The Rake's Progress, 2009. David Cooper Photography


The Barber of Seville
February 11 to 21, 2016

Pacific Opera Victoria's 2015-16 season celebrates theatre reborn as opera. Beginning with Verdi's Otello, presented in October 2015, the season continues with Rossini's The Barber of Seville, February 11 through 21, 2016, at the Royal Theatre in Victoria.

The title character is the resourceful Figaro, whose schemes drive the action in Rossini's opera, which was inspired by Le Barbier de Séville, a popular play by the French writer Beaumarchais.

In The Barber of Seville, Count Almaviva and Rosina have fallen in love and will allow nothing to stop them from getting married. Almaviva follows Rosina to Seville, where he runs into his former servant Figaro, who is now a barber with a booming business. Almaviva hires Figaro to help him rescue Rosina from the clutches of her crotchety old guardian, Dr. Bartolo, who has designs on her himself. The enterprising trio devise an arsenal of tricks to outwit Bartolo, proving that the road to true love is paved with theft, lies, bribery, brawling – and wicked comedy.

With its byzantine plot twists and irresistible, earworm-inducing music, Rossini's rollicking farce is an exuberant conspiracy on behalf of youth, hope, and the delirious joy of first love.

Clarence Frazer makes his POV debut as Figaro, a role he performed previously with the Canadian Opera Company. Antonio Figueroa (POV's Così fan tutte) and Sylvia Szadovszki (POV's Carmen) return as Count Almaviva and Rosina, with Peter McGillivray (POV's Albert Herring) as Dr. Bartolo, and Giles Tomkins (POV's Lucia di Lammermoor) as Don Basilio. Geneviève Lévesque makes her company debut as Berta. The cast includes an all-male Pacific Opera Victoria chorus.

One of Canada's most celebrated directors and playwrights, Morris Panych returns to Victoria to direct The Barber of Seville. Panych is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama and has collected 14 Jessie Richardson Awards and five Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Panych's real-life and collaborative partner, Ken MacDonald, has designed the set for this production. MacDonald began his career as resident designer for the Belfry Theatre and has since designed for all of Canada's major theatre companies. He has garnered a Gemini, 17 Jessie Richardson Awards, a Betty Mitchell Award, and two Dora Mavor Moore Awards.

In their first opera project for POV, in 2012, Panych and MacDonald created a moody, stylized Macbeth, which became a co-production with Opéra de Québec and was subsequently staged at Kentucky Opera. They have taken a more traditional approach to Barber, but have introduced moments of magic and an all-white Gaudi-inspired set that invites colourful mayhem.

POV Artistic Director Timothy Vernon will conduct the Victoria Symphony. He describes Rossini's score as a sheer delight. One of the glories of bel canto, it's easy on the ear and brimming with tuneful vocal flourishes.

The creative team also includes award winning costume designer Dana Osborne, who worked with Panych and MacDonald on POV's Macbeth and has designed for the Stratford Festival and Soulpepper, among others. Lighting designer Kim Purtell (POV's Ariadne auf Naxos) has credits across Canada, including the Stratford and Shaw Festivals.

The Barber of Seville is performed at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria, February 11, 13 and 19, 2016, at 8 pm, and Wednesday, February 17 at 7 pm, with a matinée February 21 at 2:30 pm. Pre-performance lectures take place in the theatre lobby one hour prior to each show. The opera is performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Priced between $25 and $145, 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 our web pages on The Barber of Seville.


Pacific Opera Victoria Association
Annual General Meeting

Monday, December 7, 2015, 5 pm
Wingate Studio, the Baumann Centre
925 Balmoral Road, Victoria, BC

Business will include presentation of reports and the audited financial statements, nomination of new Directors, and a vote on proposed bylaw changes. All members are invited to attend.

RSVP to 250-382-1641 or by November 30.

Meeting Notice and Text of Special Resolution: DOWNLOAD PDF

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, 2014, to June 30, 2015).

Posted November 13, 2015


For Remembrance
Pacific Opera Victoria presents Mary's Wedding

7pm, November 10, 2015, Victoria High School Theatre

In recognition of Remembrance Day and ongoing commemorations of the WWI centenary, Pacific Opera Victoria is staging an intimate and re-imagined version of the new Canadian opera Mary's Wedding. The production tours regional secondary schools this month, with a special public performance at 7 pm, November 10, in the Victoria High School Theatre, 1260 Grant Street, Victoria, BC.

Set in Western Canada in the aftermath of World War I, Mary's Wedding was commissioned by Pacific Opera Victoria and had its world première in November 2011. Music is by Andrew P. MacDonald with the libretto by Stephen Massicotte, based on his play Mary's Wedding.

On the eve of her wedding in 1920, Mary dreams of her first love, a young farm boy named Charlie. Her reminiscences of their first meeting, their developing attraction, and of his departure for the war blend with Charlie's memories of Mary and loop the action back and forth through time and place, from the Canadian prairie to the battlefields of France. Mary recalls the horror of the trenches – experienced through Charlie's letters – as he remembers her, and longs for home.

The 60-minute performance of Mary's Wedding will be followed by a discussion with Barry Gough, author of From Classroom to Battlefield: Victoria High School and the First World War. The names of 500 teachers and graduates are inscribed on Victoria High School's Great War Roll of Honour.

Mary's Wedding is directed by Glynis Leyshon, with music direction by Giuseppe Pietraroia, and features Caitlin Wood as Mary, Kaden Forsberg as Charlie, Jeremy Bowes as the real-life character, Lt. Gordon Flowerdew, and a small chorus. The opera is performed in English.

Tickets for the public performance are $15 for students and $35 for adults, available in advance from Pacific Opera Victoria, by phone at 250-385-0222, in person at 925 Balmoral Road, Victoria, or online. For more information visit POV's web pages on Mary's Wedding

Posted November 5, 2015.


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