News

The Rake's Progress, 2009. David Cooper Photography

POV Annual General Meeting
Das Rheingold October, 2014
European Opera Tour October/November 2014
POV's Macbeth triumphs in Québec: May 2014
Stories so Big they Have to be Sung 2014/15 Season
POV Welcomes BMO Financial Group as 2014/15 Season Sponsor
The Marriage of Figaro April, 2014
Charpentier Operas March, 2014
Ariadne auf Naxos February, 2014
South Pacific in Concert November, 2013
Falstaff October, 2013
Timothy Vernon Awarded Honorary Degree June, 2013


 

Pacific Opera Victoria Association
Annual General Meeting

Monday, December 1, 2014, 5 pm
Chateau Victoria, Penwell Room, 740 Burdett Avenue, Victoria

Business will include presentation of reports and the audited financial statements, as well as nomination of new Directors. The meeting will be followed by a no-host-bar gathering at Clive's Classic Lounge. All members are invited to attend.

RSVP to 250-382-1641 or by November 26.

Members of the Pacific Opera Victoria Association are those natural and corporate persons who made a donation to Pacific Opera Victoria of at least $75 during the society's previous fiscal year and those natural and corporate persons who were subscribers to Pacific Opera Victoria's opera season during the previous fiscal year (i.e., during the period from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014).

Posted October 14, 2014


Das Rheingold

October 16, 18, 24, 2014, 8pm. October 26, 2:30 pm.

Pacific Opera Victoria and an international team of artists present Canada's first "stand-alone" production of Das Rheingold, at the Royal Theatre in Victoria, BC, October 16, 18, 24, and 26, 2014.

The prologue to Wagner's monumental Ring Cycle, Das Rheingold introduces us to a cast of giants and river nymphs, of dwarves that toil beneath the earth and gods that rule from the mountaintop hall of Valhalla. Taking inspiration from a variety of myths and legends, Wagner created an original and epic tale that is at once strange and strangely familiar.

Pacific Opera Victoria has scaled Wagnerian peaks before, with two acclaimed productions of The Flying Dutchman, but POV Artistic Director Timothy Vernon explains, With this production we stretch to the maximum our growing mastery of the art of the possible. The Ring is mature Wagner – the product of transcendent genius – the Wagner for which people rearrange their lives to travel and experience what many find to be its inexhaustible splendours.

Pacific Opera Victoria has assembled an international team for this production. Dutch director Wim Trompert returns to Canada to direct his fifth production for POV. Mr. Trompert has directed for opera houses in the Netherlands, Brussels, and Germany and in 2013 directed Rheingold op de Rijn (Rheingold on the Rhine), an international production of Das Rheingold, performed in and on the Rhine, using a 135m barge that had been converted into a 500-seat opera house.

German designer Hans Winkler has created sets and costumes for opera, ballet, and theatre companies throughout Europe, including Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, and Paris. He makes his Pacific Opera Victoria debut as set designer for Das Rheingold. He is joined by Canadian Nancy Bryant, who returns to POV for her fourth production as costume designer. Their design for Das Rheingold is elemental and highly theatrical, continuing the Ring Cycle's great tradition of mythical and conceptual design.

Acclaimed Canadian baritone John Fanning (POV's The Flying Dutchman) is a veteran of ten seasons at the Metropolitan Opera. He returns to Victoria as Wotan, following his debut in the role at the 2006 grand opening of the Canadian Opera Company's new opera house in Toronto. He is joined by Canadian singers Joni Henson, Lucia Cesaroni, Betty Waynne Allison, Benjamin Butterfield, Doug MacNaughton, Adam Luther, Uwe Dambruch, and Susan Platts, who are familiar to POV audiences, as well as four who are making their company debuts in this production: Americans Todd Thomas as Alberich and Jeremy Galyon as Fafner, US-based Gordon Gietz as Loge, and Canadian Maria Soulis as Flosshilde. All have international careers on opera stages and in concert halls throughout Europe and the US.

