SATE - MusicOntario Member Spotlight
SATE is an undeniable force in a lane of her own. Known for her bone-chilling voice, she has quickly built a reputation as an artist who is impossible to ignore. SATE’s music is the natural result of the live experience, and the culmination of a lifetime spent fully immersed in music of all forms and shades. As the daughter of Canadian blues and jazz pioneer Salome Bey, SATE learned at the feet of countless music legends that passed through Toronto during her childhood. She soon found her own voice by adding the sounds and attitudes of punk, and hard rock that shaped her own identity, setting her upon her journey. In 2021, SATE released her sophomore album, The Fool, a cutting edge album with catchy earworms.
SATE is now bringing her powerhouse sound to the theatre stage as character Tiresias in “Dion: A Rock Opera”. We dug deeper into her process preparing for this role and how her artistry has impacted her approach below.
What is Dion: A Rock Opera ?
DION: A Rock Opera is a retelling of one of the most enduring Greek classics, The Bacchae. It takes place in the City State of Thebes. Dion (originally Dionysus), the non-binary "Demi God", (half God half human) and champion of wine and revelry, has come to punish their mother's family who refuse to believe they are the offspring of Zuess. They seduce their own relatives into joining a "cult" of disenfranchised revellers who have all abandoned Thebes for the woods, and then Dion allows themself to be captured by their furious cousin, the ruler of Thebes, Pentheus. What they convince Pentheus to do is not something anyone would have thought was possible...
Entirely sung, this version of The Bacchae is sassy, sexy, quick moving, sacred and profane. It's a meditation on all aspects of The Left and The Right that has never been more relevant. There are shades of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW or PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE here, as much as THE BACCHAE or HAMLET. But rather than homage or nostalgia – it’s a new-born re-invention of the rock opera for today.”
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What steps have you taken to prepare for your role in the rock opera?
We had four weeks of rehearsal. The first week, we focused solely on music and understanding the impact of the story through detailed study and discussion of the text. The following week we started, what we call blocking or "putting it up on its feet", which means the director and choreographer have a plan for the actors movements in relation to the story and the interactions between the characters. In that week, we were expected to know all of our words and harmonies. In the third week, we started "running the show", basically putting all of the pieces together from beginning to end, to get the flow of the show. In the final week, we added costumes and lights to the rehearsal process. All this while in rehearsal, we're playing, trying new things with our character to find the clearest way to convey the story, with the help of the director, and if things don't work we change them.
Has there been any challenges during the process of this project?
A couple of challenges for me included playing a visually impaired person as a seeing person, exploring how to communicate and respond to my fellow actors and audience without looking people in the eye.
When and where will the shows take place?
The show opens February 8th at The Coal Mine Theatre (2076 Danforth Ave) and runs until March 3rd. Tickets available on the Coal Mine Theatre website
Has your artistry as SATE impacted your roleplaying in DION?
Everything that I do in my life, including simply living, songwriting to recording to performing with my band, impacts every role that I've ever taken in theatre.
Do you have any other upcoming projects, releases or shows you’d like to share?
In May, I start rehearsing an opera about renowned and celebrated Halifax born opera singer, Portia White, called APORTIA CHRYPTYCH: A Black Opera for Portia White. This opera will be performed June 14-16 at the Canadian Opera Company. This opera is the first Black opera produced at the Canadian Opera Company. I am also working on my own original theatre project as well.
Keep up with SATE: