OperaQ to premiere Medusa’s Children: a modern retelling of an ancient Greek myth

by | Apr 25, 2022 | Featured, News

Toronto-based independent queer opera collective OperaQ is on June 3 premiering Medusa’s Children, a new musical film that delivers a modern retelling of the Greek myth. Scored by composer Colin McMahon and featuring text by award-winning Canadian poet Charlie Petch, the production explores themes of family, loss, sexual violence and toxic masculinity through a trans and queer lens.

Filmed by Coffeeshop Creative and directed by Lauren HalaszMedusa’s Children features an exceptional cast. Canadian/Métis mezzo Rebecca Cuddy is the titular Medusa, alongside soprano Rebecca Gray and vocalist Hillary Jean Young as the siblings Chrysaor and Pegasus. Mezzos Rachel Miller and Renee Fajardo appear as Medusa’s sisters, Stheno and Euryale.

Medusa's Children

Rebecca Gray (Chrysaor) and Hillary Jean Young (Pegasus) in OperaQ’s Medusa’s Children. Photo: Coffeeshop Creative

Director Halasz recommends the production to audiences of all identities: “First of all, you should come see Medusa’s Children if you like opera. The music is beautiful, and everyone sounds fantastic. Secondly, if you are LGBTQ-identifying, and if you want to see some LGBTQ+ media that has happy endings… and thirdly, if you are interested in mythology, and especially mythology told in different, new and exciting ways.”

“The main themes of this piece are about undoing toxic masculinity and rape culture,” says Petch. “And looking back at what could have been a possible non-binary entity—Pegasus—and bringing that representation into a modern opera.” Petch’s spoken word theatre and written works include Mel Malarkey, Daughter of Geppetto and Why I Was Late.

Renee Fajardo (Euryale) and Rachel Miller (Stheno) in OperaQ’s Medusa’s Children. Photo: Coffeeshop Creative

The film, running just under an hour, will be available to watch Jun 3-30. Audiences can register for a ticket here. Content Warning: The film contains instances of misgendering as well as discussion of physical and sexual violence.

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Angie Bell

Angela Bell is Opera Canada’s Digital Media Specialist. She has held digital and PR roles with various businesses including the Walt Disney Company, Sullivan Entertainment and Toronto International Film Festival.



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