Wagner's Ring is monumental in scope and scale, with a perception in North America that it can be performed only in the largest of opera houses. In Europe, however, many small companies produce the work using orchestral reductions when their orchestra pits are too small to accommodate the large number of players called for in Wagner's score. POV's production, using a reduction by Alfons Abbass, fits the opera into the Royal Theatre. Timothy Vernon remarks, Our wonderful partners, the players of the Victoria Symphony, have embraced this assignment, and will convey the great range of colour the score demands.

Das Rheingold opens on October 16 and continues on October 18 and 24, 2014, with a matinée October 26, at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street in Victoria. Evening performances begin at 8pm with pre-performance lectures at 7pm. The matinée performance on October 26 begins at 2:30 pm, with pre-performance lecture at 1:30 pm.

Das Rheingold is a one-act opera with no intermission. Approximate running time is 150 minutes. The opera is performed in German with English surtitles.

Priced between $25 and $135, including GST & box office service charges, tickets are available from the Royal and McPherson Box Office at 250-386-6121, or online.

Student RUSH tickets for those presenting valid student identification are available at the door of the theatre, 60 minutes prior to each performance. RUSH tickets are $15, inclusive of all box office charges.

For more information, contact Pacific Opera Victoria at 250-385-0222 or visit POV's web pages on Das Rheingold


 

European Opera Tour

October 28 to November 9, 2014.
Know the World Tours presents a fall tour of four royal capitals – Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, and Prague. Included are six operas and two optional operas.

The tour is led by POV Artistic Director Timothy Vernon, who will provide the group with insights into and comments on the operas, and by POV's Past President Michael Morres, who has led tours for Know the World since 2003.

NOTE: EARLY BIRD BOOKING DEADLINE EXTENDED to AUGUST 2 due to slow mail delivery. Know the World Tours will make every effort to secure all tickets.

If you are interested in the optional performance of Tannhäuser, it is important to book as soon as possible, as these tickets are very limited.

Also, please note that tour prices for departure from Vancouver also apply for departure from Victoria.

DOWNLOAD TOUR BROCHURE.

Posted June 23, 2014 / Updated July 21.


 

POV's Macbeth triumphs in Québec

May, 2014.
Pacific Opera Victoria's 2012 production of Verdi's Macbeth moved to Opéra de Québec for performances May 17 to 24, conducted by POV Artistic Director Timothy Vernon and using the original artistic team and lead singers from the Victoria production, including director Morris Panych, designers Ken MacDonald, Alan Brodie, and Dana Osborne, and lead singers Lyne Fortin, Gregory Dahl, and Alain Coulombe.

The Opéra de Québec frequently gives Montreal opera fans a reason to go east. On Saturday, the drive-worthy attraction was Verdi's Macbeth in the last of four performances at the Grand Théâtre.
Yet this was really a production on loan from Pacific Opera Victoria ...
Vernon was thoroughly in control of the momentum of the piece and drew wonders of colour from the Orchestre symphonique de Québec.

Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette. See Full review

De la première à la dernière mesure, le chef Timothy Vernon réussit à établir et à maintenir un équilibre idéal entre le plateau et la fosse, apparemment sans museler qui que ce soit. Sous sa direction, l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec joue avec autant d'assurance, d'expression que de conviction.
Richard Boisvert, Le Soleil. Full review

L'oeuvre est puissante, magnifique et avec une belle dramaturgie. La deuxième partie, avec les actes trois et quatre, est tout simplement superbe et presque parfaite, avec des artistes qui chantent et qui semblent y avoir mis toute leur passion et leur âme. Magistral.
Yves Leclerc, Le Journal de Québec. Full review

This production of Macbeth will also travel to Kentucky Opera for performances in Fall 2015. Macbeth is one of several recent and upcoming Pacific Opera Victoria co-productions with other opera companies. They include the following:

  • Albert Herring (February 2013 in Victoria; November 2013 at Vancouver Opera);
  • Tosca (April 2013 in Victoria; November 2013 at Opera Santa Barbara);
  • The Marriage of Figaro (April 2014 in Victoria; January 2015 at Calgary Opera).


