“An extraordinary film. Made with care and bravura and full of rich emotion.”

Atom Egoyan

“This film fires on all pistons — a thrilling, masterfully crafted union of opera and dance.”

Michael MacLennan
Creator – Bomb Girls, Tiny Pretty Things
Writer – Queer as Folk

The Bicycle Opera Project is thrilled to present the film adaptation of SWEAT, an innovative opera by Juliet Palmer with a libretto by Anna Chatterton. Winner of the Best Narrative Feature at the LA Independent Women Film Awards, this unique production has been re-envisioned for the big (and small) screen.

SWEAT will make its Toronto debut with an exclusive in-person screening on Saturday, June 15th at the Revue Cinema, followed by a digital release available worldwide June 16-30.

Digital Streaming

Streaming available until July 31 at 11:59 pm.

Starts at $15 + fees

Stream now

“As a film, it’s stylized yet real, a true and earthy story told through a lens of beauty; Palmer’s gorgeous harmonies and Chatterton’s evocative words and and Nichols’ choreography that drapes bodies like the swish of fabric.”

Jenna Douglas

SWEAT merges contemporary dance and operatic storytelling with evocative and striking imagery. Filmed in raw factory spaces, SWEAT tells the story of a group of women working in the garment industry and sets their individual aspirations against the demands of global capitalism.

SWEAT  is an a cappella opera for nine singers by Juliet Palmer and Anna Chatterton about the global garment industry. Scored for chorus and four soloists performing in English as well as Cantonese, Ukrainian, Spanish, and Bulgarian, SWEAT seeks to bring the audience into the heart of a contemporary sweatshop. What do these workers dream of while sewing sleeves all day? Was life better in the village left behind? What choice did they make? Plunging headfirst into the ethical conundrums of the garment trade, this opera offers a window into the lives of the workers who clothe us.

Immediately evoking the environment of the sweatshop, Palmer’s score falls in and out of musical grooves as she contrasts the sonic world of the factory floor with the lyrical hopes and dreams of the women who labour there.

Thank you to our generous funders: Canada Council for the Arts, Kingston Film & Media, and individual sponsors.

Creative Team

Jennifer Nichols

Director | Choreographer | Producer

A classically trained ballerina and contemporary dancer Jennifer’s work for the stage and screen spans two decades. For stage, Jennifer holds extensive choreography and performance credits, including ‘Pandora’-Dora Award nominated for Outstanding Production in the Opera category (FAWN Chamber Creative), ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ (Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Summer Music Festival), ‘Messiah’ (Against the Grain Theatre), ‘Sweat’ (Bicycle Opera). For television and film, Jennifer holds Head Choreographer and Dance/Script consultant credits for the Netflix series ‘Tiny Pretty Things’ and was also choreographer for ‘Reign’ (CW), ‘Titans’ (DC Universe), ‘Frankie Drake’ (CBC), ‘Salvation’ (CBS), ‘Mary Kills People’ (Global TV), ‘Falling Water’ (USA Network), ‘Transylvania’ (CW), ‘Reacher’ (Amazon) and the feature film ‘Barney’s Version’ (Serendipity Point Films).

Larissa Koniuk

BOP Founder | Producer

Designed to bring contemporary Canadian music to smaller communities where there is little opportunity to hear it, the Bicycle Opera Project closes the gap between audiences and singers by performing in intimate spaces. Bicycle Opera was founded in 2012 by Larissa Koniuk and Nadia Chana, two young singers who decided to fuse their love of opera and that of cycling. Since 2012, the company has grown considerably, but maintains its environmentally-friendly roots and creates productions that are renowned for their fresh and inventive style. Larissa is the founder and artistic director of the Bicycle Opera Project and also in demand as a soprano for her interpretations of new opera works. She also appears in Sweat as ‘The Neighbour’.

Juliet Palmer


Canadian-New Zealand composer Juliet Palmer is acclaimed for interdisciplinary work, which “crosses so many genres as to be in a category of its own” (Toronto Star). Artistic director of Urbanvessel, Juliet holds a PhD from Princeton University. Her music has been presented at festivals and concerts around the world.

Anna Chatterton


As a librettist Anna Chatterton’s work includes Swoon (Canadian Opera Company), Crush (COC and The Banff Centre), Stitch (Theatre Centre/Urbanvessel, Dora nomination for Outstanding New Opera), Voice Box (Harbourfront Centre/World Stage/Urbanvessel) and Rocking Horse Winner (Tapestry Opera) that recently won the 2017 Dora Mavor Moore award for Outstanding Opera Production.

