronto, Trevor maintains an active recital career at the University of Toronto, but also performs outreach concerts for assisted living, and low income communities with the Royal Conservatory’s Rebanks’ Fellowship Program singers. He is also an active member and performer with the Health Arts Society’s Concerts in Care program, having performed in Ontario, and in British Columbia.
On top of extensively travelling around the world, taking part in summer programs, and having performed in Canada, the United States, across Europe, and Australia, Trevor has adjudicated for ORMTA (Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association) zone competitions, and contemporary showcase competitions in both voice and piano, across Ontario. He has also given public masterclasses in Ontario, at arts high schools in Toronto, and also gave an art song masterclass at the University of Western Ontario, as part of the “Voice Fridays” series.
Trevor attended school in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the University of Michigan where he obtained, in 2017, a Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in collaborative piano under the tutelage of Professor Martin Katz. Trevor holds an undergraduate degree in solo piano performance, and a Masters degree in collaborative piano, both from the University of Western Ontario. In addition to these degrees, Trevor completed a French Business Certificate at the University of Western Ontario, and holds his Associate degree (ARCT) in solo piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Andrea Donaldson is the artistic director of Nightwood Theatre in Toronto, Canada’s leading feminist theatre company.
Born and raised in Toronto, Andrea Donaldson has directed productions for theatres across the country including Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Theatre Direct, Great Canadian Theatre Company, Festival Players in Prince Edward County, NTS, SummerWorks, St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare in the Ruff, Espace René-Provost, Toronto Fringe, Red Sky Performance, and Nightwood Theatre. Over the past decade Donaldson has played a pivotal role in fostering new Canadian plays, both in her role as Tarragon’s Associate Artistic Director and as the program Director for Nightwood Theatre’s Write from the Hip program – a unit for exceptional emerging playwrights, in which she developed Rose Napoli’s Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells), Grace by Jane Doe, and Every Day She Rose by Andrea Scott and Nick Green.
Andrea was invited into The Stratford Festival’s Michael Langham Workshop in Classical Direction assisting Chris Abraham on The Matchmaker and Othello, and was honoured with Stratford’s Jean Gascon Award for Direction. She won the Best Director Award at the International Youth Drama Month in Shenzhen, China for Mistatim, which has played to over 500,000 children internationally. Andrea has been nominated twice each for the Pauline McGibbon Award, the John Hirsch Directing Award and the Gina Wilkinson Award, and has received a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance & Outstanding Production for performing in the Urge Collective collaboration of And By the Way, Miss (Theatre Direct).
Sadie Epstein-Fine (They/She) is a second-generation queer artist and activist. They are a freelance director, playwright and choreographer. Recent credits include: Eraser (Director/Choreographer/Playwright, 2019 Riser Project, DORA Nominations: Outstanding director, New Play, Production), Cleave (Director, Forward March Festival, Theatre Direct) Motherload (Director/Dramaturg, 2018 Rhubarb Festival), SCAT (Director/Playwright, Laugh Serious Theatre), Tire Swing (Director, Filament Incubator/Epigraph Collective). Companies that Sadie has had the pleasure of working with include Canadian Stage, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Quote Unquote Collective, Theatre Panik, and Theatre Sheridan. Sadie recently edited Spawning Generation: Rants and Reflections on Growing Up with LGBTQ+ Parents, published by Demeter Press, which was named one of the Top 10 book of 2018 by NOW Magazine and was nominated for 2018 LAMBDA and Forward Indies awards.
The Guest Panelists
Mezzo-soprano Camille Rogers (they/them) has been praised for their “tremendous stage presence” and “real flair for comedy” as well as their “gathered sound” and the “striking clarity" of their coloratura. In 2019 Camille appeared as Aeneas with OperaQ (Dido and Aeneas), and as Suli/Suzie in Buddies in Bad Times’s world premiere of Pomegranate. Previous engagements include the role of Lake in FAWN's collectively improvised techno opera, Belladonna, Young Girl with Opera Atelier (Marriage of Figaro), and the title role in L’Italiana in Algeri with MYOpera. Camille has been featured as a soloist with the Toronto Bach Festival, Centric MusicFest, and Cor Unum Ensemble. They hold both a Master of Music and a Master of Arts in Musicology from the University of Toronto, and have been the recipient of several major academic awards, including the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, the Alberta Heritage Fund Arts Graduate Scholarship, and the Janet Stubbs Graduate Fellowship in Opera. Camille currently studies at the University of Toronto, pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts with a Collaborative Specialization in Sexual Diversity Studies. Their research investigates how potentially problematic historical works of music theatre can be transformed and made relevant to today's audiences through the bodies of modern queer performers.