Starring soprano Robyn Dreidger-Klassen and pianist Terrence Dawson, City Opera Vancouver’s production of Jake Heggie's At the Statue of Venus went online in July, drawing high praise from the composer himself: “Wow! What a fabulous performance! She is such a great actress – and he is such a fine pianist. Immensely gratifying to hear the pacing just right – the character and journey captured so perfectly.”
Diverse voices. Daring visions. A curated look at dance, drama, design, music, poetry, cinema, song, photography, opera and more. All 21st C. All dazzling. All Canadian. Online, and free. Starting at noon on Friday 1 October. One new entry a day, for a month.
Violinist, conductor, scholar, and educator Jeanne Lamon was a national and international treasure. Her passing in June of this year left an enormous void; over more than thirty-three years as director of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, it was Jeanne's passionate musicality that shaped and expanded the ensemble, carrying it from strength to strength and establishing it as an internationally revered reservoir of high-calibre talent. Along the way she immersed audiences time and again in the beauties of works both known and lesser-traveled, on occasion even offering up her own arrangements: in this live performance of her transcription of the Ciaccona, from Bach's Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004, an impeccable musicianship, intelligence, and warmth are evident at every turn.
Canadian-Indigenous opera Shanawdithit unfolds the story of a woman who was the last of the Beothuk – the indigenous peoples of the island now known as Newfoundland. Supported by a powerfully evocative libretto and score (by Yvette Nolan and Dean Burry, respectively), the extraordinary Marion Newman sang the title role in a performance the Globe and Mail described as “disturbing in its subtlety, certainly no echo of the operatic trope of a wide-eyed young woman…”
Against the Grain Theatre’s Messiah/Complex premiered online in December of 2021 to critical praise. Incorporating newly commissioned translations into Dene, Inuktitut, Southern Tutchone, Arabic and French, Handel’s perennial favorite – accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra - featured singers from every territory and province in Canada. Here, set against vibrant Vancouver locales, tenor Spencer Britten takes us from the hushed intimacy of Comfort Ye to the exuberant flourishes of Ev’ry Valley.
Boldly reimagined and performed by librettist-tenor-translator Isaiah Bell, with Roger Parton at the piano, Poulenc’s classic La Voix Humaine takes on new relevance for our physically-distanced times in this City Opera production, filmed at The Cultch's storied Historic Theatre.