Pacific Opera Victoria builds opera from the ground up. POV is the only major opera company in Canada to build its own sets exclusively. This allows us greater programming creativity than companies that rent existing productions.
Our productions are shaped by the creative vision of our directors and designers and then built by our own team of production artists, staged in Victoria's beautiful, intimate Royal Theatre, and brought to life by a glorious collaboration of conductor and singers.
POV maintains its own scene and costume shop in a 10,000 square foot production facility, The Opera Shop. This facility is the largest of its kind on Vancouver Island, offering employment to over 50 theatre professionals making their home in our region. POV's eclectic team of artists and craftspeople have a wealth of experience in the fields of project management, design, construction, scenic art, properties, and wardrobe construction.
Since 1980, Pacific Opera Victoria has created seasons of entirely new productions and continues to offer a diverse blend of repertoire for its small stage and intimate theatre. POV has a proud tradition of working in partnership with regional and national arts organizations and continues to actively develop co-productions with companies across North America.
Through a partnership with Orchestra London, POV presented a co-production of Puccini's Tosca in 2005 – London's first fully-staged professional opera.
This was followed by co-productions of Rigoletto (2006), Don Giovanni (2007), Madama Butterfly (2008), and, in 2009, The Magic Flute.
The set from POV's 2008 production of Regina, designed by Pam Johnson, was sent to Utah Opera for its production in January 2009.
Albert Herring opened in February, 2013 in Victoria and moved to Vancouver Opera in November, 2013.
This co-production between Canada's second largest opera company and its smallest was an audacious venture, requiring an expandable set to fit both Victoria's Royal Theatre stage and that of Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre, which is four times the size.
The production was designed by Patrick Clark (Set and Costumes) and Michael Walton (Lighting). Both the Victoria and Vancouver performances featured Conductor Leslie Dala and Director Glynis Leyshon, as well as Lawrence Wiliford (Albert), Sally Dibblee (Lady Billows), Susan Platts (Florence), Rebecca Hass (Mrs. Herring), Peter McGillivray (Vicar Gedge), Michael Colvin (Mayor Upfold), and Giles Tomkins (Police Supt. Budd).
Pacific Opera Victoria celebrated Benjamin Britten's centenary in 2013 with its mainstage production of Albert Herring, as well as two two Britten Festival co-productions with community organizations, both of which also provided the audience with opportunities to sing.
Noye's Fludde was co-produced by POV and the Victoria Conservatory of Music. It featured the Victoria Children's Choir, directed by Madeleine Humer, along with cast members from Albert Herring, members of the POV Chorus, the Victoria Symphony, Victoria Conservatory of Music Strings Program, a recorder choir, a local handbell group, and the organist of the Church of St. John the Divine. Victoria High School art students designed the set, and classes from Glenlyon Norfolk had immense fun creating the masks and heads of all the many animals that crowd into the ark. Alison Greene directed, and Timothy Vernon conducted this extraordinary community opera.
Let's Make an Opera/The Little Sweep was a co-production with Victoria's Belfry Theatre. Young Victoria performers were joined by Albert Herring cast members and student instrumentalists from the University of Victoria Faculty of Music. The production was conducted by Giuseppe Pietraroia, and directed by Rachel Peake, with set and costume design by Patrick Clark.
Tosca opened in April, 2013 in Victoria. The set, designed by Christina Poddubiuk, was used in November, 2013 for Opera Santa Barbara's production of the opera.
Macbeth opened in Victoria in October, 2012 and moved to Opéra de Québec for subsequent performances in May, 2014. The Quebec performances used the same conductor (Timothy Vernon), director (Morris Panych), designers (Ken MacDonald, Alan Brodie, Dana Osborne), and lead singers (Lyne Fortin, Gregory Dahl, and Alain Coulombe).
Macbeth will also be a future co-production with Kentucky Opera.
The Marriage of Figaro, with Cameron Poerteous' arresting production design, follows its April 2014 run in Victoria with performances in January 2015 at Calgary Opera. Brent Krysa directs in both cities.
Future co-productions with Edmonton Opera include Maria Stuarda (seen at POV in April, 2012) and Mary's Wedding, which POV commissioned and premiered in November, 2011.
POV's scene and costume shop also provide first rate creative and construction services to other local and visiting arts organizations throughout the year.
The Opera Shop's 10,000 square foot warehouse is available for film, television and event production.
The Scene Shop is designed for construction work in steel, wood and scenic painting and boasts a clear height of 20 feet, level loading facilities, compressed air, and ample utilities.
The wardrobe and prop shops are generous spaces with natural light, laundry facilities, and fitting rooms.
The Opera Shop has secure parking, office space, lunchroom and wireless internet service and is located in Victoria's downtown warehouse district.
To inquire about the Opera Shop and Co-Production opportunities, contact
Ian Rye, Director of Artistic Administration