News and Media Releases
From our house to yours
Pacific Opera isn’t going to let physical distancing stop us from sharing the music and knowledge of our amazing artists and community. 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.
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
March 18, 2020, 6 pm
The safety and well-being of our audience, artists, and staff is Pacific Opera’s first priority.
British Columbia has declared a public health emergency, and event organizers are directed to postpone or cancel all gatherings of 50 people or more.
- All Public and School Performances of The Flight of the Hummingbird from March through May are postponed.
- The Spring Break Opera Creation Camp, March 23 to March 27, is cancelled.
- Performances of Carmen, April 14 to 26, will be postponed.
- These Community programs have been cancelled:
- Inside Opera at the Union Club, April 3
- Opera Goes to the Movies, April 7 and 15
- 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.
If you have tickets for Carmen or The Flight of the Hummingbird, please advise us of your wishes by completing the form on our Postponed Shows page.
For assistance on any ticketing needs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For all facility inquiries contact email@example.com. 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.
For non-ticketed events, we ask that you continue to watch our website and our social media channels as we work toward finding social distance sensitive alternatives for delivering opera to our community.
We will also be 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.
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.
BIG. BOLD. BRAVISSIMO!
Pacific Opera’s 2020-2021 season features Wagner, Britten, Mozart
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 ensemble. Los 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 www.rmts.bc.ca
For more information, contact Pacific Opera at 250-385-0222 or visit our page on Il trittico.
Subscriptions and Tickets
October 3, 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
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.
For photos, additional information, and to arrange interviews, please contact Heather Jeliazkov at 250.888.3938 or by email