Against the Grain Theatre
In December of 2010, Toronto’s opera scene received a jolt of energy with the formation of Against the Grain Theatre (AtG), a visionary young start‐up founded by a group of friends who worked in the opera “biz”. Inspired by a goal of reinvigorating the art form by presenting classical repertoire in unconventional spaces and innovative ways, AtG staged its first performance to a sold‐out audience of 50 people, and with that the company was off and running. The Bras Family Foundation supported AtG in that initial performance and has been a continuing support throughout the growth of our company.
Since that first season four years ago, AtG has packed every single one of its productions with standing room‐only crowds, winning a consistent level of critical acclaim that has even surprised its own members. Toronto Life has called us “the city’s most inventive company”, and it was recently announced that in our first year of eligibility for the Dora Mavor Moore Awards, our 2013 production of Figaro’s Wedding received seven nominations! The arts community has embraced the AtG gang, and—equally importantly—so has a much wider, more diverse audience of people who may have never considered attending an opera.
We achieve success by doing things differently. We aim to promote opera and classical music to a new generation, presenting modern and accessible productions in collaboration with relevant artists and venues throughout Toronto. We work closely and collaboratively with established experts in the field. Alexander Neef, general director of the Canadian Opera Company, has publicly called us “the future of opera”, and has demonstrated his belief in AtG by partnering with us for our upcoming, groundbreaking production of #UncleJohn in collaboraton with The Banff Centre.
Following our sold‐out smash hit of AtG’s Messiah last December—which was prominently featured in the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail—we are presenting our spring production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at the end of June. Staged in the Max Tanenbaum Courtyard Gardens at the COC’s headquarters on Front Street East, we believe it will be the month’s hottest ticket on Toronto’s musical scene (with all due modesty!) Our upcoming fifth season will include an awe inspiring concert featuring some of Toronto’s most impressive voices, in addition to a highly anticipated staged production that will be a true AtG original. None of this would have been possible without the support and cheer from The Bras Family Foundation. We thank you for your support and hope that you can play a role in taking us to the next level.
Joel Ivany, Stage Director