News and Media Releases

Come Back to Mischief with Pacific Opera Victoria’s Così fan tutte

March 20, 2023

Opening on April 12 at Victoria’s Royal Theatre, Pacific Opera Victoria presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s, Così fan tutte, a coproduction with Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, Théâtre de Caen, and Tokyo Nikkai Opera, for four performances, April 12, 14 and 18 at 7:30 pm, and April 16 at 2:30 pm.

The third opera of the 2022/23 season, Così fan tutte, is being presented on the Pacific Opera stage for the first time since 2010, the performance is set in mid- twentieth century at the famed recording studio, Funkhaus Berlin. The production features an outstanding artistic team with famed French Stage Director and Costume Designer, Laurent Pelly and Associate Director, Christian Räth from Hamburg, Germany, showcasing some of Canada’s most renowned singers.

Read more here.

Come Back to Fantasy with Pacific Opera Victoria’s The Birds

January 26, 2023

Opening on February 22 at Victoria’s Royal Theatre, Pacific Opera Victoria presents the Canadian Premiere of Walter Braunfels’ The Birds for four performances, February 22, 24 and 28 at 7:30 pm, and February, 26 at 2:30 pm.

The second opera of the season, The Birds shot to acclaim in 1920, being performed over 50 times in Munich alone over the next two years, only to be suppressed by the Nazi regime and not rediscovered until 1971. The Pacific Opera production features an outstanding artistic team with Stage Director Glynis Leyshon, who is joined by Pam Johnson as Set Designer and Nancy Bryant as Costume Designer. The trio will be remembered by Pacific Opera audiences for their incredible work on Handel’s Rinaldo in 2018.

Read more here.

Pacific Opera Victoria to Provide 1000 Tickets to Community Partners

January 19, 2023

Pacific Opera Victoria is collaborating with 40 community partners, providing access to over 1,000 free tickets over the course of their three 2022/23 productions at the Royal Theatre, and ensuring members of our community experiencing barriers to seeing live opera have the opportunities and support to attend.

Read more here.

Pacific Opera’s Rebecca Hass Honoured by Opera Canada

November 4, 2022

Pacific Opera’s Director of Engagement Programs and Partnerships, Rebecca Hass, is being honoured by Opera Canada at their annual awards ceremony in Toronto. The gala event celebrates the talent and accomplishments of Canadians who have made a significant contribution to the opera world as artists, builders, administrators and philanthropists. Rebecca will receive the The Nada Ristich Change Maker Ruby Award, a new award that also honours BMO Canada Corporate philanthropy champion, Nada Ristich. As a change maker at Pacific Opera, Rebecca builds partnerships inside the local community, creates educational programs, podcasts and other online material, and develops and manages artistic development programs.

Read more here.

The Show Must Go On – Tenor John Pickle joins cast of Carmen

October 17, 2022

Pacific Opera Victoria announced today that popular tenor Adam Luther has had to bow out of the remaining performances of Carmen, due to illness. Tenor John Pickle arrived in Victoria today to take on the role of Don José for performances on Tuesday, Oct. 18 and Thursday Oct. 20, both at 7:30 p.m. at Victoria’s Royal Theatre.

Ticket holders for Sunday’s postponed performance have had their seats moved to the newly scheduled performance on Thursday Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Should ticket buyers not be able to attend they are asked to contact their point of purchase. Tickets may be returned for a refund, exchanged for a gift certificate or donated back for a charitable gift receipt.

Read more here.

Come Back to Passion with the return of Carmen

September 15, 2022

Opening on October 12 at Victoria’s Royal Theatre, Georges Bizet’s Carmen is instantly recognizable and utterly unforgettable, the ultimate return to opera at a grand scale.

The first opera of the season, Pacific Opera’s Carmen is not to be missed, set against a backdrop of the Spanish Civil War, the production features a stellar artistic team; with stage direction by François Racine, set design by Olivier Landreville and costume design by Sylvain Genois. Choreographed by Jacques Lemay who also appears onstage in a cameo performance as Lillas Pastia.

Read more here.

2022|23 Season Announcement

September 1, 2022

Come Back to Passion, Fantasy and Mischief with Pacific Opera Victoria. Pacific Opera Victoria has announced their 2022/23 schedule and casting, featuring brilliant performers making their Pacific Opera debuts along with returning favourites from seasons past. The new season explores the greatest of all human conditions – love! Founding Artistic Director, Timothy Vernon will conduct Pacific Opera’s productions of three engaging love stories: Georges Bizet’s Carmen in October 2022, The Birds by Walter Braunfels in February of 2023 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Così fan tutte in April 2023.

Read more here.

Founding Artistic Director Timothy Vernon Passes The Baton

August 12, 2022

Pacific Opera’s Founding Artistic Director will be completing his term following the 2022|23 Season, when a successor will be announced. Vernon has programmed the next two seasons of opera and will continue to conduct productions in the future, including Die Walküre which will open the 2023|24 Season.

