News

The Rake's Progress, 2009. David Cooper Photography
  • Now Open! The Baumann Centre: A New Home for Pacific Opera Victoria
  • Lucia di Lammermoor February 12 to 22, 2015
  • European Opera Tour May/June 2015
  • Michael Morres Honoured: 2015 National Opera Directors Award
  • Camelot in Concert November 2014
  • Das Rheingold October, 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

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    Now Open! The Baumann Centre
    A New Home for Pacific Opera Victoria

    On Monday, February 16, 2015, Pacific Opera Victoria (POV) officially opened The Baumann Centre, a new home for POV and for music-making in the community. The former Hall of the Church of St. John the Divine at 925 Balmoral Road in Victoria, BC, has been re-designed to include a rehearsal and recital hall, an office suite, music room and public entrance.

    Over 100 donors gathered in the Baumann Centre on February 16 to celebrate the culmination of a 9-month, $2 million fundraising campaign and the official opening of the 7,000 square foot facility. Named for the late Victoria philanthropist and founder of Speedway Motors, Egon Baumann, lead donor through the Egon Baumann Music Foundation, the Centre will house opera rehearsals, artist training programs, and an array of initiatives to nurture artists, engage the community, and educate and delight families and youth.

    The heart of The Baumann Centre is the Wingate Studio, a 2500 square foot rehearsal and music making space. Wingate Studio is not only practical, but beautiful. A stunning acoustic ceiling canopy has been created and gifted to POV by Kwagiulth artist and former opera singer Carey Newman. The huge red-cedar installation features a central carved medallion that crowns the studio with exquisite artistry.

    Funding for specialized lighting, sound and audiovisual recording equipment installed in the new opera centre was received from the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

    "Our Government is pleased to support Pacific Opera Victoria," said the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. "This centre will benefit everyone in the community as a place for creation, collaboration, innovation and performance. Congratulations on the official opening of this magnificent facility."

    "The inspiring generosity of many patrons and donors has made this Centre possible," said POV Executive Director Patrick Corrigan. "The Baumann Centre is completely paid for with additional funds raised to create a new endowment fund and for working capital to support the expansion of our community programming and our long-term vision for community art-making, artist training, and youth education."

    "POV will broaden public programming and artist training programs, expand collaborative work with other organizations, and invite other performing arts groups to make good use of the space," he said. "We are just beginning to understand the opportunities it will afford us. It's really an exciting time!"

    The Baumann Centre for Pacific Opera Victoria


     

    Lucia di Lammermoor, February 12 to 22, 2015

    Nothing compares to the high drama in Donizetti's tragic Lucia di Lammermoor, except perhaps the high notes! Pacific Opera Victoria presents the composer's most celebrated opera at the Royal Theatre in Victoria, BC, February 12, 14, 18, 20, and 22, 2015.

    Loosely based on Sir Walter Scott's historical novel, The Bride of Lammermoor, Lucia's story is that of a woman doomed and desperate. Trapped between feuding clans and in love with the wrong man, Lucia watches her dreams of love and happiness crumble in the fist of her manipulative brother. When she is bullied into an arranged marriage, her fragile spirit is shattered.

    One of the reasons for Luca di Lammermoor's enduring popularity is its glorious music, filled with sublime melodies and spectacular coloratura. The role of Lucia is a test of technique, dramatic ability, and endurance, particularly in the heroine's famous "mad scene," which is justly celebrated for its virtuosity and beauty.

    The accomplished cast is led by Canada's pre-eminent coloratura soprano, Ruby award winner Tracy Dahl (POV's Maria Stuarda), who has earned international acclaim for her "glittering coloratura" and the "uniquely charismatic beauty of her voice".

    Lucia's bullying brother, Enrico, is played by baritone James Westman (POV's Capriccio), a Grammy and Juno awards nominee who has performed in opera houses throughout Europe and North America.

    Mexican-American tenor Ernesto Ramírez (POV's Maria Stuarda) sings the role of Lucia's jealous lover, Edgardo. He has been receiving rave reviews for his distinctive Italianate sound, dramatic flair, and expressive musicality.

    Ernesto's wife, outstanding Canadian mezzo-soprano Michèle Bogdanowicz (POV's Così fan tutte) portrays Lucia's servant and confidante, Alisa. Also in the cast are Giles Tomkins as Raimondo, Owen McCausland as Arturo and Josh Lovell as Normanno.

    Glynis Leyshon directs her 25th production for POV. Set and costume design are by Christina Poddubiuk (POV's Tosca) with lighting design by Guy Simard (POV's Thaïs). POV Artistic Director Timothy Vernon conducts the Victoria Symphony, and the POV Chorus is directed by Giuseppe Pietraroia.

    Lucia di Lammermoor opens on February 12, 2015, and continues on February 14, 18, and 20, with a matinée February 22, at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street in Victoria. Evening performances begin at 8 pm with pre-performance lectures at 7 pm. Matinée performance on February 22 begins at 2:30 pm, with pre-performance lecture at 1:30 pm. Lucia di Lammermoor is a three-act opera with one intermission. The opera is performed in Italian 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, 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 Lucia di Lammermoor

    Posted January 27, 2015.


