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In 1914, the crime-rid­den life of Bloody” Jack Krafchenko cul­mi­nat­ed in his death by hang­ing at Winnipeg’s Vaugh­an Street Jail. The charis­mat­ic, remorse­less Krafchenko led an event­ful life of bank rob­beries, escapes, and run­ning from the law. This fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter of Man­i­to­ba his­to­ry is explored in Michael Matthews & Den­nis Cooley’s new song cycle Bloody Jack, pre­sent­ed by Flip­side Opera & Art Song Collective in part­ner­ship with Groundswell.

Sopra­no Dawn Bruch-Wiens and pianist Dr. Lau­ra Loewen will present five songs of the cycle in a world pre­mière per­for­mance cap­tured by direc­tor and video­g­ra­ph­er Aidan Ritchie. The songs will be inter­wo­ven with his­tor­i­cal, archival and artis­tic dis­cus­sions with his­to­ri­an Kris­ten Treusch, com­pos­er Matthews, and poet Coo­ley. A col­lage of voic­es from Krafchenko’s life com­bine with the sights and sounds of a raw prairie win­ter to cre­ate a sound expe­ri­ence like no other.

Please vis­it our Bios page to learn more about the cre­ative forces behind this project.

The in-per­son pre­mière screen­ing with a pan­el dis­cus­sion fea­tur­ing the cre­ative team will be on Novem­ber 19, 2021, tak­ing place at Lit­tle Brown Jug (336 William Ave.) Fol­low­ing the pre­mière, audi­ences can stream the videos via the Flip­side web­site, in a pay-what-you-can format.

We acknowl­edge that these sto­ries have been col­lect­ed, sourced, and recre­at­ed on Treaty 1 ter­ri­to­ry and the home­land of the Métis. We acknowl­edge the harms of col­o­niza­tion and ear­ly set­tlers on the Indige­nous pop­u­la­tion of the land of so-called Man­i­to­ba, and are com­mit­ted to acts of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and cooperation.

Flip­side Opera & Art Song Col­lec­tive is an inde­pen­dent vocal the­atre com­pa­ny based in Win­nipeg, Man­i­to­ba. The col­lec­tive pri­or­i­tizes Man­i­to­ban artists and sto­ries to present low-bar­ri­er, clas­si­cal­ly sung per­for­mances that are any­thing but tra­di­tion­al. Flip­side cre­ates com­pelling, immer­sive pro­duc­tions, telling truth through song.