Geoffrey Sirett

Music Director | Conductor

Geoffrey Sirett is highly sought-after across Canada for opera and concert work. One of Canada’s leading baritones, Geoffrey recently made his debuts with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins) and the Canadian Opera Company (Strauss’ Arabella). Geoffrey is the music director of The Bicycle Opera Project.

Ash Tailor-Jones


Ash Tailor is a director of photography based out of Toronto, Canada. Originally from the United Kingdom, he enjoys bringing a discrete style and approach to story. Specialising in narrative and commercial content, he is passionate about being bold and building worlds that resonate with audiences, working collaboratively with all departments to bring meaning and intentionality to the story at hand.

Vy Nguyen

First Assistant Camera

Originally from Windsor, Vy Nguyen is a freelance camera assistant working in Toronto. She finds the beauty in life through frames, sketches, spicy foods, and thrifting petite clothes meant for petite people (her).

Krista Dowson

Costume Designer

Krista retired from the National Ballet after a fulfilling 14 year career as a dancer. She remains situated within the dance world, designing and building costumes and dancewear for dancers and companies, both nationally and internationally. She had had the pleasure of designing costumes for The National Ballet of Canada, Toronto Dance Theatre, Citadel + Compagnie, ProArteDanza, Côté Danse, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Ballet Kelowna, Barbara Cole and Hit and Run Dance Productions among others.

Braden Dragomir

Key Gaffer | Additional Camera Operator

Braden is an accomplished creative director, journalist, cinematographer, and storyteller. You can usually find him talking to, well pretty much anyone, learning unique details about their life. For Braden, it’s all in the pursuit of finding unique stories that need to be told. Always seeing the world through the lens resulted in him founding Make Hay Media (now Untold Storytelling) in 2014.

Brody McMaster

Key Grip | Additional Camera Operator

Brody’s journey into filmmaking started in the skate park at a young age. Like so young he would sneak away with his parent’s camcorder so he could film his friends then put it back hoping he didn’t break it. He’s spent the last 5 years working story into what he sees through the lens. Creating projects all over the world, Brody strives to have every frame move the story forward.

Emese Kiraly

Production Manager

Emese Kiraly (she | her | hers) has worked in the Film & TV Industry for over 8 years, growing along the way as a Producer, Production Coordinator, Locations Scout and Mentor. Based in Kingston, Emese has worked as a Production Coordinator consistently over the last 2 years at the Kingston Film Office, helping to host major productions, such as Netflix and Paramount Plus. She is passionate about advocating for better consent practices and safer spaces for performers and crew, which allows her to approach work in an informed and realistic way.


Catherine Daniel

The Overseer

Catherine Daniel is currently based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Career highlights for Ms. Daniel include: singing Emelda Griffiths in Grammy award-winner Terence Blanchard’s opera ‘Champion’ with l’Opéra de Montréal, debuting Klytemnestra in Edmonton Opera’s production of Elektra. Catherine debuted the role Katie Ellen in the Pulitzer Prize winning opera Omar at the Spoleto Festival in 2022. She has since reprised the role twice: at the Carolina Performing Arts Center in Chapel Hill and with Boston Lyric Opera in 2023. Catherine sang in two world premieres in 2023: La Flambeau by David Bontemps and Pomegranate by Kye Marshall. Ms. Daniel sang Jezibaba in Rusalka at the Theater Erfurt in 2024 and ended the season singing Erda and Fricka in consecutive productions of Das Rheingold in her home province.

Ms Daniel studied voice with Coluratura soprano Tracy Dahl at the University of Manitoba. She was a member of the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, and later became a member of the Opera Studio Nederlands in Amsterdam. Catherine recently completed her Master’s in Vocal Performance with Canadian tenor John Tessier.

Keith Lam

The Manager

Hong Kong born, Toronto-based baritone Keith Lam was described as “a suave, fine grained baritone” by the Boston Globe. He has performed with companies such as Canadian Opera Company, Tafelmusik, Tapestry Opera, Opera Five, Bicycle Opera Project, Toronto Operetta Theatre and Jeunesse Musicales.

Larissa Koniuk

The Neighbour

Soprano Larissa Koniuk is in demand for her interpretations of new opera works. She made her NYC debut in Sweat with Centre for Contemporary Opera, and has promoted and performed in over 20 new opera works with the leading contemporary companies including The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s New Creations Festival, The Royal Conservatory of Music’s 21C Festival, Stratford Summer Music and Westben Festival.

Stephanie Tritchew

The Union Organizer

Canadian mezzo soprano Stephanie Tritchew has been named “one of six Canadian women making the future bright for the art form” by The Globe and Mail. Recent work includes diverse repertoire with companies including Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, as well as a host of independent companies and projects.