     

    European Opera Tour

    May 23 to June 6, 2015, with optional extension to June 12.
    Know the World Tours presents a spring tour of Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, and Prague, May 23 to June 6, 2015, with an optional extenson from June 6 to 12, visiting Český Krumlov, Melk, and Vienna.

    The tour includes up to 13 operas:

    • L'elisir d'amore in Berlin, plus an option to see Eugene Onegin;
    • Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, and Siegfried in Leipzig;
    • Der Freischütz in Dresden;
    • From the House of the Dead and Rigoletto in Prague, plus an option to see Hänsel und Gretel;
    • Così fan tutte and Gräfin Mariza on the tour extension to Vienna, with options to also see Salome and Fidelio.

    And there is much more: city tours, churches, castles, and free time for tour participants to explore on their own.

    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 former President Michael Morres, who has led tours for Know the World since 2003.

    Early Bird Booking date is March 6, 2015. Early reservations are especially important for those wishing to attend Salome and/or Fidelio in Vienna.

    Download Tour Brochure.

    Posted January 27, 2015.


     

    Michael Morres Honoured with National Opera Directors Award

    Opera.ca, the national association for opera in Canada, has selected Michael Morres as the 2015 recipient of the Opera.ca National Opera Directors Recognition Award.

    Michael is an active member of the Pacific Opera Victoria board of directors and served as President from 2005 to 2010.

    Each year Opera.ca celebrates the contribution of an extraordinary Canadian opera company board member, whose efforts help to ensure the company's health and the art form's availability for future generations. The award is intended to recognize the vital role governance plays in the sustainability and success of an opera company and of the opera sector as a whole.

    POV is thrilled that Michael's enormous contributions are being honoured in this way, and we are very grateful to him for his exemplary leadership and support on behalf of Pacific Opera Victoria and the communities we serve!

    Opera.ca Media Release

    Posted January 27, 2015.


     

    Camelot in Concert

    November 22, 2014, at 8 pm, and November 23 at 2:30 pm.

    The Victoria Symphony and Pacific Opera Victoria present Lerner and Loewe's magical tale of the court of King Arthur and the forbidden love of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guenevere. Camelot in Concert is a rich theatrical presentation of the beloved Broadway show, with cast and orchestra sharing the stage.

    Based on The Once and Future King, novelist T.H. White's telling of the Arthurian legend, Camelot is a sweeping tale of passion, pageantry, and betrayal. Here is a glorious score, sung by a professional cast, with a host of familiar melodies, including If Ever I Would Leave You, I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight, How to Handle a Woman, and I Loved You Once in Silence. The 1960 musical snagged four Tony Awards, and the original cast recording was America's top-selling LP for 60 weeks.

    "Audience response to our collaborative presentation of South Pacific in Concert last year was overwhelmingly positive", declared Victoria Symphony Executive Director, Mitchell Krieger. "The partnership with Pacific Opera Victoria provides all of us with a uniquely satisfying experience – musicians, singers, and audience are able to enjoy this classic Broadway musical with full orchestra and glorious voices."

    Baritone David Ludwig makes his first appearance with Pacific Opera Victoria in the role of King Arthur. He is familiar to both opera and musical theatre audiences, with credits that include the Stratford Festival, the Canadian National Tour of Phantom of the Opera, and the US National Tour of Titanic. He is joined by soprano Rachel Fenlon as Queen Guenevere. Last year Ms. Fenlon made an exciting hometown debut with Pacific Opera Victoria as Nannetta in Verdi's Falstaff.

    Aaron St. Clair Nicholson has won praise for his superb vocal gifts and the dramatic integrity he brings to his performances. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Schaunard in La bohème, conducted by Placido Domingo, and has performed several roles with Pacific Opera Victoria. He returns to portray Sir Lancelot.

    Making company debuts are Benedict Campbell (Merlyn), a veteran of the Shaw and Stratford Festivals, and Wes Tritter (King Pellinore), who has performed across the country and on the television series, The Beachcombers. Bass-baritone Tyler Fitzgerald, originally from Nanaimo, will make his POV debut as Mordred, returning in April for Madama Butterfly. Also joining the cast are Ajay Parikh as Tom Mallory, and members of the Pacific Opera Victoria Chorus.

    Camelot in Concert is staged by renowned Canadian director/choreographer Jacques Lemay and conducted by Giuseppe Pietraroia. Scenic design is by Pacific Opera Victoria's Designer-in- Residence, Marshall McMahen, with lighting design by Rebekah Johnson.

    Camelot in Concert is presented November 22, 2014, at 8 pm and November 23 at 2:30 pm, at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street in Victoria. Priced between $40 and $90, 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, contact Pacific Opera Victoria at 250-385-0222 or visit POV's web page on Camelot.


    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


     

    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.



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