City Opera News for 15 December 2020

The Human Voice. La Voix Humaine / Jan 2021

… starring tenor Isaiah Bell, has been filmed at The Cultch Historic Theatre, and is set for release as a series of nightly webisodes in January 2021, sung in a new English translation. Thanks to coach/pianist Roger Parton, Chris Randle (video), Andrew Smith (sound), Sophie Tang (light), stage manager Trudy Chalmers, and the Hamber, Griffin, and McLean foundations.

At the end of the series, The Human Voice will be presented entire, and stay online for a year. Thanks to our donors, it will be free. View the promo video.

Festival Of Contemporary / Oct 2020

Over 28 days, we presented as many online performances in a curated Festival of dance and drama, cinema and design, art and music, opera and song — all Canadian and all free. The response was wonderful. It will stay online for a year, at our YouTube channel .

Art Auction V / 2021

Curator Bill Jeffries has organized four online art auctions for City Opera, raising some $60,000. We thank him, and our partners at Heffel Fine Art Auction House. Bill has now offered to organize a fifth, in support of our new opera Chinatown.

We are soliciting donations of worthy artwork. Can you help? Do you need to make space on a wall or in a closet?

If you know anyone who would like to donate gently owned art to help create City Opera’s newest production, please contact Bill at We provide thanks, and a charitable tax receipt based on the fair market value of art donated. Your art will help create another great work of art.

Saying Thanks In A Pandemic

With the terrible upsurge in COVID cases, we are reminded just how much we owe the women and men on the frontlines of medical and hospital care. In a word? Almost everything.

In partnership with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, we have produced a video of thanks. It stars City Opera artist Eve-Lyn de la Haye, and is now being sent to the entire medical staff at VGH. Medicine is a healing art. So is music. Together? Unbeatable. View it here.

Chinatown / Sept 2021

is City Opera’s fifth commission in nine years. With libretto by Madeleine Thien, translations by Paul Yee, and music by Alice Ping Yee Ho, it is a story of family and neighbourhood, racism and resistance, history and ourselves. It is a powerful and beautiful work.

Chinatown opens at The Vancouver Playhouse in September 2021, COVID permitting. Our thanks to its major sponsors: The Vancouver Foundation, Vancity Credit Union, City of Vancouver Cultural Services and Theatre Grant, BC Arts Council, Paul and Edwina Heller Memorial Fund, Doretta Lee Memorial Fund, Quan Family Fund held at Vancouver Foundation, Wayne Richards, and many more.

Would You Like To Help?

We realize there are many superb organizations asking your help this year. If anything City Opera does – concerts, commissions, mainstage productions, special events – has special appeal, we would be grateful. A tax receipt and charming letter will follow.

City Opera Vancouver, PO Box 88393, Vancouver V6A 4A6

or via our CanadaHelps page 

This Time, In This Wretched Year

All of us at City Opera share in sorrow for the terrible events of 2020. We wish that art may help ease pain. And so, we conclude the year with a gift of poetry, written by George Barker in 1941, during another time of global catastrophe:

She will not glance up at the bomber, or condescend
To drop her gin and scuttle to a cellar,
But lean on the mahogany table like a mountain
Whom only faith can move, and so I send
O all my faith, and all my love to tell her
That she will move from mourning into morning.


We wish you a vastly better year coming than the one just passed. We have earned this, together, everyone.

From your friends at City Opera:

Ethel, Daphne, Daniel, Jen, Helen, Miro, Kattia, Trudy, Roger, Alan, Sara, Charles, Colette, Adam, Nora, Bill, Vanessa, and Janet.