‘Armide’ by Opera Atelier.

Opera Atelier’s current production of Lully’s Armide is a heart-wrenching work of passion, perfection, beauty, and theatre in its highest form. The show is an “Armide fit for Versailles,” as the Toronto Star’s rave review stated earlier this week. Opera Atelier is indeed heading back to the Palace of Versailles to perform a run of Armide immediately following the Toronto shows this week at The Elgin Theatre. What an incredible representation of Toronto on the world stage! Get your tickets while you still can HERE.

Armide Synopsis: The action concerns the Muslim Warrior Princess Armide and the Christian Knight Renaud. Although a virgin, Armide’s greatest power lies in her sexual allure, which reduces men to a state of hopeless submission. Armide herself is protected by the fact that she herself has never experienced desire. Renaud also draws his strength from an almost mystic virginity which renders him impervious to Armide’s allure.

Armide is played by soprano Peggy Kriha Dye, who has once again evolved her craft into a new and higher realm of drama and technique. Her performance had me weak at the knees and shedding tears over Armide’s inner battle with the all-consuming power and torment of Love. I have had the pleasure of shooting Peggy twice now. The first time was in the Palace of Versailles during Opera Atelier’s production of Persee last year. We shot again at The Elgin Theatre earlier this year during the opera’s production of Orpheus and Eurydice. She is a goddess of a woman; strong, fearless, and gorgeous. Take a look:

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Soprano Peggy Kriha Dye by Jennifer Toole // Shot at The Elgin Theatre in Toronto

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Soprano Peggy Kriha Dye by Jennifer Toole // Shot at The Elgin Theatre in Toronto

Peggy Kriha Dye

Soprano Peggy Kriha Dye by Jennifer Toole // Shot at The Palace of Versailles

Tyler Gledhill dances the role of Cupid in this production with much grace, elegance & power. Adorned with the wings of an angel Tyler weaves the delicate yet steady thread of Love through the plot; ever-present and rapturous. Tyler dances this role as a god among men. We shot together a while back for a fashion spread featuring the bespoke designs of Toronto fashion house Northbound Leather. Take a look:

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Tyler Gledhill by Jenifer Toole // Shot at The Extension Room in Toronto

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Tyler Gledhill by Jenifer Toole // Shot at The Extension Room in Toronto

Soprano Meghan Lindsay is another incredible talent I have been so lucky to shoot who is also one of the stars of Armide. She adds her pure, silvery tones and striking looks to the supporting role of Sidonie. Her face was made for the camera. We shot her at The Elgin as well during the opera’s run of Orpheus and Eurydice earlier this year. Take a look:

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Meghan Lindsay by Jennifer Toole // Shot at The Elgin Theatre in Toronto

I have to express my gratitude to Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, the directors of Opera Atelier, for continuing to elevate the level of theatre in the world from our fine city. Your vision is pure, passionate, and will continue to resonate. In a world full of cut corners in the name of efficiency, your company provides an anti-thesis of decadence and skill. Looking forward, xo

Peggy Kriha Dye II.

Peggy 04-15-6I had the pleasure to shoot revered soprano and director of Opera Columbus, Peggy Kriha Dye, last month during her run at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto as Eurydice in Opera Atelier’s performance of Orpheus & Eurydice. This was our second time shooting together, the first being our shoot in the gardens of Versailles last year. She is ever powerful, composed yet free, brave, and full of grace ie. a captivating subject and strong role model. I love my job! x

Photography: Jennifer Toole // Hair & Make-Up: Elena Pacienza

Dailytoole 2014 Highlights!!!!!

Looking back on 2014 I can’t help but feel incredibly blessed and grateful for the professional & creative opportunities I encountered this year. Not only was work steady, but it was almost always heart-warming as well. I found myself given full licence to art direct on more sets than not which is rare and why I am feeling so positive moving forward into my fourth year of business. Here are a few of my favourite professional highlights of 2014.

1) Publishing in Vogue Italia chelsea.vogueNow, getting a nod from the fashion bible that is Vogue Italia has most definitely been on my bucket list for years. I began submitting to the magazine daily at the beginning of the year and one gorgeous day in November they finally deemed the above photo worthy and published it in their ‘Best Of’ section. The slight blur and delicate colours of the medium format film photo featuring Chelsea’s ponderous stare and weighted posture have enough of a painterly quality for Vogue to consider it ‘art.’ We all know Vogue Italia only publishes ‘art’ and it made my year to be recognized by such an influential institution. I took the photo for Herself.com, which is up next on this list of favourites.

2) Herself.comherself invitationI believe it is very rare for photographers to come across a job that perfectly mirrors their own vision and greater cause. ‘Herself’ has been a godsend of a contract delivered by the angel that is Caitlin Stasey. When Caitlin asked me to work on ‘Herself’ with her back in the summertime I threw myself into the project headfirst booking and shooting all our incredibly brave participants. I shot some women in their homes and some outdoors. We trespassed to get to the perfect locations, made use of the light wherever we could, definitely engaged in some public nudity and had great conversations in between shots. I got to know every one of our participants and am proud to call them friends. Herself.com is a gesture to women for women by women. Through a nude photo shoot and in depth interview each participant is providing a raw example of her uniqueness and it’s that individualism in every woman we hope to celebrate. The site is launching on January 10th online and with a party in Toronto. Please consider the above invitation YOUR invitation. I look forward to seeing you there.

3) Talent Portraiture & Promotional Photography

It is always a pleasure to photograph great talent. In 2014 I had the opportunity to travel to France with Opera Atelier to shoot their lead soprano Peggy Kriha Dye in the gardens at the Palace of Versailles. It was a rainy morning and we miraculously had the place to ourselves. Canadian soprano Ambur Braid had me up to the penthouse of the Toronto Ritz Carlton to capture her elegance in a variety of couture dresses and diamonds. Culvert Records had me out to shoot their new recruits The Good Boys in dapper dress in the streets of Toronto. At the Carmel Bach Festival young Yale Music School graduate John Taylor Ward and I went for a stroll to the sea and captured a couple of gorgeous headshots. Toronto band The Wooden Sky had me out to cover their Vinyl Bike Tour on a rainy Fall day where the band and a slew of fans biked en masse to four of Toronto’s best record shops to hear the band play mini sets at each stop. Here’s a little video I shot of the tour:

4) Clint Roenisch (new) Gallery Opening

Clint.A-36The opening of the new Clint Roenisch Gallery at 190 St. Helens Ave., Toronto, ON on July 10th, 2014 was the beginning of a new era in Canadian art. Not only did my blog of the event photos have 54,697 unique visitors from all over the world (breaking the blog’s traffic record), but the subsequent workings of the space have been progressively stellar. The exhibitions of Jason De Haan and Harold Klunder’s works were prime examples of lasting Canadian art and also boasted sale numbers unheard of in this country. Clint also put on an elegant event at calculus mastermind James Stewart’s architectural masterpiece of a home The Integral House on July 24th, 2014. The modern estate was full of happy guests enjoying the art installations and live music. We sadly lost Mr. Stewart on Dec. 3rd, but can feel blessed that we all got a beautiful visit in before he left us. I am also very pleased to mention that the launch party for Herself.com will be hosted at Clint’s gallery on January 10th with an exhibition of my photographs from the project. I look forward to celebrating with you there.

5) Ex-Wives of Rock

Ex-Wives of Rock_Season 3_Courtesy of Slice copy copyThanks to the endlessly lovely and professional workings of Morcom Media and Tricon Films we executed a seamless studio shoot in L.A. with the four powerhouses that make up the Ex-Wives of Rock for their promotion of season three. With Lil’ Kim blasting throughout, numerous costume changes, notorious voyeurs and lots of swearing we had a blast and got the perfect shot.

6) Madonna @ Hard Candy

Madonna graced Toronto with her majesty’s presence in February to promote the opening of her new gym on Yonge St. named Hard Candy. I was so thrilled to be hired by the gym, working in tandem with Madonna’s personal photo/video crew, to exclusively cover the auditions leading up to the red carpet event and the opening itself.

7) Boudoir Photography

The fact that boudoir photography is still, going into year four, such a big part of my business is something I will eternally be grateful for. This is the kind of work dreams are made of.

8) Northbound Leather

Northbound Leather will always be one of my favourite clients. During the first quarter of 2014 we shot the company’s new line of versatile but always sexy handmade leather goods on a gorgeous variety of models. My favourite shoot featured Ms. Leather Toronto 2014 aka Patty and her wife Saoirse in a number of compromising poses at Oasis Aqua Lounge in Toronto.

9) Art Basel Miami

Friedrich Kunath, 'A Fucking Landscape (Study),' 2014

Friedrich Kunath, ‘A Fucking Landscape (Study),’ 2014

When Art Basel Miami issued me a press pass I made it my mission to get down there and put it to good use. What an incredible experience it was witnessing all the notable contemporary art work on the planet today in one enormous pop-up exhibition. Watching a Damien Hirst sculpture sell for 4 million pounds was totally surreal and exciting.

10) Wedding Photography

Erin-Mike.WEB-1_1000 Erin-Mike.WEB-3_1000Shooting the Scott’s wedding this Autumn was such a wonderful event to be a part of. I am currently taking bookings for weddings this coming Summer in Toronto and California. My wedding portfolio and contact can be found HERE.

What a year! Thank you all for being a part of it. I hope 2015 is full of TRAVEL, love, friends, great work and charity. xo

 

 

Peggy Kriha Dye.

Peggy-6Peggy-4Peggy-3Peggy-10Peggy-2     Peggy Kriha Dye, an internationally working operatic soprano & director of Opera Columbus, starred in Opera Atelier’s recent production of Persée by Lully which was performed in Toronto at The Elgin Theatre and then in the opera house of The Palace of Versailles. I was honoured to be invited to Versailles to shoot some new press shots for Peggy. It was a rainy day and we had the place to ourselves. We made some regal photo magic fitting to such a great talent. xo

Location Scouting in Versailles.

VersaillesGardens-2 VersaillesGardens-3 VersaillesGardens-5 VersaillesGardens-7 VersaillesGardens-8 VersaillesGardens-9 VersaillesGardens-10 VersaillesGardens-11 VersaillesGardens-12A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting Peggy Kriha Dye, internationally esteemed soprano and general manager of Opera Columbus, in the gardens at the Palace of Versailles. This is a little taste of my pre-shoot location scout. Stay tuned for a peek at Peggy’s shots coming soon. xo