1. What does the Pencil Salesman mean to you?
I always look at a piece through the lens of my character. "The only thing constant is change." This show illustrates that point while giving us the opportunity to realize the simple things in our own backyards can be wonderful.
2. What is favourite medium for communication (beyond talking/singing in person) and why?
I'm a big fan of texting. It's not uncommon to see each of us at home on our iPhones simultaneously.
3. What has influenced you during your work on this opera?
There's a huge focus on 21st century learning in teaching (my other life) so it's neat to see the connection.
4. When did you start working on the project and what is your process like for a new work?
Brian mentioned his idea a few years ago so we've been very happy to be involved on the ground floor. Working on a new work is not unlike working on any other piece. I always start by trying to tell the story - at least my part of the story.
5. What other projects do you have coming up?
I'm fortunate to have a full time teaching gig with Toronto Catholic. I'll also do some film work this summer.
Connecting is as simple as letting go.
John Fanning – Boris
Donna Bennett – Rose
Alexander Dobson – The Pencil Salesman
Olivia Rapos – Violet
Virginia Hatfield – Daisy
Keith Klassen – Edward
Gabrielle Prata – Flo
Robert Longo – Aaron
Daniel Warren – Conductor
Michael Mori – stage direction
Caroline Langill & Gord Langill – stage & costume design
Andy Thomspon – sound design
Gord Reid – lighting design
The Story: All is rosy with Boris Ball. Or so it seems. The patriarch of a family of inventors, Boris lives blissfully in the past, in the beloved company of his wife Rose and his prize invention, the Personal Touch Typewriter. But ever cynical of the frenzied world of technological advancement swirling dizzily around him, Boris becomes increasingly oblivious to the challenges ripping his family apart. It is up to a wayward pencil salesman who draws him into the present by introducing him to someone he never knew: his own granddaughter. Is connecting really as simple as letting go?
Get the details on our Connecting Through Song Week including a Vocal Intensive with Michael Warren and workshops & seminars in conjunction with performances of The Pencil Salesman.