 

Stories so Big they Have to be Sung

Pacific Opera Victoria's 2014/15 Season


Victoria's 2014-2015 opera season is big and bold. A golden treasure unleashes the destruction of the gods; a Scottish heiress pays with murder and madness for loving the wrong man; and the stage's greatest heroine, Madama Butterfly, makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her honour and her son.

Pacific Opera Victoria (POV) presents main stage productions of Wagner's Das Rheingold, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, and Puccini's Madama Butterfly. In addition, POV and the Victoria Symphony collaborate on a special concert presentation of Camelot by Lerner and Loewe. All productions take place at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC.

The season opens with Das Rheingold, which has been staged only once before by a Canadian opera company. Here is a world of giants and river nymphs, of dwarves that toil beneath the earth and gods that rule from the mountaintop hall of Valhalla. The first opera in Wagner's monumental Ring Cycle, Das Rheingold sets in motion the epic conflicts that will ultimately destroy the gods. Acclaimed Canadian baritone John Fanning returns to POV in the role of Wotan, ruler of the gods. Performances take place October 16, 18, 24, 2014, at 8 pm, with a matinée October 26 at 2:30 pm.

Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor is the iconic bel canto opera, with its brilliant melodies, tempestuous passions, and murderous deeds – not to mention the most celebrated mad scene in all of opera. Tracy Dahl, one of Canada's finest coloratura sopranos, is Lucia, the Scottish heiress who falls in love with the wrong man and is bullied into an arranged marriage. Performances are February 12, 14, 18, and 20, 2015, at 8 pm, with a matinée February 22 at 2:30 pm.

Puccini loved the exquisite Madama Butterfly above all his heroines. Laura Whalen makes her debut in the title role of the geisha who renounces her family to marry an American man. Guided by honour and fidelity, sustained by hope, she refuses for the longest time to believe she has been abandoned by the man she loves. Puccini's music pours out lush melodies, infused with delicate Japanese harmonies – it is as ravishing as anything in opera! Madama Butterfly is presented April 9, 11, 15, and 17, 2015, at 8 pm, with a matinée April 19 at 2:30 pm.

In November 2013, POV and the Victoria Symphony presented South Pacific in Concert, marking the first time a Broadway classic has been performed in Victoria with full orchestra and operatic voices. In November 2014, POV and the Victoria Symphony will present another musical theatre classic in concert – Lerner and Loewe's beautiful Camelot. Based on the legend of King Arthur and the ill-fated love affair between Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot, Camelot will be presented November 22, 2014, at 8 pm and November 23 at 2:30 pm.

Pacific Opera Victoria's 2014/15 season is generously sponsored by BMO Financial Group.

Pacific Opera Victoria has earned a reputation as one of Canada's leading opera companies, thanks to its dynamic repertoire choices, its original productions, and its commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for artists and audiences. Founded in 1979 and incorporated in 1980, POV has become one of Canada's most exciting arts institutions, with an audience that is, per capita, two to five times that of any other Canadian opera company.

Pacific Opera Victoria is now taking subscriptions for the 2014-2015 season. Subscribers receive guaranteed seating, savings over single ticket prices, and ticket exchange privileges. Call 250.385.0222 or email . For more information visit POV's Season Subscription page.


 

POV Welcomes BMO Financial Group as 2014/15 Season Sponsor


Pacific Opera Victoria is excited to announce that BMO Financial Group has joined the opera company as a major sponsor of the 2014-2015 Season. BMO Financial Group is one of Canada's largest corporate benefactors, and a major contributor to arts and culture.

We are delighted to welcome BMO Financial Group to the Pacific Opera Victoria family, announced POV President David Flaherty. Their leadership for this season will help us make Victoria one of the most exciting places for opera in Canada.

