Pacific Opera Victoria (POV) has earned a reputation as one of Canada's leading opera companies, thanks to its dynamic repertoire choices, its original productions, and its commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for artists and audiences. Founded in 1979 and incorporated in 1980, POV has become one of Canada's most exciting arts institutions, with an audience that is, per capita, two to five times that of any other Canadian opera company.
Lovely and sincere: POV's La Bohème
In this version, Mimì is far more coquettish - obviously trying to catch Rodolfo's interest in a more seductive way than is typical of the demure Mimì we typically expect. Slayden's "Che gelida manina" was absolutely breathtaking, his voice resonant and brilliant, and he absolutely brought the house down with his flawless performance.Read More
When art is not enough: opera & activism
Opera has always had a close relationship with moral dilemma and ugly human behaviour. We can watch an opera about corrupt leaders, prejudicial hate, or fatal sexism - and still, when the curtain falls there always looms the question, "then what"?Read More
Spotlight on: Jennifer Taverner
"Sure, you need to possess the chops, but it won't get you very far if you're not an engaging performer, skilled musician, and all-around good colleague. Be professional, be prepared, be respectful and pleasant to work with. Remember, there are eyes and ears on you at every rehearsal and performance, so treat it like an audition and be the best you can be in that moment."Read More
Who's afraid of the aging singer?
"In later career, there is much less forgiveness for a less than standard performance, whether it is loss in vocal function, beauty, tone quality or whatever, there is much less margin for error. As a young singer, you are perceived as fresh and new, so companies are willing to give you more chances. It is much more challenging to maintain a career as you age than it is to begin. Companies will often hear younger singers in audition again and again, while they often dismiss older artists."Read More
Spotlight on: Jeremy Bowes
"The singing world is rich with possibility, and it needs every part of the machine to fire in order to succeed. That said, do not blend in, for heaven’s sake. Ruffle some feathers! If I hear tisking from one end of a panel, and see ear to ear smiles from another, I know I am on the right track."Read More
Talking with singers: Peter McGillivray
"I came to opera a little bit later," says McGillivray, who studied English, history, and Political Science before turning his attention to singing. "I think it was helpful for me to have to make the conscious decision to study this, because in the end you do decide that it's the only thing you can do."Read More
Idealism & questions about unions
I'll never be quoted as saying that artists deserve to be paid less than they already do. They work incredibly hard in a specialized set of skills. I think it's important, though, to be self-aware in an industry that's ubiquitously almost out of money. Will the unions be the first to adapt to a contemporary opera economy, or should contemporary artists be the ones to take the bold steps for the sake of the industry (perhaps martyring themselves along the way)?Read More
Tim Vernon, Artistic Director²
If you've not yet heard the news, Maestro Timothy Vernon has been appointed the new Artistic Director of Opera Lyra Ottawa. Vernon will begin immediately with the 2015/16 season, and he'll maintain his position as Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Victoria. A busy man just got busier.Read More
What comes first, the union or the gig?
Don’t get me wrong, Like I said, unions have their upsides for sure. They protect the artists (anyone doing a community theatre/amateur company production who’s lived through at 16-hour tech day understands) so they don’t become slaves. That’s great. The problem is, once you reach a certain echelon of companies (Canadian Opera Company, Opera Atelier, Pacific Opera Victoria, Toronto Operetta Theatre, et al…) you won’t even be considered for anything if you’re not a card-carrying member.Read More
Talking with Singers: Lucia Cesaroni
Canadian soprano Lucia Cesaroni is one of my favourite singers to hear, and she happens to be equally delightful offstage as well as on. She was even nice enough to give me a heartfelt and honest interview about her life as a singer. She talks about connecting with different types of artists, learning to be her own producer, and about how she found out that singing was just the thing for her.Read More