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Welcoming Marjorie Maltais

Apr 2, 2016   //   by admin   //   BOP BLOG  //  No Comments
Performing with Bicycle Opera Project for the first time, mezzo, Marjorie Maltais reflects on singing new music, her roles in Travelogue, and her bicycle personality!

Marjorie in April by Monica Pearce, part of Travelogue playing April 1&2. Photo: Dahlia Katz

  What do you like about working on music that has never been performed before?   There is something special about opening the score for the first time and knowing that you’re the first one singing it. You get a full sense of ownership of a role that only new music can provide. Who are you playing in Travelogue? I will be singing the role of Lucy in April, a very cautious women, worried about unfolding events in her life. In My Mouth on Your Heart I play Death. Death is calming and peaceful yet, very insistent and manipulative. And finally, GroundWorks Communicator in Waterfront, at her wits end trying to get seemingly child-like astronauts to actually land on Mars. Any surprising facts about yourself? I studied organ for three years… Favourite travel memory? All the ski trips with my family! If you were a bike, what kind of bike would you be? Easy… I would be a teal vintage style bike! marjorie2   You can read Marjorie's full bio HERE. Travelogue closes tonight at 8pm at Arts and Letters. Tickets: $20 at the door bts94x54  

Travelogue Q&A: Tobin Stokes

Mar 31, 2016   //   by admin   //   BOP BLOG  //  No Comments
In our FINAL edition of Travelogue Composer Q&A... ...Wait! Final? ...Yes, Final! Our show opens THIS weekend, April 1st and 2nd ...Oh! Yay! We are talking to Tobin Stokes, composer of Waterfront, which will be premiered in two short days. Tobin wrote Bianchi: a five-minute bicycle opera for us in 2014 and it's become something of a signature, so we were very excited he agreed to write for this project.   2012_09_Tobin-1   What is Waterfront about? Waterfront, on the surface, is about first world problems: an obsession for espresso, and a desire to own waterfront property. But traveling often gives us new perspective on our busy day-to-day lives, so as our two scientists are almost finished their journey to join the colony on Mars, they both begin to question life, its driving force, and its origins, from their unique perspective. Was there a particular inspiration for this story? There were five inspirations for this story: my friends' differing opinions on how to create the perfect espresso, my addiction to (and simultaneous disgust with) mls.ca, all the recent news about Mars, and my side job in social media, where I read a tonne of science articles, and am faced with a 24hr-a-day barrage of science newsletters, and Twitter, Facebook and Instagram interactions. The fifth inspiration is a secret, because I don't want to give everything away. How would you describe the musical vocabulary you use? Would you say this piece is a continuation or a departure for you, compositionally? Uncomplicated. Lyrical. Sort of traditional. This piece is not a departure, but more of an evolution in the same direction as my last piece for BOP, Bianchi. I'm looking for simple, effective techniques where words are super clear, characters can develop quickly, and timing is everything. I want every note, whether melody or harmony, to be integral to the storytelling, whether the music is leading or supporting. Is there anything you'd like audiences to know before watching the premiere? The piece is in five short scenes that run from scene 5 to scene 1, echoing five things contemplated in the opera. I've said too much. What is Travelogue to you? What is your relationship to travelling? Every trip I've ever taken I've either written a diary and lost it, or not written a diary. So I can't remember anything about anywhere. I travelled a lot as a kid - even to Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. When I was a kid our parents would throw us in the back of the station wagon, before there were seat belts, and we'd go on summer vacations where you laid down in the back and looked up, out the windows and watched the moon follow you along, or the telephone wires swoop up and down from pole to pole. It was dangerous, I guess. But it was cozy. Now I seem to take planes all over the place, so while my wife and I pay extra for natural gas from renewable sources, take pride in cycling almost everywhere rather than driving, and grow our own vegetables, I'm busy ruining the planet. I'm the world's biggest hypocrite! Travelling by jet is surreal, amazing, and pretty much horrible. But being on a shuttle to Mars is probably much worse.

