Vancouver Opera has unveiled its 2023–2024 season, headlined by much-loved and reimagined classics, and casting that features some welcome returns and company debuts. Mozart’s The Magic Flute begins the season in October, followed by Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in February 2024. Bizet’s Carmen closes the season with five performances in April and May 2024.
“We are excited to present an incredible season of opera “classics” to expose our great art form to new audiences,” said Tom Wright, Vancouver Opera General Director. “Two of the operas have not been seen in over a decade and one has only been produced once in our 64-year history. Each of our productions feature returning directors who wowed VO audiences in the past and understand the magic and passion that courses through these stories. We are excited to be presenting these spectacular productions that burst with colour and energy, reach the very core of our humanity and illicit passion, smiles and tears with their sweeping compositions.”
Opening the 2023–2024 season is The Magic Flute by Mozart, directed by Ashlie Corcoran (The Barber of Seville, February 2020) and Conductor Tania Miller makes her VO debut. This opera is a fairytale within a fairytale, immersing the audience in a magical, wild journey of high drama and whimsical delight. Canadian tenor Owen McCausland is Tamino and Vancouver-born soprano Kirsten MacKinnon makes her Vancouver Opera debut as Pamina.
In February, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale receives a 20th-century Technicolour makeover by acclaimed creative duo of costume/set designer André Barbe and director/choreographer Renaud Doucet. This all-Canadian production features Maestro Jacques Lacombe returning to Vancouver Opera (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) to conduct Donizetti’s finely-calibrated music in this comic masterpiece. The cast features Canadian baritone Gregory Dahl singing Don Pasquale, Canadian soprano Elizabeth Polese singing Norina, Victoria-born tenor Josh Lovell making his Vancouver Opera debut as Ernesto, and Canadian baritone Phillip Addis as Dr. Malatesta.
Bizet’s Carmen concludes the season, with seductive arias and enduring, richly coloured melodies. Rachel Peake returns to Vancouver Opera (The Pearl Fishers) to direct Carmen alongside conductor Leslie Dala (The Flying Dutchman) for a five-show engagement. Carmen will be portrayed by American mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy and Canadian mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule with Canadian soprano Jonelle Sills as Micaëla. Indian tenor Alok Kumar and Canadian tenor Matthew White will both perform the role of Don José.
Vancouver Opera will also be presenting several other special events including the return of Opera in the Park, and in partnership with re:Naissance Opera and H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, the world premiere of Sanctuary & Storm (November 17 – 19), which will open IndieFest 2023. Starting in spring 2024, Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria will also remount their co-production of The Flight of the Hummingbird, resuming a school tour across the province.
For more information about the 2023–2024 Vancouver Opera Season, and to subscribe, please visit vancouveropera.ca.