April 16, 2012

The Other Guys Presents Tobin Stokes’ Opera RATTENBURY 9/20; Chorus Auditions 4/27

Monday, April 16, 2012; 05:04 PM – by BWW News Desk

Well known in Victoria, BC, for his grand design of the Capital City’s Inner Harbour, including the Parliament Buildings, The Empress, the CPR Terminal (most recently housing the Royal London Wax Museum) and the Crystal Gardens, Francis Rattenbury’s tumultuous life story is truly operatic in proportion.


The Other Guys Theatre Co. is proud to announce the development of composer/librettist Tobin Stokes’ new chamber opera, RATTENBURY, based on the true story of the architect’s fast rise, and free-fall. The opera exposes Rattenbury’s incredible ambition, his huge misfortunes through WW1, failed land speculations and the sinking of the Titanic, his role in the Klondike Gold Rush, and his dramatic and sordid fall from grace. Ostracized by Victorian society due to an adulterous affair with a twice-married pianist he met in The Empress Hotel, Rattenbury divorced his popular and long-suffering wife “Florrie”, married his mistress, Alma, and moved with her to England. His eventual murder by his young wife’s even younger lover resulted in one of the most famous court cases ever to be tried at the Old Bailey and led one to a death sentence and another to suicide.

Canadian tenor, Richard Margison, a native Victorian, returns to Victoria in June to create the title role in a series of development workshops and will perform in a concert presentation of the opera in September. Hailed for his ringing top notes and spine-tingling power, Richard Margison is one of the most critically acclaimed singers on the international stage today. He performs regularly in many of the world’s leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Canadian Opera Company, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the San Francisco Opera, the Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Sydney Opera and the Grand Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona.

Casting of the remaining lead roles is underway and will be announced shortly.

Auditions for supporting roles and chorus will be held April 27, 2012. Early-career professional singers and advanced students are encouraged to audition for this rare opportunity to create new roles with Mr. Margison and Mr. Stokes. For information or an audition appointment, call Karley Wolfert, Stage Manager, at 1-778-918-4825.

RATTENBURY is the fourth opera created by local composer/librettist Tobin Stokes. Stokes’ first opera, The Vinedressers, was produced by The Other Guys Theatre Company in 2001 at the Belfry Theatre, with a second production at the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific. His second opera, Nootka, set at the arrival of the English and Spanish on Vancouver Island, has thus far been presented as an oratorio. Another opera, set in Iraq in 2004, is in the final stages of development with City Opera Vancouver, funded by the Annenberg Foundation.

The development of RATTENBURY has been made possible by CRD Arts Development Fund, Canadian Actors’ Equity, Fairmont Empress Hotel, BC Ferries, and Clipper Vacations and by a 150 People and Places Grant with the support of the Greater Victoria Spirit Committee in partnership with the City of Victoria, the Province of BC and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

A concert of selections from RATTENBURY will be presented September 29 and 30, 2012, in the Crystal Ballroom of the Fairmont Empress Hotel, under the baton of Maestro Arthur Arnold, Principal Guest Conductor of the Moscow Symphony. Ticket information will be released at a later date.