Tobin working on Waterfront aboard a shuttle to the U.S.

Sprint answers: If you were a bike, what kind of bike would you be? I'd be an old cruiser with a sissy bar and a banana seat. Does anyone even know what sissy bars are anymore? Do you wear a helmet? In BC it is the law. But it is a stupid law if you're just puttering around the neighbourhood. I get it for faster commutes. So yah, I do. How many killometers would you consider riding in one day? Take the number 100 and subtract your age and that's how many km's you should ride each day. Toddlers excluded. Where in the world would you like to bike around if you could? Cuba. For goodness sakes, somebody get me to Cuba before it's too la– oh forget it. Travelogue premieres in Toronto April 1st and 2nd at 8 pm the Arts and Letters Club, and is part of Toy Piano Composer’s Curiosity Festival.Tickets and show information HERE. Single tickets now available for only $15 in advance bts94x54  

Travelogue Composer Q&A: Monica Pearce

Mar 23, 2016   //   by admin   //   BOP BLOG  //  No Comments
Bicycle Opera and Toy Piano Composers are gearing up for Travelogue, four new operas that explore travel by bicycle, car, and rocket ship. This week we spoke with Monica Pearce, one of the co-founders of Toy Piano Composers. We’ve known Monica for a while, and programmed her opera, Cake in 2013.

Monica Pearce, Co Founder and Artistic Director, Toy Piano Composers

What is April about? April is about a woman, Lucy, taking the long way home on her bike on the Don Valley trail, as the sun is setting. In a dream, she meets her partner Peter for the first time – she, cautious and polite, he, all-in with over-the-top friendliness.  Through the journey home, she is coming to terms with an important decision. Was there a particular inspiration for this story?  Last summer, I was at an opera workshop called Opera Presto in New Orleans where I was faced with the interesting and very difficult challenge of writing an opera in one night. The opera that we wrote – Persephone – with a libretto by Traix Heiden, was about an astronaut going on a mission to Pluto while her husband was sick at home. She goes into cryogenic sleep for the flight and she is dreaming about memories of her and her husband. Writing this opera made me really want to explore setting a contemporary love story, and to try and incorporate dreams into it. I came up with the specific idea for April last summer, and outlined the whole story in one go while I was on a plane. It’s rare that an idea comes to me in such full form all at once, so I knew it was special.  
April sketch

Early sketch for April

Would you say this piece is a continuation or a departure for you, compositionally? This feels very much like a continuation and evolution of my operatic writing – both in terms of the libretto and the composition. I have sometimes written my own libretti but I haven’t for a couple of years, so it was really refreshing to come down to this aspect of the creation. I loved working on it, and I had some great help from Linda Catlin Smith (this is actually the fourth opera libretto she’s helped me revise) and some great insight from Julie Tepperman. Musically, it’s slightly fuller texturally than some of my previous operatic works, which tend to favour sparser textures. Is there anything you’d like audiences to know before watching the premiere? What I love about writing contemporary opera especially is that you can take experiences from everyday life and really give them the dramatic framework they deserve. This is something I strive for in my operas. I hope this story is relatable, and that people will connect with Lucy (the protagonist). What is Travelogue to you? What is your relationship to travelling?  I love this theme. I travel a lot and really enjoy it. I think it’s probably because we travelled a good amount when I was a kid, so it was never a big scary thing. We lived in Australia for a year and a half when I was 12 and we travelled around Europe and the States around that time as well. I’ve travelled a lot to the States in the last couple of years, both for fun and for work. It’s such an amazing thing to be able to travel for creative work especially – getting to meet new people and have your music performed in other places is such a wonderful part of being a composer.   Sprint answers: If you were a bike, what kind of bike would you be? Probably a hybrid – I love the city but there’s nothing like some great trails. Do you wear a helmet? Of course – my brain is my best asset. How many killometers would you consider riding in one day? I think I could probably do around 100 or a little over, if it was flat and with zero wind. Two summers ago I biked the length of Prince Edward Island over three days – 273 kilometers. It was so beautiful, especially near St. Peters which is right by the beach. I hope to do it again soon!

