The following photo essay was contributed by Vancouver photographer Dave Roels (www.daveroels.com).
The Michael & Inna O’Brian Centre for Vancouver Opera’s General Director, James W. Wright gave an excellent slide show presentation to Vancouver AM Tourist Services Association members while touring the facilities at VO’s new location. In the past the VO had its space housed in a number of locations in the downtown core.
With the new move all its artistic and administrative operations are combined under one roof, in a building located near Commercial Drive. All staging and orchestra rehearsals, costumes and properties construction, set storage, box office and administrative activities will take place in the Vancouver Opera Centre, at 1945 McLean Avenue.
During the tour of the facilities the wardrobe department was alive and working. Parvin Mirhady, head of costumes gave an excellent talk on what it is that they do for the different productions in which the Opera is engaged.
We were then taken through the rest of the building and saw each department and WOW what a place. James Wright spoke of the energy and you could feel it as you went from one department to the other.
The Vancouver Opera is an active and supportive neighbor in the vibrant, diverse and culturally rich Clark Drive-Commercial Drive area. The company has opened its doors to the community and makes its music library and rehearsal and meeting spaces available to music, theater, dance and community groups.
“This move makes it possible for Vancouver Opera to offer to the immediate community, and to the broader community, some of the resources and considerable energy we can provide, “said Wright.
In the main rehearsal room they have built a wooden floor over the concrete to make it easier on the feet. Along one section of the rehearsal hall is a set of chairs. These chairs are for the neighborhood residents to come in and watch rehearsals. To me this is a win win; the neighbors get to see great talent at work and the artists practice with an audience watching. The best part of this is that it is free. You almost want to move into the neighborhood just to take advantage of the facilities.
These photos of the wardrobe department show the creativity behind the scenes :