Corktown’s Jordan de Souza bringing hardcore punk band F*cked Up to Tapestry Opera

News Nov 17, 2015 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

It takes big talent and a youthful sensibility to bring opera into the 21st century, and Toronto-based Tapestry Opera is banking on Corktown resident Jordan de Souza having both.

The opera company is now entering its 36th season, with de Souza taking the reins as conductor in residence. The St. Michael’s Choir School graduate certainly has musical chops. In 2008, he was awarded the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ Fellowship Degree at 19, becoming the youngest recipient of the honour ever.

He said he hopes that talent helps him lead Tapestry in its goal of keeping opera fresh.

“The whole idea behind Tapestry is to bring operatic theatre creatively in new ways that people wouldn’t expect,” de Souza said. “You have to have openness – an open mind – and when I met with (Tapestry), we hit it off right away.”

His curriculum vitae reads like a who’s who of major Canadian classical music companies, featuring stints with the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet of Canada, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and several others.

He credits his parents with instilling a love of music in him at an early age.

“My mother and father were absolutely lovers of music and they supported the idea of me being in school studying whatever my passion was,” he said. “They encouraged me to try things out and if I fell on my face, they encouraged me to keep trying.”

He noted that working with Tapestry will bring him out of his wheelhouse as the company veers from standards such as Bach and Verdi toward fare that promises to appeal to long-time opera fans and young crowds unfamiliar with the world of opera alike.

Tapestry’s penchant for taking risks is perhaps most evident in its upcoming collaboration with Polaris Prize-winning hardcore punk band F*cked Up as part of the Tapestry Explorations program. Dubbed Tap:Ex METALLURGY, the shows certainly do not fit the standard mold when it comes to opera.

“There’s this idea out there that says we should be treating this music like museum pieces, but instead we like to treat them like living, breathing organisms,” de Souza said. “We’re going to do two sets – one led by me and my team doing things our way and another where (F*cked Up) takes over.”

de Souza will play keyboard in the show, though he said it will be a new experience performing that genre of music.

“I’m a guy who doesn’t know much about popular music,” he said. “With modern music, a lot of bands write songs by getting together and jamming it out, which is definitely not the way we go about it, but harmonies and structures come out of that way of doing things just as effectively.”

The Corktown resident’s first season as Tapestry Opera’s conductor-in-residence will also feature Rocking Horse Winner, based on a story by D.H. Lawrence, along with a series of other new and innovative shows.

Tap:Ex METALLURGY will run from Nov. 19 through 21 at the Ernest Balmer Studio, 9 Trinity St. For tickets or information, visit www.tapestryopera.com

Corktown’s Jordan de Souza bringing hardcore punk band F*cked Up to Tapestry Opera

Tap:Ex METALLUGY offers two sets - traditional and modern

News Nov 17, 2015 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

It takes big talent and a youthful sensibility to bring opera into the 21st century, and Toronto-based Tapestry Opera is banking on Corktown resident Jordan de Souza having both.

The opera company is now entering its 36th season, with de Souza taking the reins as conductor in residence. The St. Michael’s Choir School graduate certainly has musical chops. In 2008, he was awarded the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ Fellowship Degree at 19, becoming the youngest recipient of the honour ever.

He said he hopes that talent helps him lead Tapestry in its goal of keeping opera fresh.

“The whole idea behind Tapestry is to bring operatic theatre creatively in new ways that people wouldn’t expect,” de Souza said. “You have to have openness – an open mind – and when I met with (Tapestry), we hit it off right away.”

His curriculum vitae reads like a who’s who of major Canadian classical music companies, featuring stints with the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet of Canada, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and several others.

He credits his parents with instilling a love of music in him at an early age.

“My mother and father were absolutely lovers of music and they supported the idea of me being in school studying whatever my passion was,” he said. “They encouraged me to try things out and if I fell on my face, they encouraged me to keep trying.”