Cycling around PEI

Where in the world would you like to bike around if you could? I would love to bike around Ireland. Travelogue premieres in Toronto April 1st and 2nd at 8 pm the Arts and Letters Club, and is part of Toy Piano Composer’s Curiosity Festival.Tickets and show information HERE. Single tickets now available for only $15 in advance bts94x54

Travelogue Composer Q&A: August Murphy-King

Mar 15, 2016   //   by admin   //   BOP BLOG  //  No Comments
Bicycle Opera and Toy Piano Composers are gearing up for Travelogue, four new operas that explore travel by bicycle, car, and rocket ship. Week two of Travelogue Composer Q&A features August Murphy-King, the composer of My Mouth on Your Heart with librettist Colleen Murphy. And if you're wondering...yes, they are related.
My first two-wheeler (With training-wheels, of course). This was certainly taken in Queen’s Park, and it’s very possible that it’s my first bike ride ever!

My first two-wheeler (with training-wheels of course) in Queen’s Park and possibly my first bike ride ever!

What is My Mouth On Your Heart about? It is about life, death and love. The main character, Liam, travels to the side of the highway where his girlfriend, Anna, died when a drunk driver smashed into her car. Anna’s pointless death has left Liam in anguish. Standing alone on the highway, clutching a flower, he finds himself travelling back and forth between Life and Death, trying to make a decision about where to go with his own grief. Was there a particular inspiration for this story? My mom did the Tapestry LibLab at the same time I started studying composition at McGill and ever since we’ve talked about doing an opera together. We wanted to do a piece with high stakes – life and death. There has been a fair bit of the latter in our family over the past several years, so it seemed appropriate to explore these feelings of loss in our work together. How would you describe the musical vocabulary you use? Is it a departure? Yes and no…I’ve always approached my composition with a sense of drama in terms of conflict, tension, release, character – basically the same elements that one keeps in mind when writing a good script. However, in terms of the actual musical materials, it is a pretty radical departure. The writing is much more lyrical and motivic – dare I even say more tonal (!) – than my usual fare. Is there anything you’d like audiences to know? When I’ve mentioned to people that I’ve been working on a project with my mom, reactions tend to vary from ‘Aww, that’s cute’ to ‘Interesting – how do you do that without killing one another?’ The reality is that it’s been dramatically easier for us to work together on this opera than it was to live under the same roof. It’s more fun to nag each other about the placement of syllables than to fight about who’s taking out the garbage.
When I was really tiny, having my parents take me High Park was basically the coolest thing on the planet, and going with my trike was even better!

When I was really tiny, having my parents take me High Park was basically the coolest thing on the planet!

What is your relationship to travelling? As much as I love to travel and explore and experience new people and places, I also have a real love for the City of Toronto. Every time I leave Toronto for an extended period of time I discover something new that I really love about our city. That said – my mom and I have probably logged close to 30,000 kilometers in the car together over the years and many of our best conversations happened on those trips. Sprint Answers If you were a bike, what kind of bike would you be? I am one with my 2009 model Kona Dew. Do you wear a helmet? Almost always – but sometimes the ghost of Guy LaFleur calls on me to let the golden locks flow. How many killometers would you consider riding in one day? However many it takes to work off the previous night’s pints. [Editors note: hmmm this sounds vaguely like Elisha Denburg's answer last week...is a theme emerging?] Where in the world would you like to bike around if you could? Ibiza – nothing goes better with cycling than house music and the hot sun. Killer hills, though.   Travelogue premieres in Toronto April 1st and 2nd at 8 pm the Arts and Letters Club, and is part of Toy Piano Composer’s Curiosity Festival. Tickets and show information HERE. Single tickets now available for only $15 in advance. bts94x54

