The Keynotes Collection

Welcome to the Keynotes Collection – a curated exploration of Pacific Opera Victoria’s recent productions. Here are articles from our Keynotes Newsletter, video excerpts, incisive Programme Notes from Artistic Director Timothy Vernon, insightful Notes from the Directors of each production, as well as selections from media reviews.

Relive the magic of productions you’ve seen.
Discover more about operas you love.
Revel in the eye candy of our production photos.

Dip your toe into new opera experiences (the water is warm). Come back frequently to see what’s new as we add to the collection … including new video excerpts released on the Keynotes pages every Friday.

Explore the Collection…

The Garden of Alice
Flight | Il trittico
Countess Maritza | La traviata *
Fidelio * | La bohème *
Rinaldo * | Les Feluettes *

* Video excerpt available

The Garden of Alice

A dive down the rabbit hole, both in content and in process
February 2022

Pacific Opera’s first ever opera for film, The Garden of Alice was an ambitious new venture for the singers, the crew, and the company. Guided by Video Producer and Director of Photography David Malysheff and Director Glynis Leyshon, we made it through the strange new world of filmmaking.

The Garden of Alice brings to life many of the quixotic episodes and characters found in Lewis Carroll’s book, with a hookah-smoking caterpillar, a Cheshire cat, and a Duchess whose baby turns into a pig. As Alice traverses Wonderland, attempting to find her way to the garden (and unknowingly, the Queen of Hearts), she goes through a plethora of dizzying experiences, which only continue once she reaches her destination.


The Garden of Alice, December 2020. Mackenzie Lawrence Photography.



A high-flying comedy and a touching story of our time.
Canadian Première, February 2020

A 20th century opera about people with places to go and lives to change, Flight launched Jonathan Dove as one of today’s most acclaimed composers. Pacific Opera’s production was directed and designed by the renowned team of Morris Panych and Ken MacDonald, who created our 2016 production of The Barber of Seville.

An airport is a place to get away from. But it becomes a place for unexpected encounters when a group of travelers and airport workers are grounded overnight by a storm. Inspired by the true story of a refugee who lived in an airport for 18 years, Flight is surprisingly playful, sometimes risqué – and it frequently soars into sheer poetry.


Flight, February 2020. David Cooper Photography


Il trittico

Three operas … one mind-blowing work
October 2019

The last opera Puccini completed, Il trittico has been called his greatest achievement. When all three of its one-act operas are staged together, the experience is an emotional roller-coaster ride through everything opera can be. The trio includes Il tabarro (The Cloak), Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi. Despite Puccini’s insistence that all three operas be performed together, this rarely happens, as it is such a massive and complicated undertaking.

Pacific Opera’s production, directed by Glyis Leyshon with design by Pam Johnson, was the first Canadian production of this masterpiece in nearly 50 years.


Todd Thomas, Aviva Fortunata in Il tabarro. David Cooper Photography


Countess Maritza

Emmerich Kálmán’s luscious operetta is a celebration of the delights of music, dance, and romance.
April 2019

When the beguiling young Countess Maritza invents a fiancé in order to keep her hordes of admirers at bay, it’s inevitable that she will find true love by the end of the story.

With plenty of plot twists and fireworks, a happy ending, and scrumptious music from the heyday of Viennese operetta, this romantic comedy is sophisticated, nostalgic, and unabashedly entertaining – a joyous reminder that not all opera is “a song of love and death.”


Michael Barrett and Leslie Ann Bradley, Countess Maritza, 2019. David Cooper Photography


La traviata

One of opera’s most enduring love stories
February 2019

In this sumptuous production, set in the 1920s, Violetta is a music hall artist – beautiful, sought after, but not quite respectable. As her tragedy unfolds, we marvel again at Verdi’s compassionate and extravagantly melodic portrayal of a woman who isn’t allowed to fit in.

This historic five-company co-production was designed to be staged for audiences across Canada over the span of three seasons. It was performed at Manitoba Opera and Edmonton Opera in 2018. Following its Victoria run, the production moved to Vancouver Opera in fall 2019 and is scheduled to be presented at Opéra de Montréal in 2021/22.


Choristers in La traviata, 2019. David Cooper Photography



A masterwork for all times
October 2018

Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio tells a story as eternal as tyranny and as powerful as love. Fidelio goes straight to the heart of what it means to be human and is as relevant and inspiring today as it ever was.

A timeless call for human justice, this magnificent work expresses Beethoven’s heartfelt sense of the fragility of freedom and the necessity of hope – all with music of heart-stopping beauty.


The Pacific Opera Chorus sings the Prisoners’ Chorus in Fidelio, 2018. Emily Cooper Photography


La bohème

Young love, Paris, and Puccini … resistance is futile.
February 2018

One of the most loved operas of all time, Puccini’s La bohème is a gorgeous, nostalgic slice of life about a group of young friends hanging out together, experiencing Paris and love, and loss. Puccini’s music sparkles with humour, pours out lush, sumptuous melodies, and is always completely irresistible.

This 2018 production, directed by Maria Lamont, with design by Camellia Koo, was the sixth production of this perennial favourite that Pacific Opera has created.


Jason Slayden and Lucia Cesaroni in La bohème, 2018. David Cooper Photography



One of Handel’s most flamboyant accomplishments
April 2018

Handel’s first big hit for the London stage, Rinaldo contains some of his most ravishing music and tells an exotic tale of war, love, and sorcery.

The story introduces General Goffredo and the mighty knight Rinaldo, who are at war with Argante, the blustering king of Jerusalem, and his mistress, the wicked enchantress Armida. When Armida kidnaps Rinaldo’s beloved fiancée Almirena, Rinaldo and Goffredo embark on a quest to rescue Almirena and defeat Armida and her minions.

Set in a world inhabited by sorcerers, kings, mermaids, furies, and dragons, Rinaldo is a masterpiece of Baroque opera – an extraordinary theatrical and musical experience, full of spectacle and magic.


Jennifer Turner, Jessica Wagner, Allison Ward, as the Siren and the Mermaids in Rinaldo. Pacific Opera Victoria, 2018. David Cooper Photography


Les Feluettes

A romantic drama of startling beauty
April 2017

In 1912, a group of boys at a Quebec college rehearse Gabriele D’Annunzio’s sensual play The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. As a devastating love triangle unfolds, one boy dies, one is sent to prison, one becomes a bishop. Decades later, the bishop is made to watch as prisoners re-enact the past.

Based on a celebrated Canadian play, with the libretto by the playwright, Les Feluettes brings the splendour of Michel Marc Bouchard’s language to the opera stage, with an eclectic, sympathetic score by composer Kevin March. Co-commissioned and co-produced by Pacific Opera Victoria and Opéra de Montréal, Les Feluettes is one of the most acclaimed of Canadian operas.


Les Feluettes. Pacific Opera Victoria, 2017. David Cooper Photography