IBPoc
Ai Horton and Anna Shill, two of the nine artists in Pacific Opera Victoria's Pop Up Opera series. Photo: Works Photography.

Pacific Opera Victoria has unveiled some innovations for summer 2020. Their newly dubbed “Pop Up Opera” series will see opera singers travelling by hybrid-electric van, to give live performances in public spaces throughout the Capital Regional District. The performances happen four days per week, and each will feature two singers, plus accompanying tracks recorded by pianist Robert Holliston. The singers will arrive at yet-TBA locations like parks, street corners, and outside care facilities and retirement residences; once per performance date, a location will be announced on Pacific Opera Victoria’s website. Care residences can request a “Pop Up Opera” performance by emailing POV.

To date, nine singers are on the Pop Up roster:

  • Louis Dillon
  • Kyla Fradette
  • Alana Hayes
  • Ai Horton
  • Abby Schuliger
  • Anna Shill
  • Cassidy Stahr
  • Jan Van der Hooft
  • Allison Ward

POV has also launched “For All to Hear”, a new space reserved for IBPoC artists (Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour). The space is a platform for these artists to share their own personal experiences and responses to the death of George Floyd, systemic discrimination, and the relation of these social issues to the world of the arts.

“If the world is to change, as we know it must, communication of truths – even the hardest truths – is what art and artists can do with unequaled directness,” POV offers in a statement.

“For All to Hear” kicked off on June 26, and continues on July 3rd when host Rebecca Hass is joined by baritone Samuel Chan and Chief Artistic Officer of Minnesota Opera Priti Gandhi to share their stories and the music that speaks to their process.

“For the majority of my life, opera has been an art form which has showcased the beauty of storytelling through the human voice,” says Chan. “However, the future of opera relies on the representation of stories and voices of all Canadians, which for far too long have been hidden due to systemic misrepresentation in our culture. I wish growing up I had the chance to see more people of colour, indigenous artists, and artists of all orientations on stage, because I’ve had to navigate what it means to be a young artist of colour in a very predominately white world.”

IBPoC artists who wish to share their voices and stories may contact Rebecca Hass at rebecca@pacificopera.ca.

For ongoing details and POV’s continued online opera content, visit their website.

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