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Photo of Jay Turvey and Paul Sportelli by David Cooper.

Photo of Jay Turvey by David Cooper.

Jay Turvey Bio

Jay Turvey is the co-writer of eight musicals to date: he and Paul Sportelli co-composed the music for Little Mercy’s First Murder (with lyricist/book writer Morwyn Brebner).  The musical has had 3 productions (Tarragon Theatre, Toronto, 2003; Touchstone Theatre, Vancouver, 2005; Ground Zero Theatre, Calgary 2006).  The Toronto production won numerous Dora awards, including outstanding new musical.  Jay co-wrote Tristan (with Paul Sportelli), and it was produced at the Shaw Festival in 2007.  Jay co-wrote music and lyrics with Paul Sportelli for Step Right Up! (with co-lyricist/book writer Eric Woolfe), and it was produced at Theatre Orangeville in 2008.  Jay co-wrote Nobody Told Me, a cycle of songs (with Paul Sportelli), and it was performed at the Berkeley Street Theatre in Toronto in 2009.  Jay co-wrote Maria Severa (with Paul Sportelli), and it was produced at the Shaw Festival in 2011.  Maria Severa had its European premiere in Krakow, Poland  at the Panstwowa Wyzsza Szkola Theater in 2011.  Jay co-wrote Oracle (with Paul Sportelli), and it was performed at Summerworks in Toronto in 2011.  Jay co-wrote 33 1/3 (with Paul Sportelli), and it was first performed at Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project in 2015.  33 1/3 was first produced at the Dobama Theatre in Cleveland in 2019.  33 1/3 was the winner of the Playwrights Guild of Canada Stage West Pechet Family Best New Musical Award in 2015.  Jay co-wrote Erik with a K (with Paul Sportelli) and it was first performed at Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project in  2018.  Commercial recordings of Tristan and Maria Severa, as well as two pop recordings as the jaypaul project are available on iTunes.  Jay co-conceived and co-adapted (with Paul Sportelli) The Next Whisky Bar, featuring the music of Kurt Weill, and it was produced at the Shaw Festival in 2015. Jay co-conceived and co-adapted (with Paul Sportelli) Gatsby’s Jazz, Sonny’s Blues, featuring works of  F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Baldwin, and it was produced at the Shaw Festival in 2021.  Jay co-wrote  and co-curated (with Paul Sportelli) 1922, and it was produced at the Shaw Festival in 2022. Jay co-adapted (with Paul Sportelli) The Secret Garden, a play with songs based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and it is being produced at the Shaw Festival in 2024. In addition to his work as a writer, Jay is also a director and an actor.  Jay received his BA from McMaster University. 

Photo of Paul Sportelli by David Cooper.

Paul Sportelli Bio

Paul Sportelli is the co-writer of eight musicals to date: he and Jay Turvey co-composed the music for Little Mercy’s First Murder (with lyricist/book writer Morwyn Brebner).  The musical has had 3 productions (Tarragon Theatre, Toronto, 2003; Touchstone Theatre, Vancouver, 2005; Ground Zero Theatre, Calgary 2006).  The Toronto production won numerous Dora awards, including outstanding new musical.  Paul co-wrote Tristan (with Jay Turvey), and it was produced at the Shaw Festival in 2007.  Paul co-wrote music and lyrics with Jay Turvey for Step Right Up! (with co-lyricist/book writer Eric Woolfe), and it was produced at Theatre Orangeville in 2008.  Paul co-wrote Nobody Told Me, a cycle of songs (with Jay Turvey), and it was performed at the Berkeley Street Theatre in Toronto in 2009.  Paul co-wrote Maria Severa (with Jay Turvey), and it was produced at the Shaw Festival in 2011.  Maria Severa had its European premiere in Krakow, Poland  at the Panstwowa Wyzsza Szkola Theater in 2011.  Paul co-wrote Oracle (with Jay Turvey), and it was performed at Summerworks in Toronto in 2011.  Paul co-wrote 33 1/3 (with Jay Turvey), and it was first performed at Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project in 2015.  33 1/3 was first produced at the Dobama Theatre in Cleveland in 2019.  33 1/3 was the winner of the Playwrights Guild of Canada Stage West Pechet Family Best New Musical Award in 2015.  Paul co-wrote Erik with a K (with Jay Turvey) and it was first performed at Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project in 2018.  Commercial recordings of Tristan and Maria Severa, as well as two pop recordings as the jaypaul project are available on iTunes.  Paul co-conceived and co-adapted (with Jay Turvey) The Next Whisky Bar, featuring the music of Kurt Weill, and it was produced at the Shaw Festival in 2015. Paul co-conceived and co-adapted (with Jay Turvey) Gatsby’s Jazz, Sonny’s Blues, featuring works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Baldwin, and it was produced at the Shaw Festival in 2021.  Paul co-wrote  and co-curated (with Jay Turvey) 1922, and it was produced at the Shaw Festival in 2022. Paul co-adapted (with Jay Turvey) The Secret Garden, a play with songs based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and it is being produced at the Shaw Festival in 2024. In addition to his work as a writer, Paul is also a music director/conductor. Paul received his BM and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music,  and his MM and DMA from the Manhattan School of Music. 

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Awards

  • Dora Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical, Little Mercy’s First Murder (2003)
  • Dora Award for Outstanding New Musical, Morwyn Brebner, Jay Turvey, and Paul Sportelli, Little Mercy’s First Murder (2003)
  • Dora Award for Outstanding Composition, Jay Turvey and Paul Sportelli, Little Mercy’s First Murder (2003)
  • Dora Award for Outstanding Musical Direction, Paul Sportelli, Little Mercy’s First Murder (2003)

A considerable achievement--Turvey and Sportelli never stoop to mere pastiche or imitation, and their attempts to create fado songs for Maria to sing result in powerful numbers.

Variety MagazinePraise for Maria Severa

Haunting melodies, unexpected harmonies and ever-changing rhythms... make their music soar...the score of Maria Severa lingers in the mind long after the final curtain and the ultimate power of the work can't be denied.

The Toronto StarPraise for Maria Severa

Step Right Up is funny, touching and challenging. From beginning to end, there is never a dull moment.

Orangeville CitizenPraise for Step Right Up

Virtually flawless...a cause for celebration. Here, at last, is a serious new musical with a gorgeous score and witty lyrics that deserve to rank with the best of the post-Sondheim generation.

EYE Weekly (Toronto)Praise for Tristan

sometimes sultry, sometimes probing... rich with imagery. This is good stuff; these aren't musicians who are going to go away. Expect airplay, not just on CBC... but on the AM airwaves.

North Bay NuggetPraise for The Story of my Life