History’s Greatest Sleazeball Comes to Town: Don Giovanni at the Vancouver Opera

Image sourced from Vancouver Opera

Image sourced from Vancouver Opera

The timeless opera about history’s most famous seducer and slimeball has come to Vancouver.

Don Giovanni, the 1787 opera with music by none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is showing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre through March 9.  Based on the opening night performance on Saturday, the production should be a crowd-pleaser, for opera aficionados and newbies alike.

Don Giovanni is classified as opera buffa, which must have been 18th-century speak for pulp fiction.  It consists of more than three hours of non-stop swordfights, seductions and ribald – even downright raunchy – scenes.

I’m not sure if it was the saucy subject matter or an aggressive marketing campaign by the Vancouver Opera itself, but the Queen Elizabeth Theatre was packed for the premiere: fuller – and much younger – than I’ve ever seen it for an opera performance.

The protagonist and anti-hero of the production is, of course, Don Giovanni.  Giovanni is the Italian incarnation of the infamous Spanish lover Don Juan, and he’s a world-class smooth talker and scoundrel.   Continue reading:
History’s Greatest Sleazeball Comes to Town: Don Giovanni at the Vancouver Opera

Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend
From the wine festival to opera, and performing arts to Oscar viewing parties, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.  Read on for our top picks for events happening around Metro Vancouver this Friday through Sunday!

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Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

Inside Vancouver’s Arts and Entertainment: The Vancouver Opera

Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

Ahoy!  The Pirates of Penzance will be at the Vancouver Opera this Saturday!  Packed with typical pirate tomfoolery, scheming of all sorts and plenty of wenches, this comedic show is sure to make your first (or tenth) opera experience one to remember.

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Inside Vancouver’s Arts and Entertainment: The Vancouver Opera

Aida at the Vancouver Opera Through May 3

Mlada Khudoley as Aida, in the Vancouver Opera's Aida. Photo: Vancouver Opera

The Vancouver Opera (VO) closes its 2011/2012 season with its current production of Verdi’s Aida, the “grandest of grand operas,” running now through May 3, 2012.

The VO has demonstrated its diversity this season, with acclaimed productions of West Side Story, Romeo and Juliet, and The Barber of Seville. To end its season with a bang, the VO chose one of opera’s biggest blockbusters in Aida, an opera classic that showcases their incredible musical artistry. The VO’s Aida has already been hailed as “one of the most musically impressive Vancouver productions of Verdi in recent memory” by The Vancouver Sun and for its “lavish voices” by The Georgia Straight.

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Aida at the Vancouver Opera Through May 3

See Vancouver Opera’s Barber of Seville, through March 25

I’m going to confess this right up front.  My knowledge of opera is based mainly on memories of old Looney Tunes cartoons.  And among all the arias and overtures that accompanied the antics of Bugs Bunny and pals, perhaps none is more famous than the overture from The Barber of Seville – played above as Bugs the barber massages Elmer Fudd’s head.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to recognize the overture in the Vancouver Opera’s new production of Barber of Seville, running at Queen Elizabeth Theatre through March 25.  Even for opera virgins, the Barber holds plenty of charms.  If you’re thinking about seeing one opera this year (or this lifetime), this could be the one.

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See Vancouver Opera’s Barber of Seville, through March 25