2 Canadian Opera Company cast members assaulted

Pop Goes The News — Two performers in the Canadian Opera Company production of Louis Riel were assaulted this week in what may have been a hate crime.

The male dancers — gay and of Indigenous heritage — were attacked early May 1 in downtown Toronto. Both were forced to miss Tuesday night’s performance and at least one suffered injuries serious enough to require hospitalization.

The Canadian Opera Company (COC) said in a statement posted online that the assault took place “on a non-performance day and off company premises” but said it “deplores any acts of violence or aggression.”

The COC statement said: “Their wellbeing is our paramount concern. We are offering them our full support and wish them a speedy recovery … Our thoughts are with the artists affected.”

The company declined to comment further.

A Toronto Police spokesperson said there no report of the assault was filed.

On Facebook, James Westman, who portrays John A. Macdonald in the production, said: “Speedy recovery so we can once again share the stage soon.”

Louis Riel, a co-production with Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, tells the story of the titular Métis leader and founder of Manitoba.

There are two performances of Louis Riel remaining — on May 5 and May 13.