City Opera News for 15 March 2022

Chinatown / 13 – 17 September 2022 / Vancouver Playhouse

Join the 1000+ people who have already watched a preview trailer from our new opera Chinatown. It stars Erica Iris Huang as the Hoisan Singer, and will amaze.

Tickets go on sale in July. Please join us, and bring someone you love.

Concerts in 2022

Last year, thanks to BC Gaming, we gave 33 free concerts – ten of them in the DTES. They included first performances at Cottage Hospice, Four Sisters Co-op, and ACT Maple Ridge. This year, we plan to do 45 across Metro Vancouver.

If you represent a non-profit that works in support of the arts and the people of our community, and would like a free concert in support of your group, please let us know: Alan Corbishley, Director of Concerts, City Opera: info[at] .

M O V E S   &  M I L E S T O N E S

Trudy moves on…

City Opera thanks Trudy Chalmers for her extraordinary work. She first came to us in 2017, and it’s been upward bound ever since. She has given us countless ideas and insights, systems, structures, and vastly improved ways of doing business in the arts.
She has guided us through the chaos of COVID. Now, she is re-committing to her own projects, leaving us as General Manager but remaining as Producer for Chinatown. We thank her for everything she has achieved. What a difference she has made… and will, anywhere she goes.

Jaap Hamburger 

Our congratulations to Jaap Hamburger, long-time member of our Board now living in Montréal. Today a full-time composer, he has just received his first JUNO nomination, for Chamber Symphony No. 2 “Children’s War Diaries” Leaf Music*Naxos.

Mañia Hormozi Joins Our Board

We welcome Mañia Hormozi to the Board of City Opera. She is the Senior Development Manager with the Housing Hub division at BC Housing, delivering a portfolio of residential housing projects with local government, for-profit and non-profit partnerships to communities across BC. In her current role, she successfully delivered housing units for seniors, families, women fleeing violence, and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Welcome aboard, Mañia.

Vancouver Opera Guild award

Our friends at the Vancouver Opera Guild offer a Career Development Grant of $6,000 — this year to help young singers to improve their skills or work on a personal project related to opera. DEADLINE: 15 April 2022 INFO: gwendamurray[at] /

Virtual Studio / Jack Trip

This new Stanford technology has solved the problem of latency and lag in online audio rehearsal and concert. It keeps people safe during COVID. 

Thanks to a generous grant from the BC Arts Council, and our partnership with the BC Division of the Canadian Music Centre, we can loan this equipment w/out charge to performing arts groups in Metro Vancouver. More info on the Music Centre BC website. CONTACT: Heather at 604.734.4622 /

Anchorage Alaska Opera Postpones Missing

Once again, COVID has interrupted music. The first US production of Missing, a co-pro of City Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria, has been postponed from February to the future. More info at

The Names of the Rose

For us, she was Pauline Johnson. A Mozartean ghost. A mother lamenting the murder of her child.

She was also Antonia Wolf. Fadila. Rebecca/Red Cedar. Mrs Todd, or Marcellina, or Prince Orlofsky, or Dido. Her names included Hypolita, Polinesso, Zita, Lapak and Paní Pásková. And Maddalena and the Duchess of Plaza-Toro, Olga Kromow and Olga Olsen and Olga Larina. And Filipievna. And Dorabella. And more.

When mezzo-soprano Rose-Ellen Nichols died of cancer at 41 on January 30, she was all those names. She could have been more. She should have been many more. In her last week, Rose was able to read a letter from the librettist of Pauline:

“Dear Rose Ellen: I am thinking of you with great pleasure and joy — what an evening we had at the launch of Pauline — no electricity, the audience waiting outside while the sun set, then the miraculous appearance of a generator, and the show went on — and you sang and performed so brilliantly!  You lit up the stage, and gave everyone there an experience they will never forget. You have brought so much light into the lives of others with your wonderful gift. Sending big hugs and very warm wishes, Margaret.”

Two weeks before she passed, Rose met with three of her pals, and we talked about creating a scholarship in voice and costume design. Her parents Bud and Rhonda have approved it. If you would like to support the new Rose-Ellen Nichols Award in Performing Arts, here’s how:

  1. Visit this link at CanadaHelps
  2. Go to FUND, and scroll down to No. 6, Rose Award

We discussed this with Rose: “I could change someone’s life,” she said.

Meantime, we will remember her as she was to all of us: immensely gifted, even more generous and kind, and endlessly funny. In her Coast Salish tradition, we thank Creator for the loan of Rose-Ellen, brief as it was.