Open Space: Opera in the 21st Century.

A Little Too Cozy

Program dates: June 22, 2015 - July 26, 2015

Application deadline: October 29, 2014

A partnership between The Banff Centre, Against the Grain Theatre, and the Canadian Opera Company

Program Information

Faculty: Joel Ivany - Stage Director/Program Director, Christopher Mokrzewski - Music Director, A Little Too Cozy, Alexander Neef - General Director, Canadian Opera Company, Russell Braun - Vocal Coach, Daniel MacIvor - Performance Practice, Judith Forst - Voice, Michael McMahon - Senior Répétiteur/Coach, James Rolfe - Composer, Crush, Anna Chatterton - Librettist, Crush, Amiel Gladstone - Director, Crush, Mark Morris - Guest Faculty, Frederica Von Stade - David Spencer Distinguished Master Artist,
Participants: Brent Calis - (Bass) Guglielmo, A Little Too Cozy, Shantelle Przybylo - (Soprano) - Fiordiligi, A Little Too Cozy, Cairan Ryan - (Baritone) - Don Alfonso, A Little Too Cozy, Aaron Sheppard - (Tenor) - Ferrando, A Little Too Cozy, Pascale Spinney - (Mezzo Soprano) - Dorabella, A Little Too Cozy, Caitlin Wood - (Soprano) - Despina, A Little Too Cozy, Pasquale D'Alessio - (Tenor) Otto, Crush and Ferrando (cover), A Little Too Cozy, Clarence A Frazer - (Baritone) - Matt, Crush and Guglielmo (cover), A Little Too Cozy, Ellen McAteer - (Soprano) - Lola, Crush and Despina (cover), A Little Too Cozy, Simone McIntosh - (Mezzo) - Donna, Crush and Dorabella (cover), A Little Too Cozy, Samantha Pickett - (Soprano) - Anna, Crush and Fiordiligi (cover), A Little Too Cozy, Bruno Roy - (Baritone) - Sam, Crush and Don Alfonso (cover), A Little Too Cozy, Jack Olszewski - Répétiteur,

Open Space: Opera in the 21st Century

A partnership between The Banff Centre, Against the Grain Theatre, and the Canadian Opera Company

Open Space is a one-of-a-kind performance-based collaborative training experience for emerging opera professionals that truly challenges the conventions of opera performance, production, and design. 

The program will accept 13 young professionals for a 5-week intensive residency devoted to practical skill extension and development, while participating in A Little Too Cozy, a modern interpretation of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. This adaptation will feature a new English libretto written by Against the Grain Theatre's artistic director Joel Ivany.  The program will also mount a workshop of James Rolfe and Anna Chatterton's new opera Crush, an English-language re-imagining of Mozart’s Don Giovanni commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company. The program offers space for 12 singers and 1 assistant répétiteur.

The focus of Open Space is to impart the skills of tomorrow to the young opera professionals of today. The stellar faculty is comprised of Against the Grain artists and internationally recognized professionals from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines.  The program features the unique opportunity for participants to meet and work with Alexander Neef, general director of the Canadian Opera Company during concentrated sessions.

Each week will balance rehearsals, regular performance opportunities in the community, and collaborative skill exchange between faculty and artists.

A Little Too Cozy (Così fan tutte)

The premise is simple.  Find true love, win $100,000!  The catch: you can't see your match...until after you've agreed to tie the knot.  Don Alfonso, founder and host of "A Little Too Cozy" (the newest reality TV dating show) meets up with two of the program’s male contestants. They're in the final stages of the game show as they plan on getting married and will soon meet their brides-to-be for the first time.  Alfonso presents them with their last challenge stating that their brides will, under the right circumstances, prove to be unfaithful.  The men accept this final challenge knowing that the $100,000 is as good as theirs.  What they don't expect is the price they will pay to find true love.

Against the Grain Theatre’s A Little Too Cozy will be a modern, English adaptation of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Against the Grain Theatre productions are well known for being intimate, visceral, and always engaging. This promises to be no different.

Search #ALittleTooCozy to follow us on twitter.

The roles will include:

  • Don Alfonso - (bass/bass-baritone)  the host of A Little Too Cozy, the newest reality television dating game show.  
  • Despina - (soprano), who works at "A Little Too Cozy" as the liason for the women.  
  • Fiordiligi - (soprano), who works at an ad agency and is looking for love as contestant on "A Little Too Cozy."     
  • Dorabella - (mezzo-soprano), who works in same advertising firm as her sister Fiordiligi.  She is also a contestant on "A Little Too Cozy".  
  • Ferrando - (tenor), a trader who is a contestant on "A Little Too Cozy."
  • Guglielmo - (baritone), best friend of Ferrando and a salesman.  Also on "A Little Too Cozy."

More about Against the Grain Theatre

Against the Grain is a cutting-edge Canadian theatre collective dedicated to presenting classical and contemporary musical repertoire in innovative ways and unconventional spaces. Comprising Joel Ivany, Christopher Mokrzewski, Caitlin Coull, Miriam Khalil, Nina Draganic, Nikki Tremblay, Allison Bent, and Cecily Carver at its core, the wider but tightly-knit Against the Grain community includes musicians, actors, dancers, visual artists, photographers and arts professionals.

Find out more about Against the Grain Theatre at:, follow them on twitter @atgtheatre, and like them on Facebook at


The program will also undertake a workshop of Crush, a new opera by James Rolfe (music) and Anna Chatterton (libretto), commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company. Six singers covering the roles in A Little Too Cozy will be cast in principal roles in Crush.

Set in a downtown sex club, Crush follows the amorous adventures of Donna and the trail of carnage she leaves behind. Her lover Matt is jilted and then murdered, newlyweds Anna and Otto are ravished then played against each other, and Matt's young daughter Lola is romanced and cruelly rejected. But fate awaits Donna when Matt's ghost delivers her to a beach and a chorus of watery supernatural beings. Challenged to mend her ways, Donna defies them and dives into the lake. Lovestruck Lola follows and clings fast to Donna, and both are drowned.  

With original music and words by James Rolfe and Anna Chatterton, Crush is a 21st century Don Juan tale, starring a trickster antihero who crushes lives and hearts at whim—an edgy dark comedy for sexually confused times.

 The roles will include:

  • Donna (mezzo) - rich club regular
  • Sam (high baritone) - Donna’s assistant
  • Matt (bass baritone) - yesterday's lover of Donna
  • Lola (soprano) - Matt’s 18-year-old daughter
  • Otto (tenor) - earnest would-be swinger, married to Anna
  • Anna (soprano) - ditto, married to Otto
  • Chorus (SATB) - cool club partiers and tough dyke bouncers

Audition Tour

The Banff Centre will be holding live auditions in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver between November 17 – 21, 2014.

This program is a partnership between The Banff Centre, Against the Grain Theatre, and the Canadian Opera Company.



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All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of The Banff Centre.