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

Picks of the Week – September 19, 2018

As we move into the final days of summer, let’s send it out with a bang and a week of great entertainment.

Dog: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time opens the Arts Club Theatre Company’s season at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until October 7th.

Pucks: As summer ends, the hockey preseason begins with Vancouver Canucks hosting Calgary Flames tonight, and LA Kings on Thursday.

Bard: The 2018 season of Bard on the Beach is coming to a close,  but not before you have time to catch the brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It,  closing on Sep 28th.

Opera: City Opera Vancouver presents the astonishing and macabre Nigredo Hotel at the Cultch Historic Theatre September 20 – 22.

Park: Get your last outdoor gig of the summer when Ben Howard closes the season at the Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park on Thursday night

Touchdown: The BC Lions return to BC Place to host Hamilton Ti-Cats on Saturday night.

Drag: RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq The World Tour brings some of your RPDR fave Queens to the Vogue Theatre for two shows on Saturday.

photo: Aida Cuevas

Mariachi: The Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC opens its season on Saturday with Aida Cuervas, the Queen of Mariachi

Improv: “Laugh til your face hurts” and lampoon the hysteria of the Back to School season at Vancouver Theatresports League , also check out the other laugh-filled show like the late night show WTF – What The Fun!

 

Balls: Whitecaps FC need to find some goals in hopes of making the MLS post season, they’ll have a chance when they host table topping Dallas on Sunday afternoon

Marion Bridge
photo: David Cooper

Sisters: Take a drive and enjoy a trio of brilliant performances in the 20th Anniversary presentation of Daniel MacIvor’s acclaimed play Marion Bridge, at Kay Meeks Arts Centre in West Vancouver until September 20th.

Rock: Chicago punk outfit Rise Against rock out at the PNE Forum on Sunday night

photo: Meighan Makarchuk

Fish: Sunday night, join the 5th Chef’s Table Society of BC’s Slow Fish Canada Dinner at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.

City Opera Vancouver presents Nigredo Hotel

Be prepared to be thrilled as City Opera Vancouver presents the astonishing and macabre work, Nigredo Hotel, from September 20 to 22, at The Cultch Historic Theatre.

Originally commissioned by Tapestry Opera, City Opera Vancouver’s Nigredo Hotel is directed by Alan Corbishley, with music by Nic Gotham and libretto by distinguished Canadian author and playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald. The one-act chamber opera tells the tale of an encounter between a beautiful but crazed hotelier, Sophie, and a brain surgeon, Raymond, who seeks refuge after a traumatic car accident.

“Part psychological thriller and mystery, both sarcastic and sweet, witty and strange, Nigredo Hotel is
nothing like City Opera Vancouver has ever presented before. This deeply moving, emotionally and
intellectually charged work is full of suspense, broad comedy, and great surprise,” says Charles Barber,
Artistic Director, City Opera Vancouver. “Vancouver audiences will be mesmerized by MacDonald’s highly
evocative libretto and Gotham’s brilliant score that beautifully conveys the complex relationship between two strangers as they embark on a dark spiritual journey. This celebrated opera is an intellectual tour de force and one of the most remarkable works in the Canadian opera canon.”

Tyler Duncan & Sarah Vardy
Photo: Michelle Koebke from
Diamond’s Edge Photography

Internationally renowned opera stars Tyler Duncan and Sarah Vardy will perform a brilliant Jungian-inspired combat between two of the most unusual characters in 20th century opera.
Internationally renowned Canadian baritone Duncan make his City Opera debut as Raymond. Praised for his “powerful voice and dramatic conviction” (New York Times), Duncan is a multi-award winning vocalist known for his performances of art song, oratorio and operatic roles across North America, Europe, and South Africa. Joining Duncan on stage is gifted Canadian dramatic soprano Vardy in the role of Sophie. Hailed for her “emotional yet unaffected quality of performance with a true clear voice” (Saskatoon Star Phoenix), Vardy has delighted audiences in Canada, Europe, Mexico, and China.

The vocalists will perform without a conductor, and are accompanied on stage by a quartet featuring François Houle, clarinet; Laurence Mollerup, bass; Martin Fisk, percussion; and Roger Parton, keyboard.

