Wychwood Theatre, Toronto, Ontario
What will they say about us when we’re gone? Imagine a future where insects rule the earth. Our story takes place on the crumbling steps of the Paris Opera House, where a curious collective of bugs find a copy of Puccini’s Tosca. Enthralled by the mystical symbols, but bewildered by human emotions, they risk everything to find some value in the buried and forbidden human legacy.
Five time Dora Award winning costume designer Teresa Przybylski working in collaboration with AC Lighting’s JF Canuel and his team of engineers created costumes utilizing the latest in embedded, wireless LED technology. Interactive Media Artist Don Sinclair brought life to the design through his own developments in 3D capture and integration of digital projections, as well as real-time voice manipulation.
Staged as a live graphic novel, Jimmy Zhang brought his artistic talents to creating its visual world, while award winning Danish Composer Thomas Sandberg brought his musical expertise to re-composing Puccini’s Tosca for insects, taking into consideration their imagined interpretation of music and their idiosyncratic voices.
Out of the Box Productions pulled-together a stellar cast to play the insect characters. Toronto’s Chris Karczmar played the ever-inquiring “Bott” (dungbeetle/stinkbug). Opera’s Neema Bickersteth, whom Opera Canada has described as having “amazing control of her vocal palette” portrayed the lovely but resolute “Flit” (firefly/dragonfly). The dutiful “Klik” (stickbug/preying mantis), was played by Thistle Project’s multi-talented Matthew Romantini.