Vancouver Opera Festival brings Fairytales & Fables

Vancouver Opera has revealed details for the third edition of its annual Festival.  Themed Fairytales and Fables, Vancouver Opera has curated nine days of voice, music, theatre and visual arts for all ages.

The Festival opens on April 27th with performances of the mainstage operas. Rossini’s much-loved La Cenerentola (Cinderella) kicks off the day with a 2pm matinee at the Vancouver Playhouse. Gounod’s masterpiece, Faust will be at 7:30pm at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The celebration continues with a series of programs, panels and performances daily until May 5th.

Festival highlights include the world premiere of Brian Current’s The River of Light in co-production with the Vancouver Bach Choir on May 3 for one performance only. One of Canada’s outstanding composers, Brian Current conceived this large-scale oratorio for chorus, soloists and orchestra in a multi-movement composition.

On April 28th,  from 10am to 5pm, the Vancouver Opera invites audiences of all ages to its Festival Open House; a full day of free community stage performances, workshops and activities. Watch a live circus spectacular from CircusWest at šx???ex?n Xwtl’a7shn (formerly Queen E Theatre Plaza), take part in a backstage tour of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, enjoy performances by the Roaming Diva, visit the Patio Bar, join talks and panel discussions and participate in VOF ArtWalks. 

The CBC Chamber Music Series returns to CBC Studio 700. These short, original chamber music concerts performed by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and Chorus and invited guests feature music inspired by Fairytales and Fables. Artists will include the Bergmann Piano Duo, members of the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program, and members of the Standing Wave Ensemble.

Vancouver Opera presents Opera Off Site on May 1st ; pop-up performances at the Main Street Brewing Company and a screening of the 1926 black and white film adaptation of Faust at the Fox Cabaret featuring live accompaniment and a special presentation of Fenlon & Fenlon featuring soprano Rachel Fenlon.

“Our Festival is evolving to be an inclusive event showcasing the finest work of Vancouver Opera as well as many of our community partners” says Vancouver Opera General Director, Kim Gaynor. “We hope to make opera more accessible by breaking down the perceived barriers to attending and inviting everyone to take part in the celebration.”

The Vancouver Opera Festival Fairytales and Fables takes place at various venues April 27th to May 5th, 2019. For full details and ticket information visit vancouveropera.ca

Delinquent Theatre premieres Never The Last

Next week, Delinquent Theatre opens the emotional world premiere of Never the Last, as part of the SeeMore Theatre Series at Vancouver Civic Theatre’s Annex. 

Anton Lipovetsky, Christine Quintana and Molly MacKinnon. Photo/Art by Bold Rezolution Studio.

Inspired by the life story of Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté, an enormously innovative early twentieth century composer, the drama follows her 10-year marriage with the celebrated expressionist painter Walter Gramatté. Set to a live score of Eckhardt-Gramatté’s solo violin works, the multimedia presentation blends movement and text to tell a heartbreaking tale of adventure, poverty, and strife.

“As a strongly female-driven theatre company, it is vital for us to honour and share the stories of innovative women artists who blazed the trails before us. Especially those whose art has been forgotten or obscured due to discrimination based on gender and class,” says Christine Quintana, Co-Artistic Director with Delinquent Theatre and co-creator of Never the Last. “Eckhardt-Gramatté’s determination, adversity, and triumph in the face of tragedy is profoundly inspiring to us. In telling her story and lauding her rarely performed — but undeniably brilliant — body of work, we are honoured to share a narrative that pushes against society’s limitations for women — especially those in leadership positions — and rejects status quo.”

Molly MacKinnon as the Creator/Violinist Photo: Christine Quintana

Created by acclaimed playwright and actor Christine Quintana and violinist Molly MacKinnon, Never the Last was conceived out of MacKinnon’s curiosity with Eckhardt-Gramatté. During her research, MacKinnon discovered that many of Eckhardt-Gramatté’s innovative and experimental works were nearly lost in her male-dominated field before her immigration to Canada in 1950. MacKinnon approached Quintana with a vision to create Never the Last and help bring this gifted female composer’s tremendous life and legacy to the forefront.

