SVTC presents operatic farce: A Comedy of Tenors

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
SVTC presents operatic farce: A Comedy of Tenors
From left, A Comedy of Tenors Producer Peter Labelle and Director Cathy Durham (Shawna O'Neill/Seaway News photo).

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Seaway Valley Theatre Company (SVTC) is looking forward to making the community laugh with their latest production, A Comedy of Tenors.

“It is a hoot!” said Director Cathy Durham. “We are getting so used to (rehearsing) the jokes now, we are not quite finding it so funny. But when we have someone in (to watch us rehearse) they’re laughing. So that’s good.”

The production, set in 1930s Paris, follows a mix  of characters — four tenors, two wives, three girlfriends and a stadium of rowdy fans as the stage is set for the concert of the century. Producer Henry Saunders is tasked with keeping Italian superstar Tito Merelli and his wife, Maria, in line, not to cause chaos on before the big performance.

Durham directed one of the first productions with the Company about 12 years ago and has brought another Ken Ludwig tale back to the local stage. In past seasons, she has directed productions of Leading Ladies, Moon Over Buffalo and Lend Me a Tenor.

“I have directed a few of his plays before. This is a Comedy of Tenors, before it was Lend Me a Tenor, that I had last time…so there are some characters that have returned for this one. But you don’t have to have watched it at all. Within the first few minutes, you’re all caught up. So, it’s a great farce – plenty of door slamming,” said Durham.

The production will begin Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Ecole secondaire publique l’Heritage and continue on May 11, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25. A showing will also take place on Sunday, May 19 at 1:30 p.m. and the May 23 performance will fundraise for Be the Link/Soyez le Lien campaign, with proceeds donated by SVTC to assist in funding the new arts centre in Cornwall.

“We have been rehearsing since the (February production) The Drowsy Chaperone…you kind of switch streams and away you go. We have been meeting three times a week,” explained Durham, who said productions are often planned a year in advance.

So far this season, the SVTC has performed productions of The Curious Savage, Elf The Musical Jr. and The Drowsy Chaperone.

“Usually (comedies) are well received in the community…it’s carefully orchestrated in its own way. We are all volunteers and we are doing what we can. I think in terms of that, we are all doing it because we love it and I hope it shows,” said Durham.

Tickets to all performances are $20 and can be purchased at the door, online at  or at SDG United Way/Centraide, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information about the play or SVTC, visit

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