The City Opera Art Fundraiser

Give Art to Make MusicCity Opera Vancouver has now mounted two amazingly well-received productions. In 2009 we staged Der Kaiser von Atlantis at the Norman Rothstein Theatre. In May 2010 we presented a double bill based on the mediaeval Noh play Sumidagawa – it just ended its run at the Frederic Wood Theatre at UBC. Its two halves were a dance version of the play by Toronto-based Denise Fujiwara, followed by Benjamin Britten’s opera Curlew River. City Opera Vancouver does what we do on modest budgets. A modest budget for opera is $150,000, so considerable funds must be raised.

WHAT WE’RE DOING: If you can give, or help us find, auctionable works, we will convert those donations into our Production Fund. Art work in storage is our primary target, but artists have agreed to donate and, already, we know that some supporters are taking works down from their walls in aid of this project!

Donors get a charitable tax receipt for the appraised amount in addition to the spine-tingling feeling that accompanies knowing they’ve helped us continue to bring new chamber opera performances to Vancouver audiences. (Plus an invitation-only recital for donors after the auctions.)

The works will be handled by Heffel’s, Vancouver’s well-known art auctioneers. Works appraised at $50,000 or more will be placed in their seasonal live auction, and other works in an on-line auction. We hope to collect at least fifty works by mid-August to be auctioned this fall.

Our goal is to raise $250,000. A small portion will pay our immediate bills. The rest will create a solid foundation for the work of the next two years, including preparations for the opera Pauline, based on the life of the poet Pauline Johnson, with a libretto by Margaret Atwood and music by Christos Hatzis. Your support now will help us access grants that will make the company sustainable in the long term.

The auction work is being assembled by Bill Jeffries, Director of the Simon Fraser University Gallery – he is happy to answer any questions you may have and may be contacted at: or 604-253-2550.

CITY OPERA VANCOUVER: a professional chamber opera company

Nora Kelly

Curlew River

Reviews of Sumidagawa/Curlew River

“This was a powerful telling of the story with a uniformly strong cast of singers… A perfect production.”
– Lloyd Dykk, The Georgia Straight, of our Curlew River

“almost unbearably beautiful”
– Elissa Poole, The Globe and Mail, of Denise Fujiwara’s dance interpretation