Our most visible presence is at the Royal Theatre where our opera productions are staged for some 20,000 audience members and youth each year.
The Royal Theatre is the premiere venue for Pacific Opera Victoria’s productions. A turn-of-the-century, European-style venue with 1400-seats, the Royal provides an intimate and exciting opera experience, similar to that found in many historic European opera houses.
The Royal Theatre has been home to arts and culture in Victoria since it opened in 1913. A home for the performing arts, it was also used as a cinema from 1917 until 1981. It has seen many of this century’s great performers on its stage, including Sarah Bernhardt, Carlos Montoya, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Luciano Pavarotti.
The Royal Theatre was designated a site of national historic significance in 1987, and received a commemorative plaque from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1990. The original foyer has been augmented by lobby extensions completed in 1991, while the auditorium retains its original Rococo/Renaissance Revival style decor. Extensive technical upgrades, restoration work to the auditorium, and refurbishment of the dressing rooms took place in 2002, and exterior renovations were completed in 2006.
The Royal Theatre’s intimate setting means that you can see and hear well, no matter where you sit.
You may book your seats up close to take in the details or further back for a broader perspective. Wheelchair seating is also available upon request (at E Section prices).
The Baumann Centre is a community, music and administrative facility and a catalyst for regional arts collaboration, music creation, and performances. The Wingate Studio is home for chamber performances, opera rehearsals, artist training programs, and an array of initiatives to nurture artists, engage the community, and educate and delight families and youth.
Resident programs at the Baumann Centre are offered by the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, Victoria Children’s Choir, The Choirs YYJ, and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, among others.
The Baumann Centre is named in honour of the late Victoria philanthropist Egon Baumann. Its heart is the Wingate Studio named in honour of Dr. Lydia Wingate. Its stunning acoustic ceiling canopy was created by Kwagiulth Artist and former opera singer Carey Newman.
Called Mind, Body and Spirit, the cedar sculptural installation combines a hand-hewn central medallion and waves of fine cedar planks; it integrates with the Studio lighting and serves to acoustically enhance the space for music making. This magnificent piece of First Nations art helps make the space something very special indeed – a place of musical and visual delight, where artists, young people, and the community can explore opera.
Behind the scenes, at the Opera Shop, our productions are built by skilled stagecraft professionals. The Opera Shop is central to Pacific Opera’s artistic vibrancy and to our leadership in developing regional and national co-productions.
For four decades, Pacific Opera Victoria has created full seasons of entirely new productions. We build opera from the ground up, choosing outstanding works from the repertoire and creating each production from scratch. Shaped by the creative vision of our directors and designers, each production is built in Victoria by a skilled team of production artists with expertise in scenic construction, scenic art, properties and wardrobe construction to create the excitement and beauty that are experienced on the stage.
As the only major opera company in Canada to build all its own productions, Pacific Opera enjoys greater programming creativity and has developed production expertise. Pacific Opera has become a national leader in co-productions, working actively in partnership with opera companies across North America.
In recent and upcoming seasons, our productions are being showcased at Edmonton Opera, Calgary Opera, Manitoba Opera, Vancouver Opera, Opéra de Montréal, and Opéra de Québec, as well as at Arizona Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Kentucky Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Tulsa Opera, Utah Opera, and Opera Colorado.
The Wingate Studio is available for daily rental May through August only, with the exception of Baumann Centre Partners who reserve the facility for recurring use, and for individual and ensemble Artist Residencies.
Baumann Centre Partners
- Belfry Theatre
- The Choirs YYJ
- Church of St John the Divine
- Early Music Vancouver
- East Van Opera
- Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra
- Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria
- Intrepid Theatre
- Island Women in Science and Tech
- Leadership Victoria
- Naden Band
- Sooke Philharmonic Society
- United Way of Greater Victoria
- University of Victoria
- Vancouver Island Performers Guild
- Victoria Academy of Ballet
- Victoria Baroque Society
- Victoria Children’s Choir
- Victoria Choral Society
- Victoria Conservatory of Music
- Victoria Native Friendship Centre
- Victoria Symphony
- Volunteer Victoria
- Partner Organizations | $45 per hour | extended or recurring use
- Rental May to August only | $65 per hour | minimum 8 hours
- Individual Artists | please see Artist Residencies
- Event Host $22.50 per hour (min 4 hrs)
- Technician $40 per hour (min 4 hrs)
- Custodial Service $40
- Piano Tuning $150
Inquiries about summer rentals or becoming a Baumann Centre Partner – Kristen Iversen, Patron Services Associate
The Opera Shop’s 10 000 square foot warehouse 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 centrally located in Victoria’s downtown warehouse district.
Pacific Opera Victoria’s eclectic team of artists and craftspeople can bring a wealth of creative and technical expertise to your project in the fields of project management, design, construction, scenic art, properties and wardrobe construction. The team brings a wealth of experience in opera, theatre, film and television production.
Pacific Opera Victoria maintains professional affiliations with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE Local 168), Associated Designers of Canada, Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology and WorkSafeBC. Non-profit community groups are welcome use their volunteer labour in our shops.
Inquiries – Ereca Hassell, Director of Production and Artistic Administration