Directed by award-winning Laura McLean and choreographed by Kayla Dunbar (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Arts Club Theatre Company), Never the Last is a music / theatre hybrid expressed through Eckhardt-Gramatté’s 10 solo violin caprices — poetic expressions of her visceral and dramatic relationship with her husband, expressionist painter Gramatté.

Performed by MacKinnon, Quintana, and Anton Lipovetsky, the love story unfolds in Berlin, 1919, where violin prodigy and composer Sophie-Carmen meets Walter, a German painter and war veteran in poor health.  Sparks fly and their resulting love affair spans 10 years, four cities, and numerous artistic successes and failures, all underscored by MacKinnon performing Eckhardt-Gramatté’s violin compositions. Fusing a classical music performance, movement, and text, Never the Last is an artistic expression of the enormities of loss and the complexities of love.

Following Gramatté’s death in 1929, Eckhardt-Gramatté later remarried art historian Ferdinand Eckhardt and eventually immigrated to Winnipeg in 1953. The musician’s legacy and work is preserved through the work of the Eckhardt-Gramatté Foundation in Winnipeg which provided the background biological information, recordings and documents that helped form Never the Last.

Delinquent Theatre’s  Never the Last, runs April 9–20, 2019, as part of the SeeMore Theatre Series at Vancouver Civic Theatre’s Annex, 823 Seymour Street. For more information visit delinquenttheatre.com

Picks of the Week : April 3, 2019

No fooling, we’re already at the start of April, and of course some April showers, but not enough to dampen the entertainment found in this week’s picks.

Glory
pic: Barbara Zimonick

Hockey: Gateway Theatre finds Glory in the story of women’s hockey in the 1930’s, running April 4 – 13.

Blossoms: The city is in bloom as swaths of Cherry Blossoms paint the town pink, celebrate them all during the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival April 4th – 28th.

Nisei: Until April 13th, The Firehall Arts Centre presents the eye-opening, award-winning play The Tashme Project: The Living Archives which
tells of the lives of the Nisei (2nd generation Japanese/Canadians) from being a child of the internment camps to post-war and beyond.

Sons of Sissy

Pop: Grammy award winning PINK! brings her powerful pop and the Beautiful Trauma World Tour, with guest Julia Michaels, to Rogers Arena for two shows, Friday and Saturday nights

Dance: The Dance Centre brings Austrian choreographer Simon Mayer’s Sons of Sissy, to the stage as part of the Global Dance Connections series, April 4th to 8th

Orchestra: The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Spring Festival brings two performances to the Orpheum this week, Libration: A Midsummer Night’s Dream on April 5, and From Russia With Jazz on April 6.

Comedy: Funnyman Gerry Dee brings laughter to a pair of shows, April 5 at Bell Centre For Performing Arts in Surrey and April 6 at The Centre in Vancouver

Whitecaps

Kicks: Still looking for their first win of the season, Whitecaps FC host LA Galaxy on Friday night at BC Place

Rock: Sunday night, Rogers Arena welcomes a pair of legendary acts to the stage as Weezer and Pixies share the bill.

Okanagan: On stage at The Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, until April 21, The Orchard (after Chekhov) is Chekhov’s  The Cherry Orchard, but told through the lens of a Punjabi-Sikh family in the Okanagan Valley. 

LateNight: Stay up later for some adults-only improv laughs at Vancouver TheatreSports presents The Late Show, Saturday nights at 11:15pm

The Tashme Project: The Living Archive brings history to the present

Tonight, The Firehall Arts Centre opens an eye-opening, award-winning play The Tashme Project: The Living Archives, on stage until April 13th.         

