Lucrezia March 8 @ 7:30pm March 9 @ 2:00pm March 10 @ 2:00pm Martha Lou Henley Rehearsal Hall 1955 McLean Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 3J7 Performed by the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program  Part of VOICES: Free Concert Series Supported by TD  By turn outrageous, irreverent, snarky, and seductive, Lucrezia is an unusual opera. With an English libretto provided by Mark Campbell and with music by William Bolcom, this one act chamber opera is a re-imagining of Machiavelli’s Renaissance-era comedy La Mandragola (yes, THAT Machiavelli). When a would-be lover (with some help from the town charlatan) hatches an elaborate plot to trick his way into her heart and bed, the titular Lucrezia has plans of her own. She’s ready to turn the tables, with an ace or two (or five) up her sleeve. After all, the end justifies the means. With music heavily inspired by the popular Spanish-infused Zarzuela style, this romp is the perfect warm up for Vancouver Opera’s final mainstage show of the season, Carmen. Directors Music Director: Leslie Dala Stage Director: Sawyer Craig Performers *in order of vocal appearance Chucho: Luka Kawabata Lorenzo: Jeremy Scinocca Lucrezia: Simran Claire Ignacio: Danlie Rae Acebuque Annunciata: Heidi Duncan Piano I: Leslie Dala Piano II: Tina Chang Creative Team: Production Design: Stephen Field Elgar Lighting Design: Jamie Sweeney Stage Management: Stage Manager: Marijka Asbeek Brusse Apprentice Stage Manager: Rachel E. Ross ABOUT THE YULANDA M. FARIS YOUNG ARTISTS PROGRAM  In 2012, VO launched the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program. Made possible through a gift from the family of Yulanda M. Faris, the program engages, enriches, mentors and trains rising young Canadian opera artists and offers a bridge between formal academic educational programs and the professional world in a supportive and encouraging environment. The Young Artists Program provides artists – singers, pianists and stage directors – with the opportunity to train with industry leaders through master classes, one-on-one coachings and performance opportunities as part of a residency program.

Luka Kawabata | Baritone

Nikkei-Canadian artist, Luka Kawabata 川端ルカ returns to perform with the Yulanda M Faris Young Artist Program for Lucrezia. He has collaborated with opera companies spanning the full breadth of the continent. Working as a performer and producer, Luka was selected as part of the prestigious Beth Morrison Projects: Producer Academy and is currently preparing the first live presentation of his ongoing series ‘The HAFU ハーフ Project', set for May 2024 with City Opera Vancouver. He looks forward to returning to Vancouver Opera this season as Le Dancaire in Bizet’s Carmen.

Jeremy Scinocca | Tenor

An award-winning tenor from Toronto and a returning member of Vancouver Opera’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program. Last season, Jeremy performed in VO’s Le Portrait de Manon as Tiberge and covered the roles of Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles and Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This year, Jeremy made his role debut as Tonio in Lafille sans regiment with Jeunesses Musicales Canada.

Simran Claire | Mezzo-soprano

Simran Claire is a mezzo-soprano from Surrey, BC. She is a graduate of Calgary Opera’s McPhee Artist development program, performing as Flora in La traviata and the Teacher in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. An alumnus of UBC, the Glimmerglass Festival, The Banff Centre, and Pacific Opera Victoria’s CEAR, Simran is also interested in creating original work. Her “utterly moving” (Opera Canada) narrative recital film Dadima was featured by CBC Music and Global TV.

Danlie Rae Acebuque | Baritone

Filipino-Canadian baritone Danlie Rae Acebuque is described to “possess a beautiful, warm baritone voice with enviable flexibility and an easy top”. Past highlights include Figaro (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Dr. Falke (Die Fledermaus), John Smithurst (Florence: The Lady with The Nightlamp), Top (The Tender Land), Gianni Schicchi (Gianni Schicchi), Escamillo (La Tragedie de Carmen).

Heidi Duncan | Soprano

Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, soprano Heidi Duncan is a current participant in Vancouver Opera’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program. This season, she covered the role of Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and will make her main stage debut as Frasquita in VO’s upcoming production of Bizet’s Carmen.

Leslie Dala
Music Director/Program Director/Piano I

Leslie Dala is the Head of Music for Vancouver Opera and the Music Director of the Vancouver Bach Choir. He has conducted in France, Ireland, Italy, China, Taiwan and at Carnegie Hall. He has led 13 VO mainstage productions ranging from Bernstein to Wagner and will lead this season's production of Carmen.

Sawyer Craig
Stage Director
Sawyer Craig

A Canadian multi disciplinary artist with a passion for vibrant, collaborative storytelling. In demand as both singing actor and as stage director, she’s been praised as a “bit of a renaissance woman” (UM Today). Onstage highlights: Adina (Highlands Opera Studio) and Frasquita (Edmonton Opera). Directing highlights: Le Portrait de Manon (VO YAP Showcase) and Il Corsaro (Manitoba Underground Opera).

