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James Rolfe: Biography

James Rolfe
1961 -
Region: Ontario

James Rolfe

Toronto composer James Rolfe has been commissioned and performed by ensembles, orchestras, choirs, theatres, and opera companies in Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. His work has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship, the K. M. Hunter Music Award, the Louis Applebaum Composers Award, the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, SOCAN’s Jan V. Matejcek Concert Music Award, a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and the Outstanding Choral Work Award from the Association of Canadian Choral Communities.

The Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company production of Mr. Rolfe’s opera Beatrice Chancy played to sold-out houses and rave reviews in Toronto, Dartmouth, and Edmonton. The company later produced Inês, which was nominated for a Dora Award. Three masques--Orpheus and Eurydice, Aeneas and Dido, and Europa--were premiered by The Toronto Masque Theatre to critical and audience acclaim. Elijah’s Kite, an opera for children, was co-produced in New York by Tapestry Opera and the Manhattan School of Music, and given its Canadian premiere before the Governor-General at Rideau Hall. His opera Swoon was premiered by the Canadian Opera Company, which commissioned a new opera, Crush, mounted in a workshop production at The Banff Centre in July 2015.

Current projects include À rebours, with choreographer James Kudelka and writer Alex Poch-Goldin, to be produced in May 2016 by Coleman Lemieux Dance; and a new operatic version of Gogol's The Overcoat for Tapestry Opera and Vancouver Opera with writer Morris Panych, to be produced in fall 2017.


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