Read more here.

Pacific Opera presents Don Giovanni

April 13, 2022

On April 20 the curtain will rise on Pacific Opera’s first mainstage production since February 2020. An arresting mix of tragedy and comedy, Don Giovanni, the greatest of Mozart’s operas, is 230-year-old proof that #MeToo is nothing new and that opera can be both dazzling and relevant. Don Giovanni is presented April 20, 22, and 26 at 7:30pm, with a matinee April 24 at 2:30pm. All performances take place at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria.

Pacific Opera Launches Summer Series

Pop Up Opera live performances in Greater Victoria neighbourhoods
‘For All To Hear’ platform with IBPoC artists

April 22, 2020

Pacific Opera is jumping in a hybrid-electric van and taking opera to the streets. All summer long, opera singers will be travelling and performing in public spaces throughout the Capital Regional District four days per week – Saturdays, Sundays, and two weekdays.

Pop Up Opera features one or two singers accompanied by recorded tracks created by pianist Robert Holliston. Each day the singer(s) will pop up in surprise locations for 10 minutes of music. Pop Up Operas will take place (at a distance) in neighbourhoods, on street corners, in parks, and outside retirement residences and care facilities. One location that allows for easy access and social distancing will be announced online each performance day. Visit our Pop Up Opera Page for daily details.

Care residences can request a Pop Up Opera performance by emailing

Pop Up Opera also takes requests. Pop Up Opera Postcards are short, live performances available for delivery in Greater Victoria. Those requesting a free Pop Up Opera Postcard for someone special can select from a list of opera repertoire. Requests should be submitted to

Nine local opera artists have been employed by Pacific Opera for the Pop Up Opera series: Louis Dillon, Kyla Fradette, Alana Hayes, Ai Horton, Abby Schuliger, Anna Shill, Cassidy Stahr, Jan Van der Hooft, and Allison Ward.

For All to Hear is a new space for IBPoC (Indigenous, Black, People of Colour) artists to make art – an opportunity and a platform to share their personal, lived experiences through musical performance or stories of moments that bring home the fact of racial division as they have lived through it.

Pacific Opera offers the space for IBPoC artists to speak directly so that there is greater understanding of the profound implications of the world-wide response to George Floyd’s death, and the ongoing systemic inequities that perpetuate racism in our art form and our communities. If the world is to change, as we know it must, communication of truths – even the hardest truths – is what art and artists can do with unequalled directness. IBPoC artists who would like to share their voice, stories, and creativity for all to hear, can contact Pacific Opera’s Director of Community Engagement, Rebecca Hass ( to discuss their vision.

Pacific Opera continues to stream online content, available on demand. Acoustic Afternoons, Listening Party Podcasts, Lunchbox Opera, and Inside Opera programs will continue throughout July.

During July and August 2020 Rebecca Hass will be gathering stories from opera audiences. Anyone wishing to share a favourite opera story is invited to submit stories and songs to

Pacific Opera’s 2020-2021 Reimagined Opera Series includes online broadcasts of Pacific Opera productions from the past several years of opera creation, new intimate operas created for the small screen, surprise outdoor performances of Pop Up Opera, engaging programming for youth and families, and chamber performances for small audiences streamed online from the Baumann Centre.

Visit our website often for updated information about scheduled performances, both online and live.

Pacific Opera Victoria Online Opera Schedule – July 2020

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All content is available at 1pm on the day scheduled.

  • June 26: Lunchbox Opera with Charlotte Siegel
    Soprano singer/songwriter Charlotte Siegel uses her voice and her compositions to offer a personal response to the pressing issues faced by diverse artists in opera.
    Sponsor: PARC Retirement

    Artist quote from Charlotte Siegel:
    The past few weeks have been the heaviest I’ve ever felt. As a classical singer I am used to feeling the weight and responsibility of my blackness, but it feels different now. In the wake of the brutal murder of George Floyd people are finally awakening. It has taken long enough, and black people are tired! I feel angry, I feel numb, I feel everything. Between the social media posts, the news, and discussions, I kept searching for a way to lend my voice in a productive way. So I thank Rebecca Hass and Pacific Opera for giving me the space to respond to this moment in time in the best way I know how. I sincerely hope that we use this momentum to create a world where we don’t have to notice colour.


  • June 29: Handwashing Aria: Summertime
    Opera artists combine health and safety with great singing. Soprano Charlotte Siegel has fun demonstrating proper handwashing technique while singing Gershwin’s popular aria Summertime, with new lyrics by Bill Richardson.
  • July 3: Listening Party Podcast For All to Hear
    Podcast host Rebecca Hass invites baritone Samuel Chan and Chief Artistic Officer of Minnesota Opera Priti Gandhi to share their stories, experiences, and the songs that speak to them and reflect their work and process.
  • July 10: Acoustic Afternoon For All to Hear with Samuel Chan
    Baritone Samuel Chan, who will sing the role of Dancairo in Pacific Opera’s postponed production of Carmen, offers a song and personal insights into his experiences with diversity in opera.

