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Experience the unexpected at Vancouver Opera’s special Magic Flute Miscast cabaret on October 27 at 7:30pm, at The O’Brian Centre for Vancouver Opera.

Dive into an evening where Mozart’s enchanting melodies meet an unparalleled twist. What happens when beloved arias are voiced in ways you’d never dream of? Pure, unadulterated hilarity! Yep, we’re throwing gender norms out the window and having some campy fun.

Co-produced with Seagrass Music Society, this isn’t just any opera event. Let Vancouver’s “String Queen” (Georgia Straight) Molly MacKinnon whisk you away through this whirlwind of musical surprises. From laughs to virtuosity, and the sheer joy of the unexpected, this is a night not to be missed.


  • Nicholas Burns
  • Luka Kawabata
  • Alyssa Samson
  • Derek Stanyer
  • Sarah Sum

About the Artists


Hailing from Vancouver, Nicholas Burns is renowned for his “thrilling voice” with performances described as a “revelation” (Opera Canada, le Devoir). A seasoned performer, Nicholas has graced stages with the American Bach Soloists, Tafelmusik, Early Music Vancouver, and has taken pivotal roles in numerous Handel operas. His musical versatility doesn’t stop there; he’s also an accomplished bagpiper, boasting a win at the World Pipe Band Championships in 2012.


Nikkei-Canadian artist, Luka Kawabata 川端ルカ has quickly established himself within Canadian opera. As a baritone and producer, he strives to push the boundaries of representation in opera through the creation of new works.

Luka is a recent graduate of the Yulanda M Faris Young Artist Program with Vancouver Opera, the Digital Emerging Artist Residency (Manitoba Opera) and the Association for Opera in Canada’s RBC Fellowship. Recent collaborations include Edmonton Opera (La Bohème), Saskatoon Opera (Carmen), Opera on the Avalon (February) and re:Naissance Opera (IndieFest).

Luka was recently selected as part of the Beth Morrison Projects: Producer Academy for 2023. His ongoing series The HAFU ハーフ Project explores the history of Japanese immigration and internment in North America through an intersectional lens of identity, culture and memory. The project’s third digital chapter, 希望, premiered last summer with Pacific Opera Victoria’s Civic Engagement Residency and is set to present its first live development with City Opera Vancouver next May. He looks forward to returning to Vancouver Opera this season as Le Dancaire in Bizet’s Carmen.


Molly MacKinnon is an award-winning violinist and collaborative artist based on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. Recent projects include Good Things To Do; a digital creation centred on technological intimacy and gentleness, Baba Yaga and the Magic Gallery; an interactive concert for kids performed by the Vancouver Island Symphony, Never The Last; a concert/theatre hybrid based on the life and work of 20th-century composer Sophie-Carmen Eckhardtt Gramatté, and Double Happiness: Detour This Way; a multimedia song cycle presented as part of Music on Main’s Modulus Festival. Molly’s extensive orchestral experience includes the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Plastic Acid Orchestra, the Vancouver Film Orchestra, and the Allegra Chamber Orchestra. She is the co-creator of Concerts On Tap, a series that brings together Vancouver craft breweries and classical music, as well as the co-artistic director of Seagrass Music Society, who just finished their 3rd annual summer series The Piano Diaries, in which virtuosic concert pianists perform free concerts in parks around East Vancouver. Molly is a member of the Black Dog String Quartet, whose first full-length album A Thousand Times Brighter was released in April 2023.


Derek Stanyer grew up in Langley, BC. He received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria in 2010, and his Masters of Music from the University of Ottawa in 2012 on full scholarship. He has won numerous awards and prizes, including finalist in the national Knigge Piano Competition, University of Victoria Concerto Competition, University of Ottawa Concerto Competition, and the Sooke Philharmonic Concerto Competition. He won the top prize in the Johann Strauss Competition, allowing him to study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria in 2012. He has also attended the Vancouver International Song Institute, and Strings and Keys chamber music program in Alberta. Derek completed a diploma at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris from 2012 to 2014, and is currently in the Doctorate of Musical Arts program at the University of British Columbia on a full Doctoral Fellowship. He has performed extensively both as a soloist and as a collaborative pianist throughout Canada, France, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, USA, and Mexico. He has worked as a vocal coach for the UBC Summer Opera program since 2014, and is currently working as an opera coach for UBC Opera. Recent notable performances include the NATSAA vocal competition, the Vancouver Fringe Festival, the Silk Purse Gallery concert series, and the Music Friends concert series in Vancouver. Derek’s doctoral research relates to the art songs of Nikolai Medtner, which are a substantial yet largely ignored part of the art song repertoire.


Based in Vancouver, BC, Alyssa is an accomplished Filipino-Canadian mezzo soprano with a passion for performing contemporary/new music. Notable she is driven by her belief that classical music can make an impact that transcends traditional performance setting. This is evidenced by her breadth of experience leveraging classical music to educate people about their heritage, sharing contemporary stories about pivotal social issues and building community between musicians and non-musicians alike. Alyssa’s current focus is on Filipino Kundiman as a means to communicate identity, belonging and experience of second-generation Filipino-Canadians to a broader audience.


Sarah Sum (she/her) blurs the boundaries between art forms. She is passionate about intentional storytelling, connecting with her ancestral roots, and decolonizing opera.

Sarah holds her M.Mus in Opera from the University of British Columbia. She is a recipient of the BC Arts Council Award, and the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation Grant, and has participated in the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute and the Chautauqua Institution Voice Program on full scholarship. Recently, Sarah participated in workshops for ANIMUS ANIMA with Trade Co. Theatre and Storychor with Idan Cohen and WeiHsi Hu, and has debuted solo acts in cabarets with Melody Mangler Productions. She has previously performed as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Krystina in the Canadian premiere of Pasażerka, and in the Opera and Arias series at Bard on the Beach.

When she isn’t breaking glasses and hearts with her coloratura, you can find Sarah cooking as a connection to her culture, hanging art on walls, and daydreaming about new sewing projects.