A murdered composer, a lost libretto...could this be Canada's greatest opera?

Against the Grain Theatre is making the case that Claude Vivier's "Kopernikus" is a masterwork.

Against the Grain Theatre is making the case that Claude Vivier's 'Kopernikus' is a masterwork

Against the Grain Theatre is making the case that Claude Vivier's opera Kopernikus is a masterwork. 3:47

Against the Grain Theatre is an innovative and nontraditional opera company. The company sings in pubs, invades mansions and does radical things with music, staging and scores. And this summer at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, it set out to revive an opera by Montreal composer Claude Vivier, an artist who had his life cut short in the 1980s.

You may not have heard of Vivier before, but ATG's founder and artistic director Joel Ivany is using his unusual stage production to make sure you don't forget Kopernikus, Vivier's opera about where we go after we leave this mortal coil.

(CBC Arts)

In this video, Ivany opens up about why he thinks Claude Vivier and Kopernikus deserve to take their place in the canon of Canadian opera. And he takes you behind the scenes of his own production of Kopernikus, which literally flips audience and performers around.

Catch Against the Grain Theatre's Opera Pub in Toronto on October 5 (and the first Thursday of every month). It's hosted by pianist David Eliakis and it's opera like you haven't seen it before. Keep up with Against the Grain Theatre here to find out where Kopernikus will be staged next.

Watch Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 12:30 a.m. (1 NT) and Sundays at 3:30 p.m. (4NT) on CBC Television.


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