    Artist quote from Samuel Chan:
    For the majority of my life, opera has been an art form which has showcased the beauty of storytelling through the human voice” says Sam. “However, the future of opera relies on the representation of stories and voices of all Canadians, which for far too long have been hidden due to systemic misrepresentation in our culture. I wish growing up I had the chance to see more people of colour, Indigenous artists, and artists of all orientations on stage, because I’ve had to navigate what it means to be a young artist of colour in a very predominately white world.


  • July 17: Inside Opera
    Host Robert Holliston is joined by a special guest to discuss contemporary opera and its connections to social justice.
    Sponsor: Black Goat Cashmere
  • July 24: Lunchbox Opera with Benjamin Butterfield
    Tenor Benjamin Butterfield and pianist Kinza Tyrrell perform some of their favourite selections, filmed live in the Wingate Studio in the Baumann Centre. This intimate performance is the first to take place at Pacific Opera Victoria’s Baumann Centre since March of this year. Though we are not able to invite audiences join us physically in the Baumann Centre, we look forward to welcoming them virtually.
  • July 31: Inside Opera
    Robert Holliston and Pacific Opera Artistic Director Timothy Vernon present their Top Five Opera Singers.
    Sponsor: Black Goat Cashmere

Pacific Opera Victoria reimagines the 2020-2021 opera season with online and live presentations

May 20, 2020

Pacific Opera is reimagining the 2020-21 opera season to conform to the requirements of British Columbia’s Restart Plan. As activities requiring large gatherings are impossible for the foreseeable future, Pacific Opera has postponed the opera productions that were to be performed at Victoria’s Royal Theatre and McPherson Playhouse this season.

Pacific Opera CEO Ian Rye announced today that, while the 2020-21 season can’t proceed as originally planned, the company will continue to produce opera in the coming months in ways that are both safe and surprising — online and in small gatherings.

read more

POV’s reimagined 2020-21 Opera Season launches in July and includes online and radio broadcasts of Pacific Opera productions from the past several years of opera creation, new intimate operas created for the small screen, sidewalk performances of Pop Up Opera outside local residences, engaging programming for youth and families, and chamber performances for small audiences streamed online from the Baumann Centre.

“Pacific Opera will also take this time to commission new works from Canadian writers and composers” said Rye, “and to invest in artist residencies, mentorships and training through the continuation of our Artist Development program.”

Pacific Opera continues to work with artists in preparation for a future season that will include Carmen, Death in Venice, and Don Giovanni as soon as it is safe and responsible to gather once again at the Royal Theatre. The planned production of Wagner’s Die Walküre is postponed to a future season due to the extraordinary preparations required by artists and orchestra. The Spanish baroque opera, Los Elementos, and the new family opera The Flight of the Hummingbird will also be offered in a future season.

Pacific Opera launched free on-demand online programs within days of the BC Government’s announcement requiring social distancing. New content is available each Friday for Acoustic Afternoons, Inside Opera, Lunchbox Opera and Listening Party Podcasts. A video of the new Pacific Opera/Vancouver Opera youth opera is available at beginning May 19, 2020.  The Flight of the Hummingbird is an environmental fable about moral courage and the story encourages doing what we can for our planet – a fitting call to action for these turbulent times.

Visit our website often for updated information about scheduled performances, both online and live.

Pacific Opera has moved off stage and online for the foreseeable future to

Opera Etc. Online

More Online and On Demand Programs
New schedule starts May 1

April 22, 2020

Pacific Opera has moved off stage and online for the foreseeable future to continue to share the love of opera and the knowledge of our artists and community. In this time of “physical distancing”, Listening Party Podcasts, Acoustic Afternoons, and Inside Opera connect us through music. Pacific Opera adds archival performances and at-home concerts to the mix during the last week of April and, beginning May 1, will present new content every Friday at 1pm (PDT).

Program Schedule

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Pacific Opera Victoria Online. On Demand

Fri, April 24 – Listening Party Podcast at 4 pm PDT
Opera artists from across North America join host Rebecca Hass to share their stories of the impact of music on their lives. Rebecca welcomes tenor Isaiah Bell and director Sean Guist to discuss The Book of My Shames, their new critically acclaimed work, which will be introduced to Victoria audiences during Intrepid Theatre’s UNO Fest Online. (Listening Party Podcast Episode #5. Includes Liner Notes and a Spotify Playlist curated by guests.)

