News

The Rake's Progress, 2009. David Cooper Photography

 

Timothy Vernon New Artistic Director of Opera Lyra

Timothy Vernon will continue as Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Victoria while taking on new duties as Artistic Director of Opera Lyra Ottawa.

Victor Rabinovitch, Chair of the Board of Opera Lyra, and John Peter Jeffries, General Director of Opera Lyra, announced today that Timothy Vernon has been appointed new Artistic Director of Opera Lyra, starting immediately with the 2015-2016 season. Maestro Vernon is one of the leading figures of the Canadian operatic scene and brings to Opera Lyra an exciting new artistic vision for the future of the art form in Ottawa.

As a conductor, I am very excited to work with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, that glorious orchestra ... I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to apply what I may have learned about building a company – and a community around it – in a milieu so full of promise and potential, said Vernon about his new challenge.

I believe Opera Lyra to be a natural home and showcase for talented Canadians in every aspect of opera production. I look forward eagerly to working to expand the circle of opera-lovers who believe strongly in the vital role our arts have to play in fostering a vibrant, creative, forward-looking and finally humane society, and who want to ensure that Opera Lyra remains a key player in our cultural life.

Timothy Vernon will take the podium in Ottawa when he conducts Opera Lyra's second major opera of the 2015/2016 season Fidelio (March 19-26).

He will also conduct the three mainstage operas for Pacific Opera Victoria's 2015/16 seasonOtello, The Barber of Seville, and A Midsummer Night's Dream

More on Timothy Vernon

Opera Lyra Media Release

Posted June 29, 2015.


 

Madama Butterfly
April 9 to 19, 2015

International Artist Jee Hye Han Makes her North American Debut

Pacific Opera Victoria's 2014/15 season ends with one of the world's most beloved operas, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, at the Royal Theatre in Victoria, B.C, from April 9 through 19, 2015.

The timeless tragedy of Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly), a geisha who renounces her family to marry an American and who continues to love him long after he has left her, Madama Butterfly is known for its ravishingly beautiful music and its gentle title character, whom Puccini himself loved above all his heroines.

Making her North American debut as Cio-Cio-San is South Korean soprano Jee Hye Han, who recently launched her international career singing Butterfly in Vienna and the title role in Puccini's Turandot in Budapest, Vienna, and Hong Kong. Reviewers have praised her performances as "wonderful" and her voice as "mature, powerful, reminiscent of great voices." By chance, POV Artistic Director Timothy Vernon attended a performance of Turandot in Vienna last fall and was so impressed by the young soprano that he immediately engaged her to sing the role of Butterfly. Pacific Opera Victoria is thrilled to present Ms. Han in her North American debut.

Newfoundland-born tenor Adam Luther (POV's Vanessa and Das Rheingold) is Cio-Cio-San's lover, Pinkerton – a role he recently performed with Michigan Opera Theatre. Mezzo-soprano Arminè Kassabian (POV's Ariadne auf Naxos) returns as Cio-Cio-San's friend and confidante, Suzuki – a role she sang to acclaim at Opera Lyra Ottawa. Baritone Bruce Kelly revisits the role of the American Consul, Sharpless, which he performed in POV's 2008 production of Madama Butterfly. Also returning to POV are Jeremy Bowes as The Bonze, James McLennan as Goro, and Tyler Fitzgerald as Yamadori.

Director Diana Leblanc and designer Patrick Clark have created a lush new production set in Nagasaki in the 1920s. A veteran of a dozen seasons at Stratford and a founder of Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre Company, with credits at the Canadian Opera Company and Calgary Opera, Ms. Leblanc is returning for her fourth POV production. Production designer Patrick Clark received rave reviews for the set and costumes he designed for POV's 2013 production of Albert Herring. His designs have been seen across Canada, including at the Shaw and Stratford Festivals, as have the lighting designs of multi-award-winning Alan Brodie (POV's Macbeth and Mary's Wedding).

Conducting the Victoria Symphony and directing the POV Chorus is Giuseppe Pietraroia, who conducted POV's 2008 production of Madama Butterfly as well as Opéra de Québec's 2013 staging of the opera.

Madama Butterfly opens on April 9, 2015, and continues on April 11, 15, and 17, with a matinée April 19, at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street in Victoria. Evening performances begin at 8 pm, with pre-performance lectures at 7 pm. The matinée performance on April 19 begins at 2:30 pm, with pre-performance lecture at 1:30 pm. The opera is performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Priced between $25 and $145, including GST & box office service charges, tickets are available from the Royal and McPherson Box Office at 250-386-6121, or online.

Student RUSH tickets for those presenting valid student identification are available at the door of the theatre, 60 minutes prior to each performance, subject to availability. RUSH tickets are $15, inclusive of all box office charges.

For more information, contact Pacific Opera Victoria at 250-385-0222 or visit POV's web pages on Madama Butterfly

Posted April 1, 2015.


 

Now Open! The Baumann Centre
A New Home for Pacific Opera Victoria

On Monday, February 16, 2015, Pacific Opera Victoria (POV) officially opened The Baumann Centre, a new home for POV and for music-making in the community. The former Hall of the Church of St. John the Divine at 925 Balmoral Road in Victoria, BC, has been re-designed to include a rehearsal and recital hall, an office suite, music room and public entrance.