Pacific Opera Victoria's 2014-15 season, announced last week, begins in October 2014 with Das Rheingold, which has been staged only once before by a Canadian opera company. The first opera in Wagner's monumental Ring Cycle, Das Rheingold will feature acclaimed Canadian baritone John Fanning as Wotan, ruler of the Gods. Donizetti's bel canto opera, Lucia di Lammermoor, opens in February 2015, with one of Canada's finest coloratura sopranos, Tracy Dahl, in the title role. In April 2015, Laura Whelan portrays the exquisite Madama Butterfly in Puccini's tragic tale of love and loss.

BMO Financial Group applauds the musically magnificent repertoire presented by Pacific Opera Victoria. We are very pleased to partner with POV given its importance to the local economy and its reputation both regionally and nationally, and to become, for the first time, the presenting sponsor for what will be an exciting and artistically adventurous 2014-2015 season, said Shelly Jensen, Regional Vice President, South Vancouver Island, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Pacific Opera Victoria has earned a reputation as one of Canada's leading opera companies, thanks to its dynamic repertoire choices, its original productions, and its commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for artists and audiences. Founded in 1979 and incorporated in 1980, POV has become one of Canada's most exciting arts institutions, with an audience that is, per capita, two to five times that of any other Canadian opera company.

Pacific Opera Victoria is now taking subscriptions for the 2014-2015 season. Subscribers receive guaranteed seating, savings over single ticket prices, and ticket exchange privileges. Call 250.385.0222 or email . For more information visit POV's Season Subscription page.



 

The Marriage of Figaro

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


April 24, 26, 30, May 2, 2014, 8 pm, and May 4 at 2:30 pm

Pacific Opera Victoria presents Mozart's comic masterpiece, The Marriage of Figaro, as the finale to Victoria's 2013-14 opera season. Containing some of opera's most familiar and charming melodies, The Marriage of Figaro runs from April 24 through May 4, 2014, at the Royal Theatre in Victoria, BC. Based on the second tale in a trilogy of plays by Pierre Beaumarchais, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro picks up where Rossini's The Barber of Seville left off (although the latter was composed thirty years later). Count Almaviva has married his Rosina, and Figaro, now the Count's valet, is about to marry his love, Susanna.

When the opera opens, Susanna is preparing for her wedding to Figaro while evading the rakish pursuit of Count Almaviva. The Countess, aware of her husband's philandering, is determined to catch him, and keep him. The opera follows the Almaviva household through a single hilarious day of plots, counterplots, disguises, and revelations. But, even as the Count learns his lesson, the opera becomes a study of youthful optimism and of love's ability to endure.

Two of Canada's top designers are creating the visual world for The Marriage of Figaro – which features a glittering set of fantastical mirrors and silver leaf, reminiscent of Versailles. Production designer Cameron Porteous, a veteran of professional theatre, opera, and film design, was Head of Design at the Shaw Festival for almost 20 years and taught design at UBC, the Banff School of Fine Arts, and Ryerson University Theatre School. His work has been exhibited at the Prague Quadrennial, in St. Petersburg, Russia, and in a touring 40-year retrospective called Risking the Void – the Work of Cameron Porteous.

Joining Mr. Porteous is Robert Thomson, one of Canada's most acclaimed lighting designers. Mr. Thomson has designed more than 55 productions for the Shaw Festival, was Resident Lighting Designer of the National Ballet of Canada, and spent 12 years designing for the Stratford Festival. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Siminovitch Prize in Theatre.

The Marriage of Figaro is Pacific Opera Victoria's first co-production with Calgary Opera, which will present the opera next January, using Mr. Porteous' design. The director of both the Victoria and Calgary productions is Brent Krysa.