Caitlin Wood

Worker 1

Alberta-born soprano Caitlin Wood earned impressive reviews as an “absolutely vibrant Susanna”, with “great comic flair” (Vancouver Classical Music) in her 2017 debut as Susanna in Marriage of Figaro, Vancouver Opera Festival. Caitlin has appeared in leading roles with Edmonton Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria and in Carmina Burana with Okanagan Symphony.

Justine Owen

Worker 2

Toronto born Soprano, Justine Owen completed her first tour with the Bicycle Opera Project in Sweat. Justine has worked with Culchaworks Arts collective and has sung the role of Carmen Jones in a tribute to Harry Belafonte. Justine currently sings with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale as a chorister and soloist.

Erica Iris

Worker 3

Praised for her stage presence of warmth and character, Mezzo-soprano Erica Iris has captivated audiences with her sensitivity and vocal timbres, critically acclaimed in her performances of opera, concert oratorio, and contemporary repertoire. Winner of the 2011 Eckhardt-Gramatté Music Competition, she has since appeared with the Canadian Opera Company and Tapestry Opera.

Alex Beley

Worker 4

Alexandra Beley is quickly establishing herself as an up and coming young mezzo-soprano. Alexandra has been praised for her dark, rich, and expressive timbre. Recently, Alexandra was a member of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Program and also a member of L’Atelier Lyrique with Opéra de Montréal, where she had the pleasure of singing under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Cindy Won

Worker 5

Mezzo-soprano Cindy Won, is in demand for her ensemble singing for Toronto’s finest ensembles. She regularly is called on to interpret works ranging from contemporary to early, and everything in between. She has performed regularly with Tafelmusik and the Canadian Opera Company.

Dedra McDermott

Dancer 1

Based in Tkaronto/Toronto, Dedra McDermott is a Black, new-generation artist-researcher, emerging curator, producer, and movement dramaturg with a keen interest in performance, choreographic methodology, and divergent approaches to engaging with archival practices. Her artistic research explores identity, memory, and grief—utilizing autoethnographic methodology to weave movement and literary choreographies to create live, filmed, and installation works. As a movement artist whose cultural positioning places her at the intersection of Black (Jamaican, First-Generation Canadian) and woman-identifying, all of my knowledge coalesces into my dancing body—a vessel that holds an accumulation of embodied practices and unwavering resilience. She holds a BFA in Choreography and Performance (York University, 2016), an MA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (University of Toronto, 2020), and an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice (OCAD University, 2024).

Dedra is currently the Co-Executive Artistic Producer of DanceWorks, a choreographic presentation platform based in Toronto, Canada.

Miyeko Ferguson

Dancer 2

Miyeko Ferguson is a Tkaronto / Toronto based dance artist. She graduated from Toronto
Metropolitan University’s Performance Dance program. She has performed with companies such
as Compagnie de la Citadelle, Canadian Opera Company and toured across North America with
Red Sky Performance’s production, Trace. Other film credits include Atom Egoyan’s Seven Veils

Carleen Zouboules

Dancer 3

Carleen is an Alberta-born, Toronto-based artist who earned her BFA from Toronto Metropolitan University. She recently premiered as Ophelia in Guillaume Coté & Robert Lepage’s Hamlet at The Elgin Theater in April 2024. She has performed a sizable repertoire with companies ProArteDanza, Coté Danse, Red Sky Performance & Zata Omm Dance Productions.


Help us take the film version of SWEAT further.

Since its inception, Bicycle Opera Project has been dedicated to taking contemporary Canadian music into smaller communities where there is less opportunity to hear it. Over the years, Bicycle Opera Project has pedalled to town halls and community centres, small theatres and unconventional spaces, bringing Canadian opera to Canadians.

Part of our excitement in developing a film version of SWEAT is that we’re now able to expand our reach and take this innovative production further. Winner of the Best Narrative Feature at the LA Independent Women Film Awards, the film version captures contemporary dance, opera and visual storytelling into a distinct piece of cinema that can be viewed anywhere – at home, in a small cinema, or in a community hall. You can help us take SWEAT further by making a donation to this project. 

Your donation will go directly to our distribution plans that include equitable access for underserved communities to watch the film and enhanced learning opportunities for students and emerging artists. Through a residency with Tapestry Opera, the Bicycle Opera Project is able to accept charitable donations toward this project and will issue tax receipts. As a small, independent opera company Bicycle Opera Project gratefully receives and appreciates donations of any amount.

Donate Now

“The depiction of the women’s collective experience resonated most powerfully in the rhythmic ensemble evocations – sung and spoken – of the soul-destroying daily grind… and the slowly unfolding, overlapping textures of voices yearning for a better life.” 

-Wall Street Journal