PuSh Festival Presents Powerhouse Fusion of Dance, Live Music, and Light in Western Canadian Premiere of – FRONTERA –

eiDana Gingras’ Animals of Distinction partners with Fly Pan Am
and United Visual Artists in timely exploration of borders and surveillance
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (PuSh) presents the Western Canadian premiere of Montreal choreographer Dana Gingras’ visually arresting new work, FRONTERA, for one-night only, January 30, 2020 at 8pm at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Gingras and her internationally lauded dance company, Animals of Distinction, collaborate with the experimental post-rock band Fly Pan Am and members of the UK-based collective United Visual Artists to create a provocative multimedia experience of motion, sound, and light. The dancers on stage explore notions of individual and political agency within a contested space of borderlands — both real and imagined.

“PuSh audiences were utterly floored by our 2016 presentation of Gingras’ extraordinary work monumental, with Noam Gagnon, The Holy Body Tattoo, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor,” says Franco Boni, Executive and Artistic Director of PuSh. “We are thrilled to bring back one of Canada’s most exciting choreographers with her latest ambitious work. FRONTERA challenges our notions of borders and surveillance at a moment when these concepts feel all-encompassing and incredibly urgent. Bodies have always rebelled against the dominant narrative put forward by the state, and this work argues that we are moving algorithmically through the world, rather than rhythmically. Gingras’ work unflinchingly examines these tensions in a large-scale format, creating a space for confrontation and reflection amidst a frenetically paced, mesmerizing scene.”

In FRONTERA, 10 dancers take to the stage amid pulsing flashes and towering vertical rays of light. The dancers react to the clarion call of the driving music and the whims of the lighting, becoming wildly shifting forms in a singular struggle between impulse and design. Columns of light alternately guide, divide, and entrap the dancers, but ultimately cannot defeat their fearless physicality and ingenuity. Apart from the bodies of the performers, there are no solid structures on stage. Borders, fences, and walls are showcased as luminous virtual constructs — reflecting their roles in our lives.

The scenography by United Visual Artists amplifies Fly Pan Am’s live music and field recordings from David Bryant of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The performance by Animals of Distinction features: Robert Abubo, Justin de Luna, Léna Demnati, Stacey Désilier, Caroline Gravel, Louise Michel Jackson, Mark Sawh Medrano, Koliane Rochon Prom Tep, Sovann Rochon Prom Tep, and Lexi Vajda.

Animals of Distinction, the multimedia dance company of renowned choreographer and dancer Gingras, presents work that is largely shaped by new technologies and cultural shifts. Gingras has been at the forefront of innovation in Canadian dance, having led the acclaimed avant garde company Holy Body Tattoo before founding Animals of Distinction in 2006. Over her career she has collaborated with icons like writer William Gibson, conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, and bands from Grammy Award-winning Arcade Fire to underground legends The Tiger Lillies.

Fly Pan Am was formed in Montreal in 1996 and is comprised of Roger Tellier-Craig, Jonathan Parant, J.S. Truchy, Félix Morel, and Eric Gingras. After successful tours in which they shared bills with Do Make Say Think, Stereolab, and other Montreal experimental bands, Fly Pan Am went on an extended hiatus in 2005. They reunited last year and released C’est ça in September 2019, their first album in 14 years.

United Visual Artists was founded in 2003 by British artist Matt Clark. Their diverse body of work integrates new technologies with traditional media such as sculpture, performance, and site-specific installation. The collective has worked with choreographer Benjamin Millepied, the Paris Opéra Ballet, Massive Attack, James Blake, and designer label Burberry for the Autumn/Winter 2018 season.

FRONTERA will make its world premiere in Quebec City on November 20, 2019, and will tour to Montreal’s Place des Arts from December 4–7, 2019. Following its Vancouver performance at PuSh on January 30, 2020, the work will travel to Ottawa’s National Arts Centre on February 19–20, 2020. The production will also open the Sydney Festival and Berlin’s CTM Festival in January 2020.

FRONTERA is the first creation of the long-term, two-year residency program at the Centre de Création O Vertigo (CCOV), awarded to Gingras for the inaugural 2017–2019 period. CCOV is the executive producer of FRONTERA, which was developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.

PuSh will unveil the full 2020 festival line-up at a program announcement party on November 27 from 7–9pm at Central Studios (856 Seymour Street).

About the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (pushfestival.ca)
The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is Vancouver’s signature, mid-winter cultural event, taking place over three weeks each January in theatres and venues across the city. PuSh presents groundbreaking, contemporary works of theatre, dance, music, and multimedia by acclaimed local, national, and international artists.

LISTING INFORMATION PuSh International Performing Arts Festival presents
FRONTERA
Date: January 30, 2020 at 8pm
Ticket Prices: From $39, including fees
Early Bird Offer: $20 off tickets in Price Level 1 ($79.50)
and Price Level 2 ($59) until Nov. 27
Location: Queen Elizabeth Theatre
630 Hamilton Street
Vancouver, BC
Audience Services: 604.449.6000 / tickets@pushfestival.ca
Website: pushfestival.ca

Vancouver Opera presents La Traviata Parisian Music Hall Decadence Takes Centre Stage in Verdi’s Classic Romantic Tragedy

2019-10 Vancouver Opera - La Traviata - Photo Nanc Prince sm

La Traviata. Photo Nanc Prince

Vancouver Opera presents La Traviata

Parisian Music Hall Decadence Takes Centre Stage in Verdi’s Classic Romantic Tragedy 

Only FOUR Performances in Vancouver at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

October 17, 19 & 24 at 7:30pm & October 27 at 2:00pm

Vancouver Opera’s 2019/2020 season is kicking off with a sumptuous new production of  Giuseppe Verdi’s timeless romantic tragedy, La Traviata.  In an unprecedented collaboration, Vancouver Opera joins four other Canadian opera companies as they co-present this opera reaching more opera patrons than ever before.