He noted that working with Tapestry will bring him out of his wheelhouse as the company veers from standards such as Bach and Verdi toward fare that promises to appeal to long-time opera fans and young crowds unfamiliar with the world of opera alike.

Tapestry’s penchant for taking risks is perhaps most evident in its upcoming collaboration with Polaris Prize-winning hardcore punk band F*cked Up as part of the Tapestry Explorations program. Dubbed Tap:Ex METALLURGY, the shows certainly do not fit the standard mold when it comes to opera.

“There’s this idea out there that says we should be treating this music like museum pieces, but instead we like to treat them like living, breathing organisms,” de Souza said. “We’re going to do two sets – one led by me and my team doing things our way and another where (F*cked Up) takes over.”

de Souza will play keyboard in the show, though he said it will be a new experience performing that genre of music.

“I’m a guy who doesn’t know much about popular music,” he said. “With modern music, a lot of bands write songs by getting together and jamming it out, which is definitely not the way we go about it, but harmonies and structures come out of that way of doing things just as effectively.”

The Corktown resident’s first season as Tapestry Opera’s conductor-in-residence will also feature Rocking Horse Winner, based on a story by D.H. Lawrence, along with a series of other new and innovative shows.

Tap:Ex METALLURGY will run from Nov. 19 through 21 at the Ernest Balmer Studio, 9 Trinity St. For tickets or information, visit www.tapestryopera.com

Corktown’s Jordan de Souza bringing hardcore punk band F*cked Up to Tapestry Opera

Tap:Ex METALLUGY offers two sets - traditional and modern

News Nov 17, 2015 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

It takes big talent and a youthful sensibility to bring opera into the 21st century, and Toronto-based Tapestry Opera is banking on Corktown resident Jordan de Souza having both.

The opera company is now entering its 36th season, with de Souza taking the reins as conductor in residence. The St. Michael’s Choir School graduate certainly has musical chops. In 2008, he was awarded the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ Fellowship Degree at 19, becoming the youngest recipient of the honour ever.

He said he hopes that talent helps him lead Tapestry in its goal of keeping opera fresh.

“The whole idea behind Tapestry is to bring operatic theatre creatively in new ways that people wouldn’t expect,” de Souza said. “You have to have openness – an open mind – and when I met with (Tapestry), we hit it off right away.”

His curriculum vitae reads like a who’s who of major Canadian classical music companies, featuring stints with the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet of Canada, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and several others.

He credits his parents with instilling a love of music in him at an early age.

“My mother and father were absolutely lovers of music and they supported the idea of me being in school studying whatever my passion was,” he said. “They encouraged me to try things out and if I fell on my face, they encouraged me to keep trying.”

He noted that working with Tapestry will bring him out of his wheelhouse as the company veers from standards such as Bach and Verdi toward fare that promises to appeal to long-time opera fans and young crowds unfamiliar with the world of opera alike.

Tapestry’s penchant for taking risks is perhaps most evident in its upcoming collaboration with Polaris Prize-winning hardcore punk band F*cked Up as part of the Tapestry Explorations program. Dubbed Tap:Ex METALLURGY, the shows certainly do not fit the standard mold when it comes to opera.

“There’s this idea out there that says we should be treating this music like museum pieces, but instead we like to treat them like living, breathing organisms,” de Souza said. “We’re going to do two sets – one led by me and my team doing things our way and another where (F*cked Up) takes over.”

de Souza will play keyboard in the show, though he said it will be a new experience performing that genre of music.

“I’m a guy who doesn’t know much about popular music,” he said. “With modern music, a lot of bands write songs by getting together and jamming it out, which is definitely not the way we go about it, but harmonies and structures come out of that way of doing things just as effectively.”

The Corktown resident’s first season as Tapestry Opera’s conductor-in-residence will also feature Rocking Horse Winner, based on a story by D.H. Lawrence, along with a series of other new and innovative shows.

Tap:Ex METALLURGY will run from Nov. 19 through 21 at the Ernest Balmer Studio, 9 Trinity St. For tickets or information, visit www.tapestryopera.com