Stage Door News

Toronto: FAWN Chamber Creative presents “Belladonna - techno-opera-in-concert” January 18-19

Friday, January 5, 2024

Known for their genre blending productions and eclectic audiences, experimental music and opera company FAWN Chamber Creative returns from their pandemic-induced hiatus from live public performances. They take the stage with two Pay-What-You-Want concerts to culminate a weeklong co-composition workshop for the queer techno-opera Belladonna. Produced by FAWN and co-presented with Arraymusic, these concerts will take place at Arrayspace in Toronto on January 18 and 19, 2024 at 8 PM. The piece is expected to be 45 to 60 minutes in length, with a process discussion to follow.

The concerts will culminate of a week of collective creation when FAWN and a team of artists will come together to co-compose a graphic score for Belladonna. An initial libretto has been written by Gareth Mattey, a writer, dramaturg, and translator from the United Kingdom. Their work explores the possibilities of queer storytelling across a wide variety of media, from opera to film and video games. They are currently based in Tokyo, where they are developing their skills as a translator of theatre and opera with the support of the Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Foundation.

Rather than a “coming out” story, Mattey’s aim for Belladonna is to focus on a moment of self-reflection and discovery when coming to understand one’s own queerness. FAWN is using a collective creation approach to develop the score, as opposed to more traditional methods of composition, to ensure the musical interpretation reflects the experiences of a community of people. During the workshop, FAWN and the Belladonna team will explore group composition techniques to create a graphic score for the opera, which will function as a living document that shifts and evolves through whomever performs it.

Belladonna continues FAWN’s mission to explore different ways opera can be made and exist, along with their passion for bringing more voices and perspectives into the creation process. FAWN’s love of highly collaborative creation methods has allowed their work to co-exist and intermingle with other progressive artistic genres, such as experimental electronic music, contemporary dance, electronic dance music, contemporary visual art, and new media. Their approach often leads to blurred lines between art forms, and a highly stimulating and subversive audience experience.

FAWN’s Artistic Director Amanda Smith has assembled an exciting team to co-compose Belladonna, including singers Teiya Kasahara (playing Cloth), Hillary Jean Young (playing Lake), and Rebecca Gray (playing “The Voice”), instrumentalists Vanese Smith/Pursuit Grooves (electronics), Adam Scime (double bass), Sara Constant (flute), Morgan-Paige Melbourne (piano), and Yang Chen (percussion), devising director/dramaturg Harri Thomas, and a graphic score team of Amanda Smith, Rebecca Gray and Nolan Hildebrand. This group has been assembled to centre the voices and experiences of queer artists who specialize in creative experimentation. Together, they will enter a process of “queering opera,” as described by Mattey.

General admission is PWYW. Tickets are available at

FAWN Chamber Creative is a two-time Dora Award Nominated experimental music and opera collective that explores the intersections between art forms and audiences. Known for their daring explorations and riveting live performances, FAWN prioritizes cross-disciplinary collaboration to create new works and audience experiences that defy tradition and blur the lines between genres.

Visit to learn more about the company.

Belladonna – techno-opera-in-concert

January 18 and 19, 2024

Doors at 7:30 PM

Show at 8:00 PM

Arrayspace (155 Walnut, Toronto)

Pay-What-You-Want (suggested $25)

Tickets available at: