Welcome to City Opera
We are a professional chamber opera company. We produce opera from its rise in 1600 through to new opera alive in our own time. We commission new Canadian opera. We present concerts that animate our brand, widen our audience, and take our music to people where they live.
At City Opera, we are building a repertoire. Building an audience. And building a company. Welcome to the rising future of opera.
September 2021 at The Vancouver Playhouse
Libretto by Madeleine Thien
CHINATOWN will tell the story of the history, people, and culture of one of our most important neighbourhoods. It could not be more timely.
Its librettist is the renowned writer Madeleine Thien. Vancouver-born and raised, she is best known for her historical novel DO NOT SAY WE HAVE NOTHING (2016), winner of the Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Award. It has been translated into 17 languages. CHINATOWN will be Maddie's first opera.
Said Thien, “I’m honoured to have this chance to immerse in the intricate and complex life of Vancouver’s Chinatown. For over a century, this neighbourhood has been the centre of gravity for the imaginings, stories, experiences, heartbreaks and hopes of Vancouver’s Chinese community. Many people – from divergent and overlapping histories and languages – call this neighbourhood home; for me, Strathcona and Chinatown are at the core of my own childhood and teenaged years.
“I’m deeply moved to be part of this project. I look forward to learning all that I can, and to working on an opera that might create, in unanticipated ways, a profound experience of our shared history and future.”
CHINATOWN is planned for world premiere in September 2021. The evening will commence with a community dinner, and a memorial parade to The Vancouver Playhouse. This special event will honour the elders and community leaders who have made Chinatown possible, unique, and essential, all these years.
The Vancouver Foundation has awarded City Opera Vancouver a three-year creation and production grant for its new opera, CHINATOWN.
This complements an award previously granted by the City, through its Creative City Strategies programme.