Travelogue Composer Q&A: Elisha Denburg

Mar 9, 2016   //   by admin   //   BOP BLOG  //  No Comments
Bicycle Opera and Toy Piano Composers are gearing up for Travelogue, four new operas that explore travel by bicycle, car, and rocket ship. Over the next four weeks we will be speaking to the four composers who have written for this project and sharing their insights. This week: Elisha Denburg talks to us about his new opera, Road Trip. IMG_0038 What is Road Trip about? Road Trip is about two friends reconnecting after falling out of touch. They used to be roommates and best friends, but an incident caused a rift in their relationship. They revisit the past and try to reconcile themselves with what happened. Was there a particular inspiration for this story? I wanted to try my hand at writing my own libretto. I've really enjoyed working with other librettists on past projects (Johnnie Walker, Maya Rabinovitch) but my personal goal here was to create music and words that were entirely from within, rather than setting a text written by someone else. In terms of the story itself, it's hard to pinpoint exactly where much of the content came from, as I've never personally experienced anything like the incident that's described. So I relied on various different and unrelated experiences of my own and of others, that through dramatic imagination combined to form a singular narrative. Would you say this piece is a continuation or a departure for you, compositionally? I would say that it is pretty consistent with my vocal and operatic approach, which is to say, the drama is always at the forefront. But, with opera especially I feel it's important not to be didactic or dogmatic about musical style, since whatever you write has to serve the drama of the text. So I tried to be as flexible as possible when setting each line and using whichever musical tools I felt were required to allow the words to shine through.
Road Trip score

A glimpse into Road Trip along its journey

    What is Travelogue to you? What is your relationship to travelling? This concert is about the musical journey. Stories take us down unexpected paths, and as composers and writers we all feel so lucky to be able to share these travels with the audience. I love traveling to cities in particular and exploring new urban areas. Each city has a unique infrastructure and culture that I like to explore with repeated visits. Sprint answers: If you were a bike, what kind of bike would you be? Tandem. I'm a bit cumbersome and awkward but work best when in sync with others. Do you wear a helmet? Gotta protect the noggin. How many kilometres would you consider riding in one day? Depends - where is the nearest pub? Where in the world would you like to bike around if you could? If my legs could handle it, Ireland [see answer to #3].   Travelogue premieres in Toronto April 1st and 2nd at 8 pm the Arts and Letters Club, and is part of Toy Piano Composer's Curiosity Festival. Tickets and show information HERE.  

Farewell Nova Scotia: The Ballad of the Bikes

Aug 19, 2015   //   by admin   //   BOP BLOG  //  No Comments

Farewell Nova Scotia: The Ballad of the Bikes

There's something about 27 hours on a train that can warp your sense of time a little bit.... And so, even though it's only been a few days since we were on the east coast, it feels like much much more. And as happy as I am to be back in Ontario, today I miss the breeze coming off the ocean and the lack of humidity (Seriously this humidity might have us missing the Nova Scotian hills in a hurry). Last night we officially kicked off the Ontario leg of our tour with a show in Bracebridge. So if you're anywhere in Ontario check out the TOUR SCHEDULE and book those TICKETS But before we completely move on I'd like to take a moment to toast the glory that is the east coast. This summer was my first trip to this part of Canada, I'd heard so many things, and it sure didn't disappoint. There are some of those things that came as no surprise: gorgeous ocean and country. But the thing I think we'll all remember is the incredible people we've crossed paths with over the last few months. I'd love to go through you all, but I'm sure to forget too many.... So instead a short (but epic) ballad to remember our time in Nova Scotia.

The Ballad of the Bikes

BOP Day One - 1 Come gather round and I'll tell you a tale of 8 bikes, a few bells and a cello Who traveled o'er hills of the fair Nova Scotia Dispensing a new kind of bellow.

Not the kind that'd been heard through vale and through glen play'd on fiddle and boron and pipe But the voice of New Opera, Canadian and strong now rang clear In the still of the night.

BOP Blog Lemons and Lilies 2

We had some tough days, and they cost a few knees, but our smiles withstood every blow And no matter the rain, dehydration or hills, it was always "on with the show"

And they came, oh they came, the warmest of folks to hear all the stories we wove And they clapped and they laughed and shed a few tears. And then it was back on the road


We've been a few places, with opera and bikes and have always been glad that we came But to leave the east coast, with it's beauty and friends... That hardship is hard to explain.