Fri, April 24 – BONUS Listening Party Playlist at 4 pm PDT
Members of the Pacific Opera Chorus curate a special BONUS Playlist and share stories and photos from backstage. (Bonus Liner Notes and Spotify Playlist)

Sun, April 26 – Inside Opera at 1 pm PDT
Robert Holliston, the regular host of Inside Opera and of Pacific Opera’s Lobby Talks, chats about Carmen in pop culture. Recommended for newcomers and opera aficionados alike, Inside Opera Online is insightful, fun and friendly. (Inside Opera Episode #2)

Sun, April 26 – BONUS Acoustic Afternoon at 2:30 pm PDT
Members of the Pacific Opera Chorus share an excerpt from Carmen (singing from their homes). This bonus Acoustic Afternoon is offered in recognition of the company’s matinée performance of Carmen, originally scheduled for this day.

Mon, April 27 – Acoustic Afternoon at 1 pm PDT
Bass baritone Neil Craighead joins host Rebecca Hass. Neil was recently featured in Pacific Opera’s productions of Fidelio and Flight. (Acoustic Afternoon Episode #5)

Beginning May 1, new content is available online and on demand at 1 pm PDT each Friday. Links to corresponding Spotify playlists are also provided.

Fri, May 1 – Listening Party Podcast
Host Rebecca Hass is joined by artists who are regularly self-producing content from home:  Rachel Fenlon, Kinza Tyrrell, and Doug MacNaughton. (Listening Party Podcast Episode #7)

Fri, May 8 – Acoustic Afternoon
Victoria-raised tenor Josh Lovell sings from his home in Vienna. (Acoustic Afternoon Episode #6)

Fri, May 15 – Inside Opera
“So, you wanna try opera?” Robert Holliston in conversation with Pacific Opera Chorus Master and Associate Conductor Giuseppe (Joey) Pietraroia and Director of Community Engagement Rebecca Hass.
Whether you are brand new to opera or looking to see opera in a brand-new light, this is the ultimate 101 guide to experiencing the art form. Recommended for newcomers and opera aficionados alike, Inside Opera Online is insightful, fun and friendly. (Inside Opera Episode #3)

Fri, May 22 – Lunchbox Opera with Rachel Fenlon
Raised in Victoria and based in Berlin, soprano and pianist Rachel Fenlon is dedicated to performing song recitals, chamber music, and opera, and creating and commissioning new music. This 45-minute concert includes a mixed repertoire of her favourite songs and stories. (Lunch Box Opera Episode #1)

Join Pacific Opera Victoria for Listening Party Podcasts, Acoustic Afternoons, Inside Opera, and Lunchbox Opera – alternating Fridays in May, and for the foreseeable future.

An upcoming Listening Party Podcast and playlist will be devoted to listeners’ stories. Anyone with a story about the music that has had an impact on their life is encouraged to share it via email to

The Flight of the Hummingbird: Broadcast May 19

April 22, 2020

Pacific Opera Victoria and Vancouver Opera present a free broadcast of the new family opera The Flight of the Hummingbird online May 19, 2020, at 10 am PDT.

After a successful preview at Vancouver Opera Festival last year, the Pacific Opera Victoria and Vancouver Opera co-production of The Flight of the Hummingbird took flight in January 2020 to schools across our province. The tour and sold-out performances at Pacific Opera Victoria’s Baumann Centre were stalled due to COVID 19, but today Pacific Opera Victoria announced that a free online broadcast of the opera will be available for families and educators, Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 10 am PDT.

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The Flight of the Hummingbird is based on an Indigenous parable from the Quechuan people of South America. The story of the brave hummingbird travelled through pre-contact trade routes to become well known within Haida culture. The opera is influenced by the graphic novel written by acclaimed Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and includes elements of his dramatic Haida-manga illustrations. In it, the animals of the forest are inspired to come together by Dukdukdiya, the Hummingbird, to save their beautiful home from a raging fire.

An environmental fable about moral courage, the story encourages doing what we can for our planet – a fitting call to action for these turbulent times says Pacific Opera Victoria CEO Ian Rye.

The opera is 45 minutes in length and features four singers and a small ensemble. Stage direction is by Glynis Leyshon with music direction by Kinza Tyrrell.

The Flight of the Hummingbird will be shared on both Pacific Opera Victoria and Vancouver Opera websites, IGTV and Facebook profiles. The opera is accompanied by a learning resources and will remain available On Demand at both websites until late summer.

See more Information on The Flight of the Hummingbird including video excerpts, artist information, and interviews with the creative team.

Opera ETC.

From our house to yours

March 2020

Pacific Opera isn’t going to let physical distancing stop us from sharing the music and knowledge of our amazing artists and community.

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We are working (from home) to bring you…

Listening Party Podcasts
Fridays at 4pm, beginning March 27, 2020

Kick off your weekend with Rebecca Hass, joined by local and national opera artists. Each podcast will include a link to a corresponding Spotify playlist.