The world premiere of Nigredo Hotel was performed by Tapestry Opera on May 13, 1992 at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. The production toured Canada, was presented at the Glasgow Mayfest, remounted in Toronto in 1995 and 2005, and premiered in Australia in 2006.
The Cultch Historic Theatre welcomes this City Opera Vancouver production of Nigredo Hotel September 20 – 22, 2018, at 8pm each night. ?Get tickets online at thecultch.com

There’s more than just Shakespeare at Bard on the Beach

Last night Chor Leoni’s Mane Event at Bard on the Beach filled the mainstage tent with the sounds of music.

The perfect way to wrap up the Canada Day weekend, the Lions brought to stage a varied selection of songs including a taste of Canadiana including iconic hits by Tragically Hip,  Ian & Sylvia Tyson along with Quebecois and Maritime folk faves and the touching Gimikwenden Ina from the Indigenous musical Children of God. In the second act, the men of Chor Leoni really let loose and ramp up the fun with the pop and Broadway hits.  Rob McAllister’s colourful costumes add to the comedic flare pop and Broadway hits.  Even Bollywood makes a showing too, really highlighting Ariana Barer’s choreography. Meghan Trainor’s Me Too, a Lady Gaga/Madonna mash-up Born To Express Yourself This Way, and Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling brings out the Trolls (not the internet type), to wrap up the feel good show.

This year’s Mane Event was the 25th and final Chor Leoni show at Bard on the Beach but it is just one of the many special events Bard on the Beach hosts each summer.  In addition to the plays in repertoire; Macbeth, As You Like It, Timon of Athens & Lysistrata, this year also features;

Bard-B-Q & Fireworks July 28, August 1 & 4 | 5:30pm & 6pm*
See As You Like It or Timon of Athens* followed by a salmon barbecue from Emelle’s Catering. Visit the PIXSTAR Photobooth, take in the award-winning Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band and more, before enjoying a private view of the spectacular Celebration of Light fireworks.

 Family Nights July 24 & August 21 | 6pm
A perfect night for the whole family! Geared for ages 6 and up, this special evening is filled with family-friendly activities. Arrive at the Village early for the PIXSTAR Photobooth, face painting, food truck, an exclusive pre-show talk designed just for kids and more. Then enjoy a performance of the Bard/Beatles musical-comedy mash-up As You Like It. 

Operas & Arias: Bold and Beautiful August 27 & September 3 | 2pm & 7:30pm (both days)
Join the UBC Opera Ensemble and members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra for a costumed concert performance. Drawn from a set of best-loved operas, the programme will include favourite selections from La TraviataLa BohèmeDie Fledermausand more. Bard Artistic Director Christopher Gaze hosts all performances, presented on the BMO Mainstage. 

For more information on these and all the other special events, education and speakers at Bard On The Beach visit bardonthebeach.org/special-events

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Picks of the Week – May 2, 2018

It’s finally here, April showers have been left behind and brought flowers plus more entertainment for our first picks of week in May.

Colour: This is your last chance to celebrate the colours of spring with a visit to the Abbotsford Tulip Festival 10 acres covered in millions of blooms until Thursday May 3rd.

R&B: Start the week with the sounds of Khalid as he brings his Roxy Tour to Rogers Arena Wednesday evening.

Rock: The sound of the 90s comes to the Commodore Ballroom as I Mother Earth and Finger Eleven take the stage Wednesday.

Fest: Doxa Documentary Film Festival 2018 gets underway May 3rd bringing world class documentary films to venues around town

Haida:  Museum of Vancouver is presenting, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture, until June 15.

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th

Champs: Friday night at Rogers Arena, the all-star lineup of The Championship Tour featuring Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, SiR, Lance Skiiiwalker and more.

Woods:  Head Into The Woods as the North Shore Light Opera Society brings the Tony Award winning musical to Centennial Theatre for their 70th Anniversary Season

Suspense:  A pair of plays wrap up this week, Stephen King’s thriller Misery brings a fright  to the Arts Club Granville Island Stage closes May 5th, and the sibling rivalry of Me and You is at the Goldcorp Stage closes May 6th.

Comedy: Looking for some killer laughs and murderous improv? Check out Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy at Vancouver TheatreSports League in repertoire with the VTSL’s other hilarious games and shows

Pop: British singer/songwriter George Ezra plays the Commodore Ballroom on Saturday night

Country: Canadian country queen Shania Twain brings her hits to the Rogers Arena stage for a two night stand, May 5th and 6th.