POV Artistic Director Timothy Vernon conducts the Victoria Symphony for POV's production. He has chosen an accomplished cast of Mozart singers. Justin Welsh (POV's A Cunning Little Vixen) returns to Victoria in the title role, joined by Leslie Ann Bradley (POV's Carmen) as the Countess Almaviva, Miriam Khalil (POV's Carmen) as Susanna, Phillip Addis (POV's Albert Herring) as Count Almaviva, and Thomas Goerz (POV's Carmen) as Dr. Bartolo. Erin Lawson (POV's The Magic Flute) sings the role of Marcellina with Michael Barrett in the dual roles of Don Basilio and Don Curzio, Erica Warder as Barbarina, and Andrew Erasmus as Antonio. Making his POV debut in the role of Cherubino is Ray Chenez, a Chicago-based countertenor and a winner of the 2013 Metropolitan Opera District Auditions. Choreography is by Jacques Lemay.

The Marriage of Figaro opens on April 24 and continues on April 26, 30, and May 2, 2014, with a matinée May 4, at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street in Victoria. Evening performances begin at 8pm with pre-performance lectures at 7pm. Matinée performance on May 4 begins at 2:30 pm, with pre-performance lecture at 1:30 pm. The performance is approximately 2 hours, 50 minutes, including one intermission. The opera is performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Priced between $40 and $125, including GST & box office service charges, tickets are available from the Royal and McPherson Box Office at 250-386-6121, or online .

Student RUSH tickets for those presenting valid student identification are available at the door of the theatre, 60 minutes prior to each performance, subject to availability. RUSH tickets are $15, inclusive of all box office charges.

For more information, contact Pacific Opera Victoria at 250-385-0222 or visit POV's web pages on The Marriage of Figaro.


 

La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs

A rare double bill of Baroque Opera


March 14 and 15, 2014, 8 pm, at the McPherson Playhouse

The Early Music Society of the Islands and Pacific Opera Victoria present, for the first time in Victoria, the Boston Early Music Festival, in a stunning operatic double bill. La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs, composed by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, will be presented March 14 and 15, 2014, at 8 pm at Victoria's McPherson Playhouse.

Staged by one of the world's leading baroque ensembles, the operas are a brilliant fusion of music, drama and dance. Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs, reigning authorities on early music, lead the internationally acclaimed singers, instrumentalists and dancers of the Boston Early Music Festival.

La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs, dating from 1685 and 1686, are presented as a play within a play – a musical contest framing the story of Orpheus and Euridice. La Couronne de Fleurs, based on a text by Molière, depicts a musical contest in tribute to Louis XIV, in which shepherds vie for a crown of flowers from the goddess Flora for the most beautiful and eloquent aria in praise of the Sun King. The short opera La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers is presented as an entry in the poetic contest, telling the famous story of Orphée, who descends into the underworld to use his musical powers to rescue his beloved Euridice.

These miniature masterpieces showcase one of the great composers of the French Baroque, explains Timothy Vernon, Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Victoria. A couple of generations before Bach and Handel, Charpentier was in the vanguard of opera development in France.

Charpentier was profoundly sensitive to text and to drama, and his music is arrestingly personal. His gift for creating appealing melodies; for creating contrast of mood and color; for employing the instrumental resources available to him with infinite imagination and care; for balancing the elements of musical storytelling – singing, playing, dancing – all combine to make him one of the most attractive and accessible of French Baroque composers.

James Young, Artistic Director of the Early Music Society of the Islands, explains that the double bill is one of the most ambitious productions in EMSI's almost thirty-year history. For the first time, Victoria audiences will have the opportunity to experience a semi-staged baroque opera, performed in a period style by one of the world's leading baroque music ensembles. The Boston Early Music Festival is passionate about the historical context of this music and the performance practice.

The Boston Early Music Festival is a leader in the performance of music from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical eras, acclaimed internationally for their artistry, technical polish, style, scrupulous research, and above all excitement and drama.

Close to thirty singers, dancers, and musicians will travel to Victoria for the March performances. For one performer, the trip will be a home-coming of sorts. Victoria-raised baritone Tyler Duncan has received critical acclaim for his roles in Baroque opera and has appeared in opera houses and concert halls across North America. He has performed with the Boston Early Music Festival as Raymondo in Handel's Almira, and was last seen in Victoria as Dandini in Pacific Opera Victoria's production of Rossini's Cinderella.

