Skip to main content

For Immediate Release: November 11th, 2021

Against the Grain Theatre and Canadian Opera Company present a moving new film of Mozart’s Requiem,  honouring those impacted by pandemic era— highlighting themes of loss, resilience and hope.

Requiem soloists Midori Marsh (bottom-left), Marion Newman (centre-seated), Andrew Haji (centre-standing), and Vartan Gabrielian (bottom-right) at the Scarborough Bluffs— Photo by Taylor Long

TORONTO—Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) is honoured to partner with the Canadian Opera Company (COC) to present this contemporary film of Mozart’s enduring piece, charting a musical passage out of the darkest days of this global pandemic towards new hope and a brighter tomorrow. 

Requiem is being offered at no charge to audiences around the world starting on November 27th on AtG TV. The production is conceived by Joel Ivany (artistic director, AtG) and Johannes Debus (conductor and music director, COC).

“As a small opera company, we wanted to find an appropriate way to mark this challenging era, and we’re thankful that the Canadian Opera Company partnered for this special project,” said AtG’s Joel Ivany, director of Requiem. “We hope that this performance honours those impacted by COVID, and pays tribute to the courage and strength that we’ve seen on display in our communities.”

Requiem soloists, conductor Johannes Debus, the COC orchestra, and chorus at the Four Seasons Centre — Photo by Taylor Long

Reimagining Mozart’s Requiem for this exact moment in time has been a transformative experience for everyone involved,” said COC General Director Perryn Leech. “The production is a powerful testament to opera’s ability to speak to the human experience, and we’re proud to collaborate with Against the Grain Theatre.”

Requiem features some of the next generation of voices in Canadian opera including members of the COC Studio Ensemble—bass-baritone Vartan Gabrielian and soprano Midori Marsh—alongside tenor Andrew Haji, and Kwagiulth and Stó:lo First Nations mezzo-soprano Marion Newman. These inspiring artists have navigated their own personal journeys during COVID, and the film includes interviews about their experiences during the pandemic—including stories of loss, but also, of resilience. 

Requiem soloists (left to right) Midori Marsh, Marion Newman, Andrew Haji, and Vartan Gabrielian — Photo by Taylor Long

“Mozart’s Requiem speaks for itself, but by putting it together like this, I think it opens it up to people who wouldn’t necessarily attend an oratorio performance,” said tenor Andrew Haji.  “I hope the way it’s presented will help those who are still processing a loss, and will give people hope that the worst of this pandemic is behind us, and that we’ll all get through it together.”

“We need each other in a project like this. After spending so much time apart during this pandemic, being reminded of the beauty and necessity of being together… I hope that appreciation for each other lasts long beyond this time,” said mezzo-soprano Marion Newman.

The team at Against the Grain Theatre— in partnership with the Canadian Opera Company—hopes that this timely presentation of Requiem can help provide audience members a chance to reflect on what we’ve experienced in these trying times, honouring those who have been impacted by this global pandemic, as well as helping us to look ahead with a sense of renewed strength and optimism.

Where, When, and How to Watch

AtG’s and the Canadian Opera Company’s Requiem will be available on-demand beginning November 27th, 2021

Ticket registration for this performance is available free of charge.

Registration is now available at:


Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) is an award-winning Canadian opera company committed to revitalizing the operatic art form by presenting an eclectic array of musical works in unconventional spaces and innovative ways. With a mandate to create and introduce audiences to outside-the-box opera experiences, AtG performs fresh, daring re-interpretations of classical repertoire to create thrilling, intimate, unforgettable experiences shared between artists and audiences.

For more information, please visit AtG online at, on Twitter and Instagram @AtGTheatre, and on Facebook at


Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. General Director Perryn Leech joined the company in 2021, forming a leadership team with Music Director Johannes Debus and Deputy General Director Christie Darville. The COC enjoys a loyal audience, including a dedicated base of subscribers, and has an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation. Its diverse repertoire includes new commissions and productions, local and international collaborations with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracts the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC Academy is an incubator for the future of the art form, nurturing Canada’s new wave of opera creators with customized training and support. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. For more information, visit

— 30 —


Joshua Knelman
Against the Grain Theatre


Robin Whiffen
Executive Director
Against the Grain Theatre

Presenting Sponsor