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Come inside the creation and performance process to discover opera and the power of the human voice

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VOF invites audiences to discover opera in its many forms through choral evenings, interactive conversations, and opportunities to observe the opera stars of tomorrow. 

 
 
 

In Conversation with Jake Heggie

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Friday April 28, 4:30pm
Free

A conversation with Dead Man Walking composer Jake Heggie and Vancouver Sun music critic David Gordon Duke about the future of opera.


Opera Speaks

A series of one-hour panel discussions and open dialogues exploring issues in opera. All events are free and take place in the Festival Tent on the QE Plaza.

Ethical Justice in the 21st Century

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Saturday April 29, 4:30pm
Free

A panel discussion with Dead Man Walking author Sister Helen Prejean; Shelley Joseph of Truth and Reconciliation Canada; and Dr. Brenda Morrison, Director of the Centre of Restorative Justice at SFU about justice in contemporary society.

The Music of Heggie, Verdi, & Mozart

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Tuesday May 2, 4:30pm
Free

Musician and educator Nicolas Krusek provides a closer look at the composers of this year’s Festival operas.

Where is Opera Headed? 

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Wednesday May 3, 4:30pm
Free

Opera is an art form that is continually being reinvented. Hear from TomoeArts (Kayoi Komachi), Black Bachx Opera Lab (Wild Dogs) and Pacific Opera Victoria in partnership with City Opera Vancouver (Missing) about their upcoming productions and the rewards of producing new work. 

A Conversation with Ute Lemper

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Thursday May 4, 4:30pm
Free

A conversation with celebrated cabaret and Broadway singer Ute Lemper.

Made possible by

 

Figaro's Design

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Tuesday May 9, 4:30pm
Free

How is an opera designed? The artistic designers of VO’s The Marriage of Figaro share insights about the creative process. 

Civic Impact in Opera 

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Wednesday May 10, 4:30pm
Free

This two-part event focuses on VO's partnership with The Kettle and our forthcoming co-production of Onalea Gilbertson and Marcel Bergmann's Requiem for a Lost Girl, including performances by Kettle residents and a panel discussion with Kettle and VO staff. 

Whose Story is it? Traditional Opera Through Modern Eyes 

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Thursday May 11, 4:30pm
Free

Traditional works of opera present challenges to modern companies and audiences when addressing issues of race, colonization and stereotypes. The second instalment in the Whose Story Is It? series, in this event, a diverse panel of artists will engage with these questions in dialogue with the audience. 

Sila Singers: Throat Singing Duo 

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Friday May 12, 4:30pm
Free

Learn more about the diversity and beauty of the Inuit culture with Jenna Broomfield and Malaya Bishop. This engaging workshop will educate audiences about Inuit principles like community building, inclusivity, and sharing of knowledge. The performance will include both original and newly composed songs. The audience will also have an opportunity to participate by learning a throat singing song.  


Community Events

Young Singers Masterclasses

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Tuesdays: May 2, 9, 3:00pm
Thursdays: May 4, 11, 3:00pm
Free

UBC Opera students are put through the paces in masterclasses led by Vancouver theatre veterans and principal cast members from this year’s main stage productions. 

New Works Project

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Wednesdays: May 3 and 10, 3:00pm
Fridays: May 5 and 12, 3:00pm
Free

UBC student composers and writers collaborate with two singers and a pianist to create new chamber opera works. A chance to see the creative process in action.

Film Night at the Opera: Becoming Traviata

Vancouver Playhouse
Monday May 8, 7:30pm
Tickets $12 at VO Ticket Centre. Free to Festival Pass holder. 

In this exhilarating documentary by Philippe Béziat, French coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay and director Jean- François Sivadier re-imagine Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece, La Traviata.  In French with English subtitles. Co-presented with DOXA.

The Artistry of Youth: A Workshop Performance

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Saturday May 13, 7:30pm
Free


Participants from the Young Singers Masterclass and New Works Project reveal their work created over the course of the festival in an evening of opera arias and scenes.


Backstage Series

Stage Fighting Workshop

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Thursday May 4, 4:30pm
Free for Festival Pass holders. Register at the VO ticket centre.

But it looks so real! Learn the basics of stage fighting with Ryan McNeill Bolton and Mike Kovac from Fight Directors Canada

Backstage Tours

Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Thursday, May, 4 4:00pm
Friday, May 5, 4:00pm
Saturday, May 6, 4:00pm
Free for Festival Pass holders. Register at the VO ticket centre.

From the wings and rehearsal halls to the make-up rooms, see where the magic happens in this 40-minute backstage tour of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre led by VO experts.


