Chamber opera workshop; “Pauline” DVD


On May 29, City Opera Vancouver will be holding the first in a series of workshops to develop new Canadian chamber opera.
‘Sea Change’, with music by Constantine Caravassilis and libretto by Nora Kelly, is given in partnership with the Vancouver International Song Institute and Dunbar Heights United Church. It will involve 10 singers, pianist Greg Caisley, numerous volunteers, and the distinguished stage director John Wright, formerly with UBC and now Artistic Director of Blackbird Theatre. Proceedings will be recorded by videographer Sid Chow Tan. Our next? October 2009.

On 26 March we filmed an 11-minute excerpt from our first commissioned chamber opera, ‘Pauline’. This remarkable work has been written by Margaret Atwood, and its music is being composed by Christos Hatzis. The Canada Council has awarded a major grant toward its composition.
Thanks to the Tom Lee Music Hall, and Steinway & Sons, the project was recorded without charge in their splendid facility. Judith Forst stars as Pauline Johnson; Sam Chung as the Doctor; and, as pianist, David Boothroyd. These artists also worked without fee, as did the technicians and editors involved. This DVD will be used for promotional and fund-raising purposes.

Jaap Nico Hamburger was born in The Netherlands. He graduated from The Royal Conservatorium of Music in Amsterdam with a Soloist Degree in Piano (1984) and from The University of Amsterdam Medical School in 1986. He completed his cardiology training in 1993 and subsequently became a senior staff member at the prestigious Erasmus University Medical Centre. He received a PhD in Laser Physics and Medicine in 1999. In September 2000 he was appointed Clinical Professor of Medicine at UBC, where he has a practice in Interventional Cardiology at St Paul’s and Vancouver General Hospitals. He has authored many papers in medical journals and co-authored cardiology text books. In addition, he successfully pursues a career as composer of contemporary art music with commissions from chamber music ensembles and orchestras in both Europe and Canada. Dr Hamburger gave the spoken prologue at every performance of our recent Emperor of Atlantis.

Eleanor Sleath is Corporate Controller for the Washington Marine Group of North Vancouver, which companies includes Seaspan International, Vancouver and Victoria Shipyards, Seaspan Coastal Intermodal, and Marine Petrobulk. She previously served as Director of Reporting and Planning at Colliers International, a major real estate organization. Prior to that she served as Manager for Audit at BDO Dunwoody, and as Temporary Commissioner at the BC Utilities Commission. She holds a CPA from the University of Illinois, a CA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Vancouver, a Master of Arts in Urban Planning from UBC, and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Kinesiology from SFU. Her public service includes work as Director of the Pantages Theatre Arts Society; Governor, Notary Foundation of BC, and Chair of Grants Committee; Honorary Governor, Arthur Erickson House and Garden Foundation; and Governor, Ballet British Columbia Society.

Our production of Viktor Ullmann and Petr Kien’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis is now on display at the Terezín / Theresienstadt Memorial in the Czech Republic. From May to August 2009, the Memorial will feature the life, times and art of Petr Kien. Our posters, programmes and art will be there. Atlantis was presented with the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in February 2009.

Podcasts on the City Opera website, featuring experts on the music, artists and productions we have offered – and will offer – the people of Metro Vancouver.