CCM faculty member Elliot Madore opens up about identity in new film project
Madore speaks and sings candidly in a new filmed song-cycle produced by Against the Grain Theatre
Acclaimed baritone and CCM Associate Professor of Voice Elliot Madore stars in Identity: A Song Cycle, a new film from Against the Grain Theatre directed by Joel Ivany. The film, which was released on Oct. 23, features the performance of five new songs — with music by composer Dinuk Wijeratne and original poetry by Shauntay Grant — and is currently available to stream on Against the Grain Theatre’s website.
The genesis for the project arose in June of 2020, when Madore posted on social media about his struggles with expressing his mixed-race identity. "Being mixed-race has always left me justifying who I am," he wrote. People responded with "wide-eyed disbelief" when he identified as either black or biracial, and their responses left him hesitant to identify as either. "It was easier to avoid the conversation than having to convince someone of my own authenticity," he writes. The Instagram post was noticed by Against the Grain’s Artistic Director, Joel Ivany, who set in motion the collaboration between himself, Madore, Wijeratne and Grant. The film features a performance of Identity interwoven with stories from Madore's life.
Watch the trailer below.
Originally from Canada, Madore is sought after internationally as a soloist and opera singer, and frequently performs with the world's most renowned companies and orchestras. His recent engagements include Schaunard in La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera, Carmina Burana with the both the LA Phil and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, soloist in Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion with the Seattle Symphony. Identity, however, gives Madore and his collaborators the chance to reflect on deeply personal content in an innovative medium.
Innovation is at the heart of Against the Grain Theatre’s mission of "revitalizing the operatic art form by introducing diverse audiences to outside-the-box opera experiences." Founded in 2010 in Toronto, Canada, the experimental opera company is dedicated to uplifting diverse Canadian voices in opera (Madore, Wijeratne, Grant and Ivany are all Canadian).
Identity: A Song Cycle is available to stream on atgtheatre.com through April 23, 2023. Tickets are free or pay-what-you-can.
CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications
Lucy Evans is a master’s student studying Vocal Performance at CCM. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and was recently an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera.
A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio. All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, visit ccm.uc.edu/onstage.
Featured image at the top: CCM faculty member Elliot Madore performing in Identity. Photo provided by Against the Grain Theatre.