Vancouver Opera Offstage – 015 – Transforming adversity to creative inspiration with The Kettle Society and the Can You Hear Me? Project’s Lesley Sutherland, Jerry LaFaery, and Coreen Douglas

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PODCAST | Vancouver Opera Offstage
Transforming adversity to creative inspiration with The Kettle Society and the Can You Hear Me? Project‘s Lesley Sutherland, Jerry LaFaery, and Coreen Douglas

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September 9, 2020

In this episode, Vancouver Opera’s Director of Learning and Engagement Colleen Maybin brings you an uplifting story about music, connection, and community. The Can You Hear Me? Project is an unique choral video from Vancouver Opera and longtime community partner, The Kettle Society, conceived as a way to shine a light on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the members of The Kettle Choir and Writers Guild.

Run out of The Kettle on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver, these two unique programs provide Kettle members with weekly singing rehearsals, one-on-one songwriting lessons, and writing workshops by lead teaching artists from Vancouver Opera. When the Phase One lockdown was announced in mid-March, the weekly rehearsals and writing sessions were cancelled for the foreseeable future. The sudden lack of access to the programs and services used by Kettle members was devastating, replacing a routine of connecting with others and creating with isolation and uncertainty. The Can You Hear Me? Project emerged out of a desire to find a way of bringing singing and connection back into their lives. The result is a new song written by and for the singers of the choir, transforming adversity into creative inspiration.

Our guests speaking on behalf of the project are Composer and Music Director Lesley Sutherland, actor and singer Jerry LaFaery from The Kettle Choir, and Project Producer Coreen Douglas from The Kettle Society.

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Vancouver Opera Offstage Host:
Leslie Dala
Episode Guest Host:
Colleen Maybin
Vancouver Opera Offstage Production and Editing:
Vincent Wong
Vancouver Opera Offstage logo design:
Annie Mack
Episode Recorded: August 7, 2020
Episode interviews are recorded entirely remotely using Zoom and hosted on
(Originally on Buzzsprout).

Cover photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash
Podcast opening and closing music: 
“Habanera” from Carmen. Sung by Jenny Lee Mitchell.
Habanera Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons:
By Attribution 3.0 License