Against the Grain Theatre to Present ‘Messiah / Complex’

By David Salazar

Against the Grain Theatre is set to present “Messiah / Complex” on Dec. 13.

The reimagining of Handel’s famed piece will feature a partnership with Toronto Symphony Orchestra and will be co-directed by Joel Ivany, Founding Director of Against the Grain, and Reneltta Arluk, Director of Indigenous Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

The performance lasts 70 minutes and is conducted by Johannes Debus. It includes a diverse cast of soloists and choirs from every province and territory across Canada. The showcase will include multilanguage translations, including Dene, Inuktitut, Souther Tutchone, Arabic, and French.

Among the performers are Jonathon Adams (AB), Looee Arreak (NU), Jully Black (ON), Spencer Britten (BC), Rihab Chaieb (QC), Deantha Edmunds (NL), Leela Gilday (NT), Miriam Khalil (ON), Andrea Lett (SK), Diyet van Lieshout (YT), Julie Lumsden (MB) and Elliot Madore (ON); featured choirs include Le Choeur Louisbourg (NB), the Halifax Camerata Singers (NS), the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (ON), and the University of Prince Edward Island Chamber Chorus (PEI).

“In response to COVID-19 restrictions, AtG has pivoted, recognizing a valuable opportunity to work alongside incredible artists and organizations across our country,” Ivany said regarding the inception of the project. “To support, employ, and collaborate with artists from coast to coast on this unifying project has given us hope — something we all seem to need in this fragile moment.”

Watch it here.