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Vancouver Opera

Vancouver Opera was founded in 1958 and serves the community as a vital educational and creative resource. VO mounts five main stage productions each year, and makes the artform accessible to children and adults through school and community programs. Their cross-cultural partnerships such as The Magic Flute (2007) are exciting ground-breaking endeavours. This award-winning, innovative company enlists operatic voice to tell archetypal and captivating tales.

Photo by Tim Matheson used with permission.

After three years of consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, The Magic Flute premiered in January 2007. Vancouver resides in Coast Salish tradition territory, home to the Musqueam Band. Mozart’s popular opera interweaves with the ceremonial traditions of several coastal nations. An original West Coast version emerges through dance, movement, language, costumes and sets.

Photo by Tim Matheseon used with permission.Lillian Alling arrived in New York from Russia in the early 1920’s. Reported to be searching for someone, she set out on foot, eventually walking 4,000 kilometres across the country. In 1927, she was imprisoned in Burnaby, then trudged north across the rugged Telegraph Trail. Vancouver Opera presented the world premiere of Lillian’s amazing story in October 2010. The full scale opera has two hours of music, eight principal singers, plus a large chorus and orchestra. The Banff Centre is co-producer and presents Lillian Alling in August, 2011.

Each season, Vancouver Opera in the Schools (VOIS) presents the spectacle of opera to about 50,000 youth.

Photo by Tim Matheson used with permission.

A spirited cast of young professionals sing condensed versions in English. In 2009, a new opera called Jack Pine, based on a children’s book by local poet Christopher Patton, toured BC and Ontario. Cinderella toured in 2010 and In the fall of 2011, a reworked version of Hansel & Gretel goes on the road.

Photo by Tim Matheson used with permission.

Nixon in China
was written in the mid-1980’s by composer John Adams. It chronicles Richard Nixon’s pivotal journey to China in 1972 that opened the door to east-west relations. An opera that explores current events, Nixon in China premiered in Canada at Vancouver Opera in March of 2010. The political and social dialogue around this contemporary opera reverberated through Vancouver’s Chinese community and beyond.

Operatic themes touch our lives in different ways. At free public forums, Vancouver Opera partners with the Vancouver Public Library to present the issues of each production. Discussion and dialogue increase our understanding and help connect us to the heart of the drama.