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Inside Vancouver Opera

Inside Vancouver Opera

By Vancouver Opera

Inside Vancouver Opera is a unique backstage glimpse into the world of Vancouver Opera. Join us as we chat with opera experts, artists, Vancouver Opera staff and others to explore the world of opera on and off the stage.

This podcast offers an insider’s glimpse into the artistry, experiences, and perspectives of the talent involved in taking breathtaking opera productions from the page to the stage.

Find out more at VancouverOpera.ca
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Inside: ORFEO ED EURIDICE

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Bizet: Life and Times - Act 7
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 7
In the conclusion to our series on the life of Georges Bizet we hear of the disastrous premiere of Carmen, and learn of Bizet's sudden death.  You probably know that French composer Georges Bizet wrote Carmen, but did you know that he was also a musical prodigy who started composing at the age of nine? Or that composers such as Liszt, Rossini, and Gounod immediately recognized his musical brilliance? Dig into the life of Bizet and meet his musical family.  Beautifully brought to life by actor Felix LeBlanc as the voice of Bizet, this seven part audio series reveals the hidden story behind one of opera’s greatest composers.  This exciting podcast is produced in celebration of Vancouver Opera’s production of The Pearl Fishers onstage from October 22-30, 2022. CREDITS Written and edited by Kris Epps Additional editing by Ashley Daniel Foot Music Supervisor and Clearances: Kris Epps and Ashley Daniel Foot Sound design by Kris Epps Associate Producer: Vincent Huynh Voice cast: Bizet:  Felix LeBlanc Narrator: Jane Potter Additional Voices:  Ashley Daniel Foot, Travis Baugh Allen, Vincent Huynh
12:03
October 20, 2022
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 6
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 6
All's fair in love and war -- until there's an actual war.   CREDITS Written and edited by Kris Epps Additional editing by Ashley Daniel Foot Music Supervisor and Clearances: Kris Epps and Ashley Daniel Foot Sound design by Kris Epps Associate Producer: Vincent Huynh Narrated by Jane Potter Bizet: Felix LeBlanc
05:15
October 20, 2022
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 5
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 5
Bizet's prize expires -- and now he has to make a living.  Not so easy.  CREDITS Written and edited by Kris Epps Additional editing by Ashley Daniel Foot Music Supervisor and Clearances: Kris Epps and Ashley Daniel Foot Sound design by Kris Epps Associate Producer: Vincent Huynh Narrated by Jane Potter Bizet: Felix LeBlanc 
08:36
October 14, 2022
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 4
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 4
Opera + Critics + Paris.    What could go wrong? Oh so many things.  Bonus special appearance by Liszt!  CREDITS Written and edited by Kris Epps Additional editing by Ashley Daniel Foot Music Supervisor and Clearances: Kris Epps and Ashley Daniel Foot Sound design by Kris Epps Associate Producer: Vincent Huynh
10:10
October 14, 2022
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 3
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 3
Leaving Paris for Rome, Bizet's career has been properly launched. But he learns all too soon that life can radically shift in the blink of an eye. CREDITS Written and edited by Kris Epps Additional editing by Ashley Daniel Foot Music Supervisor and Clearances: Kris Epps and Ashley Daniel Foot Sound design by Kris Epps Associate Producer: Vincent Huynh
11:31
October 07, 2022
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 2
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 2
Lessons and Prizes and Rome, OH MY! Bizet takes the Paris Conservatoire by storm—culminating in an all-expense trip to sunny Italy! You probably know that French composer Georges Bizet wrote Carmen, but did you know that he was also a musical prodigy who started composing at the age of nine? Or that composers such as Liszt, Rossini, and Gounod immediately recognized his musical brilliance? Dig into the life of Bizet and meet his musical family.  Beautifully brought to life by actor Felix LeBlanc as the voice of Bizet, this seven part audio series reveals the hidden story behind one of opera’s greatest composers.  This exciting podcast is produced in celebration of Vancouver Opera’s production of The Pearl Fishers onstage from October 22-30, 2022. CREDITS Written and edited by Kris Epps Additional editing by Ashley Daniel Foot Music Supervisor and Clearances: Kris Epps and Ashley Daniel Foot Sound design by Kris Epps Associate Producer: Vincent Huynh Voice cast: Bizet:  Felix LeBlanc Narrator: Jane Potter Additional Voices:  Ashley Daniel Foot, Travis Baugh Allen, Vincent Huynh 
05:43
October 07, 2022
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 1
Bizet: Life and Times - Act 1