Mutt:  Closing May 5th at The Firehall Arts Centre, Métis Mutt, an autobiographical recount of creator Sheldon Elter’s life through comedy, songs and vignettes.

Opera: This week is your last chance to catch, Vancouver Opera Festival “Russian White Nights” celebrating Russian themed composers and operas before it wraps May 6.

Picks of the Week – November 1, 2017

How did it get to be November already?! Halloween is behind us but these picks of the week are here to keep us entertained

URP – Jesus Christ Superstar

Star: See what’s the buzz as URP Productions presents Jesus Christ Superstar at Centennial Theatre until Sunday.

Pucks: The Vancouver Canucks play host to New Jersey Devils tonight then on Saturday Pittsburgh comes to Rogers Arena

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company sets the table for Thanks For Giving wraps up at the Granville Island Stage on November 4th and King Charles III runs at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until November 19th

Girls: What happens when you become the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons, find out when Shameless Hussey Productions presents Girls Like That at Templeton Secondary School November 3, 7, 8, 9, & 10

Jedi: Laugh yourself to another world at Vancouver Theatresports League with Improv Wars: The Laugh Jedi, sharing the Improv Centre stage until November 18.

Try: Friday night, international rugby comes to BC Place as Team Canada host the Maori All-Blacks

MISSING
Baritone – Clarence Logan
Mezzo – Rose-Ellen Nichols
Soprano-Melody Courage
Photo : Emily Coopper

Opera: Friday, City Opera Vancouver with Pacific Opera Victoria presents the world premiere of Missing, telling the tale of missing & murdered women in the downtown Eastside & Highway of Tears, at The Cultch November 3, 7,9 & 11

Orange:  Show your BC Lions support as they take on the Toronto Argonauts at BC Place on Saturday.

Laughs: Comedian Gad Elmaleh, known as the Seinfeld of France, brings his stand-up to the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC on Sunday

Missing from City Opera Vancouver Honours the Missing

“Sparrow”
Artwork by Kelli Clifton

Opening this Friday, City Opera Vancouver with Pacific Opera Victoria presents the world premiere of Missing, a profoundly moving and pivotal opera ripped from the headlines. 

Focusing on the national crisis of missing and murdered, Missing is written by distinguished Canadian Métis playwright Marie Clements, with a gripping score by JUNO Award-winning composer Brian Current.  The work confronts the tragedy of more than 1,200 missing and murdered First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and girls in Canada, and the affect it has on the communities and families – both First Nations and non-First Nations – dealing with their loss.

Baritone – Clarence Logan Mezzo – Rose-Ellen Nichols Soprano-Melody Courage Photo : Emily Coopper

“With Missing we have the rare opportunity to inform about this crisis in a meaningful and unprecedented way,” says Charles Barber, Artistic Director, City Opera Vancouver. “We commissioned Marie Clements to write her first-ever opera libretto to honour the memory of each and every missing and murdered Indigenous woman. The poignant tale she so brilliantly conceived lends itself to opera, as the human voice is a powerful vehicle to draw deep emotion and introspection. It is the story of two women who represent so many – one who survives and one who does not, and it’s through their story we find hope and, for some, healing.”

“The story of Missing can’t answer the questions I’ve been asking my whole life, but I am hoping it will join other voices who are asking the same questions, telling their stories, and demanding an end to what should be unfathomable,” says Marie Clements, Librettist.

Missing is set between Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and BC’s notorious Highway 16 – the Highway of Tears, where at least 18 women have vanished or been found murdered since 1969. Told through both English and the First Nations language of Gitxsan (widely spoken in First Nations communities along Highway 16), this chamber opera follows the fate of an Indigenous and non-Indigenous young woman whose lives become tragically intertwined. White girl ‘Ava’ becomes mysteriously drawn to the language, traditions and sufferings of the ‘unknown Native Girl’ with whom she crosses paths, and, thereafter, she finds herself in internal conflict as her community struggles toward reconciliation.

Missing takes the stage, November 3,7,9 & 11 at 8pm, and November 5 at 2pm at The York Theatre. Tickets are available online at thecultch.com