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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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2017/2018 Season And Festival Announcement

Vancouver Opera announces their 2017/18 Season & Festival - offering an entire year of operas opening with Puccini’s last and greatest opera, Turandot, and concluding with the 2018 Vancouver Opera Festival featuring the much anticipated Vancouver premiere of The Overcoat - a musical tailoring.

Vancouver, BC - Vancouver Opera announces their 2017/18 season consisting of a full year of adventurous and breathtaking opera, and the  2nd annual Vancouver Opera Festival, 2 weeks of opera, events, art, groundbreaking performances and entertainment.

The 2017-2018 season will open with Giacomo Puccini’s final and often touted as his most complex work,  Turandot (October 13 - October 21, 2017, at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre), followed by one of Gaetano Donizetti’s most performed operas, L’elisir d’amore, a dreamy love story and comedy with music that will move the soul (January 19-January 27, 2018, at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre). VO then will kick off the Vancouver Opera Festival with Eugene Onegin, bursting with Tchaikovsky’s lavish orchestrations and stunning arias (April 28 – May  6, 2018, at Queen Elizabeth Theatre) and rounds out the season and the Festival  with a brand new and much anticipated co-production with The Canadian Stage Company & Tapestry Opera of Toronto, The Overcoat - a muscial tailoring, with music by James Rolfe and libretto and direction by Morris Panych (April 27 - May 12, 2018).

The season will also include a much-anticipated production of Requiem for a Lost Girl, further cementing VO's reputation for keeping their work socially relevant and thought provoking, as well as their mandate to provide community outreach.

In making the season announcement, Kim Gaynor, Vancouver Opera’s General Director, said, “My goal is to make sure Vancouver Opera produces opera throughout the year, while at the same time making programming innovations necessary to thrive as a modern opera company. We’ve listened carefully to patrons and supporters throughout the past year, and are proposing a 17/18 season which reflects their expressed desire for opera year round, as well as excitement about our new festival format. The season I am announcing today is a considered and balanced response to their feedback, and is also designed to ensure the artistic growth of our organization.”

by Giacomo Puccini
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM projected above the stage
Evening performances 7:30pm. Matinée performance 2:00pm 

Friday, October 13, 2017
Sunday, October 15, 2017 • matinée
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Saturday, October 21, 2017 

La Bohème. Tosca. Madama Butterfly. Turandot. Puccini saved his most musically adventurous opera for last. Containing some of the greatest operatic music ever written, Turandot blends epic chorus sections with unforgettable intimate moments, and is the culmination of Puccini’s career. This three act opera by Giacomo Puccini and completed by Franco Alfano, with libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni is one of the most grand opera offerings and is full of thrilling choruses, booming orchestrations, and a cast consisting of all of ancient China. This magnificent work—which features Pavarotti’s signature aria, “Nessun dorma”—promises to make the kick off of the Vancouver Opera’s 2017/18 Season a not-to-be missed event.

Making her role debut as Turandot is American soprano Amber Wagner who was recently featured in Opera News as one of twenty-five artists poised to break out and become a major force in classical music in the coming decade. Argentinean tenor Marcelo Puente makes his debut with Vancouver Opera as  Calaf. Vancouver Opera is thrilled to welcome back to the podium Maestro Jacques Lacombe. Maestro Lacombe last conducted the opera’s 2014 production of Carmen. This magnificent production of Turandot was originally created for Minnesota Opera by the acclaimed Canadian duo, André Barbe & Renaud Doucet.  Director & choreographer, Renaud Doucet and set & costume designer, André Barbe have worked on over 20 new productions together throughout the world including Volksoper Wien, l’Opéra de Marseille, Wexford Festival Opera, Scottish Opera, l’Opéra de Montréal, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of St Louis, and Boston Lyric Opera.

L'elisir d'amore 
by Gaetano Donizetti 
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM projected above the stage
Evening performances 7:30pm. Matinée performance 2:00pm 

Sunday, January 21, 2018 • matinee
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Saturday, January 27, 2018 

L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) is without a doubt one of the most performed of all Donizetti’s operas – but has not been seen at Vancouver Opera since 1999. It is a dreamy marriage of a stirring love story and hilarious comedy with music that moves the soul, including the much-loved aria ’Una furtiva lagrima’. L’elisir d’amore premiered in 1832 in Milan. To call it a success would be an understatement, it secured Donizetti’s place as one of the leading Italian opera composers of his day. Vancouver Opera is thrilled to present this opera in two acts with a libretto by Felice Romani.