Tune in each week for a different show and additions to the Spotify playlist.  We begin with an introduction to Pacific Opera’s music staff: Artistic Director Timothy Vernon; Associate Conductor Giuseppe (Joey) Pietraroia; and Robert Holliston, our Curator of Public Engagement and regular host of Inside Opera and Lobby Talks. These artists share stories of performances that have stayed with them. Memorable and moving, they let us in on musical moments  that keep their artistic spirits thriving.

Acoustic Afternoons
Monday afternoons at 1pm, beginning March 30, 2020

Opera singers featured in Pacific Opera’s 2019/20 season and upcoming 2020/2021 season perform from their kitchens and living rooms for your Monday afternoon coffee break. Curated content.

A weekly musical balm for the soul.
March 30th will showcase a song from Allyson McHardy, recently seen in Pacific Opera’s production of Flight and returning as Fricka in Die Walküre.

We look forward to finding new ways to share our mutual love of opera. If you can’t make our scheduled podcasts, all programs will be archived on our website: catch up or join in at any time!

From our house to yours. Tune in, sit back, and stay connected to the opera you love by enjoying Pacific Opera from the comfort of your own home.

Public Health Update – COVID-19

April 22, 2020

The safety and well-being of our audience, artists, and staff is Pacific Opera’s first priority.

  • All Public and School Performances of The Flight of the Hummingbird from March through May are postponed.
  • Performances of Carmen, April 14 to 26, have been postponed.
  • Following the advice of the Government of Canada, the Baumann Centre office and the Opera Shop are closed and staff are working remotely. We apologize for any inconvenience this situation may cause.
  • Please continue to watch our website and our social media channels as we use social distance sensitive alternatives for delivering opera online to our community.

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For assistance on any ticketing needs, please contact For all facility inquiries contact We anticipate that email volume will be high for the next couple of weeks, so thank you in advance for your patience as our staff respond to your inquiries.

We have also been in touch with affected artists regarding compensation for their loss of work and options for rescheduling engagements.

We realize this is a changing situation, and as such are monitoring reports from Public Health Agency of Canada on a daily basis to quickly and effectively comply with any measures and advice they provide.

You can find the latest facts and information on the following websites:
World Health Organization
Public Health Agency of Canada
BC Centre for Disease Control

We encourage you all to take calm precautions and to do your best to reduce the risk of spreading illness, out of consideration for your own health and for that of everyone around you. One of the most important things we all can do for ourselves and one another is to self-educate, share credible sources, and choose empathy and compassion.

We look forward to finding new ways to share our joint love of opera. With your support, your opera company will remain a steadfast community member and contributor to our cultural ecology for generations to come.


Posted March 3, 2020.
Updates will be posted as soon as we know when it is safe and responsible to gather at the theatre again.

Pacific Opera’s 2020-2021 season features Wagner, Britten, Mozart

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Wagner: Die Walküre
October 15, 18, 21, 24, 2020

Britten: Death in Venice
February 11, 13, 19, 21, 2021

Mozart: Don Giovanni
April 8, 10, 14, 16, 18, 2021

Pacific Opera Victoria has announced a big, bold season that includes mainstage company premières of Wagner’s Die Walküre and Britten’s Death in Venice and a new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.   All performances are conducted by Pacific Opera Victoria Artistic Director Timothy Vernon (conducting the Victoria Symphony and Pacific Opera Chorus), and take place at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC.

The second opera in Richard Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle, Die Walküre is a hard-core opera – dramatic, and stunning.  Drawn from the world of myth, it is the saga of a family bent on destroying itself, and of Brünnhilde, the Valkyrie who stands up to her father, the god Wotan, and chooses the power of love over the rule of law.  Canadian soprano Jennifer Maines (Brünnhilde), returned to Canada three years ago at the peak of an illustrious career in opera houses in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Austria.  American bass-baritone Philip Horst (Wotan) is riding a Wagner wave, having most recently performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago in Die Walküre and Siegfried and with Metropolitan Opera in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre. Canadian director Glynis Leyshon, a Pacific Opera favourite, and former Shaw Festival designer Pam Johnson reunite for a production of Die Walküre that will surpass in scope anything Pacific Opera has produced in its 40-year history.

Benjamin Britten’s final opera, Death in Venice, is a haunting meditation on art, beauty, and mortality, blending opera, dance, and a strikingly diverse musical palette. A burnt-out, middle-aged writer travels to Venice to recapture his creativity. As cholera threatens the city, he falls under the thrall of a beautiful boy and loses himself in an abyss of loneliness and desire.  Internationally acclaimed film and theatre director Atom Egoyan returns to Victoria to direct.  The cast includes British tenor Colin Judson (Aschenbach), who makes frequent featured role appearances with the Glyndebourne Festival, English National Opera, and Covent Garden, British baritone Jonathan McGovern (The Artist), and Canadian countertenor David Trudgen (Voice of Apollo).

