City Opera News / 15 March 2014

Pauline: A New Opera By Margaret Atwood & Tobin Stokes

rose-ellenThis is the opera you don’t want to miss. A powerful and poignant story, lyric and memorable, bold and vivid. A world premiere.

PAULINE is the tale of a remarkable woman, a proto-Canadian who 150 years ago led a life that was unimaginable in its time.

It is a story of love and remorse, betrayal and hope. It is a Canadian story of dual identity, set at Vancouver in March 1913. The opera is in two Acts, and runs approximately two hours. Margaret Atwood and Tobin Stokes will be in attendance opening night.

Pauline Johnson (1861-1913) traveled across Canada, the United States and Great Britain giving readings of her own work when such independence was unknown. The child of a Mohawk chief and a Quaker Englishwoman, she was torn by loyalty and ambition. Pauline lived her last years among us, and died a terrible death of breast cancer, treated by crude surgery and morphine.

Haunted by failure, torn by her identity as both Mohawk and white, Pauline Johnson fights to confront her past before the end, as her doctor tries to control the pain and her sister tries to control the story that will be told.

“Pauline will be the runaway hit of the spring.” — Max Wyman

Pauline: Tickets Now On Sale

The Canadian Press has declared that PAULINE is one of “Five buzz-worthy theatre productions for Canadians to see in 2014.”

No wonder. It is Margaret Atwood’s first opera. Its music is by Tobin Stokes, and is directed by Norman Armour. It is the first opera about Pauline Johnson, and the first to be produced at the century-old York Theatre on Commercial Drive.

Early Bird prices: $60, $40 and $22. These prices last until April 2.

Opening Night Gala tickets are $100, and available only by phone at The Cultch.

We have now had ticket requests from New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto, Regina, Seattle and Australia. You will be among friends.

“City Opera’s brilliance is in identifying stories that speak about issues both local and global, and sourcing the creative and performing artists who can move our hearts with their passionate and powerful story-telling. Pauline meets the mandate in all categories; the stellar creative and production teams are creating an important work that sings a consummately Canadian story. I can’t wait to see the show!” – Rena Sharon

mr-burns-speaksWithout Your Help, Every Seat Would Cost $808.62

With it, we can keep prices down, and make this extraordinary new opera available to everybody.

Can you help? The budget is $300,000. Donations to City Opera Vancouver are tax-deductible. Cheques may be sent to us at PO Box 88393, Vancouver BC V6A 4A6.

Prefer to donate on-line? Please go to our account at Canada Helps.

Pauline: Tickets Are Selling Fast

Tickets went on sale February 16, and are moving very well. If you want the best seats, now is the time to get them. We expect Pauline will sell out.

Remember: Early Bird prices end on April 2

  • Online:
  • By telephone: 604.251.1363
  • In person: The Cultch, 1895 Venables (at Victoria Drive)
    Monday – Friday, noon to 6pm. Saturday, noon to 4pm.
  • NB: Opening Night Gala tickets can only be purchased by phone. 604.251.1363

Pauline: At The York Theatre, 639 Commercial at East Georgia

  • Friday 23 May 2014 at 8pm
  • Sunday 25 May at 2pm
  • Tuesday 27 May at 8pm
  • Thursday 29 May at 8pm
  • Saturday 31 May at 8pm

Pauline is a project of great national significance, worth every support and encouragement. Likely, the Canadian opera premiere of the year.” — Bramwell Tovey