The play Created and performed by Julie Tamiko Manning and Matt Miwa, The Tashme Project: The Living Archives traces the history and common experience of the Nisei (second generation Japanese Canadians) through childhood, internment in Canada during the Second World War, and post-war resettlement east of the Rockies. The Nisei, now in their 70s and 80s, were children at the time of internment and their stories of adventure and play are presented in sharp relief with the more common internment narratives of hardship and justice.

Created from twenty interwoven interviews with Nisei from Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, Montreal, and Vancouver. The Tashme Project: The Living Archives moves from voice to voice and story to story with fluidity and with a purposeful and constructed gracefulness. The actors portray the voices of both men and women interviewees as they seek a deep emotional and spiritual connection with the stories of their elders, breathing new life into these memories.

The Tashme Project: The Living Archives highlights the Nisei character, language, spirit and story. Bringing to light this part of Canadian history, that is often kept in the dark, is an incredibly topical reminder of cultural division in the current social and political environment.

The Tashme Project: The Living Archives plays at The Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova St, from tonight, Tuesday, April 2 to Saturday, April 13, 2019. Tickets and information available online at firehallartscentre.ca

Dance House Closes One Season, Announces A New

To close out the 2018-19 season, DanceHouse welcomes the Canadian premiere of MOMIX : Viva MOMIX, on April 12 & 13, at the Vancouver Playhouse. The US company, helmed by acclaimed Artistic Director Moses Pendleton, one of America’s most innovative choreographers and directors, MOMIX is revered for its ability to conjure a surreal world using props, light, shadow, humour, and the human body. Viva MOMIX celebrates the best of more than three decades of works, with a selection of company favourites mixed with three new creations.

MOMIX : Viva Momix photo: Charles Paul Azzopardi

“Vancouver dance lovers will undoubtedly be blown away by this beguiling tour de force of illusion, beauty, and magic,” says Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse. “Viva Momix is a collection of Pendleton’s most unforgettable works. It is a masterpiece of ingenious theatrical creativity, combining superb physicality, whimsical costumes, and stunning music. I can think of no better way to close our 2018/19 season than with this evening of unforgettable beauty and pure unadulterated enjoyment for all ages.”

MOMIX : Viva Momix photo: Eddy Fernandez

Developed in 2015 in honour of MOMIX’s 35th anniversary season, Viva MOMIX features stunning vignettes from six of their previous productions: MOMIX in Orbit, Botanica, Lunar SeaReMIX, Classics, and Opus Cactus, alongside scenes from three new works — Daddy Long LegLight Reigns, and Paper Trails. Praised for its visuals and theatrics, Viva MOMIX will transport audiences on a journey into a surreal fantasy. The nine gifted artists shape their bodies into creations of the natural world that are sure to tease the audience’s imagination with wonder and a glorious sense of play.

As the current season closes, DanceHouse has unveiled its 2019/20 season. Showcasing the work of four new companies to DanceHouse audiences and two returning favourites, the season runs from October 2019 through May 2020. This season’s offerings highlight an diverse range of pioneering artists who are transforming traditional dance styles with boundary-blurring fusions of genres and cultures.

“Dance is a vibrant art form that is constantly evolving. We are delighted to share a curated lineup of world-class dance companies at the vanguard of their respective fields in our 2019/20 season,” says Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse.

This season, new additions to the DanceHouse stage include Bangarra Dance Theatre, one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander dance companies performing Spirit, a powerful collection of dance stories selected from their 30-year repertoire; Montreal-based arts collective The 7 Fingers in collaboration with Artcirq of Igloolik and Taqqut Productions of Iqaluit with Unikkaaqtuat, an innovative work that melds ancestral Inuit practices with circus arts; Montreal’s explosive RUBBERBANDance Group showcasing their dynamic blend of break-dancing, ballet, and dance theatre in Ever So Slightly; and Spain’s iconoclastic Compañía Rocío Molina’s reinvention of flamenco dance in the virtuoso tour de force Fallen from Heaven (Caída del Cielo).

