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Poster for Battery Opera [storm]

battery opera – [storm]

March 9 & 10 @ 8PM

Market Hall Performing Arts Centre, 336 George St. N

Pre-show chat with co-artistic director Lee Su-Feh, Sat March 10, 7:15

warning: adult themes/coarse language

special added attraction:
music & performance with BOB’S LOUNGE
March 5 @ 8PM, Gordon Best Theatre, 216 Hunter St. W
March 7 @ 10PM, Montreal House, 282 Aylmer St. N

View Program

View Poster



Tickets are available at the door or in advance by reservation.
Call (705) 745-1788.
$15 – $10 students/seniors/underemployed.

View a video trailer on YouTube…

Read a review by Paula Citron, Globe and Mail…

Created by: Lee Su-Feh and David McIntosh
Choreography and direction by: Lee Su-Feh
Original text and music by: David McIntosh
Performed by: Yannick Matthon, David McIntosh, Max Murphy, and Ron Stewart
Lighting design by: James Proudfoot

special added attraction:
music & performance with BOB’S LOUNGE
March 5 at Gordon Best Theatre
March 7 at Montreal House

Since winning the Alcan Award in 2003, battery opera’s David McIntosh and Lee Su-Feh have tossed and turned a piece originally titled Cyclops into [storm]. Refining but not taming this turbulent meditation on the aching loneliness of being human, [storm] uses archetypes drawn from man’s relationship with the sea to delineate a history of man that is at once sacred and profane, cruel and tender. [storm] locates the transformation of the ordinary into the emblematic, and the mundane into the symbolic. [storm] celebrates the power and frailty of the human body that breathes, speaks, sings, thinks, moves, dances.

[storm] is an investigation into ideas related to men at sea. It sources folk songs, folk stories, myths and legends pertaining to the ocean and taps into feelings of loneliness, longing and loss. Juxtaposing images of the ocean with ideas of personal and mythical rites of passages, it explores the relationship between fathers and sons and the role and consequences of war on the male psyche.


A literary angle on [storm]

The text in [storm] contains excerpts from the following sources: The Mabinogi (traditional Welsh stories), The story of Fionn mac Coumhaill in search of his youth (traditional Scottish/Irish story), Olalla by Robert Louis Stevenson, Homer’s Odyssey, Amos and Boris by William Steig.

Some of the additional source material includes Gericault’s painting, and studies for, The Raft of the Medusa, and various testimonies and accounts of that wreck and similar European wrecks in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. As well as sea shanties, whaling songs and traditional songs addressing men returning from away and the things that follow (including Ten Thousand Miles, The Death of Young Andrew, Randall’s Lament, The Carpenter’s Song, Johnny’s Gone to Hilo, Farewell to Nova Scotia.)

Other source books include:
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathanial Philbrick
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
Rites of Spring by Modris Eksteins
The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussel
Ghosts have Warm Hands by Will R. Bird (Canada’s unappreciated Primo Levi)
The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Master of Ballantrae, Dr. Jekyl and Mr Hyde and other Tales and Fables (I went on a bit of an R.L.S. binge) by Robert Louis Stevenson.
The poems of Wilfred Owen.

Take a Class With battery opera

with Lee Su-Feh, co-artistic director of battery opera
Tues March 6, 7:30pm-10pm, $5
Market Hall
Call 745-1788 to register

This class approaches movement through martial arts principles, emphasizing the coordination of the body with the breath, while strengthening and nourishing the systems of the body. The class begins with a qigong warm-up and will proceed to use the principles and awareness gained from the qigong in an exploration of impulse, reaction, breath and spirit. Participants will develop a greater sensitivity to their bodies, learn to access deep power and move with lightness and efficiency. bonus: participants will be eligible to perform at Bob’s Lounge the following night at the Montreal House.

Go Bar-Hopping With battery opera

BOB’S LOUNGE: Love, loss and alcohol
with David McIntosh (vocals) and Max Murphy (sax)
Mon, March 5 at the Gordon Best Theatre, hosted by Cooked and Eaten. 8pm
Wed, March 8 at the Montreal House, hosted by Washboard Hank and the Gravestone Lickers. 10pm

Each Bob’s Lounge event is an examination of live performance as well as an experiment in the contexts and interactions of venue, audience, form and performer. Bob’s Lounge performs music from battery opera’s musical repertoire – music from Spektator, Cyclops and [storm] – as well as covering a wide range of songs that generally express love, longing and loneliness, while developing and experimenting with sound, performance style and emotional resonance. Instrumentation is kept to a raw minimum so that the performance remains bare and immediate. Aligning, and often contrasting, with these basic goals is an ongoing play with the tensions and expectations of a performance event. Dances are incorporated into songs, stories are told, performers invite the audience into the proscenium, interruptions are incorporated, bars become theatres, living rooms become congregations. Discussion occurs.

About battery opera

The work of battery opera is both provocative and evocative, occupying the sometimes challenging, but always engaging area between dance, theatre and performance art. Led by dancer-choreographer Lee Su-Feh and singer-writer David McIntosh, battery opera offers a view of intercultural and interdisciplinary dialogue that embraces the subversion and challenge of division and separation while celebrating the power and frailty of a human body that breathes, speaks, sings, thinks, moves, dances.

Thank You!

Public Energy gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our 2023-24 Season Funders and Sponsors.

Season Sponsors & Funders

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