by Abigail Richardson (composer) and Marjorie Chan (libretto) (2008)

Director: Lynda Hill
Music Director: Wayne Strongman
Set & Costume Design: Kelly Wolf
Lighting Design: Andrea Lundy
Video Design: Luisa Quintavalle
Choreography: Viv Moore
Cast: Xin Wang, Alvin Crawford, Sharmila Dey, Frank Cox-O’Connell

Sanctuary Song is inspired by the true story of Shirley the elephant who lived in retirement at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. The opera tells the story of Sydney, as she prepares to leave her life in the zoo and her loyal friend James the keeper. A story of friendship, promises and freedom, this opera is for all-ages.

World Premiere at the Luminato Festival 2008 (Produced by Theatre Direct Canada and Tapestry New Opera Works.) Nominated for 3 Dora Mavor Moore Awards – Outstanding New Musical/Opera, Outstanding Production of an Opera, NOW Magazine’s Audience Choice Award.  Subsequently remounted in 2013, touring to the National Arts Centre by Theatre Direct.

WINNER – DORA MAVOR MOORE AWARD – Outstanding New Opera (2009)

Photos of Alvin Crawford, Xin Wang, Sharmila Dey by John Lauener Photography (courtesy of Theatre Direct & Tapestry)