News and Media Releases

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.

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August 2019

Rebecca Hass wins Community Leadership Award

Congratulations to Rebecca Hass on winning the 2019 Victoria Community Leadership Award for Arts & Culture. Leadership Victoria celebrates community leaders and recognizes those who have made a lasting contribution to the Greater Victoria communities.

Rebecca was nominated by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator at the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, who cited her collaboration with a range of arts and culture organizations to take a leadership role in promoting diversity and ensuring the voices and stories of visible minorities, Indigenous people, and others are reflected in the arts and culture of our region.

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As Director of Community Engagement at Pacific Opera Victoria, Rebecca has fostered diverse arts and culture programs and activities, including hosting a refugee rights panel event; organizing seminars on inclusion and diversity in the arts; and hosting a series of multicultural events for diverse communities.

A member of the Métis Nation, Rebecca is an active singer, actor, freelance writer, radio documentary creator, broadcaster and life and performance coach. She has performed with opera companies and symphonies across Canada and has worked with the Canadian College of Performing Arts, the Victoria Conservatory of Music, University of Victoria, UBC, and Opera Nuova. A writer and broadcaster, Rebecca can be heard regularly as guest host and documentary maker on CBC Radio One and Two.

The 2019 Victoria Community Leadership Awards (sponsored by The Victoria Foundation) are Leadership Victoria’s premier awards event to celebrate community leadership and recognize those who have made a lasting contribution to the Greater Victoria communities.

Rebecca, along with other winners of the 2019 Victoria Community Leadership Awards, was honoured at an event at Government House in May 2019.

May 2019

Media Contact

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