La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs are directed by Gilbert Blin. Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs are music directors and conduct the Festival ensemble. Costume design is by Anna Watkins and choreography by Melinda Sullivan.

This presentation of Charpentier's operas is the first collaboration of Pacific Opera Victoria and the Early Music Society of the Islands. Both companies are excited to offer their audiences a broader experience of baroque work and to expose them to Boston Early Music Festival's exciting baroque practice – including authentic baroque instruments, vocalism, and movement. Young and Vernon agree that the performance is a rare treat for Victoria and something that no music or opera lover should miss.

La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs are presented
March 14 and 15, 2014, at 8 pm
at the McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Square, Victoria
.

The operas are performed in French with English surtitles.

Priced between $65 and $85, tickets are available from Pacific Opera Victoria at 250-385-0222 or from the Royal and McPherson Box Office at 250-386-6121, or online. Friday Gala tickets are available for $125.

For more information, contact Pacific Opera Victoria at 250-382-1641 or the Early Music Society of the Islands at 250-882-5058, or visit POV's web pages on the Charpentier Operas .


 

Ariadne auf Naxos
Playfully serious. Seriously playful


February 13, 15, and 21, 2014, at 8 pm, and February 23 at 2:30 pm

Pacific Opera Victoria presents Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, a witty mash up of high-brow opera and earthy comedy, February 13 through 23, 2014 at the Royal Theatre in Victoria, BC.

The richest man in Vienna is hosting a party and will treat his guests to a newly commissioned opera, The Tragedy of the Jilted Ariadne, followed by a burlesque farce, The Fickle Zerbinetta and Her Four Lovers.

Preparations backstage are in full swing when the patron announces that dinner is running late and both works must therefore be staged simultaneously. The players cry Foul! How can a tragedy and a comedy be presented at the same time? The Composer bewails the fate of his creation while the Tenor and the Prima Donna bicker over musical cuts. What follows is a collision of comedy and tragedy as the players are compelled to follow the old theatrical maxim, "the show must go on".

Ariadne auf Naxos is a show within a show, a mash up of tragedy and comedy, myth and realism, in which different art forms fight for equal rights, and everyone wins, especially the audience! It is a unique and beautiful work that laughs at opera, even as it celebrates it.

In a season of large ensemble works marked by company debuts, POV's production of Ariadne auf Naxos welcomes a dozen new artists to Victoria.

Canadian tenor Roger Honeywell makes his Pacific Opera Victoria debut as the Tenor and Bacchus, a role he covered with the Canadian Opera Company. Mr. Honeywell returned to the Canadian Opera Company recently as Bob Boles opposite Ben Heppner in Peter Grimes. After a career as an actor working at many of the country's foremost companies including five seasons with the Shaw Festival and five seasons with the Stratford Festival, Mr. Honeywell joined the Canadian Opera Company's young artist program. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008.

Colleen Skull, a frequent performer with opera companies and orchestras across Canada, makes her POV debut as the Prima Donna and Ariadne.

Arminè Kassabian has taken the opera scene by storm with awardwinning performances in the US, Canada, Italy and China. Ms. Kassabian makes her POV debut as the Composer.

Suzanne Rigden, acclaimed for her remarkable gift for stratospheric coloratura, is making her mark in opera and concert halls from Nova Scotia to San Francisco, and joins POV in the role of Zerbinetta.

John Brancy joins the cast as Harlequin. Mr. Brancy has performed on concert stages across Europe as well as for Dresden Semperoper, Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet, and Juilliard Opera.

Ariadne auf Naxos is directed by Oriol Tomas (POV's Rodelinda). POV Artistic Director, Timothy Vernon, Canada's foremost authority on Strauss, conducts the Victoria Symphony. Set design is by Ian Rye, costume design by Sheila White, choreography by Jacques Lemay, and lighting design by Kimberly Purtell.