DanceHouse welcomes back audience-favourite and internationally acclaimed Brazilian company Grupo Corpo in a mixed program featuring Gira, a dazzling homage to dance as a conduit to the divine. Finally, following their crowd-pleasing appearance in Vancouver in 2018, the New York-based tap dance sensation Dorrance Dance will return with ETM: Double Down, a rollicking celebration of the percussive potential of the human body.

For tickets and show details of MOMIX:Viva Momix as well as the full schedule and descriptions of the 2019-2020 Season visit dancehouse.ca 

Gateway Theatre finds Glory

Opening April 4, at Gateway Theatre, Glory tells the incredible true story about the Preston Rivulettes women’s hockey team.

Glory pic: Barbara Zimonick

In 1933, four friends set out to prove to Canada that hockey isn’t just a sport for men. Despite the battles over ice time, the struggle to finance the team, and the endless sexism that existed in the sport, they formed the Preston Rivulettes and defied odds. Fighting through the Great Depression, prejudice, and personal upheaval, will they overcome the odds and forge their own path to glory?

Director James MacDonald directs local playwright Tracey Power’s inspirational story of the real-life Canadian championship women’s hockey team. Featuring electrifying swing dance choreography inspired by the jazz age, GLORY captures all the thrills, excitement, and tension of a great hockey game.

Glory pic: Barbara Zimonick

Gateway Theatre has a number of special events during the run of Glory; Pizza Preview Night on April 4, Tea Matinee on April 9, Talkback Thursday April 11. For patrons who don’t speak English as a first language or not regular theatregoers, Tues. April 9, 11:30am, pre-show primer, in English and Mandarin, offers an overview of GLORY and learn why hockey is a key part of Canadian culture prior to the matinee performance so you can sit back and enjoy the show. Also April 9, Theatre Club Dinner and Show combo includes dinner at Kove Kitchen plus the 8pm performance of Glory.

Glory runs April 4 – 13, 2019 at Gateway Theatre 6500 Gilbert. For more information on all events and tickets, visit gatewaytheatre.com

Picks of the Week – March 27, 2019

March comes to a close with plenty of entertainment in the picks of the week to keep Spring in your steps

Buns: Vancouver Foodster takes it to the East Village with a new taste tour, Between The Buns Crawl celebrating what the neighbourhood’s bakeries and eateries can get between a bun.

Blossom: What’s spring without flowers, Metropolis at Metrotown’s Grand Court is the site of Blossom at Metropolis, an awe-inspiring, one-of-a-kind art installation made up of more than 250,000 cherry blossoms, until March 31

photo: Clark Smith

Joni: Tonight is your opportunity to listen to Merideth Kaye Clark perform Joni Mitchell’s iconic album BLUE performed live by in the Studio Theatre at Surrey Arts Centre.

Dance: The Vancouver International Dance Festival keep the city moving as it brings world of dance to stages around town until March 30th.

Soldier: At the Arts Club Goldcorp Stage at BMO Theatre Centre, Hardline Productions’ Redpatch tells the story of indigenous soldiers in WWI, on stag March 7 – 31.

Art: Spring Break Family Fuse Week at Vancouver Art Gallery welcomes families to explore the Gallery and get hands on with workshops, talks, tours and more

Hot: The bold, brash and beautifully entertaining troupe of Hot Honey Brown returns to The Cultch to turn up the heat, deliver lashings of sass and a hot pinch of empowerment, from March 15 – 30.

Multiple Organism / Jessica Gabriel Pic: Chloe Ziner

Puppet: The Cultch brings Mind of a Snail Puppet Co.’s Multiple Organism to the Vancity Culture Lab March 19-30, with nudity, projections, puppetry original music, and more to this eclectic work

Ice: Vancouver Canucks have a pair of games, versus LA Kings on Thursday and Dallas Stars on Saturday

Pop: Canadian group Marianas Trench bring their Suspending Gravity Tour to the Orpheum Stage, supported by pop duo Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, on Friday night