Acclaimed director Alan Gauthier sets La Traviata in the decadent music hall scene of 1920s’ Paris. The opera begins when the curtain rises on Violetta Valéry (the ‘fallen woman’ of the opera’s title), a famous Parisian courtesan who is consumed by love and a life-threatening illness. At a party she is introduced to Alfredo Germont, who proposes a toast to true love. However, darker undercurrents are running beneath the glamorous scene—there are subtle hints of Violetta’ doomed love for Alfredo and the hostility the lovers will encounter when they attempt to break with society’s norms. Pop culture fans will find the nuanced inspiration of La Traviata in Moulin Rouge and Pretty Woman.

“We’re thrilled to be kicking off the season with a new production of one of opera’s best-loved classics,” said Kim Gaynor, Vancouver Opera General Director. “This is the 11th time Vancouver Opera has mounted a main-stage production of La Traviata but the first time we are collaborating with other Canadian opera companies to bring this timeless treasure to the stage.  It allows us to fulfill our mission to create extraordinary experiences that engage, inspire and entertain and continue to make them accessible to our patrons.”

First performed at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice in 1853, La Traviata is one of Verdi’s most popular operas, combining high drama with profound emotion and incredible melodies. Emily Dorn makes her anticipated Vancouver Opera debut in the demanding role of Violetta and Andrew Haji sings the part of Alfredo.

Canadian conductor Yves Abel, whose international career spans more than 20 years—including appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House and the Vienna State Opera—is making his Vancouver Opera debut with La Traviata. “La Traviata has an ability to humanize people; to show that they have two sides,” explains Abel. “Verdi shows us that people are not demons or angels—they’re imperfect human beings who go through life making mistakes.”

 CAST:

Canadian soprano Emily Dorn is bringing her exquisitely-beautiful delivery to the iconic role of Violetta Valéry. Dorn joined the ensemble of the Dresden Semperoper in 2012-2013, where she appeared as Violetta in La Traviata, Fiordiligi in Così Fan Tutte and Micaela in Carmen.

 Canadian tenor Andrew Haji is singing the role of Alfredo Germont. Fast becoming one of the most sought-after voices on both operatic and concert stages, Haji is a graduate of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. His recent roles include Gabriel Dumont in Louis Riel, Tamino in The Magic Flute and Hélios in Herculanum. He was last seen onstage at the Vancouver Opera in Elixir of Love.

Internationally-acclaimed baritone Chen-Ye Yuan is singing the role of Giorgio Germont. One of the leading baritones at the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing, Yuan’s recent performances include the title character in Nabucco (a role he shared with Placido Domingo in Gilbert Deflo’s new production), Amonasro in Aïda and Escamillo in Carmen. 

Canadian baritone Nicholas Borg is bringing his vocal prowess to the role of Baron Douphol. A graduate of the University of Toronto’s Opera Performance program, his recent roles include Marcello in La Bohème, Pangloss in Candide and Figaro in the Canadian premiere of Mercadante’s lost opera, I Due Figaro.

A recent winner of the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Western Canada District, mezzo-soprano Gena van Oosten is bringing her vocal sensitivity to the role of Flora Bervoix. Previous roles include Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Eduige in Rodelinda and the First Witch in Dido and Aeneas.

A recent graduate of the University of Toronto Opera School, Daevyd Pepper is bringing his soaring tenor to the role of Gastone de Letorières. An alumnus of the prestigious Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, his recent roles include Orphée in Orphée aux Enfers, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte.

A winner of the Comic Opera Guild’s Harold Hugh Light Opera Competition, Irina Medvedeva is bringing her astonishing range to the role of Annina . A supple yet powerful soprano, her recent performances include the title role in Cunning Little Vixen, Norina in Don Pasquale and Zerlina in Don Giovanni.

Scenic and costume designs for La Traviata are by Christina Poddubiuk. Associate conductor/chorus director is Leslie Dala and lighting design is by Kevin LamotteMarijka Asbeen Brusse is stage manager and Kinza Tyrrell is principal répétiteur/assistant chorus director. Musical preparation is by Andrea Van Pelt and assistant stage management is by Michelle Harrison.

While La Traviata is sung in Italian, English SURTITLES™ will be projected above the stage.

Opening night of La Traviata is Thursday October 17 at 7:30pm, with subsequent evening performances on Saturday October 19 and Thursday October 24 at 7:30pm, and a 2:00pm matinee on Sunday October 27. All performances take place at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (Georgia and Hamilton), Vancouver. Tickets start at $50 and are available at the Vancouver Opera Ticket Centre, by telephone (604-683-0222), or online at http://www.vancouveropera.ca.

Vancouver Opera has the continuing support of The Canada Council for the Arts, Canada Heritage, the BC Arts Council and BC Provincial Government, the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Civic Theatres.

Production Sponsor is Mission Hill Family Estate  Production Patrons are Yoshiko Karasawa, Mike & Kathy Gallagher, Alan and Gwendoline Pyatt Foundation.

This production of La Traviata is presented along with Opera Montreal, Manitoba Opera, Edmonton Opera, and Pacific Opera Victoria.

 

Opera & Arias: Verdi and More!

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Under the Tents in Vanier Park on August 26 and September 2

IN SHORT: Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents Opera & Arias: Verdi and More!, performed by the UBC Opera Ensemble and accompanied by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. UBC’s Nancy Hermiston directs this in-concert costumed staging and maestro Leslie Dala (Vancouver Opera) leads the musicians, joined by acclaimed guest performer Simone Osborne. Concerts are August 26 and September 2 at 2pm & 7:30pm on Bard’s BMO Mainstage in Vanier Park. Tickets from $26. Call 604-739-0559 or buy online at bardonthebeach.org.