Ariadne auf Naxos opens on February 13 and continues on February 15 and 21, 2014, with a matinée February 23, at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street in Victoria. Evening performances begin at 8pm with pre-performance lectures at 7:00pm. Matinée performance on February 23rd begins at 2:30 pm, with pre-performance lecture at 1:30 pm. The opera is performed in German with English surtitles.

Priced between $40 and $125, including GST & box office service charges, tickets are available from the Royal and McPherson Box Office at 250-386-6121, or online.

Student RUSH tickets for those presenting valid student identification are available at the door of the theatre, 60 minutes prior to each performance, subject to availability. RUSH tickets are $15, inclusive of all box office charges.

For more information, contact Pacific Opera Victoria at 250-385-0222 or visit POV's web pages on Ariadne auf Naxos.


 

SOUTH PACIFIC IN CONCERT
Rodgers' and Hammerstein's Glorious Musical
On Stage at the Royal Theatre

Pacific Opera Victoria and the Victoria Symphony join forces for Victoria's first professional production of the much loved Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece, South Pacific, November 23 and 24 at the Royal Theatre in Victoria.

Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by James Michener, SOUTH PACIFIC is a sweeping romantic story of two unlikely couples on a small island during WWII. The 1949 musical snagged 10 Tony Awards (Broadway's version of the Oscar), and a 2008 revival at Lincoln Center in New York grabbed another seven.

South Pacific is endowed with hit after hit: "Younger than Springtime", "Bali H'ai", "Some Enchanted Evening", "There is Nothin' Like a Dame", "This Nearly Was Mine". The POV/VS production includes all of the dialogue and music of the Broadway show in a rich, theatrical presentation, with cast and orchestra sharing the stage.

"This is a first", declared POV Artistic Director Timothy Vernon. "It's the first time that Victoria audiences will experience this Broadway musical with a full orchestra and beautiful operatic voices, and it's the first co-production of our two pre-eminent professional arts organizations."

Welsh baritone Jason Howard interrupted his international opera career to portray Emile de Becque in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of South Pacific. To quote Richard Ouzounian of the Toronto Star, Jason Howard is, quite frankly, a perfect Emile de Becque ... He knows how to dispense both elegant sophistication and uncensored emotion with equal ease. And his voice – the aural equivalent of a finely polished piece of mahogany – adds incredible depth and texture to those heartfelt Rodgers tunes.

"Opera audiences will remember Jason from his appearances here in the title roles of The Barber of Seville and Eugene Onegin" said Vernon. "We are all delighted to welcome him back to the Royal Theatre in this iconic role".

Joining Jason Howard in the cast of South Pacific are Lara Ciekiewicz as Ensign Nellie Forbush, Adam Fisher as Lieutenant Joe Cable, and Lynne McMurtry as Bloody Mary. All three are critically acclaimed performers making their POV debuts.

Whether being hailed as "mesmerizing" (Classical Voice of North Carolina), or "a clear standout" (San Francisco Classical Voice), Lara Ciekiewicz is quickly making her mark as a compelling, intelligent, and accomplished singing-actress. A graduate of l'Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal, she has performed throughout the US and with Manitoba Opera.

Canadian tenor Adam Fisher has performed with Voicebox/Opera in Concert, Toronto Operetta Theatre and Edmonton Opera. He recently performed in Best of Broadway, a concert of favourite Rodgers and Hammerstein songs with Chorus Niagara and was a guest artist with Vancouver's popular Music in the Morning for "I Got Rhythm: The Songs of George Gershwin".

Mezzo-soprano Lynne McMurtry has performed with the symphony orchestras of Boston, Charleston, Winnipeg, and Edmonton, among others, and with the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Ontario, Manitoba Opera, Opera in Concert, and at Tanglewood and Ravinia.

South Pacific is staged by renowned Canadian director/choreographer Jacques Lemay and conducted by POV's Artistic Director, Timothy Vernon. Scenic design is by Ian Rye with lighting design by Adam Wilkinson.

South Pacific is presented November 23 at 8pm and November 24 at 2:30pm, at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street in Victoria. Priced between $35 and $85, including GST & box office service charges, tickets are available from the Royal and McPherson Box Office at 250-386-6121, or online.