But we'll never forget the folks that we met, o'er oat cakes, and dancing and beer. There's nothing to say that will quite say enough... Except... "Hope to see you next year" 😉


Ontario tour: dates and tickets!

Aug 12, 2015   //   by admin   //   BOP BLOG  //  No Comments

Ontario tour: dates and tickets!

Well, our Nova Scotia tour has come to a close, and we write to you now from the train as we enjoy the beautiful, scenic, very Canadian experience traveling from Halifax to Toronto.


27 hours of intermittent wifi is the perfect opportunity to catch up on our work, and we are FINALLY able to announce the dates and locations for the next phrase of our journy... ONTARIO! (That's right, we didn't forget about you.) Our 2015 touring production, shadow box, had a tremendously successful launch out east. Met with praise across Nova Scotia from opera veterans and newbies alike, shadow box is now coming to Ontario and we are so excited to show you what we've been up to. Tickets are now available and in limited supply: book yours today!!


ONTARIO August 17 - September 6

AUGUST 17 - BRACEBRIDGE OperaMuskoka at Rene M. Caisse Memorial Theatre 100 Clearbrook Trail 7:30pm Admission: $25
AUGUST 20 - BARRIE Memorial Square 65 Dunlop St East 7:30pm Free outdoor performance presented by the city of Barrie
AUGUST 22 - MIDLAND Brookside Music Fest Midland Cultural Centre 333 King St 7:30pm Admission: Adult $15/Student $10
AUGUST 25 - LINDSAY Glenn Crombie Theatre Fleming College 200 Albert St S 7:30pm Admission: $20
AUGUST 27 - PORT HOPE Northumberland Opera Guild Batterwood House Massey Rd, Canton 4:00 pm Tickets: contact Gail Rayment 905-377-0536 | gail.rayment@sympatico.ca
AUGUST 30 - BLOOMFIELD Bloomfield's Centre for Creativity Baxter Arts Centre 3 Stanley St, Bloomfield 7:30 pm Admission: $20 suggested donation at door
SEPTEMBER 1 - KINGSTON The Octave Theatre 711 Dalton Av, Kingston 7:30pm Admission: $20
SEPTEMBER 3 - TORONTO Davenport Perth Neighbourhood Centre 1900 Davenport Rd 1:00pm Admission: Free/Pay-what-you-can
SEPTEMBER 4 - TORONTO Curbside Cycle 412 Bloor St West 8:00pm Admission: $20 FREE bell with ticket purchase and 10% off accessories in store (Seating limited, PWYC standing room also available)
SEPTEMBER 5 - TORONTO Music Gallery 197 John St 8:00pm Admission: $17 reg/$15 for Music Gallery members
SEPTEMBER 6 - TORONTO Evergreen Brick Works 550 Bayview Ave 7:30 pm Admission: Pay-what-you-can online to reserve seat:

Ups and Downs, and another 200 km

Aug 10, 2015   //   by admin   //   BOP BLOG, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Ups and Downs, and another 200 km

If I was a glass half empty kind of guy I would tell you a harrowing tale about our last few days. A tale of detours, hills, bad roads and another knee injury… But you know what? I’m more of a silver linings guy, and now that we’re all settled safely into our beds in Truro I can tell you that glass is so much more than half full. Seriously… we’re biking beside this….
BOP Blog Lemons and Lilies

Cresting a hill a few km after crossing onto the mainland from Cape Breton.