IN FULL: Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival presents its annual Opera & Arias concerts, bringing the most gorgeous melodies to life — from La Traviata, Rigoletto, Carmen and more. Enjoy the 30th season of Bard on the Beach by attending a live performance of these best-loved opera selections which are sure to seduce, delight and inspire.

The rising stars of the UBC Opera Ensemble and members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra bring Opera & Arias: Verdi and More! to Vanier Park on two Mondays in late August and early September. UBC’s Nancy Hermiston, who was recently inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, directs this in-concert staging. Mestro Leslie Dala leads the musicians and all performances are hosted by Christopher Gaze, the Artistic Director of Bard on the Beach. As a special highlight, internationally acclaimed soprano and UBC Opera alumni Simone Osborne will be a featured performer in all four concerts.

“I’m so pleased to bring some of the most beautiful music from the best-loved operas to our audience” says Gaze. “I remember Simone when she was a teenager in one of our Young Shakespearean workshops – she has now become one of Canada’s finest Opera singers and loved and respected far and wide. We look forward to having her back on the Bard stage with the tremendous talent of the UBC Opera Ensemble and the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. This is a concert you won’t want to miss!”

The UBC Opera Ensemble was created in 1995 by Professor Hermiston and draws from advanced students in the UBC School of Music. “We welcome Simone Osborne back to her UBC alma mater with much love, admiration and deepest gratitude for joining us once again on the stage” says Professor Hermiston. This year’s program, Verdi and More! will feature both familiar and debut soloists, with a cast including: Simone Osborne, Andrea Wyllie, Ian McCloy, Dae Hyun Justin Cho, Thomas Lamont, Iorwerth Lewis, Alyssa Samson, Carleigh Ross, Philip Wing, Liam Robertson, Benson Temple, Rafael Laurindo, Sodam Lee, Sydney Frelick, Magdalena How, Luka Kawabata, Hyum Seung Son, Turgut Akmete, Ian Cleary, Irem Ince, Yenny Lee, Kurt Ward-Theiss, Taryn Plater, Hope Nelson, Tessa Waddell, Amanda Na, Julia Johnstone, Nia Lewis, Maya Goell, Christopher Nakatani, Sarah Sum, Juliana Cook, Leila Kirves, Sarah Anderson-Caulfield, Marina Agasian, Abigail Ayala, Alanah Ellsworth, and Justin Chen.

Matinee performances (2pm) and evening performances (7:30pm) are on Monday, August 26 and Monday, September 2. The concerts are on Bard’s BMO Mainstage, backed by a spectacular vista of mountains, sea and sky.

Ticket prices include all applicable fees & taxes and begin at $26; youth price available. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection, as many performances sell out in advance. Full pricing information and site and event details are on the Bard website at bardonthebeach.org. To book tickets, call the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559 or (toll free) 1-877-739-0559 or order online through the Bard website.

About Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. Established in 1990, the annual summer festival’s mission is to perform, explore and celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare, surrounded by the natural beauty of Vancouver, British Columbia. Bard also offers year-round education and training programs for youth, adults and theatre professionals in its administrative home at the BMO Theatre Centre in Olympic Village as well as in schools and community facilities throughout the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

Bard on the Beach gratefully acknowledges the corporate sponsors who support and sustain the Festival and its programs. 2019 sponsors include Season Sponsors Newmont Goldcorp and the Peter & Joanne Brown Foundation; Production Sponsors Avison Young, Lawson Lundell, BlueShore Financial and Lonetree Cider; Season Media Sponsors The Vancouver Sun and Global BC, as well as many other valued sponsors and partners. Bard also thanks the City of Vancouver Cultural Services Department, the Vancouver Park Board, the Province of British Columbia, the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts for their continuing support.

 

Iconic Ballet Rendered in Digital Motion as Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY Presents Technology-Infused World Premiere — @giselle —

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Catherine Hurlin in @giselle. Photo by Craig Foster.

Luminary Cast from American Ballet Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada, and
Pennsylvania Ballet Unite in Modern Reimagining of Romantic Classic

Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY presents the world premiere of @giselle, a technology-driven, contemporary reinvention of the beloved romantic ballet classic, September 5–7, 2019 at 7:30pm at the Vancouver Playhouse. Born out of Reimagining Giselle, a shorter work commissioned by The Royal Ballet in London, UK, this full-length narrative work will be brought to life by ballet superstars from American Ballet Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada, and Pennsylvania Ballet. Directed and choreographed by Vancouverite and company founder Joshua Beamish, this innovative production will explore the connections and parallels between the original classical ballet and our understandings of love, sex, and relationships in a world mediated by dating apps, digital illusions, and fleeting encounters.

“I am deeply honoured to bring together such a stellar group of dance artists from across North America to collaborate on such a timely production,” says Beamish. “@giselle is a careful examination of the evaporation of true romance in our culture. Utilizing cutting-edge motion capture technologies and screen projections of social media ephemera, this full-length work will challenge audiences to consider the ways that technology has leveraged an unexpected change upon the very nature of modern love and relationships, which now seem fueled by a disdain for accountability and an increase in personal narcissism.”

The original version of Giselle, which premiered in 1841 — by what is now known as the Paris Opera Ballet, is based on a German legend, and follows a young peasant girl’s journey through the many dimensions of love and betrayal. Giselle dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover, Albrecht, is betrothed to another. The Wilis, a group of mystic and supernatural women who dance men to death, summon Giselle from her grave.

