For All to Hear

Nov 20, 2020 1:00pm

Venue Online

Cost Free

A Space for Truth

For All to Hear celebrates and features diverse voices from the IBPoC community of artists and other marginalized voices, offering a platform to share music and stories that matter.

Bridging together the power of song and lived experience, For All to Hear is a gathering space for artists to speak directly, because the communication of truths is what art and artists can do with unequaled directness.

Explore the many ways in which these artist platforms are taking form through videos and podcasts offered on Pacific Opera’s online programs and directly in this space.


Valerie Gonzalez | For All to Hear

Join Canadian soprano Valerie Gonzalez as she shares stories of racism committed against her family long ago and how she is still reckoning with them today, showcasing the impacts of generational trauma.

“I think the recent scrutiny of America’s failings and travails has reached across the international cultural spectrum, challenging even those outside America to examine the psyches of their own cultures. It has compelled people all walks of life, to take a private accounting of racism, and to assess their relationship to it. Before the term “systemic racism” became viral, I think that many of us perceived racial issues at arms-length. Understandably, for most people, racial perspective remains invisible due its all-encompassing pervasiveness. As provoking events unfold however, we are being challenged to examine societal constructs built on race, and to analyze if and how such constructs affect our actions, decision-making, define our self-concept and self-expression, create advantage or harm, or promote discord or inequality. Perhaps in this transformative period in history, we can find healing and forgiveness in one another’s stories. In this presentation, I will share my own experience of reckoning with the racially charged traumas that my Filipino family endured long ago, which continue to impact and affect my own Filipino-Canadian-American identity today.

My video tells one of the central stories of my childhood that gave me identity and an understanding of Filipino loyalty, love and decency. It also taught me of the inhumanity and atrocities that occur in the hands of power that operates on a premise of racial superiority.”
Valerie Gonzalez, 2020

An emerging author, she hopes to publish shortly a historical novel, The Buggy Driver, based on her father’s memoirs during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines in World War II.

Delcina Stevenson | For All to Hear

American soprano Delcina Stevenson, who premiered at Pacific Opera Victoria in 1981 as Cio-Cio-san in Madama Butterfly, talks about her artistic journey making a career as a Black singer in opera.

From how she got started with music (and her shock at having to practice seven hours a day) to a “reverse colour casting” experience with Otello, Delcina shares her experiences with us, shining a light on her life as a Black opera singer in the 20th and 21st century.

Note: There was a mix-up in listing the cast of Otello. The correct casting is Cornell MacNeil as Iago and James McCracken as the tenor.

See more of Delcina here!

Miriam Khalil | Songs my Parents taught me

Juno nominated artist, Miriam Khalil has established herself as one of Canada’s most versatile and expressive performers. Equally at home on the opera and concert stage, she has become increasingly known equally for her nontraditional repertoire and her nuanced and moving performances.

Songs my Parents taught me is a beautiful example of exactly what Miriam is known and celebrated for. In bringing together classic Arabic music, personal experience, and immense talent, Miriam creates something that is completely new, yet reflective of the past in a way that is deeply personal and heartwarming to all who see it.

Charlotte Siegel | Lunchbox Opera

Meet Charlotte Siegel, in conversation, in recital, and performing one of her own compositions. A Toronto born classical soprano, songwriter, and performer, Charlotte has just completed a Graduate Diploma in Opera and Voice at McGill University and was to have been a Resident Artist for Pacific Opera Victoria’s 40 Days of Opera in summer 2020 until the COVID-19 pandemic intervened.

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.
Charlotte Siegel, June 2020

Samuel Chan & Priti Gandhi | Listening Party Podcast

Go to Listening Party Podcast Episode

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.

Listen Here!

Samuel Chan | Acoustic Afternoons

Baritone Samuel Chan, who will debut with Pacific Opera Victoria as Le Dancaïre (El Dancairo) in a future production of Carmen, performs and talks with Rebecca Hass.

For the majority of my life, opera has been an art form which has showcased the beauty of storytelling through the human voice. 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.
Samuel Chan, July 2020

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Share Your Story

If you are an IBPoC opera artist who would like to share your voice, your stories, and your creativity for all to hear, please email our Director of Community Engagement, Rebecca Hass, to discuss what you might have in mind.
Contact Rebecca