For more information visit our South Pacific web page or contact Pacific Opera Victoria at 250-385-0222.


 

FALSTAFF
Shakespeare invented him. Verdi makes him sing.


Pacific Opera Victoria jump starts the opera season with FALSTAFF, Verdi's joyous celebration of Shakespeare, October 17 through 27 at the Royal Theatre in Victoria.

Sir John Falstaff is a portly, ageing scoundrel with a voracious appetite for booze, food, and women! He is a hero of truly operatic proportions, squeezing every morsel of pleasure out of life.

Crammed full of delicious tunes and brimming with hilarity and romance, Falstaff is a feast of an opera for the audience and the singers alike.

Brian Bannatyne-Scott of Edinburgh returns to POV for the title role, which he performed previously in Bielefeld, Germany. Falstaff is one of the most rewarding roles anyone could wish for, he says. I love its zest and bubbling enthusiasm. Friends suggested that because of my liking for good food and wine, I'm a natural for the role, but I still do have to wear a fat suit!

POV Artistic Director Timothy Vernon laughingly agrees that Bannatyne-Scott is perfectly suited for the role of Falstaff. Brian is a richly gifted singer and a comedic actor who will embody the character completely. His performance as La Roche in our production of Capriccio was an audience favourite and we are thrilled to welcome him back to Victoria.

There are many familiar faces and voices in POV's 100th production. Joni Henson, most recently POV's Tosca, sings the role of Alice Ford. Mia Lennox-Williams is Meg Page, and Colin Ainsworth is Fenton. They were last seen in POV's The Rake's Progress. Megan Latham received critical acclaim for her role in POV's Rodelinda and returns as Mistress Quickly. POV is delighted to welcome Brett Polegato in the role of the jealous husband, Ford. It's been 20 years since his performances in The Merry Widow, Don Pasquale, and La Bohème, and he's been enjoying a stellar international career. Rachel Fenlon, Josh Lovell, and Jeremy Bowes make their hometown opera debuts as Nanetta, Bardolfo and Pistola. Christopher Mayell makes his POV debut as Dr. Caius, a role he recently performed with Calgary Opera.

Pacific Opera Victoria comes full circle with Falstaff. The first production, in 1979, of the newly minted Pacific Opera Association was Otto Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor – same story; different music.

Falstaff is directed by Glynis Leyshon, with set and costume design by Leslie Frankish, and lighting by Kevin Lamotte.

Falstaff opens October 17 and continues October 19, 23 and 25, 2013, with a matinée October 27, at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street in Victoria. Evening performances begin at 8pm with pre-performance lectures at 7:00pm. Matinée performance on October 27th begins at 2:30 pm, with pre- performance lecture at 1:30 pm. The opera is performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Priced between $40 and $125, including GST & box office service charges, tickets are available from the Royal and McPherson Box Office at 250-386-6121, or online.

Student RUSH tickets for those presenting valid student identification MAY be available at the door of the theatre, 45 minutes prior to each performance, subject to availability. RUSH tickets are $15, inclusive of all box office charges.

For more information, contact Pacific Opera Victoria at 250-385-0222 or visit POV's Falstaff page.

Posted October 16, 2013



TIMOTHY VERNON AWARDED HONORARY DEGREE

Timothy Vernon

Founding Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Victoria, Timothy Vernon will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Royal Roads University on June 19, 2013. The honour is in recognition of his strong leadership in and contributions to Canada's cultural scene, demonstrating a standard of excellence that inspires graduates and sets an example for positive change in the world.

Opera is a story told in music and there are many, many stories. Some of them are disturbing, controversial, open-ended and unresolved. All of these things should be present in art because art should make you think ... Our art is the best of us after all ... It represents the very best enrichment humankind represents. We need as much of that as we can get.
Timothy Vernon

Community of sound: Royal Roads News

About Timothy Vernon

Posted June 15, 2013


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