Over the last 4 days we’ve done 2 shows, and biked over 200 kms across Nova Scotia. I don’t wanna oversell it… but we’re kind of killing it over here. But because there have been a few rough moments to go with a huge helping of awesome… we’re going to play a game I used to play this in high school called 'Lemons and Lilies".  We gave out ‘lilies’ to the things that we liked, and ‘lemons’ to the things that weren’t great. EXAMPLE:
  1. A lily to Sonja because she bought road pie
  2. A lemon to Geoff because he made me play a game called ‘one gear’ (in which we pick one gear that we have to stick to for the whole day) and I chose poorly.
Get how it works??? Here are some lilies and lemons for our last 4 days. A LILY to my bike for not breaking for four days straight (although I had to get one of the wheels trued again.) A LILY to Matt at the Antigonish bike shop for being a total champ (the same Matt who drove me back to Port Hawkesbury after the spoke incident of 2015). A LILY to Geoff for being a super sweet navigator coming out of Port Hawkesbury (even though we all thought he was wrong.) A LILY to Gary at Gary’s Grocery for making fresh cinnamon buns for us. A LILY to day 2 of cycling because it’s the only day that no one got hurt (*sigh*) A LEMON to Wesley’s knee. Apparently bum knees are contagious (although Geoff's knee is much better so at least it seems to be striking us one at a time.) FEAR NOT. ALL IS WELL. Wesley pushed through the tough ride from Antigonish to New Glasgow like a pro, but it was clear he needed some medical attention by the time we arrived. A quick trip to the clinic, a cold compress and some anti inflammatories later, the team decided Wesley needed to take a few days off cycling so that we can, well... have a pianist for the next three weeks of touring in Ontario (BUY TICKETS HERE). But he's doing great, and can't wait to get back on the bike.  A LILLY to Marcel for driving Wesley and his bike to Truro for us! A LILY to the rest of Wesley (just cause… but also for biking 20 km on one leg.) A HUGE LEMONY LEMON: to the detour… the detour that made a long day 15 km longer than it should have been. The detour that brought us on a bad “highway” full of hills. (FACT: hills are so very much harder on cracked pavement.) LEMON LEMON LEMON
BOP Blog Lemons and Lilies 2

Detour due to construction on the scenic highway. Detouring all around Lismore on terrible roads on the way from Antigonish to New Glasgow? I

A LILY to the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre for having everything you could possibly want all under one roof. A LILY to Antigonish (I am super pro-gonish… one of my favourite towns we’ve been through. A seriously quaint university town surrounded by idyllic farm land.) A LEMON to hills (every hill… down or up… doesn’t matter.) A LILY To Steph for being a freaking trooper. A LILY to unexpected bakeries and cafe’s at just the right time in just the right place. A LILY OF A LEMON to Ellie and her friends for serving the best lemonade in all of Nova Scotia right on our way to New Glasgow!
Sweet lemonade stand on the way from Antigonish to New Glasgow

Sweet lemonade stand on the way from Antigonish to New Glasgow

A LILY to all the people who have come out to our shows. You’ve been so warm and generous. It’s been a blast to perform for you. A HUGE LILY To all of our billets. We have all felt so lucky to be under your roofs for the night (or two.) A LILY to The Celtic Circle, a seriously cool venue run by a seriously cool woman. BIG SHOUT OUT to Jannine for all the amazing work that you do. A LEMON to the rain (although kind of a LILY too…. Because it waited to really rain until we were in Truro.) A LILY to this beautiful province, it’s such a pleasure to travel through it. THE BIGGEST LILY OF ALL to wonderful colleagues, who are totally killing it on the stage and on the bikes, to lunches beside the ocean, and chats going up those lemony hills.
BOP BLOG Lemons and Lilies 3

Lunch break at the Lighthouse at Arisaig "Lobster Interpretive Centre"

Day 1: Momma said there would be days like this….

Aug 5, 2015   //   by admin   //   BOP BLOG  //  1 Comment

Day 1: Momma said there would be days like this....

Day one was always going to be a challenge. We had just finished up doing 6 shows in 7 days, including launching shadowbox to an awesome audience in Baddeck.

We were tired, and the prospect of biking 90 kilometres on the first day… on Cape Breton hills seemed like… a lot.

As a "veteran" of bike opera I was nervous for what I knew was coming. The hills, the length, my complete lack of conditioning.

The 'newbies' had different fears. Will I keep up? Will I be able to do it? 