Pacific Opera’s 2020-21 season ends with a psychological masterpiece.  Don Giovanni is 230-year-old proof that #MeToo is nothing new and that opera can be both dazzling and relevant to our time. The libertine with a catalogue of conquests has been around forever, and women have long been speaking up and demanding justice.  An arresting mix of comedy, melodrama, and tragedy, Don Giovanni has quite rightly been called the opera of all operas.   Maria Lamont returns to Victoria to direct.  American transgender baritone Lucia Lucas makes a Canadian debut in the title role, joined by Canadian soprano Aviva Fortunata as Donna Anna and Canadian tenor Josh Lovell as Don Ottavio.

Pacific Opera’s 2020-21 season will also feature a co-presentation with the Early Music Society of the Islands. Los Elementos, a flamenco-infused baroque opera by the 18th-century Spanish master Antonio de Literes, will be performed by Le Tendre Amour, an acclaimed Barcelona-based early music ensembleLos Elementos will be performed at Victoria’s McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Square, on November 7 and 8, 2020.

Additional cast and production team appointments for Pacific Opera Victoria’s 2020-21 season will be posted as they are confirmed.

March 3, 2020


The Canadian première of a high-flying comedy

Pacific Opera presents the Canadian première of the comedic opera Flight. Inspired by the true story of a refugee who lived in an airport for 18 years, Flight tells the tale of a group of strangers stuck in an airport during a storm.  As the stormy night wears on, anxieties and desires become apparent, and relationships begin to unravel amid tears and hijinks.  Pacific Opera presents Flight February 20, 22 and 28, 2020, at 8pm, with a matinée March 1, at 2:30pm. All performances take place at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria.

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Flight is full of laugh-out-loud scenes and scintillating musical moments. Playful, risqué and touching, this high-flying comedy has become one of the most popular of contemporary operas, and composer Jonathan Dove one of today’s most successful composers. Dove’s lyrical score draws upon the influences of Rossini, Mozart, Ravel and Bernstein, to distill his own distinctive and accessible style. The libretto by acclaimed English dramatist April de Angelis is smart, witty, and sometimes dazzlingly poetic.

The director-designer team of Morris Panych and Ken MacDonald created Pacific Opera’s eye-popping Gaudi-inspired 2016 production of The Barber of Seville. Stunning architecture has inspired their concept for Flight as well – specifically, Eero Saarinen’s TWA terminal at New York’s JFK airport. Saarinen saw his design for TWA as an abstraction of the idea of flight itself – an embodiment of the longing for open space and freedom that inhabits the dreams of the characters in Flight. Also on the creative team are frequent collaborators costume designer Dana Osborne, lighting designer Alan Brodie, and choreographer Jacques Lemay.

Pacific Opera’s Artistic Director, Timothy Vernon, conducts an outstanding ensemble cast, including Canadian soprano Sharleen Joynt (Pacific Opera’s La Bohème) as the Controller, British countertenor William Towers (company debut) as the Refugee, Canadian mezzo soprano Allyson McHardy (Carmen) as the  Minskwoman, Canadian bass baritone Neil Craighead (Fidelio) as the Minskman, Canadian-Bulgarian mezzo soprano Emilia Boteva (Jenůfa) as the Older Woman, and BC baritone Justin Welsh (The Marriage of Figaro) as the Immigration Officer.  American tenor — and 2020 GRAMMY winner — John Brancy (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) is the Steward, with Canadian soprano Kimy McLaren (company debut) as the Stewardess. American tenor John Robert Lindsey (Jenůfa) and Canadian soprano Jacqueline Woodley (company debut) round out the cast as Bill and Tina.

Flight is performed at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria, February 20, 22, and 28, 2020 at 8pm, and Sunday, March 1, at 2:30 pm. Pre-performance lectures take place in the theatre lobby one hour prior to each show.  The opera is performed in English, with English surtitles, and the approximate running time is 2 hours and 45 minutes, plus two intermissions.

February 2020


A new, groundbreaking chamber opera by Marie Clements and Brian Current
On tour from Victoria to Regina to Prince George

Missing, created by BC’s foremost Indigenous playwright and filmmaker, Marie Clements, with music by Juno award-winning composer Brian Current, gives voice, in English and Gitksan, to the story of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Set in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and on the Highway of Tears, Missing is a poetic expression of loss and hope. Pacific Opera tours the opera in November 2019, with performances in Victoria, Regina and Prince George.

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Co-produced and developed by Pacific Opera Victoria and City Opera Vancouver, Missing had its world première in Vancouver and Victoria in 2017 and sold out performances in both cities. Pacific Opera Victoria and City Opera Vancouver are proud to partner with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, Prince George Symphony orchestra, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Prince George Native Friendship Centre, and Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services, to remount Missing for presentation November 1 and 2, 2019 at Pacific Opera’s Baumann Centre in Victoria, followed by performances November 8 and 9 in Regina and November 15, 16, and 17 in Prince George.

