Music by Juliet Palmer

Libretto by Anna Chatterton

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

Through a generous Digital Now grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, our 2017 touring production, Sweat will be reconceived through a cinematic lens.

In development now, Sweat is set to film this June and will be released digitally in October/November 2022.

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 Hungarian, 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.

Our original touring production of Sweat was created by:


Union Organizer: Stephanie Tritchew
Overseer: Catherine Daniel
Neighbour: Larissa Koniuk
Owner: Keith Lam
Caitlin Wood
Justine Owen
Emma Char
Alexandra Beley
Cindy Won


Stage Director: Banuta Rubess
Music Director: Geoffrey Sirett
Choreographer: Jennifer Nichols
Designer: Sonja Rainey
Lighting Designer: Kai Masaoka
Stage Manager: Julia Howman