Well... some days go exactly as you think they will… whether that's a good or a bad thing...

And some days… are just crazy banana pants (#technicalterm)

The Veteran Story….

It all started off as we remembered it, packing the trailers… getting on the road. It felt comfortable… familiar. Bell signals and hills alike. Our fearless leaders: Larissa, smiling her huge “I love bike opera” smile, and Geoff, the workhorse, saddling up his clearly overloaded trailer without complaint.

It was all going well.BOP Day One - 1

Until about 25 kilometres in…

A spoke doesn’t seem like a big deal. But when it breaks… it’s not the best. It was my spoke that started the events that sent the day into crazy town.

We had prepared for the possibility, but of course it was a spoke in the wrong position and we didn’t have just the right tool for the job (crazy specific bike tools). So we were left on the side of the road with 7 and a half bikes… and 8 people.BOP Day 1 - 2

Fact: You can't ride half a bike

Luckily this started a trend of amazing people stepping in to save the day.

The first heroes were Petra and _______ who scooped me, and my bike up and drove me into the next town. There we all met up to ponder the next move.

I won’t bore you with the endless details of my story, but within the day I was shuttled 100s of kilometres in three different stranger’s cars. Met some of the most generous, kind people I have had the pleasure of interacting with (and one beautiful Husky). I bought a new bike wheel (apparently one spoke wasn’t the problem), and chalked the day up to one of the luckiest unlucky days of my life.

Meanwhile back with the group things were getting more topsy turvy.

Spokes are important, but knees are way more important.

BOP Day 1 - 3And of course the knees of the guy hauling the heaviest trailer are the most important of all.


Now, it’s tough to explain how incredible Geoff’s tolerance for pain is… but just know that it’s very high, but at one point (allegedly: remember… I was 60 km away meeting my new Husky friend) he was biking with only one leg, the other crossed over his crossbar up a hill.


Picking up the slack was the rest of the veteran team. Larissa and Wes who hauled trailers… and STEPH!!!! Who rocked out a trailer for the FIRST TIME and totally killed it up some particularly nasty hills.

The Newbie Story

I remember being a newbie. I had done no cycle touring before Bike Opera last year…

I was worried about whether I’d keep up, or even be able to do it at all.

Well… if our newbies were worried about those things they sure put it all to rest. Not only did they “keep up”…. They freaking killed it. Our newbies led the pack, charging up hills and leaving the rest of us behind.

They went 90 kms on their FIRST DAY OF TOURING… with some crazy hills.

BOP Day 1 - 4

So…. We had some bad luck today… but it wasn’t a bad day.

It’s a testament to community that even when things get turned on their heads, people step up… both the folks in our Bike family… and the people that we'd never met before (welcome to the Bike Family).

People are pretty awesome.

So, if you’re an awesome person and you find yourself near Port Hawksbury, come to our show tomorrow night at 7. I think if anything is clear after today it’s that we will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to put on this show for you.


Venue Featurette #3: New Glasgow

Jul 25, 2015   //   by admin   //   BOP BLOG  //  No Comments


Venue Featurette #3: NEW GLASGOW

Following two days of cycling (Port Hawkesbury - Antigonish: 60km, Antigonish - New Glasgow: 74km) we will arrive at our 3rd Nova Scotia venue, The Celtic Circle Cultural Centre of New Glasgow.
Panoramic view of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, 1878. Courtesy of Nova Scotia Archives, Halifax
The tree-lined streets of New Glasgow reveal impressive Victorian architecture with many beautifully crafted buildings and homes made of sandstone and brick.  The Celtic Circle, built in 1896 and originally home to The First United Baptist Church, has retained its Victorian roots while also being refurbished into a 200-seat performing arts centre.  It is also home to several art studios and galleries where the works of local artists and artisans are regularly on display, making The Celtic Circle the major artistic hub of the community. celticcircle New Glaswegians - don't miss this rare opportunity to see the Bicycle Opera Project in action!

August 8, 2015 The Celtic Circle 7:30pm Admission: $20