The creative team and many of the opera artists who premiered the production in 2017 have reunited. Distinguished director, Peter Hinton, who has significantly impacted the evolution of contemporary Canadian theatre through his commitment to new play development, Indigenous theatre and revisionist productions of canonical works, and conductor Timothy Long, Music Director of Opera at the Eastman School of Music and founding conductor of The Coast Orchestra, a Native American orchestra of classically trained musicians, are joined by an accomplished cast of singing actors.

Returning cast members include Coast Salish mezzo-soprano Rose-Ellen Nichols; Kwagiulth and Stó: lō mezzo soprano Marion Newman; Alberta-born soprano Caitlin Wood; and mezzo-soprano Heather Molloy. Joining the cast for the 2019 tour are tenor Jan van der Hooft, baritone Kyle Lehmann, and Saugeen Ojibway soprano Joanna Diindiisikwe Simmons (Burt), who made her Canadian Opera Company debut in 2017 as Sarah Riel in Louis Riel.

Scenic and projection design is by Andy Moro with costume design by Carmen Thompson, lighting by John Webber, and sound design by Sandy Scofield.

Performed in English and Gitksan, with surtitles, the opera is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes long, with no intermission. General seating. Doors open ½ hour prior to performance.

VICTORIA: Missing is presented November 1 and 2, 2019, at 7:00 pm
at The Baumann Centre
, 925 Balmoral Road, Victoria.
TICKETS are $35 | $15 students.

REGINA: Missing is presented November 8 and 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm
at the Regina Performing Arts Centre, 1077 Angus Street, Regina.
TICKETS are $26.25.

PRINCE GEORGE: Missing is presented November 15 and 17 at 7:00 pm and November 16 at 2:00 pm
at House of Ancestors “Uda Dune Baiyoh, 355 Vancouver Street, Prince George.
TICKETS are $35 | $15 students.

Cultural and mental health support workers will attend all performances to assist any audience members experiencing trauma or trauma triggers.

This touring production is made possible by the extraordinary support of funders including the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Department for Women and Gender Equality, and the Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage; Sask Culture; K&S Potash Canada; the City of Regina; and TD Bank.

Pacific Opera is also profoundly grateful for the confidence, faith, and vision of funders who supported the commission and the 2017 world première of Missing, including the Vancouver Foundation; the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter Program; Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia; the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, the Victoria Foundation, the Koerner Foundation, and an anonymous Foundation.

October 21, 2019

Pacific Opera Victoria announces its 2019/20 season

Five productions, seven operas, two premières

Pacific Opera Victoria announces a season of seven operas, including a Canadian première and a world première production.

  • At the Royal Theatre
    • Il trittico by Giacomo Puccini, October 17 to 27, 2019
    • Flight by Jonathan Dove and April de Angelis, February 20 to March 1, 2020
    • Carmen by Georges Bizet, April 16 to 26, 2020
  • At the Baumann Centre
    • Missing by Marie Clements and Brian Current, November 1 and 2, 2019
    • The Flight of the Hummingbird by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and Maxime Goulet, March 19 to 22, 2020

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The season opens October 17, 2019, with Puccini’s last completed stage work. Il trittico is a trio of one-act operas that, when staged together as the composer intended, provides an emotional rollercoaster of an evening. Il tabarro (The Cloak) is a dark thriller; Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica) a poignant tragedy; and Gianni Schicchi a farcical comedy. Pacific Opera Artistic Director Timothy Vernon describes Il trittico as “a virtuoso display, composed at the height of his career and confirming Puccini’s mastery of both drama and comedy”. Directed by Glynis Leyshon, with set and costume design by Patrick Clark, Il trittico will feature Italian-Canadian soprano Aviva Fortunata, Canadian tenor Adam Luther, and American baritone Todd Thomas.

Requiring three sets and a large cast, Il trittico is complicated and costly to produce and rarely presented in its entirety. This production is the first in a series of donor-supported special events scheduled this season and next in recognition of Pacific Opera’s 40th Anniversary.

Beginning February 20, 2020, Pacific Opera presents the Canadian première of Flight, the 1998 opera that launched British composer Jonathan Dove’s career. Inspired by the true story of a refugee who lived in an airport for 18 years, Flight features a scintillating score and an ensemble cast of travelers and airport workers, all stuck in a terminal for the night, all with their own stories. “We are keenly aware of the plight of refugees today,” says Timothy Vernon, “and recent events in our own airports make the story of the opera as relevant as when it was written two decades ago. Flight, with an ominous undertow, yet satirically human, is a modern masterpiece.” Morris Panych returns to Pacific Opera to direct this dark comedy, with set design by Ken MacDonald.

