About Us

Our People

The Artists who create original new productions, together with a Board of Directors, Administrative team and Production personnel, all contribute to the calibre of our art making. We work passionately and professionally to both serve and advance the art form.

Pacific Opera is governed by a committed board of directors who advance the company’s mission through budget approval, oversight, and risk management; work on board committees and task forces; support for fundraising and donor stewardship; and ambassadorship and advocacy efforts to promote the arts, develop community collaborations, and welcome patrons and the wider community into the world of opera.

  • Robert G. Milne, President
  • Lydia Wingate, Vice-President
  • Grania Litwin, Vice-President
  • Andrew Jackson, Treasurer
  • Elaine Calder, Secretary
  • David H. Flaherty, Past President, Chair, Pacific Opera Victoria Foundation
  • Bernard Beck
  • Chanah Caplan
  • Mary Collins
  • Heather Fisher
  • Sean Guist
  • Evan Hazell
  • Barbara Hubbard
  • Dawn Johnson
  • Diane Kettner
  • Jacques Lemay
  • Jane Logan
  • Joan McNeely
  • Michael Morres
  • Carey Newman
  • Heather Raven
  • Deborah Wolstenholme

 

Honorary Directors

  • Erika Kurth, MA, D.Litt.
  • Michael Morres

The Pacific Opera Victoria Foundation is a registered charitable society that exists to support Pacific Opera Victoria. The Foundation accepts current and planned gifts through bequests and estate giving or other types of future gifts to provide ongoing support for the programs and activities of POV and to develop endowment funds, reserve funds and other financial assets.

Foundation Trustees

  • David H. Flaherty, Chair
  • Dick Cavaye, Vice Chair
  • Gary Moser, Secretary-Treasurer
  • Deneen Cunningham
  • Robert Milne
  • Michael Morres
  • Leda Townshend
  • Marilyn Walker, Director of Finance
  • Maureen Woodall, Executive Associate
  • Yvette Guigueno, Director of Development
  • Nicole Malcolm, Director of Marketing and Communications
  • Steve Barker, Donor Relations Coordinator
  • Noelle Hinrichs, Development Coordinator
  • Amy Culliford, Box Office Manager
  • Kristen Iversen, Patron Services Associate
  • Ereca Hassell, Director of Production and Artistic Administration
  • Rebecca Hass, Director of Community Engagement
  • Robert Holliston, Curator, Public Engagement
  • Giuseppe Pietraroia, Chorus Master and Associate Conductor
  • Teresa Turgeon, Opera Titles
  • Chris Sibbald, Stage Manager
  • Mark Leigh, Technical Director
  • Phil Shaver, Head Carpenter
  • Keith Allan, Lead Scenic Carpenter
  • Jennifer Hedge, Head Scenic Artist
  • Jeremy Herndl, Lead Scenic Artist
  • Maureen Mackintosh, Head of Properties
  • Kristen Sands, Lead Property Master
  • Sandra McLellan, Head Wardrobe
  • Alice Hawes, Lead Wardrobe
  • Katri Tahvanainen, Master Cutter
  • Jessica Pratt, Head Make-up Artist
  • Cristina Woods, Hair and Wig stylist

The Victoria Symphony are key musical partners for Pacific Opera Victoria productions.

Victoria Symphony
Christian Kluxen, Music Director
Kathryn Laurin, CEO

Musicians of the VS

First Violins

  • Terence Tam, Concertmaster
  • Christi Meyers, Assistant Concertmaster
  • Courtney Cameron
  • Phillip Manning
  • Müge Büyükçelen-Badel
  • Cory Balzer
  • Michele Kwon *

Second Violins

  • Victoria Lindsay, Principal
  • Julian Vitek
  • Emily Salmon
  • Christopher Taber

