From The House of the Dead Rehearsals

Yeh, life is busy. What’s been ruling my time of late is rehearsals for the Canadian Opera Company‘s brand new, never performed before production of Janacek’s From the House of the Dead. I’ve been rehearsing ad nauseam, with yesterday’s example being a rehearsal that went from 2:30-6:00pm and then again from 7:30-11:00pm. I managed to snap a shot on break of the new set, hidden behind Arthur, our piano accompanyist.


The set is essentially a massive chicken wire cage made of iron that exists on three levels. The deck (where you see the banquet table and the red chairs), the cages below where the prisoners live and then a flying bridge that sits above the deck. As we are still at the COC’s rehearsal hall at the Tanenbaum Opera Centre, we are unable to use the flying bridge yet. That will start next Monday when we move across to the Four Season’s Centre for the Performing Arts.

The opera is nontraditional in that it is essentially a series of vignettes about prison life. My role is twofold. For Acts 1 and 2, I am a guard and will be stationed up in the flying bridge. Then in Act 3, the bridge descends to the deck and I morph into an Eastern orthodox priest (imagine, me a priest! … now that is an act for sure) where I go about giving last rites to the dying prisoners.

The music is challenging and while I would not recommend this opera for a first-time opera goer, I would heartily encourage all you Torontonians to get out and purchase a ticket. Especially you lads. The opera is essentially a live version of an episode of Oz with over 100 male prisoners of every age, size, ethnic make-up and shape romping about the stage dressed in loincloths! They fight together, sleep together, shower together!, and in Act 2 they enact a play within the opera that has elements which are … well, let me just say, VERY sexually explicit.

The opera is only 1 hour and 30 minutes long with no intermission. Musical excerpts can be found here (for those highbrow readers). We open Saturday, February 2nd and the last performance is Friday, February 22nd.

Com’on out and see AppsScraps live and on stage!

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4 Responses to From The House of the Dead Rehearsals

  1. ElusiveWords says:

    I suppose it would be bad taste if we all went “Hi Brent!” while you’re on the stage.

  2. brooklyn2028 says:

    Oh wow! I didn’t know you were doing the opera! That’s pretty damn cool. Good luck. Too bad I’m not a fan of opera. :P

  3. CurryPuffy says:

    Wow, AppsScraps on stage!! A must see!!Awww….too bad I’m in LA!! ><

  4. Fatcat723 says:

    Sounds interesting. I would certainly love to see it. Do you give singed photos.

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