Tina Chang
Head Coach/Piano II

Described as a “scintillating player,” pianist and coach, Tina Chang, is currently on the music staff at Vancouver Opera. She has been involved with Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland and soundSCAPE New Music Festival in Italy. Locally, she works with Chor Leoni and Arts Club. She maintains her own private studio and has been on the adjunct faculty at the UBC, and Dalhousie University.

Stephen Field Elgar
Production Design

Stephen Field Elgar (he/him) is a scenographer and prop maker, who holds a BFA in Performance Production from Toronto Metropolitan University. Currently, in his fourth season as the Head of Properties at Vancouver Opera, Stephen has also contributed to productions with Search Party Productions, Douglas College, Gateway Theatre and more. Beyond the stage, he owns and operates Refreshed Furniture, showcasing his talent in furniture refinishing. Instagram: @refreshedfurniturebc.

Jamie Sweeney
Lighting Design

Jamie Sweeney is a Canadian, Vancouver-based, theatre collaborator. She is a lighting designer, a production manager, a performer, a deviser, a creator, and an artist. She has a BFA in theatre production and design from Simon Fraser University. Some companies she has worked with include Ballet BC, Bard on the Beach, Vancouver Opera, Arts Club, Rice & Beans Theatre, vAct, and Neworld Theatre.

Marijka Asbeek Brusse
Stage Manager

Marijka has enjoyed working on dozens of Vancouver Opera productions over the past decade, as well as at Pacific Opera Victoria, Touchstone Theatre, The Arts Club, Canadian Stage, The Belfry Theatre, and as a Faculty stage manager at the Banff Centre’s Opera program in 2019. Marijka has a BFA from UBC Theatre Production & Design, where she also taught stage management for seven seasons.

Rachel E. Ross
Apprentice Stage Manager

Rachel is excited to be working on their first production with Vancouver Opera. Once a performer on the operatic stage, they now enjoy working in a range of backstage roles and have worked with such companies as Bard on the Beach, re:Naissance Opera, Arts Club Theatre Company, and Arts Umbrella. Rachel is a graduate of Studio 58 and the Oberlin Conservatory.

Lucrezia Director's Notes

William Bolcom and Mark Campbell’s Lucrezia was commissioned by the New York Festival of Song and premiered in 2007. It is based on Niccolo Machiavelli’s La Mandragola (the mandrake) which was first published exactly 500 years ago in 1524! This seemed to me to be a great piece for a Young Artist presentation as Bolcom and Campbell are among the most recognized masters in their field and both of them have received a Pulitzer Prize, Grammy Award and many other accolades in their distinguished careers. The piece is for five singers and two pianists so we were able to invite Luka Kawabata, a recent alumnus of the Yolanda M Faris program to join us and since he will be performing the role of le Dancaïre in our upcoming production of Carmen, alongside our current young artists I thought this would also make for a great team building exercise. Sadly, Indra Egan, our Young Artist Pianist, injured her shoulder in late January and is still in recovery so she was not able to take part in this project. The music is a delightful homage to the zarzuela style of writing and incorporates a wide range of tangos,( Tango argentino, Tango seduttivo, Tango funebre……) habaneras, jotas as well as Bolcom’s signature musical language which incorporates elements of jazz, cabaret in a sophisticated structural framework. As a virtuoso pianist himself and someone who has been writing for voice all of his life (his wife, Joan Morris is a mezzo soprano for whom all of his cabaret songs were composed) this piece is an excellent showcase for all involved. It has been a pleasure working with Sawyer, Tina and the cast of singers to put this together and I sincerely hope you enjoy our presentation!

Lucrezia is a fascinating piece. The book irreverently adapts a somewhat heretical comedy written by Machiavelli during the Italian Renaissance (yes, that Machiavelli). Librettist Mark Campbell keeps Machiavelli’s skepticism of the Catholic church, but re-centers the plot on Lucrezia, the unwitting victim of the machinations of the original play. In Bolcom and Campbell’s version, this would-be victim becomes the utilitarian mastermind herself, and the seduced becomes the seducer. The sound world struts through Argentinian Tango and Cuban Habanera, evoking Zarzuela by way of the American songbook, always with William Bolcom’s unique twist. It’s a score chock full of references, and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them nods, to other works (dedicated opera fans may notice a pretty direct quotation from Britten’s Albert Herring near the end of the piece). It’s of many worlds, combining lowbrow with highbrow, and the result is a wicked romp that moves at a breakneck pace. Capturing that in our staging presented a welcome challenge. To ground some of the more anachronistic features of the show, I’ve imagined these events playing out in a hazy cabaret, somewhere off-off-off-off-off broadway, where backstage drama makes its way onstage. The company is mid-run of a musical adaptation of Machiavelli’s La Mandragola. The understudy is going on for Lorenzo, and the actress playing Lucrezia is a bit tired of the script as written. Showmance is in the air, the fourth wall has disintegrated, and tonight’s presentation may not go as planned, but in this case, the end justifies the means. Enjoy the show!