City Opera News for 6 Sept 2022

In exactly one week, we open CHINATOWN

Madeleine Thien • Alice Ping Yee Ho • Paul Yee

  “When I saw a preview of Chinatown last November I knew City Opera was once again going to produce another important Canadian Opera. I am anticipating an exciting event.”Judith Forst

CHINATOWN stars Emma Parkinson, Erica Iris Huang, Spencer Britten, Derek Kwan, Matthew Li, and Vania Chan.

Directed by Desdemona Chiang, conducted by Mary Chun, presented in staged concert with an orchestra of ten traditional Chinese and western instruments, and chorus, it may be the most important new work of music drama seen in Canada this year.

  “Anything that reflects the Chinese Canadian presence as authentically as City Opera Vancouver’s “Chinatown” does, deserves our wholehearted support and enthusiasm. With gifted musicians and an engaging drama woven by Madeleine Thien, Alice Ho, and Paul Yee, audiences will have much to reflect upon long after they leave the theatre.”Ramona Mar, Vancouver Chinatown Foundation
  “We are so looking forward to the premiere of CHINATOWN. As we emerge from the past two years of separation from one another, sharing stories from across our communities feels more vital than ever. At long last, this stunning artistry will take the stage!” Jessica Gutteridge, Chutzpah! Festival
  I am excited to finally see on stage Chinatown, the opera, an incredible collaboration of artists and community that brings to life the history of the Chinese immigrant to Vancouver.  There were so many obstacles to our brave forefathers and a few mothers who came to build a new life in Gold Mountain and in the process built a city that we are proud to call home today.”Shirley Chan, O.B.C., Community Activist
  “It’s impossible to understand the history of this province without understanding the history of Chinatown, a story of extraordinary courage, creativity, and cohesion in the face of unrelenting hostility and oppression.”Sean Bickerton, Canadian Music Centre
  “Looking forward to … @CityOperaVan’s new commission telling the heart-wrenching stories of the earliest @YVR_Chinatown denizens, forging loyal friendships to ease the pain of forced separation from family…”Wendy Yip, Ambassador, University of British Columbia
  “The creation of new work is always cause for celebration. When that work is not only beautiful but gives us knowledge, history and a better understanding of the place we call home, it’s time to light the candles and sing! We’re very much looking forward to the world premiere of Chinatown.” – Heather Pawsey, Founding Artistic Director and General Manager, Astrolabe Musik Theatre
  “The complex resonances in play in CHINATOWN are, if anything, more topical today than when the project began.”David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun
  “As a third generation Chinese Canadian Chinatown business owner, I can’t tell you how excited I am to see our very history come to life on stage. This show allows us to learn about our forefathers and their hardships, and draws parallels to our modern day Chinatown, full of resilience and a hope for a better future.”William Liu, CEO, Kam Wai Dim Sum


13 – 16 September, 7:30pm. 17 September, 2pm
Vancouver Playhouse, Hamilton x Dunsmuir.

Please join us, and bring someone you love.

Tickets are $20, $40, and $60, plus service charges
at the box office or online at

Buy tickets

Finding Chinatown

A conversation among friends. A navigational aid. A look at the real history of Chinatown, our neighbourhood. The spoken story we all need to hear, with Shirley Chan, Sid Chow Tan, Hayne Wai, and Paul Yee.

Tuesday 13 September, 1–3pm, CNL Auditorium, 537 Main Street. Free, thanks to the Vancouver Foundation. Reserve your seat here for “Finding Chinatown”.