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Festival Guide

Vancouver Opera Festival 2018

Running from April 28 to May 6, the second annual Vancouver Opera Festival celebrates Russian composers.

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2018-2019 Season and Festival

Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow, Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème, Charles Gounod’s Faust, and Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola

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Requiem for a Lost Girl: a chamber musical about homelessness

Requiem for a Lost Girl
a chamber musical about homelessness

Composer and conductor: Marcel Bergmann
​Writer and director: Onalea Gilbertson

With writing and additional music by The Kettle Choir and Writers Guild

Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre
SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (149 W Hastings Street)
Friday, May 4 at 7:30pm
Sunday May 6, at 2:00pm

Presented in partnership with The Kettle Society and SFU Woodwards Community Programs

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About Requiem for a Lost Girl: a chamber musical about homelessness
Exploring themes of homelessness, poverty, mental illness, addiction and the plight of missing and murdered women - this strikingly original chamber work  unfolds as a memorial service for a young woman lost to the street. 

Requiem for a Lost Girl is created and performed in partnership with a chorus of people who know the experience of homelessness—a raw, gorgeous and heart-altering blend of true stories and the theatrical that amplifies voices and shines light on the streets of North America.

At the heart of Requiem for a Lost Girl are people who are currently experiencing homelessness or who have experienced homelessness in the past.  Based on the mandate of the script, VO Teaching Artists—including composer and conductor Lesley Sutherland, writer Alexis Maledy, and assistant director Jeff Gladstone—have created a vibrant arts-based program for Kettle participants to support their full participation in the final production as writers and performers. Weekly choral rehearsals along with song writing and personal story telling have brought forward music and monologues that explore love, loss, and the essential humanity of all people.

Featuring members of the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program, the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and Chorus, and the Kettle Choir and Writers Guild. 

The goals of the Requiem for a Lost Girl project include:

  • Building community
  • Amplifying our gathered voices
  • Bringing attention to stigma surrounding homelessness, poverty, addiction, sex work, and mental health
  • Helping to erase the line between "us" and "them"
  • Creating a lasting relationship between Vancouver Opera, SFU Woodwards and The Kettle

The Partnership So Far
The relationship between VO and The Kettle began in January 2016. Here is what has happened since then:

  • VO Teaching Artists provide weekly singing and writing workshops to Kettle participants at The Kettle on Burrard building
  • Monthly sing-a-longs provided at The Kettle's Venables and Taylor Manor locations
  • Open houses to display residents' work occur every 12 weeks
  • Community performances at the Vancouver Opera Festival, The Vancouver East Culture Crawl
  • The creation of professional recorded CD of songs written by members of the Kettle Choir

Find out more about The Kettle at