Pacific Opera Victoria builds opera from the ground up and is the only major opera company in Canada to build its own sets exclusively. This allows us greater programming creativity than companies that rent existing productions.
Our productions are shaped by the creative vision of our directors and designers and then built by our own team of production artists, staged in Victoria's beautiful, intimate Royal Theatre, and brought to life by a glorious collaboration of conductor and singers.
POV maintains its own scene and costume shop in a 10,000 square foot production facility, The Opera Shop. This facility is the largest of its kind on Vancouver Island, offering employment to over 50 theatre professionals making their home in our region. POV's eclectic team of artists and craftspeople have a wealth of experience in the fields of project management, design, construction, scenic art, properties, and wardrobe construction.
In addition to creating original productions for our main and second stage presentations, POV co-produces across North America. We also have several productions available for rent. We are skilled collaborators and adept at creating new work.
Since 1980, Pacific Opera Victoria has created seasons of entirely new productions. We offer a extraordinarily diverse blend of repertoire, and we work actively in partnership with regional and national arts organizations to develop co-productions with companies across North America.
Les Feluettes (Lilies) is a new Canadian Opera, co-commissioned and co-produced by Pacific Opera Victoria and Opéra de Montréal. Based on a celebrated Canadian play by Michel Marc Bouchard, with music by Kevin March, the opera makes its world première in Montreal in May 2016, with performances at Pacific Opera Victoria in April 2017 and at Edmonton Opera in October 2017. The world première production was directed by Serge Denoncourt, with set design by Guillaume Lord, costume designs by François Barbeau, and lighting by Martin Labrecque.
POV's October 2015 production of Otello, a co-production with Opéra de Montréal, was staged in Montreal in January 2016. Glynis Leyshon directed, and the designers were Peter Hartwell (set and costumes) and Guy Simard (lighting). Tenor Kristian Benedikt perfomed the title role in both cities.
In April 2015, POV staged a production of Madama Butterfly designed by Patrick Clark. A co-production with Vancouver Opera, it was presented at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in March 2016. POV's Cio-Cio-San, Jee Hye Han, and Pinkerton, Adam Luther, joined the Vancouver Opera cast. The production was staged at Palm Beach Opera and Manitoba Opera in 2017.
The Marriage of Figaro, with Cameron Porteous' arresting production design, followed its April 2014 run in Victoria with performances in January 2015 at Calgary Opera. The production was also staged by Manitoba Opera in November 2015. Brent Krysa was the director in all three cities.
Maria Stuarda, (seen at POV in April, 2012) was presented by Edmonton Opera in April 2016. The production was directed by Maria Lamont, with set and costume design by Camellia Koo and lighting design by Michael Walton.
Macbeth opened in Victoria in October, 2012 and moved to Opéra de Québec for subsequent performances in May 2014. The Quebec performances used the same conductor (Timothy Vernon), director (Morris Panych), designers (Ken MacDonald, Alan Brodie, Dana Osborne), and lead singers (Lyne Fortin, Gregory Dahl, and Alain Coulombe).
Macbeth was subsequently staged by Kentucky Opera in September 2015.
Tosca opened in April 2013 in Victoria. The set, designed by Christina Poddubiuk, was used in November 2013 for Opera Santa Barbara's production of the opera.
Albert Herring opened in February 2013 in Victoria and moved to Vancouver Opera in November 2013.The production was designed by Patrick Clark (Set and Costumes) and Michael Walton (Lighting). Both the Victoria and Vancouver performances featured Conductor Leslie Dala and Director Glynis Leyshon, as well as Lawrence Wiliford (Albert), Sally Dibblee (Lady Billows), Susan Platts (Florence), Rebecca Hass (Mrs. Herring), Peter McGillivray (Vicar Gedge), Michael Colvin (Mayor Upfold), and Giles Tomkins (Police Supt. Budd).
Pacific Opera Victoria celebrated Benjamin Britten's centenary in 2013 with its mainstage production of Albert Herring, as well as two Britten Festival co-productions with community organizations, both of which also provided the audience with opportunities to sing along with the performers.
Noye's Fludde was co-produced by POV and the Victoria Conservatory of Music. It featured the Victoria Children's Choir, directed by Madeleine Humer, along with cast members from Albert Herring, members of the POV Chorus, the Victoria Symphony, Victoria Conservatory of Music Strings Program, a recorder choir, a local handbell group, and the organist of the Church of St. John the Divine.
Victoria High School art students designed the set, and classes from Glenlyon Norfolk had immense fun creating the masks and heads of all the many animals that crowd into the ark. Alison Greene directed, and Timothy Vernon conducted this extraordinary community opera.
Let's Make an Opera/The Little Sweep was a co-production with Victoria's Belfry Theatre. Young Victoria performers were joined by Albert Herring cast members and student instrumentalists from the University of Victoria Faculty of Music. The production was conducted by Giuseppe Pietraroia, and directed by Rachel Peake, with set and costume design by Patrick Clark.
The set from POV's 2008 production of Regina, designed by Pam Johnson, was sent to Utah Opera for its production in January 2009.
Through a partnership with Orchestra London, POV presented a co-production of Puccini's Tosca in 2005 – London's first fully-staged professional opera.
This was followed by co-productions of Rigoletto (2006), Don Giovanni (2007), Madama Butterfly (2008), and, in 2009, The Magic Flute.
POV's scene and costume shop also provide first rate creative and construction services to other local and visiting arts organizations throughout the year.
The Opera Shop's 10,000 square foot warehouse,located at 620 Discovery Street in Victoria, is available for film, television and event production.
The Scene Shop is designed for construction work in steel, wood and scenic painting and boasts a clear height of 20 feet, level loading facilities, compressed air, and ample utilities.
The wardrobe and prop shops are generous spaces with natural light, laundry facilities, and fitting rooms.
The Opera Shop has secure parking, office space, lunchroom and wireless internet service and is located in Victoria's downtown warehouse district.
To inquire about the Opera Shop and Co-Production opportunities, contact
Ereca Hassell, Director of Production and Artistic Administration
POV Production April, 2008
Utah Opera, 2009. Deanne Meek, Kristopher Irmiter, Sara Gartland. Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News
POV Production April 2013
Opera Santa Barbara, 2013. Gabriel Vamvulescu, Christopher Bengochea. Photo: David Bazemore
Noye's Fludde, 2013
Co-produced by POV with the Victoria Conservatory of Music, featuring the Victoria Children's Choir. Photo: David Bukach.
Let's Make an Opera / The Little Sweep, 2013
Co-produced by POV with the Belfry Theatre. Photo: David Bukach