Stage Door News

Toronto: Against the Grain Theatre brings back “Messiah/Complex” for Easter

Friday, March 19, 2021

Messiah/Complex is BACK! The outpouring of support from audiences across the globe has been so incredible, we've decided to bring this pan-Canadian film back for a limited time beginning April 1st, 2021.

Thank you to everyone who has made a donation - it's because of your generosity that we're able to offer Messiah/Complex to audiences for free once more.

Register HERE.

AtG Founder and Artistic Director Joel Ivany partnered with Banff Centre’s Director of Indigenous Arts, Reneltta Arluk, to Co-Direct a new interpretation of the Messiah

…with the goal of amplifying this unique moment of pride and inclusivity in Canada—honouring and giving support to Indigenous and underrepresented voices from coast-to-coast-to-frozen-coast, and hoping to share these voices with an international audience.

Filmed against iconic Canadian landscapes, Messiah/Complex features twelve soloists and four choirs representing every province and territory across the country.

This “complex” interpretation of Messiah includes 6 languages, 12 soloists, 4 choirs, and is lifted by the mighty sounds of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Every aspect of this production has been made possible by the goodwill and diligence of the cast and crew involved following the most up-to-date provincial COVID-19 safety protocols.

These diverse and singular voices represent an array of cultural traditions and heritages…

…as well as every region of our vast and interconnected country—hence the addition of “Complex” to the title of this production of the Messiah. We’re celebrating the artists’ uniqueness and comfort.

AtG—along with our partners and artists—is proud to once again offer Messiah/Complex free of charge to every soul in need of a musical lift.

Creating this national project has been a huge undertaking for us as a small arts organization, and has required a tremendous amount of resources. If you are able, please consider a donation to AtG, so that we can bring more outside-the-box operatic experiences to you, and continue to provide employment opportunities to artists and artisans nationwide.

Messiah/Complex soloists include: Cree-Métis baritone Jonathon Adams; Inuktituk singer Looee Arreak; British Columbia tenor Spencer Britten; Canadian-Tunisian Rihab Chaieb in Montreal; Edmonton-born mezzo-soprano Catherine Daniel; Inuk singer Deantha Edmunds in Newfoundland & Labrador; Dene singer-songwriter Leela Gilday in Northwest Territories; Lebanese-Canadian soprano Miriam Khalil; Saskatchewan soprano Andrea Lett; Diyet van Lieshout, who sings in Southern Tutchone, from Yukon Territory; Métis singer Julie Lumsden; and Toronto baritone Elliot Madore.

March 23 at 4PM EST: Join AtG and the R/18 Collective for an online roundtable to explore Messiah/Complex with Co-Directors Joel Ivany and Reneltta Arluk, soloist and Dene singer-songwriter Leela Gilday, and various scholars specializing in theatre, music, and Indigeneity in the eighteenth-century.