@giselle updates the narrative to present day by telling the story of a character named Giselle who is betrayed, isolated, and ghosted by her romantic partner on social media. In a state of heightened anxiety, Giselle livestreams her untimely death. Later in the work, she returns to haunt her male tormentors in motion-captured animated data particles projected onto the bodies of the live dance artists, creating a haunting tension between live and digital realities.

Beamish further reimagines the ballet by highlighting the ways that social networks such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook have profoundly denatured the ways we fall in and out of love. Exploring concepts of ghosting, and social isolation, @giselle is a bracing new vision of a classic tale that also raises the powerful specter of persistent male power in light of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

Hailed as possessing “an enviable reputation for a choreographic style that emphasizes speed, clarity, and a dazzling array of body isolations” (Toronto Star) — with his work touted as “absolutely singular” (The Globe and Mail), Beamish has assembled a cast of some of the finest ballet artists from across Canada and the United States. Among the all-star ensemble, both Catherine Hurlin, the recent 2019 winner of the prestigious Erik Bruhn Prize, and celebrated dancer Stephanie Williams, both from American Ballet Theatre, alternate in the title role. Williams is also portraying Myrtha, a role shared with Yoko Kanomata of Ballet Edmonton. Harrison James, principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada, will dance the role of Albrecht, andSterling Baca, principal dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet, will play Hilarion. Betsy McBride, from ABT, will perform the role of Bathilde, and former Alberta Ballet Mistress and current Ballet BC instructor Beverley Bagg will perform the role of Berthe. The all-star ensemble will be supported by additional talent from Ballet Edmonton, the Alberta Ballet Trainee Program and graduates from varied local dance training institutions such as Arts Umbrella, Richmond Academy, Pro Arte, Tri-city Dance,and SFU.  

In addition to creator Beamish, @giselle features stunning animation and projection design by Brianna Amore, and costume design by Janie Taylor, formerly a New York City Ballet principal dancer and current artist with Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project. Lighting is designed by Mike Inwood. 

@giselle utilizes a recording of the original score composed by Adolphe Adam.

Beamish founded Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY in 2005 and his works have since extensively toured throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Outside of the company, he has created in collaboration with The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, and Dutch National/Het Nationale Ballet Junior Company, among others. Joshua choreographed for the CBC Radio Canada reality series Ils Dansent with Nico Archambault, the Opening Ceremonies of the 2011 International Children’s Winter Games, the Cultural Olympiads for both the 2010 and the 2012 Olympics, and with Cirque du Soleil for World EXPO Shanghai. He is an alumnus of the New York Choreographic Institute — an affiliate organization of New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet, and a Jerome Robbins Foundation grantee. Notable recent presentations include BAM Next Wave Festival, The Joyce Theater in New York, The Royal Opera House in London, Princeton University, London’s The Place, and New York’s Guggenheim Museum.

Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY has partnered with SADS Canada to raise awareness of Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes — a critical heart condition brought to the forefront at the close of Act 1 when the present-day Giselle passes away. 

@giselle tickets from $35 (plus applicable fees) at: joshusbeamish.eventbrite.com

Jean Orr Tribute Performance & Celebration
Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY, in partnership with the Vancouver Ballet Society, will celebrate the 90th birthday of Canada’s very first Giselle, Vancouver’s own Jean Orr, with a special post show reception on opening night, honouring Orr’s iconic legacy and immense contributions to the art form of dance. VIP tickets to the Jean Orr Tribute Performance & Celebrationinclude top tier seating, meet-and-greets with company artists, a tribute presentation, and refreshments. A tax receipt will be issued with ticket purchase.

Opening Night Performance: Sept. 5
Limited tickets from $199 (plus applicable fees) available at: JoshuaBeamish.com

About Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY (joshuabeamish.com)
Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY is a non-profit charitable dance organization registered in both Canada and in America. The primary mandate of the society is to further the awareness of and appreciation for contemporary dance at local, provincial, national and international arenas.
The company places equal focus on educational programming, primarily targeting youth, and the creation and presentation of professional theatrical productions.

Founded in Vancouver in 2005 by current Artistic Director Beamish, Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY quickly emerged as one of Western Canada’s most prolific dance companies. The company has performed throughout the globe at venues such as London’s The Place, Cape Town’s Baxter Dance Festival, Montreal’s Tangente, Usine C and Studio 303, the American Dance Institute in DC, Singapore’s Odyssey Dance Theatre, the International Ballet Festival in Miami, and the Quinzena de Danca Festival in Portugal.

At home, the company has been presented by the Made in BC: Dance On Tour Program, The Dance Centre, the Vancouver International Dance Festival, Dancing on the Edge and the Chutzpah Festival, among others. Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY received the distinction of a commission from the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, as well as the only choreographic residency ever awarded to a Western Canadian company by the Djerassi Program in San Francisco, CA.

Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY was notably selected by curators Cirque du Soleil for presentation at WORLD EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, China, performing the Closing Gala of the Canadian Cultural Pavilion and toured an ensemble of 24 Vancouver-based artists for a commissioned presentation at Bangkok International Festival for Dance & Music/Bangkok Opera House.

The company also toured Allemande to Nottingham, UK as the Canadian representatives at World Event Young Artist, a satellite of the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad. Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY made their The Joyce Theater debut in New York, as the Opening Event of the 2015 Ballet Festival and returned again in 2018 for the world premiere of The Masque of the Red Death, commissioned by the venue.

Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY gratefully acknowledges the generosity of its funders, collaborators, and supporters:

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LISTING INFORMATION

Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY presents
@giselle

Dates: September 5–7, 2019 at 7:30pm
Ticket Prices: @giselle: $35–$99 plus applicable fees
Jean Orr Tribute Performance & Celebration, Sept 5.
Limted VIP seating: $199 plus post show reception.
http://joshuabeamish.com/jeanorreventtickets/
Venue:

Vancouver Playhouse
600 Hamilton Street,
Vancouver, BC

Tickets and Info:  JoshuaBeamish.eventbrite.com

 

Vancouver Bach Festival Celebrates EMV’s 50th Anniversary with Stellar Lineup of World-Class Artists

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Image of Gabrieli’s Venice by Jan Gates

Fourth Annual Summer Celebration Hosts Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Pacific MusicWorks, Ensemble Les Boréades, Vancouver Bach Choir, Amanda Forsythe, and More 

Early Music Vancouver (EMV) proudly presents the return of the Vancouver Bach Festival, July 30 – August 9, 2019 at Christ Church Cathedral and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. This year’s festival celebrates EMV’s 50th anniversary with performances by many of the top West Coast artists specializing in period performance, as well as gifted artists from across Europe and North America. EMV is particularly delighted to welcome Montreal’s internationally acclaimed Ensemble Les Boréades to participate in their second annual ensemble-in-residence program, which will see members of the ensemble perform in multiple concerts throughout the festival.

“For our 50th anniversary we have spared no expense in order to bring our audiences a truly world-class offering of some of the finest artists working in period performance today,” says Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of EMV. “I think the personal, aesthetic, and intellectual connections one can make during a festival are the happy result of a ‘total immersion’ — multiple events in a shorter window of time provide a perspective and engagement that is otherwise near impossible to achieve. By offering concerts from a wide range of exciting composers like Strozzi, Shostakovich, Purcell, Faure, Poulenc, Chopin, Handel, Mozart, and of course, Bach, the opportunities to explore links and parallels are limitless.”

The 14-concert festival commences with EMV’s ensemble in residence, Les Boréades, in a spectacular two-night performance of J.S. Bach’s Complete Brandenburg Concertos. The Vancouver Bach Choir will also partner with the festival for the first time to perform a programme featuring Faure’s beloved Requiem with a professional core of twenty of the region’s best professional singers, accompanied by award-winning organist Christina Hutten. 

Further highlights include the return of audience favourite soprano Amanda Forsythe with Pacific MusicWorks, in a performance of Handel’s early cantatas, as well as sopranos Suzie LeBlanc and Dorothee Mields’ dramatic interpretations of female composer Barbara Strozzi’s 17th century musings on love and loss. This year, the Vancouver Bach Festival also boasts a record number of partnerships with organizations including the Vancouver Chopin Society, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO)Pacific MusicWorks, and the Vancouver Bach Choir.

The festival’s popular weekday afternoon concert series also returns, offering diverse and delightful selections including Byron Schenkman sharing Chopin Preludes on a 19th century fortepiano; David Jalbert performing Shostakovich’s Preludes and aBach Toccata; an eclectic array of 17th Century chamber music for early wind and string instruments; Bach Sonatas for flute and violin; excerpts from the Clavierübung III (known as the German Organ Mass), performed by acclaimed musical director and organist Alexander Weimann; Mozart String Trios featuring gifted local violinist Marc Destrubé; and more. The festival will come to a grand conclusion with the presentation of Purcell’s Hail Bright Ceciliat the Chan Centre, starring six internationally renowned vocal soloists and the PBO led by Alexander Weimann.

J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750) is regarded as one of the greatest composers in Western musical history. His legacy includes some of the most beautiful and well-crafted music ever written. Almost three centuries after Bach’s passing, his vast catalogue of works is still revered, studied, and reinterpreted by music lovers across the globe. More than any other classical composer, he has almost universal recognition and appeal across all musical genres. Bach is the perfect ambassador in the broader musical community for all classical music in that he represents the pinnacle of music that came before him, and is an undeniable inspiration for all composers who followed.

The Vancouver Bach Festival 2019 programme includes:

Part 1 – Bach Complete Brandenburg Concertos with Les Boréades at the Chan Centre
July 30 at 7:30pm (Pre-concert talk at 6:45pm)
                                                       
Part 2 – Bach Complete Brandenburg Concertos with Les Boréades
July 31 at 7:30pm (Pre-concert talk at 6:45pm) 
Join Montreal’s Ensemble Les Boréades, led under the baton of music director Francis Colpron, for two performances of the complete concertos performed over two nights alongside lesser-known orchestral works from the Baroque era. The sixBrandenburg Concertos are universally regarded as some of the greatest musical works ever written. Full of joy and almost unfathomable creative genius, Bach sent the scores to the Margrave of Brandenburg, Christian Ludwig, in Berlin on March 24, 1721 as a sort of audition portfolio. Though Bach never heard back, the music was preserved in the Brandenburg archives and quickly became some of the most beloved and oft-played collections of orchestral music of all time. The first evening will showcase revered horn player Alexis Basque, and internationally renowned violinist Olivier Brault.The second evening will feature award-winning Canadian harpsichordist Mark Edwards.

Bach Sonatas and Chamber Music
July 31 at 1pm (Pre-concert talk at 12:15pm)
Delight in Ensemble Les Boréades’ performance of virtuosic chamber music by J.S. Bach arranged for violin, various flutes, recorder, gamba, and harpsichord. The evening will also include a performance of the Ciaccona from the partita no. 2 in D minor for solo violin, played by one of North America’s greatest Baroque violinists, Oliver Brault.

