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The Bicycle Opera Project: Sweat

Song Cycle Street Party to transform Almonte with music, cycling and food

Opera on bicycles will journey through Ottawa, Carp, Blakeney and Almonte July 22-23, 2017

Grab your helmet – Ottawa Chamberfest is taking opera on the road, carrying the spirit of Ottawa’s communities and a taste of Chamberfest.

The 2017 edition of the festival will launch with the Song Cycle Street Party, a weekend-long community celebration celebrating both art and sport – opera and cycling.

The event is a partnership between Ottawa Chamberfest, the Bicycle Opera Project, and the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, alongside several other local organizations and institutions:

· Almonte in Concert

· Canada Science and Technology Museum

· Carp Farmers’ Market

· Mills Community Support’s Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardens

· Mississippi Mills Bicycle Month

· Tweed Ride Almonte

The organizations will welcome their patrons, members and cycling enthusiasts alike for a four-hour bike ride from Ottawa to Almonte alongside the world-class opera performers that make up the Bicycle Opera Project.

“We’re thrilled to create an opportunity for locals and festival attendees to join in and celebrate opera, while enjoying one of this community’s favourite summer activities – cycling!” says Chamberfest artistic director Roman Borys.

Participants will make stops in Carp and Blakeney and receive a heroes’ welcome in Almonte, with performances of arias and a preview of the a capella opera Sweat performed along the way.

Once in Almonte, participants will have the opportunity to hear a free performance by the Juno Award-winning Stretch Orchestra (percussionist Jesse Stewart, guitarist Kevin Breit and cellist Matt Brubeck), and take part in a potluck hosted by Mills Community Support’s Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardens.

Participants are encouraged to stay overnight in Almonte. The next day, there will be a staging of Sweat – an opera shedding light on the unforgiving world of a sweat shop, appropriately staged at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Operagoers are invited to a pub dinner and a screening of the film Breaking Away later that evening.

It’s the latest in a series of initiatives Chamberfest has taken to push arts engagement and education to the forefront in Ottawa, and part of Chamberfest’s long history of biking and music.

Tickets to The Bicycle Opera Project Goes to Almonte – Sweat are available for $25 (HST included) at chamberfest.com, by phone at 613-234-6306, or at the following locations:

Ottawa Chamberfest Box Office
201-4 Florence St.
Ottawa, Ont.

Baker Bob’s
75 Little Bridge St.
Almonte, Ont.

Tickets to the full staging of Sweat July 23 at 10 p.m. at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins are available for $30 (HST not included) at chamberfest.com, by phone at 613-234-6306, or at 201-4 Florence St.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

9:00 a.m. Cycling group, led by the Bicycle Opera Project departs from Ottawa’s Parkdale Park in Westboro

11:00 a.m. Cycling group arrives in Carp, Ontario

11:00 - 11:45 a.m. Eat and drink break for cyclists; Bicycle Opera Project sets up for performance

11:45 a.m. Bicycle Opera Project performs two arias and a sneak-peek of the a capella opera Sweat (20-30 minutes)

1:15 p.m. Departure from Carp; en route to Almonte

3:00 p.m. Cycling group arrives in Almonte; “welcome to Almonte” festivities

3:00 - 5:30 p.m. Rest time for cyclists along Almonte’s main street

5:30 p.m. Cyclists and Almonte residents reconvene on in the town hall parking lot for a town potluck; performances from Bicycle Opera Project, and Stretch Orchestra (Jesse Stewart, Kevin Breit, and Matt Brubeck)

6:00 p.m Dinner, followed by a second 30-minute performance by Stretch Orchestra

Saturday, July 22, 2017

2:00 p.m. The Bicycle Opera Project Goes to Almonte – Sweat, at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum; tickets available for $25 (HST included)

6:00 p.m. Chamberfest pub dinner in Almonte’s Barley Mow pub

9:00 p.m. Screening of film Breaking Away

Ottawa Chamberfest

Founded in 1994, Ottawa Chamberfest brings together the boldest names in ensemble and solo performance for two weeks of musical celebration in the nation’s capital. The world’s largest festival of its kind, Ottawa Chamberfest is a 2017 Festivals and Events (FEO) Ontario “Festival of Distinction” and winner of seven consecutive Lieutenant-Governor’s Awards for the Arts. www.chamberfest.com

Bicycle Opera Project

The Bicycle Opera Project is the world's only opera company that tours by bicycle. Reaching out to smaller communities where there is little opportunity to hear contemporary music, they present new English-language works focusing on current issues and perform in intimate spaces, closing the gap between audience and singers.


Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum is located in the annex of the former Rosamond Woolen Company in Almonte, Ontario. Constructed in 1867, this National Historic Site of Canada now features a blend of the old and new, all related to the history of the Mississippi Valley and the textile industry.

Stretch Orchestra

Stretch Orchestra, consisting of Jesse Stewart, Kevin Breit and Matt Brubeck, is perhaps the tallest band in Canada with an average height 6’5”. It is also one of the most eclectic and musically well-travelled, thanks to the diverse musical backgrounds of its members. In performances they routinely traverse a wide and adventurous gamut of musical styles—from jazz to rock to folk—often within a single tune.


Almonte in Concert: almonteinconcert.com

Canada Science and Technology Museum: cstmuseum.techno-science.ca

Carp Farmers’ Market: carpfarmersmarket.ca

Mills Community Support’s Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardens: themills.on.ca

Mississippi Mills Bicycle Month: mmbm.ca

Tweed Ride Almonte: facebook.com/TweedRideAlmonte


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