To conclude the mainstage season, Pacific Opera re-visits an eternally popular work. Musically brilliant and a perfect opera for newcomers, Bizet’s Carmen will be presented in April of 2020. “Directed by Serge Denoncourt who staged our marvelous production of Les Feluettes, Carmen will be vital, dramatic and wholly original,” says Vernon. The opera will feature Canadian mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule in the title role and tenor Jean-Michel Richer as Don José.

All the season’s mainstage productions are conducted by Timothy Vernon and presented at Victoria’s Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street.

Pacific Opera Victoria’s Baumann Centre is the venue for two 21st century Canadian works.

Missing, a groundbreaking chamber opera by Métis playwright Marie Clements and Juno-winning composer Brian Current, returns for two performances only, on November 1 and 2 before it tours to Regina and Prince George. Missing gives voice, in English and Gitxsan, to the story of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women. Originally co-commissioned by Pacific Opera and City Opera Vancouver, Missing premiered in 2017 to sold-out performances and calls for this compelling opera to be seen across Canada.

The Flight of the Hummingbird, an important new opera for young audiences and families, is a touching exploration of environmental activism, moral courage, and personal responsibility.

The opera is based on the best-selling book by Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. With libretto and creative design by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and Barry Gilson and music by French-Canadian composer Maxime Goulet, Hummingbird has been co-commissioned by Pacific Opera and Vancouver Opera and will tour schools throughout British Columbia in Spring 2020. Public performances will be presented at the Baumann Centre in March 2020.

More information
Subscriptions and Tickets

August 2019

IL TRITTICO: Three stories. Three settings.

A triple bill of masterful singing and storytelling
October 17, 19, 23, 25, 27, 2019

Pacific Opera’s first opera of the season is a gem of the operatic repertoire that has not been performed in Canada in nearly 50 years. Puccini’s Il trittico is a triple-bill of one-act operas that, when staged together as the composer intended, provides an emotional rollercoaster of an evening. Il trittico is presented October 17, 19, 25, and 2019 at 8pm, and October 23 at 7pm, with a matinée October 27 at 2:30pm. All performances take place at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria.

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The composer of blockbusters La bohème and Madama Butterfly, Puccini was at the height of his career when he created Il trittico, his final staged work. Each of Il trittico’s three one-act operas is a masterpiece intended to be presented in a single triumphant performance. The first opera of the trio, Il tabarro (The Cloak) is a dark thriller of infidelity and suspicion as, over the course of a single night, a marriage comes to a brutal end. Il tabarro is followed by Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica), a poignant tragedy. In the confines of a convent, where all desire is considered a sin, a nun with a devastating secret struggles with anguish and guilt. The performance concludes with Gianni Schicchi, a black farce in which a family squabbling over an inheritance gets what’s coming to them! Each of the operas is a “first” for Pacific Opera Artistic Director Timothy Vernon who describes Il trittico as “vocally and dramatically rewarding” and “a virtuoso display confirming Puccini’s mastery of both drama and comedy.”

Il trittico requires three sets and a large cast, making it complicated and costly. It is therefore rarely produced in its entirety. This is the first time in western Canada the original triptych has been presented as the composer intended.

Pacific Opera has gathered a stellar artistic team for this ambitious production. Directed by Glynis Leyshon with set and costume design by Pam Johnson, a cast of acclaimed singers, familiar to Pacific Opera audiences, will perform a variety of roles – an overlap in casting that allows the audience to witness the singers’ arc from supporting character to villain to comic genius in a single evening.

American baritone Todd Thomas sings the leading roles of Michele (Il tabarro) and Gianni (Gianni Schicchi). Soprano Aviva Fortunata sings back-to-back dramatic leads in Il tabarro and Suor Angelica, then joins the company ensemble of Gianni Schicchi. Tenor Adam Luther sings the roles of Luigi (Il tabarro) and Gherardo (Gianni Schicchi). Soprano Lara Ciekiewicz sings the dual roles of Suor Genevieve (Suor Angelica) and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), delighting with one of opera’s most famous and recognizable arias, “O mio babbino caro”.

Conducted by Pacific Opera’s founding Artistic Director, Timothy Vernon, Il trittico is the first in a series of donor-supported special events scheduled this season and next in recognition of Pacific Opera’s 40th Anniversary.

Il trittico is performed at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria, October 17, 19 and 25, 2019, at 8 pm, Wednesday, October 23 at 7 pm, and Sunday, October 27 at 2:30 pm. Pre-performance lectures take place in the theatre lobby one hour prior to each show. The opera is performed in Italian, with English surtitles, and the approximate running time is 2 hours and 50 minutes, plus two intermissions.

Priced between $29 and $151, including GST & box office service charges, tickets are available from the Royal and McPherson Box Office at 250-386-6121, or online at

For more information, contact Pacific Opera at 250-385-0222 or visit our page on Il trittico.

Subscriptions and Tickets

October 3, 2019

Media Contact

For photos, additional information, and to arrange interviews, please contact Sandra Hudson at [email protected].