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Inside Vancouver Opera

PODCAST | Inside Vancouver Opera

Inside Vancouver Opera is a unique backstage glimpse into the world of Vancouver Opera. Join us as we chat with opera experts, artists, Vancouver Opera staff and others to explore the world of opera on and off the stage. This podcast offers an insider’s glimpse into the artistry, experiences, and perspectives of the talent involved in taking breathtaking opera productions from the page to the stage.

Latest Episode: May 22, 2023.


Add us on these popular services! New episodes can be found on Anchor.fm,  Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, Deezer, TuneIn + Alexa, iHeartRadio, and Listen Notes. For those listening from the US, we’re also available now on Pandora!

New episodes are posted as they release on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter; so continue the discussion on social media with our hashtag #InsideVO!

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Latest Episode

May 22, 2023 | Episode 40

Luka Kawabata: The Hafu ハーフ Project

Join us in a fascinating and insightful conversation with baritone, and Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist, Luka Kawabata. Luka talks passionately about his Hafu ハーフ Project and the unique intersection between family, memory, and music. We also discuss the state of modern opera and how to confront our operatic canon. 

“It’s important to tell updated stories because why were these pieces of music popular or successful or people loved them at the time was because people connected to them.” — Luka Kawabata


Host — Ashley Daniel Foot
Guest — Luka Kawabata
Editing — Mack McGillivray
Cover Photo — Mark Yammine

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May 12, 2023 | Episode 39

Introducing: Singing Stories

The 2022–2023 Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program toured ten elementary schools performing their show Singing Stories, a fun and exciting operatic experience designed for elementary school students. 

This year’s School Tour is supported by Telus Friendly Future Foundation, CIBC Wood Gundy, Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, and the Diamond Foundation.


Join host Ashley Daniel Foot in a discussion about Singing Stories with five members of the Young Artists Program: Sawyer Craig, Luka Kawabata, Amy Seulky Lee, Jeremy Scinocca, and Hillary Tufford.

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May 05, 2023 | Episode 38

Wagner: Life and Times

Richard Wagner is known today as one of the greatest, most influential composers to have lived. But his life, anything but easy and straightforward, was as tumultuous as the age he was born into. Join us on our exploration of the life and times of Richard Wagner. 

Join us for a three-episode look at the sometimes turbulent, often unrestrained, but always inspired life that shaped the man.


Written and presented by Jane Potter
With David Bloom as the voice of Richard Wagner and Charles Baudelaire
Audio editing by Mack McGillivray
Produced by Ashley Daniel Foot

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February 21, 2023 | Episode 37

Holding Space, Giving Voice, and Uplifting Black Voices

Honouring Black History Month in conversation with Ashley Daniel Foot, Debi Wong, Rocky Jones, Morgan-Paige Melbourne, and Dawn Pemberton. 

Bell Hooks said, “To be loving, we willingly hear the others’ truth. And most important, we affirm the value of truth. Telling lies may make people feel better, but they do not help them to know love.”


Dawn Pemberton, Morgan-Paige Melbourne, and Rocky Jones

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February 11, 2023 | Episode 36

Benjamin Britten: Life and Times

Discover the fascinating story of Benjamin Britten in our brand new two part series that explores his musical life, influences, and complicated identity. 

The date is June 7, 1945, just one month after Victory over Europe Day marked the end of WW2. The location is the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, newly reopened after wartime closure, and the event is the first performance of Benjamin Britten’s new opera, Peter Grimes…


Written and presented by Jane Potter
with Roger Carr as the voice of Britten
audio editing and sound design by Jack Goodison
produced by Ashley Daniel Foot and Jane Potter

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October 20, 2022 | Episode 35

Bizet: Life and Times – Acts 1 – 7

You probably know that French composer Georges Bizet wrote Carmen, but did you know that he was also a musical prodigy who started composing at the age of nine? Or that composers such as Liszt, Rossini, and Gounod immediately recognized his musical brilliance? Dig into the life of Bizet and meet his musical family. 