Chopin Preludes featuring Byron Schenkman, fortepiano
A collaboration with the Vancouver Chopin Society
August 1 at 1pm (Pre-concert talk at 12:45pm)
Byron Schenkman, hailed as “an elegant stylist with a clearly articulated sound” (New York Times), will play this concert on EMV’s 19th century Broadwood. Frederic Chopin was a central figure of 19th century Romanticism, but his connections to Bach are clear in his own preludes, which were directly inspired by Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. This programme also places Chopin’s music in the context of Romantic composers who influenced his work, including the great Polish pianist Maria Szymanowska and the composer/critic Robert Schumann.

Faure Requiem with Vancouver Bach Choir
August 1 at 7:30pm (Pre-concert talk at 6:45pm)
For EMV’s first collaboration with the Vancouver Bach Choir, the singers of this illustrious choir join twenty of the finest professional choral singers in the Pacific Northwest for a performance of Faure’s uplifting Requiem and Cantique de Jean Racine. The first half will focus on unaccompanied performances of works by other important French composers, including a full performance of Poulenc’s Mass in G led by Kathleen Allan. The second half of the evening features the Requiemperformed by the combined choirs led by Les Dala.

Mozart String Trios featuring Mozart’s Eb Major Divertimento
August 2 at 1pm (Pre-concert talk at 12:45pm)
Join Vancouver violinist Marc Destrubé, along with Joanna Hood (viola,) and Tanya Tomkins (cello) for a magnificent performance of Mozart’s substantial and complex six-movement Eb Major Divertimento, a composition described by Albert Einstein as “one of his noblest works.” Mozart’s writing for string trio in this Divertimento shows consummate mastery, giving the three instruments equal importance, and playing with all the possibilities of varied texture and colour. Much of the music exemplifies that unique Mozartean quality of mysteriously combining cheerfulness with melancholy, and sadness with humour.

Bach Cantatas (BWV 12, 39,161) with Les Boréades
August 2 at 7:30pm (Pre-concert talk at 6:45pm)
The invention, devotion, and beauty that are at the heart of J.S. Bach’s more than 209 sacred cantatas continue to be a source of deep inspiration and consolation to believers and non-believers alike. Ensemble Les Boréades joins four of Europe’s greatest soloists specializing in Bach for one-to-a-part performances to perform three of Bach’s acknowledged masterpieces:Komm, du Süße Todesstunde (BWV 161); Weinen, KlagenSorgen, and Zagen (BWV 12); and Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot (BWV 39).

Bach Clavierübung III – the Organ Mass featuring Alexander Weimann at 1pm 
August 6 at 1pm (Pre-concert talk at 12:45pm)
For the first organ recital programme ever as part of the Vancouver Bach Festival, Vancouver’s organ virtuoso Alexander Weimann plays excerpts from this collection, including the PreludeFugue in E major and BWV 552. The Clavier-Übung III is the third part of J.S. Bach’s collection, and is often referred to as the German Organ Mass, featuring a collection of compositions for organ started in 1735–36 and published in 1739. It is widely considered Bach’s most significant and extensive work for organ, containing some of his most musically complex and technically demanding compositions for this instrument.

Palestrina, Monteverdi & More: Song of Songs
August 6 at 7:30pm (Pre-concert talk at 6:45pm)

The ancient Song of Songs originated as erotic love poetry around 2500 years ago. It was interpreted by both Judaism and Christianity as an allegorical understanding of the believer’s relationship with God. In Christianity, musical settings of the text became particularly popular in 16th and 17th Centuries, when word expression and moving the listener became increasingly important. This concert features five of the world’s best vocal soloists specializing in the vocal chamber music of the 17th and 18th centuries. The programme is designed and led by counter-tenor Alex Potter, and includes music by Schütz, Monteverdi, Guerrero, Morales, and more.

Before Bach: 17th Century Music for Early Strings and Winds

August 7 at 1pm (Pre-concert talk at 12:45pm)
In the early Baroque era, the Austrian Habsburg courts at Graz and Vienna were a cauldron for a rich stew of German and Italian music. In this programme featuring Austrian instrumental music of the early Baroque, West Coast chamber ensemble La Modestine, early music brass ensemble Cappella Borealis, and special guest vocalists join forces to explore Habsburg music from both sides of the Alps, including motets, canzonas, and sonatas.

Handel Early Cantatas featuring Amanda Forsythe, soprano
August 7 at 7:30pm (Pre-concert talk at 6:45pm)
This exceptional concert features the return of internationally acclaimed soprano Amanda Forsythe with Pacific MusicWorks, led under the direction of Stephen Stubbs. The programme includes Handel’s Armida Abbandonata, which was part of J.S.Bach’s personal library. At age 19, Handel set off for Italy — the center of the 18th century musical universe — to find fame and fortune. It was in Rome where Handel worked with important musicians of the time and composed some of his most dramatic, virtuosic, and exciting works.

Shostakovich Preludes featuring David Jalbert, piano
August 8 at 1pm (Pre-concert at 12:45pm)

Montreal’s David Jalbert, hailed as a pianist who “dazzles with skill, style, and taste” (Toronto Star), will perform one of the 20th century’s greatest sets of compositions for the piano. Following the example of J.S. Bach in setting one prelude and one fugue in each of the 12 major and minor keys of the modern Western scale, Shostakovich’s compositions offer a staggering range of styles, ideas, and counterpoints. This is beautiful music that goes from quiet noodlings to full-scale keyboard assaults. Jalbert, as demonstrated in his 2008 recording for ATMA Classique, is capable of mesmerizing across the whole range.