Family Events

Performances and activities for all ages


Opera Tales

Alice Mackay Room, Vancouver Public Library
Tuesday, May 2, 12:00pm
Free

Members of the VO’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program bring to life fairy tales through well-known opera arias. A clever mash-up of story and opera for kids ages 4 and up!

 

Opera Zoo at VPL

Alice Mackay Room, Vancouver Public Library
Tuesday, May 2, 1:00pm
Free

The Festival’s pre-show Interactive Opera Stations offer opportunities for young opera-goers to engage with opera professionals through drawing, theatre games, dressing up, and, of course, singing. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Mistatim: A Theatrical Experience for Children & Families

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Saturday, May 13, 1:00pm
Tickets $19/25 at VO Ticket Centre

A tale about the truest of friendships, Mistatim is an intercultural story of reconciliation that combines dance, theatre, mask, and music into one unforgettable experience. A production of Red Sky Performance. Recommended for ages 7 and up. 

Opera Zoo at Vancouver Playhouse

Vancouver Playhouse
Saturday, May 6, 12:30pm
Saturday, May 13, 12:30pm
Free with Figaro ticket

The Festival’s pre-show Interactive Opera Stations offer opportunities for young opera-goers to engage with opera professionals through drawing, theatre games, dressing up, and, of course, singing. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Opera Academy

Festival Tent on the QE Plaza
Thursday May 11, 6:00pm
Free. Priority Seating for Festival Pass holders. 

Students from the Delta School Board’s Opera Academy perform an original work they have co-created. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

 
 
 
Joan Sutherland in VO’s 1975 production of The Merry Widow.
 
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Vancouver Opera leads the country with its education programs that have reached more than 1.6 million children and their families in the past 40 years. VOF continues on this trajectory by offering programming for young audiences, dress rehearsal tickets for secondary schools students, and emerging artist workshops.

 
 
 

Student Dress Rehearsals

An opportunity to see a working dress rehearsal before opening night. Teachers and music educators are invited to book for groups of students. One teacher or adult chaperone ticket may be purchased per ten student tickets.

A Study Guide for each production will be made available through our website in advance of the dress rehearsal. This new resource will include a synopsis of the story, background information on the production, and conversations with the artists and production team about the creative process involved in producing the opera.

Designed for use in the classroom, the Study Guide will provide students with a window into the music, the story and the spectacle of a main stage production in advance of the performance.

Dress Rehearsal Dates
Otello
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
April 25,  7pm

Dead Man Walking
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
April 27,  7pm

The Marriage of Figaro*
Vancouver Playhouse
April 28, 7pm

*limited tickets available

Registration is available online or through the Vancouver Opera Ticket Centre: 604 683-0222
Tickets: $15


Work Experience

An intense two-week accredited program. Open to Grade 11 and 12 students in Metro Vancouver, this program is designed for students considering a professional or amateur career in the arts. Participants will watch rehearsals, interview cast and production staff, and have full backstage access to all three productions running during festival: Dead Man Walking, Otello and The Marriage of Figaro.  

Program dates are April 3 to April 28. This program is in high demand. Priority is given to Grade 12 students with a proven dedication to the performing and visual arts. 

The deadline to apply is January 31. 

Download the Work Experience Application form here.


Opera Experience


Step behind the curtain to learn what it takes to stage an opera. Classes will participate in an in-school workshop with professional artists from across the wide variety of art forms that come together to create opera. Students will also receive a backstage tour of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre or the Vancouver Playhouse before attending a performance.

Dead Man Walking
May 2, 7:30pm
Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Otello
May 4, 7:30pm
Queen Elizabeth Theatre

The Marriage of Figaro
May 10 and May 11, 7:30pm
Vancouver Playhouse

School visits will take place between February 20 and March 10.

Registration is available online or through the Vancouver Opera Ticket Centre: 604 683-0222
Minimum of 10 students up to a maximum of 30, plus up to 3 chaperones per performance.
Tickets: $35


Master Classes for Young Singers

Festival Tent on the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
May 2, 4, 9, and 11, 2pm - 4pm

Singers at the start of their professional careers will be coached by principal artists from the casts of Otello, Dead Man Walking and The Marriage of Figaro, in four public master classes.

To apply to be a participating singer, contact Colleen Maybin, Director of Education and Community Engagement


Young Composers Workshops

Festival Tent on the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
May 3, 5, 10, and 12, 2pm - 4pm
Free

Selected composers aged 16 to 25 will be invited to submit new work for the voice and receive constructive criticism and direction from VO’s music director, Jonathan Darlington, and from members of the VO Orchestra and VO Chorus, in four open workshops.

To apply to be a participating composer, contact Colleen Maybin, Director of Education and Community Engagement.

 
 
 
Joann Grillo, Ricki Turofosky, and John Alexander in VO’s 1971 production of The Tales of Hoffmann.
 
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