Beautifully brought to life by actor Felix LeBlanc as the voice of Bizet, this seven part audio series reveals the hidden story behind one of opera’s greatest composers. This exciting podcast is produced in celebration of Vancouver Opera’s production of The Pearl Fishers onstage from October 22-30, 2022.


Written and edited by Kris Epps
Additional editing by Ashley Daniel Foot
Music Supervisor and Clearances: Kris Epps and Ashley Daniel Foot

Sound design by Kris Epps
Associate Producer: Vincent Huynh

Voice cast:

Bizet: Felix LeBlanc
Narrator: Jane Potter
Additional Voices: Ashley Daniel Foot, Travis Baugh Allen, Vincent Huynh

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April 20, 2022 | Episode 34

Inside: HMS Pinafore

Join Vancouver Opera teaching artist Eve Daniell in conversation with director Brenna Corner about the ins and outs of creating a new vision of a classic operetta, the challenges of directing comedy, and the ongoing need for art in our culture. 

Gilbert and Sullivan’s comedic tale is a delightful combination of forbidden love across class divides and the shenanigans that take place along the way. Poking fun at social hierarchies and packed with absurd characters, this wildly popular operetta delivers plenty of laughs and memorable music. This joyful production is directed by Brenna Corner and conducted by Rosemary Thomson and features the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and Chorus.


Produced by Ashley Daniel Foot

Interim Director of Marketing: Jennifer Lee

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February 24, 2022 | Episode 33

Black History Month

Inside Vancouver Opera honours Black History Month with an illuminating and candid conversation with two exemplary Black Canadian sopranos – Othalie Graham and Jonelle Sills who recently were part of our performance of Cavalleria Rusticana In Concert

The latest conversation delves into the question of race and representation in opera, and features the hard-won insights of both Othalie and Jonelle’s experience of being a Black singer in today’s world. 


Produced by Ashley Daniel Foot

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February 1, 2022 | Episode 32
Cavalleria Rusticana in Concert

Join Vancouver Opera’s Ashley Daniel Foot and discover the passionate opera that is Mascagni’s CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA


Vancouver Opera presents CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA IN CONCERT – Feb 12 and 13, 2022 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Explore the hot and glorious masterwork of everyday Sicilian life with Vancouver Opera Music Director Emeritus Jonathan Darlington and hear his thoughts on staging an opera in concert, his life during COVID, and his unique perspective on how opera needs to meet the moment and ask itself tough questions.


Produced by Ashley Daniel Foot

Director of Marketing and Communications: Sarah Hitner

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November 29, 2021 | Episode 31
Orfeo Ed Euridice

Join Vancouver Opera’s Ashley Daniel Foot and discover the magical world of Gluck’s OREO ED EURIDICE

Inside Opera Podcast - Vancouver Opera - Vancouver Arts

Vancouver Opera presents ORFEO ED EURIDICE – December 4 and 5, 2021 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Maestro Leslie Dala speaks with sopranos Krisztina Szabó and Mireille Asselin and mezzo soprano Mireille Lebel. We also check in with opera scholar Leah Giselle Field for a little history on the opera and hear briefly from director Idan Cohen about the unique way he has blended opera and dance into this new production.


Produced by Ashley Daniel Foot

Director of Marketing and Communications: Sarah Hitner


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Past Episodes of Inside Vancouver Opera

Previous episodes:

Vancouver Opera Offstage - Season One

Listen to Vancouver Opera Offstage, Season One (2020–2021) – 30 Episodes

Series Overview:


Vancouver Opera Offstage Host & Co-Producer:
Leslie Dala
Vancouver Opera Co-Producer & Editor:
Vincent Wong
Vancouver Opera Offstage logo design:
Annie Mack
Season 01 | Episode 30
Episode Recorded:
Tuesday, July 12, 2021
Episode interviews are recorded entirely remotely using Zoom and hosted on Anchor.fm.
(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 (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons:
By Attribution 3.0 License