Strozzi – 17th Century Divas featuring Suzie LeBlanc and Dorothee Mields, sopranos
August 8 at 7:30pm (Pre-concert talk at 6:45pm)

This concert celebrates Barbara Strozzi’s 400th anniversary with a programme of sensual and playful arias and duets performed by two of the greatest interpreters of 17th century vocal music living today. Being published in one’s lifetime was a great accomplishment for composers of the 17th century — especially if you are a woman! Remarkably, Strozzi published eight collections of exquisite arias and madrigals on the familiar subject of love gone wrong that are of a similar, superlative standard to those of her contemporary Claudio Monteverdi.

Purcell Hail Bright Cecilia
August 9, 2019 at 7:30pm (Pre-concert at 6:45pm) at the Chan Centre

Alexander Weimann leads the PBO and six internationally-renowned soloists in a dramatic reading of this celebratory work. Comprised of masterful instrumental sections, majestic choruses, and varied solos, duets and trios, this masterpiece serves as a fitting close to the Vancouver Bach Festival. The last and greatest of Purcell’s four Odes to the Christian saint, Hail! Bright Cecilia was composed to a text by Nicholas Brady in 1692 in honour of the feast day of Saint Cecilia, patron saint of musicians. This work reveals the unparalleled richness of the composer’s musical invention and explains why more than three hundred years later, Henry Purcell is still regarded as one of the Baroque period’s greatest composers.

All concerts at Christ Church Cathedral unless otherwise noted.

To complement the artist lineup, EMV will offer an array of thought-provoking film screenings and expert talks, which audiences can enjoy with wine and refreshments in a relaxed atmosphere. To learn more, please visit:earlymusic.bc.ca/education-community/free-documentary-screenings/

Enjoy any four concerts at the Vancouver Bach Festival for the price of three. Purchases of more than four concert packages will also receive a 25% discount.

For tickets and complete details of all Vancouver Bach Festival events, please visit: earlymusic.bc.ca #VanBachFest

ABOUT EARLY MUSIC VANCOUVER (earlymusic.bc.ca)
For 50 years, Early Music Vancouver (EMV) has dedicated itself to fostering an understanding and appreciation of musical treasures from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods. Currently under the leadership of Matthew White – renowned countertenor and founding director of the Québec-based ensemble Les Voix Baroques – EMV continues to garner international acclaim as the largest presenter of early music in Canada, and as one of the most active and innovative organizations in its field in North America. EMV is proud of its educational outreach initiatives that include its popular, annual summer festival at UBC’s School of Music; a new Baroque Mentorship Orchestra; community lectures; and instrument instruction and preservation.

LISTING INFORMATION Early Music Vancouver presents the Vancouver Bach Festival
Date: July 30 – August 9, 2019
Ticket prices: $10 – $68
Address: Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard Street) and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC (6265 Crescent Road)
Box Office: earlymusic.bc.ca or 604.822.2697

From Fireworks to Family Days at Bard

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Chirag Naik, Jennifer Lines & Paul Moniz de Sá | Photo: Tim Matheson

Exciting Line-Up of Special Events Announced For Bard on the Beach’s 30th Season

June 27, 2019, Vancouver, B.C. – It’s summer in Vancouver and that can mean only one thing: an exciting line-up of special events at Bard on the Beach. From Fireworks nights to Family Days, there’s a host of unmissable events to enjoy at the Bard’s spectacularly beautiful Vanier Park site.

Bard-B-Q & Fireworks July 27 & 31, August 3| 5pm
See The Taming of the ShrewShakespeare in Love or All’s Well That Ends Well*, then enjoy an exquisite salmon barbecue from Emelle’s Catering and an entire evening of entertainment! Visit the PIXSTAR photobooth and enjoy a private view of the spectacular Celebration of Light fireworks.

*Note that the plays lineup varies, depending on the performance date: see schedule for full details. 

Family Days July 6, August 10 & 24 | 2pm
A perfect Bard experience for you and your family! Arrive at the Village early for family-friendly activities, the PIXSTAR photobooth, hula hoop station, a food truck and an exclusive pre-show talk designed just for kids (Mainstage tent). Then enjoy a performance of our hilarious Wild-West love story, The Taming of the Shrew. Purchase a minimum of one Youth and one Adult ticket and receive $10 off each adult ticket (maximum two discounted adult tickets per order).

Exploring Shakespeare July 6, 13 & 20, September 7 | 11am Saturdays
Simon Fraser University’s Paul Budra delivers in-depth explorations of this season’s plays in his lively and engaging style. He’ll take you beyond the story as he explores Shakespeare’s inspirations and influences. Bring your questions and leave with a fuller understanding and appreciation of this season’s plays. Each talk will run approximately 60 minutes, including Q&As. Talk dates are:

July 6 – Exploring The Taming of the Shrew; July 13 – Exploring All’s Well That Ends Well;

July 20 – Exploring Shakespeare in Love; September 7 – Exploring Coriolanus.

Forum: Kate – Victim or Victim? Monday August 26 | 7:30pm
Shakespeare’s classic comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, features a complicated heroine. Kate Minola is at odds with her family and her community, and her relationship with Petruchio can inspire strong opinions when viewed through a modern-day lens. But is there more to Kate than meets the eye? What can – or should – we make of her in 2019? This moderated forum includes an on-stage panel followed by an audience Q&A session. Howard Family Stage, Douglas Campbell Theatre.

Operas & Arias: Verdi & More! August 26 & September 2 | 2pm & 7:30pm (both days)
The talented young stars of the UBC Opera Ensemble, directed by Nancy Hermiston, are returning to Bard to bring more gorgeous opera favourites to life. Joined by the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and conducted by Maestro Leslie Dala (Vancouver Opera), the singers will perform excerpts from Verdi’sLa Traviata and Rigoletto, along with a selection of French opera highlights from Manon Lescaut, Tales of Hoffman, Lakmé and Carmen. The concert, presented against the BMO Mainstage’s signature backdrop of mountains, sea and sky, promises to be an unforgettable experience!

