Evita, Madama Butterfly and More Coming to Vancouver Opera

Madonna as Evita. Photo sourced from Robsmovievault.

No, Madonna isn’t coming to Vancouver. But Evita is. Photo sourced from Robsmovievault.

Two of operas most popular masterpieces, not to mention a globally successful musical and a Canadian premiere are coming to the Vancouver Opera this season.

The largest company of its kind in Western Canada, the opera has a proud history stretching back more than half a century. Over the decades, singing greats from Joan Sutherland to Placido Domingo have graced the stages of downtown’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre and other venues.

The 2015-2016 season will also be one of the opera’s last. Starting in 2017, the Vancouver Opera is transitioning to a festival model: presenting just three core productions during a three-week window in April. For opera fans (or newbies who have always wanted to go), that’s even more reason to get out and see a performance this year. 

Image sourced from Vancouver Opera

Image sourced from Vancouver Opera

The 2015-2016 season kicks off later this month with the 1851 classic Rigoletto (Sept. 26-Oct. 4). One of Guiseppe Verdi’s greatest works, Rigoletto is packed with timeless melodies, heartbreaking drama and vivid characters. The action follows Rigoletto, a court entertainer with a vicious tongue and rapier wit. But the jester does have one soft spot, for his young daughter. When his boss, the predatory Duke of Mantua, starts making advances toward her, trouble ensues.

 

Image sourced from Vancouver Opera

Image sourced from Vancouver Opera

Next up is the Canadian premiere of the contemporary hit about life in a polygamous marriage, Dark Sisters (Nov. 26-Dec. 12). In a Mormon community of the American southwest, young Eliza attempts to escape her lot as one of five “sister wives” and save her daughter from the same fate. Drawing rave reviews since its 2011 debut in New York, Dark Sisters features a lyrical, evocative score highlighting powerful women’s voices.

 

Image sourced from Vancouver Opera

Image sourced from Vancouver Opera

In spring 2016, the opera turns its attention to Puccini’s masterpiece Madama Butterfly (March 5-March 13). The heartbreaking love story is set in Japan at the turn of the 20th century, where an American naval officer leases a house and marries a young geisha. But he soon loses interest in his “butterfly” and abandons her, only to return years later to claim his love child. Filled with gorgeous melodies, Madama Butterfly never fails to move audiences.

 

Image sourced from Vancouver Opera

Image sourced from Vancouver Opera

The 2015-2016 season closes not with an opera but with a Tony Award-winning musical also made into a hit film starring Madonna. Evita (April 30-May 7) follows the story of Argentina’s inimitable first lady, Eva Peron. With her beauty and endless ambition, she rose from the slum to tango clubs in Buenos Aires and finally to the presidential palace, campaigning tirelessly for workers and the poor before her tragic death in 1952 at age 33. Andrew Lloyd Weber’s masterful score incorporates soaring ballads, Latin rhythms and unforgettable melodies.

To learn more and purchase tickets, visit the Vancouver Opera website.

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