City Opera News for 21 March 2019

In this issue:

    Three great women join City Opera
    Our next three productions
    Two new fundraisers
    One new concert
    And, we thank Ron and Janet Stern

If owning Canadian art interests you…

How about the online auction now underway at Heffel’s Fine Art Auction House, and running until 28 March? The following five works in this auction have been donated to City Opera — with all proceeds supporting City Opera’s programs. Here is what’s available:

Lot 408: Peter William Daglish. Smoking
Lot 413: Al Neil. Piano Solo Class 7
Lot 417: Marianna Schmidt. In Spring (pictured)
Lot 429: Takao Tanabe. Low Tide, Rathtrevor
Lot 432: Robert Young. A Jug for Columbine

Full information about this auction can be found on the Heffel website.

What are you doing on Wednesday April 24?

In the evening. In Gastown. At 65 Water Street. At John Fluevog Shoes.

It will be a gala event like none we’ve done before, and in support of our ongoing opera, commissioning, and concert programmes. Details to come – but you might want to clear your calendar from 6:30 – 9pm. You’ll be happy you did. Details here.

We welcome two new directors to our board

Krista Isberg

Krista Isberg is a lawyer serving clients from the charitable and not-for-profit sector, and assisting families with estate planning matters. She joined City Opera Vancouver as a board member in February 2019. Krista is excited to bring her passion and experience working with charities, and her love of music and performance, to the organization. Krista studied opera at UBC, and performed with various choral and small ensemble groups in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island, where she grew up. She is looking forward to being involved once more with the Vancouver arts community after several years away. Krista is helping lead our 24 April benefit event in Gastown.

and Ethel Whitty

Ethel began a career in community work in the Gottingen Street neighbourhood of Halifax, while attending the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. After migrating to the West Coast she continued to pursue family and community support roles in Vancouver’s inner city. She also trained in the UBC Theatre department, and worked as a professional actor for some years. This was followed with Social Work degrees in community development. When she became Director of the Carnegie Community Centre in the DTES, she brought her commitment to social action and her love of the arts. One of her first projects at the Carnegie Centre was to produce a community written and performed opera, Condemned. During Ethel’s time in the DTES her work was enhanced through her relationship with City Opera, which offered multiple performances and workshops for Carnegie patrons and community members.

And we welcome Susan Ma, Community Engagement Coordinator for our next commission: Chinatown

Susan will head our community engagement efforts with the leaders and elders of Chinatown, and with the general public. Susan’s work is essential to the ways we involve community in telling its own story.

“Storytelling has the power to reflect our humanity and connect us deeper to our shared experiences. Chinatown’s story is neither fixed nor singular, but is the coming together of all voices to weave the past with present and future. With chamber opera as the storytelling mode, I am fascinated by the possibilities and honoured to contribute to this important project.” – Susan Ma, March 2019

Susan has a remarkable resumé. Her projects include ‘Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow’; Business Liaison, ‘Community-Serving Retail in Chinese Society Buildings Project’; for The Chinatown Foundation, management services at May Wah Hotel, Chinatown Vintage Community Thrift Shop, and the Chinatown Storytelling Centre. From 2011 – 2017, Susan served as Head of Education and Public Programs at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. She holds a BA in Asian Area Studies (UBC).

CHINATOWN, with libretto by Madeleine Thien, opens at The Vancouver Playhouse in September 2021. Our thanks to The Vancouver Foundation for its remarkable support.

If ever you had a Perru query…

On 26 January, at The Annex, we presented Perruqueries, a comic cantata about wigs.

With text by Bill Richardson, and music by Jocelyn Morlock, it was a loving and hilarious look at wigs — and the divos and divas who need them. 200 people jammed in to hear City Opera artists Robyn Driedger-Klassen, Peter Monaghan, and Tina Chang. The event was staged by Alan Corbishley, and given in honour of the 100th Anniversary of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Thanks to the R & J Stern Family Foundation

They have made a major grant to City Opera, and we are deeply grateful. With help from Ron and Janet, we are able to plan a solid financial future for our commissions, our year-round projects, and our mainstage productions. Thank you again, Janet and Ron. You are ornaments to our company.

THREE FOR YOU: mainstage productions at City Opera

THE BERLIN PROJECT, coming January 2020 to Performance Works

DIDO AND AENEAS & DIDO, a co-production with Early Music Vancouver, November 2020 at The Vancouver Playhouse

CHINATOWN, by Madeleine Thien, September 2021 at The Vancouver Playhouse

Our next concert: OPERA AND BEYOND

With soprano Chloé Hurst, tenor Haô Ting, and pianist Roger Parton. Join us for the most exciting and beloved music in opera and Broadway. Saturday 30 March, 7 – 8pm, Carnegie Centre, Hastings x Main. This is our 41st concert in the DTES. Free, of course. We thank BC Gaming for its support.