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Festival Brochure

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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Vancouver Opera Festival

The first edition of Vancouver Opera Festival is a celebration of the vocal and theatrical arts. At its core, three new productions: a seldom performed masterpiece, a beloved classic, and a contemporary tour de force.  

Download the Vancouver Opera Festival program below or view it on Issuu. 

View the Festival Program on Issuu

Download the Festival Calendar

Download a PDF of the Festival Program


Queen Elizabeth Theatre
April 28 | May 4, 6 at 7:30pm
April 30 at 2:00pm

Conductor: Jonathan Darlington
Director: Michael Cavanagh
Scenic & Projection Designer: Erhard Rom
Lighting Designer: Gerald King
Chorus Director: Kinza Tyrrell

Otello: Antonello Palombi
Desdemona: Erin Wall
Iago: Gregory Dahl
Cassio: John Cudia
Emilia: Megan Latham
Lodovico: Thomas Goerz
Roderigo: Martin Sadd
Herald: Glenn de Verteuil
Montano: Angus Bell

About Otello
A powerful masterpiece that marries Shakespeare's poetry with Verdi's lyricism and sumptuous orchestrations. Based on Shakespeare's tale of love, jealousy, and betrayal, Otello is considered Italian opera's greatest tragedy.

The 65-piece orchestra joins forces with the formidable VO Chorus and sensational stars in a visually stunning production designed by the internationally acclaimed Erhard Rom.

The performance will last approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes, with one intermission.

In Italian with English SURTITLESTM

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The Marriage of Figaro
Vancouver Playhouse
May 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18 at 7:30pm
April 30 & May 3 at 2:00pm
May 6, 13 at 1:30pm

Conductor: Leslie Dala
Director: Rachel Peake
Scenic Designer: Drew Facey
Costume Designer: Sid Neigum
Lighting Designer: John Webber

Figaro: Alex Lawrence* & Iain MacNeil** 
Susanna:  Caitlin Wood* &  Rachel Fenlon**
Bartolo: Ricardo Lugo* & Scott Brooks**
Marcellina: Anita Krause* & Leah Giselle Field**
Cherubino: Mireille Lebel* & Pascale Spinney**
Count Almaviva: Phillip Addis* & Aaron Durand**
Countess Almaviva: Leslie Ann Bradley* & Lara Ciekiewicz**
Don Basilio/Don Curzio: Christopher Mayell* & Ryan Downey**
Antonio: Peter Monaghan
Barbarina: Vanessa Oude-Reimerink* & Taylor Pardell**

* April 30 | May 3, 6 (evening), 9, 11, 13 (matinee), 16, 18
** May 6 (matinee), 10, 12, 13 (evening), 17

About the Marriage of Figaro
Combining sublimely beautiful music, social commentary, deviousness and delight, Mozart's matchless The Marriage of Figaro is funny, tender and profoundly human. The beloved story of mistaken identities, lecherous masters and a couple who just want to get married is as deliciously hilarious now as it was in Mozart's time.

VO's intimate production, starring a superb cast, will feature contemporary set and costume design by Sid Neigum to match Mozart's own daring musical vision. Directed by Rachel Peake, winner of three Jessie Richardson Awards and the Tyrone Guthrie Award at The Stratford Festival.

The performance will last approximately 3 Hours, with one intermission.

Sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM

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Dead Man Walking
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
April 29 | May 2, 5 at 7:30pm
May 7 at 2:00pm

Conductor: Jonathan Darlington
Director: Joel Ivany
Scenic & Projection Designer: Erhard Rom
Lighting Designer: Gerald King
Chorus Director/Assistant Conductor: Kinza Tyrrell
Costume Designer: Sheila White 

Music by Jake Heggie
Libretto by Terrence McNally
Based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean

This Opera was commissioned by the San Francisco Opera

Joseph De Rocher, a death row inmateDaniel Okulitch
Sister Helen Prejean, a young nun from Louisiana: J'nai Bridges
Sister Rose,  co-worker and close friend to Sister HelenKaren Slack
Mrs. Patrick De Rocher, Joseph’s mother: Judith Forst
George Benton, prison warden: Charles Robert Austin 
Owen Hart, father of the murdered girl: Thomas Goerz 
Jade Boucher, mother of the murdered boyEmma Parkinson
Kitty Hart, mother of the murdered girl: Karen Ydenberg
Howard Boucher, father of the murdered boyMichael Barrett 
Sister Catherine: Heather Pawsey
Sister Lillianne: Barbara Towell 
Father Grenville, prison chaplainJ. Patrick Raftery 
First Mother: Dionne Sellinger
Mrs. Charlton: Heather Molloy
Motorcycle Cop: Willy Miles-Grenzberg
Prison Guard 1: Willy Miles-Grenzberg 
Prison Guard 2: DJ Calhoun
Five Solo Inmates: Frédérik Robert, Peter Alexander, Adam Kozak, Kevin Armstrong, Angus Bell  
Older Brother, half brother to Joseph: Spencer Britten
A paralegal: Julia Rooney

About Dead Man Walking
Based on the bestselling memoir by Sister Helen Prejean, this popular opera chronicles the story of a convicted Louisiana murderer who is befriended by a Catholic nun seeking to understand the nature of divine forgiveness. Prejean's memoir was the basis for the award-winning 1995 film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. With a brilliant libretto by Terrance McNally and a dramatic and incredibly lyric musical setting by Jake Heggie—widely considered one of the great living opera composers—the work's moral complexity, emotional depth make Dead Man Walking a standout of contemporary opera.

The performance will last approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes, with one intermission.

In English with English SURTITLESTM

​By arrangement with Bent Pen Music, Inc. Sole Agent: Bill Holab Music 

Graphic Content, scene of sexual violence and course language. Not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

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VOF is opera through many lenses: a choral extravaganza, a cutting edge commissioned video art installation, performances by international stars, and much more.  


Ute Lemper
Orpheum Theatre
May 4

Show Synopsis
A bar stool, a microphone, and a pool of warm light on one of the great song stylists of our time. Join Ute Lemper as she takes you on a journey to Berlin with the cabaret ballads of Weill and Brecht, the poetic world of Paris with chansons by Brel, Piaf, and Ferre, then Buenos Aires for a romantic tango by Piazzolla. Backed by a superb trio (piano, bandoneon, bass), Lemper explores the backstreets of these cities and lets ancient ghosts with new faces tell their stories of love, passion, and survival.

Ute Lemper is a guest of the Goethe-Institut

This concert is part of Germany @ Canada 2017, an exciting cultural program presented by the Goethe-Institut and the German Embassy highlighting the German-Canadian friendship in honour of Canada's sesquicentennial year. Running from coast to coast and throughout the year, the program brings a dynamic sampling of German contemporary culture to Canada. Under the motto “Germany @ Canada 2017 – Partners from Immigration to Innovation / L’Allemagne @ Canada 2017 – Partenaires: de l’immigration à l’innovation”, this celebration includes over 40 events - concerts, exhibitions, conferences, performances and film screenings.

Updated program details can be found here:

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Tanya Tagaq
Vogue Theatre
May 12

General Admission Seating
Tickets $50 (Plus service charge)

About Tanya Tagaq

Vancouver Opera and Music on Main present an evening with acclaimed inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq on Friday, May 12 at The Vogue Theatre.

Nunavut-born Tanya Tagaq came to international attention when she appeared on superstar Björk’s 2004 Medulla album and tour. Since then she has created four albums that have all received widespread critical acclaim. 

The Polaris Prize-winning throat singer combines Inuit tradition with modern electronica, industrial, and metal influences in a riveting, visceral vocal performance that communicates a universal language.

Tagaq, who is originally from Cambridge Bay, was recently named to the Order of Canada, one of our country's highest civilian honours. She's receving the appointment for her “contributions to Canadian culture through her avant-garde Inuit throat singing.”

Co-presented with Music on Main.

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Paul Wong: Five Octave Range
QE Plaza
April 28 - May 13. Opening Event on April 27

About Five Octave Range and Paul Wong

Recent winner of the Audain Prize, veteran artist, and multimedia provocateur Paul Wong presents a new work designed specifically for the 2017 Vancouver Opera Festival. Five Octave Range is made possible thanks to a generous grant from The McGrane - Pearson Endowment Fund.

Festival Passes

The inaugural Vancouver Opera Festival is also choral evenings, panel discussions, interactive conversations, master classes, and opportunities to observe emerging artists work with established ones on their craft.

Find out more about community events