Wine Wednesdays July 10, August 7 & 21, September 4 | 6pm

Wine Wednesdays are an intimate pre-show wine-tasting in the Bard Marquee, presented by special guests. Mix and mingle with other Bard patrons while enjoying a selection of premium wines and light snacks.

OTHER EVENTS

Prior to each play performance, guests can listen to an insightful In A Nutshell talk. These short and informal sessions give an overview of the story of that evening’s performance. On select Tuesdays, patrons are also invited to stay after the show for Talkback Tuesdays, an opportunity to dive deeper into the play they’ve just enjoyed with a lively Q&A session with members of the casts.

 

VOCALEYE PERFORMANCES

Bard is presenting four VocalEye performances (Taming of the Shrew – July 21 at 2pm and August 10 at 7.30pm; Shakespeare in Love – July 20 at 7.30pm and August 11 at 2pm) and one Relaxed Performance of The Taming of the Shrew (September 8 at 2pm) – enhancing the festival’s accessibility.

Bard on the Beach special events, full performance schedule and site information are on the Bard website at bardonthebeach.org. To book tickets, order online through the Bard website or call the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559 or (toll free) 1-877-739-0559.

Bard on the Beach gratefully acknowledges the corporate sponsors who support and sustain the Festival and its programs. 2019 sponsors include Season Sponsors Goldcorp and the Peter & Joanne Brown Foundation; Production Sponsors Avison Young, Lawson Lundell, BlueShore Financial and Lonetree Cider; Season Media Sponsors The Vancouver Sun and Global BC, as well as many other valued sponsors and partners. Bard also thanks the City of Vancouver Cultural Services Department, the Vancouver Park Board, the Province of British Columbia, the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts for their continuing support.

About Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. Established in 1990, the annual summer festival’s mission is to perform, explore and celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare, surrounded by the natural beauty of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Bard also offers year-round education and training programs for youth, adults and theatre professionals in its administrative home at the BMO Theatre Centre in Olympic Village as well as in schools and community facilities throughout the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

“WE WILL ROCK YOU” Queen-Inspired Rock Musical Coming to Penticton, Abbotsford and Vancouver, BC, January 3 – 11, 2020

“A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It’s a theatrical event.”

– Freddie Mercury

Tickets on Sale Friday, July 5, 2019

With the recent Oscar®-winning film, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the music of Queen is more popular than ever. In 2002, many of those hits were compiled into a rock musical experience, WE WILL ROCK YOU, which will be hitting the road once again for a North American tour starting September 3 in Winnipeg, Canada.

The show plays in Penticton, BC. on Friday, January 3, 2020 at the South Okanagan Events Centre, in Abbotsford, BC. on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at the Abbotsford Centre, and in Vancouver, BC. on Friday, January 10, 2020 and Saturday, January 11, 2020 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Produced by Annerin Theatricals in Alberta, Canada, WE WILL ROCK YOU will be offering a VIP package at each stop, which include cast member meet and greets, exclusive merchandise, and much more. Local venue pre-sales will be available starting Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday, July 4 at 10:00am local time. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, July 5 at 10:00am local time. More information can be found on the musical’s official website, and a trailer can be seen here.

While WE WILL ROCK YOU is a quirky, eccentric and heartfelt story of outsiders, it’s also a creative cautionary tale for the cyberage. It reflects the scale and spectacle that marked Queen’s live performances and earned the band its pinnacle position in rock history. The audience can expect WE WILL ROCK YOU to rock as fiercely as the best of Queen’s concerts.

“Annerin is proud to be able to produce WE WILL ROCK YOU, and we are obviously lucky with our timing,” says Jeff Parry, President Annerin Theatricals. “This is a show I have wanted to produce since I first saw it in London. My vision was to be able to produce it in such a way that it plays in soft-seaters as well as cut-down arenas. I thought that Queen’s musical was for everyone and not just the typical Broadway crowd, therefore we’re producing it in a way that can accommodate most buildings and audiences that want to experience the music of Queen in a uniquely theatrical manner.”

Since 2002, over 16 million theatregoers in 19 countries have been thrilled by this awe-inspiring production which is based on the songs of Queen with a book by Ben Elton (“The Young Ones,” “Blackadder, “Popcorn”). The original West End production featured music supervision from Brian May and Roger Taylor, and Elton fashioned this futuristic story around more than 24 of Queen’s biggest hit songs including: “We Are the Champions,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “I Want To Break Free,” “Somebody To Love,” “Killer Queen,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Under Pressure,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Another One Bites The Dust” and, of course, “We Will Rock You.”

The fifteenth longest-running musical in West End history received rave reviews upon its original premiere.

“…spectacular…”

— Daily Mirror

“The impressive set with sophisticated hydraulics and huge video screens bearing computer animated

scenes conjure up a colourful vision of the future.”

— The Independent

“A new breed of musical – it’s brilliant.”

With the Oscar®-winning film, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the music of Queen is more popular than ever. WE WILL ROCK YOU follows two revolutionaries, Galileo and Scaramouche, on a quest to save rock n’ roll in a post-apocalyptic world where there are no musical instruments and rock n’ roll has died. They join a small group of societal outcasts, the Bohemians, as they fight to take back the iPlanet from the all-powerful Globalsoft, led by the Killer Queen. They fight for freedom, individuality and the rebirth of rock ‘n roll.

www.queenonline.com/wwry/na_tour www.facebook.com/wwrymusicalontour  www.instagram.com/wwrymusicalontour www.youtube.com/channel/UC1udcLkAxWoho4Z9Fbhsiyg