Over 100 donors gathered in the Baumann Centre on February 16 to celebrate the culmination of a 9-month, $2 million fundraising campaign and the official opening of the 7,000 square foot facility. Named for the late Victoria philanthropist and founder of Speedway Motors, Egon Baumann, lead donor through the Egon Baumann Music Foundation, the Centre will house opera rehearsals, artist training programs, and an array of initiatives to nurture artists, engage the community, and educate and delight families and youth.

The heart of The Baumann Centre is the Wingate Studio, a 2500 square foot rehearsal and music making space. Wingate Studio is not only practical, but beautiful. A stunning acoustic ceiling canopy has been created and gifted to POV by Kwagiulth artist and former opera singer Carey Newman. The huge red-cedar installation features a central carved medallion that crowns the studio with exquisite artistry.

Funding for specialized lighting, sound and audiovisual recording equipment installed in the new opera centre was received from the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

"Our Government is pleased to support Pacific Opera Victoria," said the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. "This centre will benefit everyone in the community as a place for creation, collaboration, innovation and performance. Congratulations on the official opening of this magnificent facility."

"The inspiring generosity of many patrons and donors has made this Centre possible," said POV Executive Director Patrick Corrigan. "The Baumann Centre is completely paid for with additional funds raised to create a new endowment fund and for working capital to support the expansion of our community programming and our long-term vision for community art-making, artist training, and youth education."

"POV will broaden public programming and artist training programs, expand collaborative work with other organizations, and invite other performing arts groups to make good use of the space," he said. "We are just beginning to understand the opportunities it will afford us. It's really an exciting time!"

The Baumann Centre for Pacific Opera Victoria


 

Lucia di Lammermoor, February 12 to 22, 2015

Nothing compares to the high drama in Donizetti's tragic Lucia di Lammermoor, except perhaps the high notes! Pacific Opera Victoria presents the composer's most celebrated opera at the Royal Theatre in Victoria, BC, February 12, 14, 18, 20, and 22, 2015.

Loosely based on Sir Walter Scott's historical novel, The Bride of Lammermoor, Lucia's story is that of a woman doomed and desperate. Trapped between feuding clans and in love with the wrong man, Lucia watches her dreams of love and happiness crumble in the fist of her manipulative brother. When she is bullied into an arranged marriage, her fragile spirit is shattered.

One of the reasons for Luca di Lammermoor's enduring popularity is its glorious music, filled with sublime melodies and spectacular coloratura. The role of Lucia is a test of technique, dramatic ability, and endurance, particularly in the heroine's famous "mad scene," which is justly celebrated for its virtuosity and beauty.

The accomplished cast is led by Canada's pre-eminent coloratura soprano, Ruby award winner Tracy Dahl (POV's Maria Stuarda), who has earned international acclaim for her "glittering coloratura" and the "uniquely charismatic beauty of her voice".

Lucia's bullying brother, Enrico, is played by baritone James Westman (POV's Capriccio), a Grammy and Juno awards nominee who has performed in opera houses throughout Europe and North America.

Mexican-American tenor Ernesto Ramírez (POV's Maria Stuarda) sings the role of Lucia's jealous lover, Edgardo. He has been receiving rave reviews for his distinctive Italianate sound, dramatic flair, and expressive musicality.

Ernesto's wife, outstanding Canadian mezzo-soprano Michèle Bogdanowicz (POV's Così fan tutte) portrays Lucia's servant and confidante, Alisa. Also in the cast are Giles Tomkins as Raimondo, Owen McCausland as Arturo and Josh Lovell as Normanno.

Glynis Leyshon directs her 25th production for POV. Set and costume design are by Christina Poddubiuk (POV's Tosca) with lighting design by Guy Simard (POV's Thaïs). POV Artistic Director Timothy Vernon conducts the Victoria Symphony, and the POV Chorus is directed by Giuseppe Pietraroia.

Lucia di Lammermoor opens on February 12, 2015, and continues on February 14, 18, and 20, with a matinée February 22, at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street in Victoria. Evening performances begin at 8 pm with pre-performance lectures at 7 pm. Matinée performance on February 22 begins at 2:30 pm, with pre-performance lecture at 1:30 pm. Lucia di Lammermoor is a three-act opera with one intermission. The opera is performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Priced between $25 and $135, including GST & box office service charges, tickets are available from the Royal and McPherson Box Office at 250-386-6121, or online.

Student RUSH tickets for those presenting valid student identification are available at the door of the theatre, 60 minutes prior to each performance, subject to availability. RUSH tickets are $15, inclusive of all box office charges.

For more information, contact Pacific Opera Victoria at 250-385-0222 or visit POV's web pages on Lucia di Lammermoor

Posted January 27, 2015.


 

Archived Media Releases


Sign up for POV Enews


Subscribe

Donate Online


 

POV Media Contact

For photos, additional information, and to arrange interviews, please contact Heather Jeliazkov at 250.888.3938 or