Luminato 2023 November 22, 2022

A Glimpse of Luminato 2023

Today we’re thrilled to share our first installment of the 2023 festival program featuring exceptional productions coming to the stage from June 7th to June 18th, 2023. With two world premieres, a new vision for a seldom seen opera, a rare revival of a seminal dance work and a hit from the touring circuit, June’s upcoming festival will feature an appreciable collection of theatre, dance, and opera. 

We are partnering with thirteen local arts organizations to bring five ambitious works to the 2023 festival. We want to offer Toronto’s loyal performing arts audience an early taste of what’s to come in June so they can start planning now. Next year’s festival is a testament to collaboration and communities, through stories which will inspire us all to keep working together to make our city, this land, and the world, a better more generous place to live for everyone.” 

Naomi Campbell, Luminato Festival Toronto Artistic Director

Arts and culture lovers will enjoy works that travel through time, reclaim space, and open conversations. Intrigued? Read on to learn what Luminato 2023 has in store. 

Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha

Banner image for Treemonisha. Sepia tone photo of Neema Bickersteth as Treemonisha overlaid on top of a colourful, swirling abstract background.
Artwork by Lost In The Island. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Originally written by Scott Joplin in 1911, Treemonisha tells the story of a young Black woman who leads her community into the revolutionary future. Fusing European classical music with ragtime, folk, and gospel, Treemonisha is one of the few immediate post-slavery era pieces written by a Black person who actually lived through it. 


Photo of the stage presentation of Aalaapi. A woman is walking across the stage. On the stage, there is a house with a projection of blue-white snow. There is a window in the house with an orange light glowing out of it.
Photo by Anne-Marie Baribeau   

In Inuktitut, Aalaapi means “Choosing silence to hear something beautiful.” Immerse yourself in a theatrical performance which combines the sounds of the North – creaking snow, whistling winds, and voices in Inuktitut, French and English – with radio documentary, to reveal the daily lives of women in Northern Quebec.

Drawing on radio’s central role in the North, Aalaapi steps into the world of two friends, Nancy and Ulivia, sharing a cabin in a small village in Nunavik. As images scroll across the cabin, an intimate portrait of young women in Northern communities, depicted through speech, sound and silences, reveals the richness of their history and the power of their future. 

Aalaapi is an invitation to listen deeply. 

Dragon’s Tale

Banner image for Dragon's Tale. An illustration depicting a dragon boat over red waves. At the top of the dragon boat, there is an image of a girl with a hoodie and headphones on looking out to the horizon.
Artwork by Gracia Lam Mark


An operatic celebration of Chinese tradition with a Canadian backdrop. Time-travel to ancient China with Xiao Lian, a contemporary Chinese-Canadian woman yearning for independence and bound by love, who discovers the rich history of dragon boating. From the creators of Tapestry Opera’s smash-hit Iron Road composer Chan Ka Nin and award-winning playwright and librettist Mark Brownell. 


Ian, a Black man with a cropped beard, is wearing a white collared shirt and looking solemnly off to the side. Behind him, we see the city skyline of Toronto on an overcast day.
Photo of Ian Kamau by Milca Kuflu

Written by Ian Kamau and his father Roger McTair, Loss is a live-art, multi-media performance that explores the trauma of loss in Afro-Caribbean communities. This intergenerational family story begins with Ian’s own winter of depression and slowly unravels the mystery surrounding the death of Ian’s paternal grandmother Nora Elutha Rogers. Featuring live music, video, and storytelling in an immersive and intimate experience, Loss is a healing ritual shared with the audience.  


A photo from a stage production of Nuit. Dancers are holding their heads in their hands and looking up towards the ceiling. The dancers are wearing all black and lit up by blue and yellow lights.
Photo by Kendra Epic

Nuit is legendary Canadian choreographer Jean-Pierre Perrault’s seminal work exploring the individual within the collective through fiery, demanding contemporary dance. During the harsh night, eight performers grapple with the hurly-burly of everyday life, pushing themselves to the limit where tensions emerge and a troubling, subterranean vulnerability is expressed.  

In Nuit dance becomes a “sculptural material endowed with mobility”, which makes this a major work, not only in Perreault’s legacy but in the history of Canadian choreography.