More than 300 jauntily dressed Saultites turned out at a local saw mill today, to take in an opera.
Sounds unlikely, but Algoma Fall Festival presented the Tapestry New Opera Works production of Opera to Go at Boniferro Mill Works twice on Saturday.
Tapestry Artistic Director, Wayne Strongman (shown), told SooToday.com that he was very pleased with the unusual venue for the show.
"It was so huge. We had to find a way to break it up into interesting spaces and the mill owners were so very helpful about it," Strongman said.
Pallets of particle board packaged for delivery and stored at the mill by GP Flakeboard were used as large-scale building blocks to create walls, hallways and even a screen for projecting multimedia presentations as part of the show.
"It's such a beautiful architectural site and it wasn't really that difficult once we decided how to safely travel people through," Strongman said.
And travel they did - between four stages.
Instead of changing sets, this production had the audience change the locations of their seats to see the five different operettas.
The students of White Pines Grade 11 drama class opened the evening show with a special performance they wrote and produced at a one-week workshop with members of the Tapestry Company.
During intermission, wine and comestibles were delivered by uniformed servers to guests happily chattering among stacks of particle board and milling equipment.
Strongman was impressed with the response from Saultites to both performances and with the level of talent and commitment from festival volunteers as well as students at White Pines.