Under the banner of the Russian White Nights, the second annual Vancouver Opera Festival celebrates Russia’s luminous midsummer “white nights” with Eugene Onegin – a beloved Russian lyric opera, and the much-anticipated premiere of The Overcoat – a musical tailoring – an opera inspired by a contemporary theatre masterpiece. The Festival will also include Requiem for a Lost Girl – an original chamber musical collaboration that explores themes around homelessness.
To kick off the Russian White Nights Vancouver Opera Festival, everyone is invited to a day dedicated to Russian Arts, Music, Food, and Culture. Food trucks, circus and street performers, pre and post-show projections will be capped off with a big-screen presentation on the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. The nine-day Festival also proposes an intimate series of instrumental and vocal chamber music concerts featuring musicians from the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and invited guests. There is programming as well for the entire family including Prokofiev’s much-loved Peter and the Wolf. During the weekends, enjoy the ever-popular Opera Bar – a chance to socialize with performers and artists, complete with DJ performances, and much more.
VO’s Music Director Jonathan Darlington conducts the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and Vancouver Opera Chorus in a powerful new production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, with Libretto by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and KS Shilovsky after Pushkin. A co-production with Calgary Opera, this timeless and emotional story of ill-fated love is based upon the plot of Alexander Pushkin’s classic verse novel and features breathtaking music, choreography, lavish orchestrations, and compelling arias. Celebrated Canadian director Tom Diamond, a veteran of Pacific Opera Victoria, Canadian Opera Company, Tapestry Opera, and Broadway (Squonk, 1999), directs. Calgary-based Scott Reid has designed this new production which premiered in Calgary on February 3, 2018.
The Overcoat, a musical tailoring
A groundbreaking new co-production with Toronto’s Canadian Stage Company and Tapestry Opera. Canadian composer James Rolfe’s The Overcoat – a musical tailoringruns throughout the Festival, with post-Festival performances. Leslie Dala conducts members of the VO Orchestra in this production, with sets designed by award-winning designer Ken MacDonald, costumes by Nancy Bryant, and lighting design by Alan Brodie. Initially based on an 1842 short story by Russian author Nikolai Gogol in which an office worker has his life turned upside down when he’s robbed of his new overcoat, The Overcoat was transformed into a physical theatre production in 1998 by Morris Panych and Wendy Gorling. Morris Panych returns to craft this new opera as librettist and director at the Vancouver Playhouse where the original creation premiered 20 years ago.
Requiem for a Lost Girl: A chamber musical about homelessness
The Vancouver Opera Festival will also feature Requiem for a Lost Girl, a powerful chamber musical written and directed by Onalea Gilbertson. The work, composed by and conducted by Marcel Bergmann includes additional music by the Kettle Choir and the Kettle Writers Guild. The work will be performed by members of the Vancouver Opera Chorus and Orchestra and the Kettle Choir and Kettle Writers Guild. Exploring themes of homelessness, poverty, mental illness, addiction and the plight of missing and murdered women – this strikingly original chamber work unfolds as a memorial service for a young woman lost to the street.
Tickets and passes can be found at VO Ticket Centre 604-683-0222 or online at vancouveropera.ca