Sumo Wrestlers Recruited for Canadian opera

Friday, March 16, 2012 - 06:19 PM

sumo wrestler (Flickr/smeerch)

Talk about a couple of heavyweight performances: The Canadian Opera Company has cast two sumo wrestlers for an upcoming production.

The company has had a tough time finding two oversized wrestlers to perform in Semele, which runs May 9-26 at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. They will have a three-minute staged match as part of the story.

After a long search, the company landed U.S. sumo Emanuel (Tiny) Yarbrough and Elmer Gale.

Yarbrough holds the Guinness Book of World Records title as the "largest professional athlete in the world." He checks in at about 6-foot-8 and 625 pounds.

Gale runs the sumo school Ronin Judo in Toronto. One of his students read about the company's search and suggested he get involved.

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Comments [2]

concetta nardone from Nassau county

Some singers at the Met resemble Sumo wrestlers. Maybe the Canadian opera can borrow them. Don't get angry folks. Opera is theatre and a visual art as well. Some recent productions have had real blimps on stage.
YOU KNOW IT IS TRUE. Don't be so sensitive.

Mar. 18 2012 10:52 AM
David from Flushing

"Semele" is perhaps Handel's most easy listening opera-like work with lots of chourses in English and catchy tunes. It is unfortunate that productions of it tend to riducule the work.

I almost walked out of the NY City Opera production in disgust. Now Sumo wrestlers? I hope they are not the "two winged Zephyrs" that transport Seleme's sister up to heaven for a visit.

I will never forget the 1985 Handel 300th Birthday performance of "Semele" at Carnegie Hall with Kathleen Battle, Samuel Ramey, Rockwell Blake and Marilyn Horne. Though it was in concert form, the quality has been rarely equalled.

Mar. 18 2012 08:27 AM

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