Violas

  • Kenji Fusé, Principal
  • Stacey Boal
  • Kay Cochran
  • Mieka Michaux

Celli

  • Brian Yoon, Principal
  • Joyce Ellwood
  • Martin Bonham
  • Perry Foster

Basses

  • Mary Rannie, Principal
  • Darren Buhr

Flutes

  • Richard Volet, Principal
  • Stephanie Bell

Piccolo

  • Stephanie Bell

Oboes

  • Michael Byrne, Principal
  • Russell Bajer

English Horn

  • Russell Bajer

Clarinets

  • Keith MacLeod, Principal
  • Jennifer Christensen

Bass Clarinet

  • Jennifer Christensen

Bassoons

  • Jennifer Gunter, Principal
  • Anne Marie Power

Horns

  • Alana Despins, Principal *
  • Michael Oswald, Acting Principal

Trumpets

  • Ryan Cole, Principal
  • David Michaux

Trombone

  • Brad Howland

Timpani

  • William Linwood, Principal

Percussion

  • Corey Rae, Principal *
  • Julian Jeun, Acting Principal

Harp

  • Annabelle Stanley, Principal

Orchestra Manager

  • Peter Burris

Operations Manager

  • Eric Gallipo

Librarians

  • Christopher Reiche Boucher
  • Russell Bajer, Assistant

 

* on leave

The orchestra under Timothy Vernon was superb – led with great finesse that never overshadowed the voices, and full of lovely touches, like a sopranino recorder solo as a bird, and a blistering harpsichord solo that brought the house down.

Melissa Ratcliff, Schmopera, review of Rinaldo, 2018

 

Never before had I realized how beautiful so much of the music is: to a degree the consequence of the transparency of the smaller orchestra and, of course, the musicianship of Maestro Vernon and his players… 

The strength of the orchestra made itself apparent immediately with the magical opening to the opera, that long E flat pedal presenting primordial beginnings, with rising horn arpeggios joining in—the rise of life from the void—then the sinuous strings representing the river Rhine, the opera’s Eden. It was thrilling to watch at the same time the world take form above the stage from a pinpoint of light to the round globe itself. Despite the lack of full Wagnerian weight, the sequence had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up.

Harvey De Roo, Vancouver Classical Music, review of Das Rheingold, 2014

The Pacific Opera Chorus comprises adults of all ages and includes community singers, aspiring professionals, and vocal students at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the University of Victoria.

Over the last decade, with the support of a generous anonymous grant, Pacific Opera has offered a growing range of development opportunities for the Chorus. These include workshops on dance, movement, stage combat, and more, master classes by visiting artists, and other programs designed for members of the Chorus, as well as for other students of voice, and for practising artists working in the fields of music, theatre, stage design and direction.

Auditions for the Pacific Opera Chorus are held each year. Please check our Careers and Auditions page for future audition postings.

Chorus Women

  • Margo Brody
  • Tasha Farivar
  • Kyla Fradette
  • Ai Horton
  • Rebekah Janzen
  • Gina Johnson
  • Chelsea Kutyn
  • Cathie Lylock
  • Amanda McAlpine
  • Andrea Paddock
  • Zoe Pelton
  • Cheryl Pocklington
  • Carol Pudwell
  • Abigail Schuliger
  • Emlyn Sheeley
  • Cassidy Stahr
  • Annalysa Tylor
  • Allison Ward

Chorus Men

  • Brian Andiel
  • Alex Chen
  • Stephen Cropper
  • Louis Dillon
  • Taylor Fawcett
  • Jason Fisher
  • Grady Forsberg
  • Kieran Foss
  • Dale Friesen
  • Chris Hinz
  • Gerald Schieven
  • Steve Wadhams

 

The Pacific Opera Chorus, too, shone bright. They looked fabulous in their roaring twenties flapper dresses and elegant suits, and sounded just as good. 

Robin Miller, Opera Canada, review of La traviata, 2019

 

With acting skills matched by their formidable vocal performance, the Chorus conveyed the pathos of the prisoners’ lot movingly.