Vancouver Opera Festival

April 29, 2017
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Vancouver Opera Festival is opera through many lenses: a choral extravaganza, a cutting edge commissioned video art installation, performances by international stars, and much more. Enter to win a pair of tickets.

We love it when Vancouver steps up its game and gives us cutting-edge art events that rival the international scene. The Vancouver Opera Festival stands out as a daring event that goes way beyond our assumptions of what an opera fest would be. General director Kim Gaynor describes the inaugural VOF as a “multi-disciplinary celebration of voice,” and a quick look at the schedule shows just how on point she is. Plus scroll down for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the May 2 performance Dead Man Walking at 7:30pm.

On top of all the state-of-the-art stage productions, some of the most intriguing aspects of the festival aren’t opera at all. We’re beyond excited to check out the immersive site-specific video art installation “Five Octave Range” by award-winning artist Paul Wong, which incorporates archival images from five decades of VO productions. It’s is free and you can swing by anytime you happen to be around the QE. There’s also the collaboration with Music on Main, which presents vocal performances by Polaris Prize winning Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq (May 12 at 8pm at the Vogue), and German song stylist Ute Lemper (May 4 at 8pm at the Orpheum).

Kim Gaynor says that although all the shows have a wide audience appeal, the contemporary production Dead Man Walking is the one she sees millennials to audiences in their mid-40s gravitating towards. Based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean and the Oscar winning film, Dead Man Walking “chronicles the story of a convicted Louisiana murderer who is befriended by a Catholic Nun seeking to understand the nature of divine forgiveness.” This hard hitting opera is artfully composed by the innovative direction of Joel Ivany, who has been described as the “future of opera.”


We are most looking forward to Otello, the tragic tale of a man consumed by, and ultimately undone by, overwhelming passion. The performance by acclaimed Italian Tenor Antonello Palombi, who will be singing Otello in Athens, Perth, Tokyo and Italy this year, is sure to leave audiences feeling wrung out and inspired.

Meanwhile, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro is a classic opera with a twist. Directed by Rachel Peake (Stickboy, 2014) this show has a young and talented cast, a mirrored floor and and fantastically modern costumes by lauded fashion designer Sid Neigum. For Neigum, who is accustomed to “dressing skinny models,” this was no small feat but according to Gaynor the results are beyond amazing and add a contemporary aesthetic to a traditional opera. With its fast-paced action and multiple cases of mistaken identities, Marriage of Figaro is a show you can take your kids to if you want to give them a playful introduction to this genre.

With 16 days of activities and experiences including workshops for families, preview talks, and a festival tent and restaurant (Happy Hour from 4-7pm) for all ages you’ll be hard pressed to find a reason not to come check out this world-class festival. To get you into their seats the VOF is offering a promotion for $40 under 40.

Enter To Win

Like Vancouver has partnered with VOF to offer one lucky reader two tickets to Dead Man Walking (May 2, 7:30pm). Here is how to enter to win.

  1. Follow @LikeVancouver on Twitter and tweet the following: Win a pair of @vancouveropera tix. Follow @LikeVancouver & RT to enter (1 entry)
  2. Follow @LikeVancouver on Instagram, like and tag a friend on our VOF post  (1 entry)
  3. Like us on Facebook  then comment and tag a friend on our VOF post. (1 entry)

Contest runs from now until May 1 at midnight (PST). A winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries.

Vancouver Opera Festival
April 28 – May 13