Chinese soprano Ying Fang delights our audience as Adina. Ms. Fang was the recipient of the Lincoln Center Segal Award in 2015, winner of the Chinese Golden Bell Award for Music, one of the youngest singers ever accorded this honour, and has been hailed as the most gifted Chinese soprano of her generation. Ying made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in "The Met's Summer Recital Series" in 2013. Canadian tenor Andrew Haji makes his Vancouver Opera debut as Nemorino. Music Director Jonathan Darlington conducts this updated production, courtesy of the Canadian Opera Company, directed by James Robinson.

After the first two productions of the season, Vancouver Opera switches gears and kicks off the Vancouver Opera Festival, which incorporates the last two headlining productions of the season coupled with events, art, groundbreaking performances, and entertainment.

Eugene Onegin  
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Sung in Russian with English SURTITLESTM projected above the stage
Evening performances 7:30pm. Matinée performance 2:00pm. 

Sunday, April  29, 2018 • matinee
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Saturday, May 5, 2018

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin is Russian Lyric Opera at its finest – based on the plot of Pushkin’s verse novel, Eugene Onegin features an emotional tale packed with breathtaking music, choreography, and a duel that will render the audience speechless. Tchaikovsky, as always, brings many symphonic elements to Eugene Onegin including lavish orchestrations and stunning arias in what he described as “seven lyrical scenes”. 

The timeless story of the ill-fated love of Tatiana and Eugene with a libretto by the composer and Konstantin Shilvosky, will be conducted by Jonathan Darlington. The role of Onegin himself, will be announced shortly. Russian Soprano, Svetlana Aksenova stars as Tatyana, a role that she has performed with great success in Dallas and Sao Paolo, Brazil. Her real life husband, Maxim Aksenov sings the role of Lenski.

This new co-production with Calgary Opera will be directed by Canadian Stage Director, Tom Diamond with set & projections designed by Scott Reid, and lighting by Harry Frehner, Eugene Onegin will delight Vancouver audiences from April 28th to May 6th at Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

The Overcoat - a musical tailoring
by Morris Panych
Music by James Rolfe
Vancouver Playhouse
Sung in English with English SURTITLESTM projected above the stage
Evening performances 7:30pm. Matinée performance 2:00pm. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Tuesday , May 1, 2018
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 • matinee
Friday, May 4, 2018
Saturday, May 5, 2018 • matinee
Sunday, May 6, 2018 • matinee
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Friday, May 11, 2018
Saturday, May 12, 2018

About The Overcoat - a musical tailoring
A much anticipated co-production with Toronto’s Canadian Stage Company and Tapestry Opera, The Overcoat - a musical tailoring is an operatic reinterpretation Morris Panych and Wendy Gorling's 1998 smash-hit play, The Overcoat . With a libretto from Morris Panych and music composed by Canadian Composer, James Rolfe, this production reunites the original creative team. Morris Panych is the director, with choreography by Wendy Gorling, set design by Ken MacDonald. costume design by Nancy Bryant, and lighting design by Alan Brodie.

This extremely important work, addresses the universal human need for compassion and our unfortunate tendency to deny it. The Overcoat - a musical tailoring is so much more than the story of an office worker whose life is turned upside down when he’s robbed of his new overcoat. “Panych and Gorling... have delivered a work that grows richer on each subsequent viewing, a creation that combines laughter with pathos and exhilaration with despair.” – Toronto Star (on 2007’s The Overcoat). The work will debut at the Bluma Appel Theatre in March 2017 before coming to the Vancouver Playhouse - where the original creation premiered 20 years ago. 

Education & Community Outreach Headlining Production: 
Requiem for a Lost Girl 

Music by Marcel Bergmann
Evening performances 7:30pm. Matinée performances 2:00pm. 

Date & Location TBA 

About Requiem for a Lost Girl 
Written and directed by Onalea Gilbertson, Requiem for a Lost Girl explores themes of poverty, mental illness and addiction, this strikingly original chamber musical unfolds as a memorial service for a young woman. Requiem was created and is performed in partnership with a chorus of men, women and children who know the experience of homelessness – a raw, gorgeous and heart-altering blend of true stories and the theatrical that gives voice to the streets of North America. 

VO’s 2017-2018 Season and Festival is generously sponsored by Goldcorp.