Parisian, prodigious, precocious, the composer George Bizet was born at the dawn of the Victorian Era. A, B, C—easy as Do, Re, Mi. The opera world will soon be changed forever. You probably know that French composer Georges Bizet wrote Carmen, but did you know that he was also a musical prodigy who started composing at the age of nine? Or that composers such as Liszt, Rossini, and Gounod immediately recognized his musical brilliance? Dig into the life of Bizet and meet his musical family.  Beautifully brought to life by actor Felix LeBlanc as the voice of Bizet, this seven part audio series reveals the hidden story behind one of opera’s greatest composers.  This exciting podcast is produced in celebration of Vancouver Opera’s production of The Pearl Fishers onstage from October 22-30, 2022. CREDITS Written and edited by Kris Epps Additional editing by Ashley Daniel Foot Music Supervisor and Clearances: Kris Epps and Ashley Daniel Foot Sound design by Kris Epps Associate Producer: Vincent Huynh Voice cast: Bizet:  Felix LeBlanc Narrator: Jane Potter Additional Voices:   Ashley Daniel Foot, Travis Baugh Allen, Vincent Huynh
10:07
October 07, 2022
Introducing: Vancouver Opera 101 - Life and Times: Bizet | Trailer
Introducing: Vancouver Opera 101 - Life and Times: Bizet | Trailer
You probably know that French composer Georges Bizet wrote Carmen, but did you know that he was also a musical prodigy who started composing at the age of nine? Or that composers such as Liszt, Rossini, and Gounod immediately recognized his musical brilliance?  Dig into the life of Bizet and meet his musical family.  Beautifully brought to life by actor Felix LeBlanc as the voice of Bizet, this seven part audio series reveals the hidden story behind one of opera’s greatest composers.   This exciting podcast is produced in celebration of Vancouver Opera’s production of The Pearl Fishers onstage from October 22-30, 2022. Written and edited by Kris Epps Additional editing by Ashley Daniel Foot Music Supervisor and Clearances: Kris Epps and Ashley Daniel Foot Sound design by Kris Epps Associate Producer: Vincent Huynh Bizet:  Felix LeBlanc Narrator: Jane Potter Additional Voices:  Ashley Daniel Foot, Travis Baugh Allen
03:45
October 04, 2022
Honouring National Indigenous Peoples Day with Métis composer Ian Cusson
Honouring National Indigenous Peoples Day with Métis composer Ian Cusson
We're proud to honour National Indigenous Peoples Day with an in-depth conversation with Métis composer Ian Cusson and Vancouver Opera's Ashley Daniel Foot. In a wide ranging conversation, Ian talks about the ways his Metis and French Canadian descent intersect with his music, the meanings of story, and the power of music to bring about societal change.  We also play an excerpt from his opera, Fantasma (more details here) and a selection from his Where there's a Wall song cycle.  Ian Cusson is a composer of art song, opera and orchestral work. Of Métis (Georgian Bay Métis Community) and French Canadian descent, his work explores Canadian Indigenous experience including the history of the Métis people, the hybridity of mixed-racial identity, and the intersection of Western and Indigenous cultures. You can find out more about Ian here. podcast produced, hosted, and edited by Ashley Daniel Foot  MUSIC CREDITS  Music from Fantasma courtesy of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity  "Where there's a wall" Song-cycle for voice and piano Text by Joy Kogawa Krisztina Szabó, voice Rachael Kerr, piano Recorded at the Canadian Music Centre, Toronto on November 14, 2019 by John Gray.
44:08
June 20, 2022
Inside: HMS PINAFORE
Inside: HMS PINAFORE
Inside: HMS PINAFORE  Join Vancouver Opera teaching artist Eve Daniell in conversation with director Brenna Corner about the ins and outs of creating a new vision of a classic operetta, the challenges of directing comedy, and the ongoing need for art in our culture.  Gilbert and Sullivan’s comedic tale is a delightful combination of forbidden love across class divides and the shenanigans that take place along the way. Poking fun at social hierarchies and packed with absurd characters, this wildly popular operetta delivers plenty of laughs and memorable music. This joyful production is directed by Brenna Corner and conducted by Rosemary Thomson and features the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Vancouver Opera presents HMS PINAFORE - April 30-May 8, 2022 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. For tickets and information visit VancouverOpera.ca AUDIO CREDITS Produced by Ashley Daniel Foot Interim Director of Marketing: Jennifer Lee
25:04
April 14, 2022
Honouring Black History Month: In conversation with Othalie Graham and Jonelle Sills
Honouring Black History Month: In conversation with Othalie Graham and Jonelle Sills
Inside Vancouver Opera honours Black History Month with an illuminating and candid conversation with two exemplary Black Canadian sopranos – Othalie Graham and Jonelle Sills, who recently were part of our performance of Cavalleria Rusticana In Concert.  The conversation delves into the question of race and representation in opera, and features the hard-won insights of both Othalie and Jonelle’s experience of being a Black singer in today’s world. We are also proud to amplify the following non-exhaustive list curated by Jonelle Sills of incredible Black Canadian singers working in our sector: Andrew Adrigde (https://www.instagram.com/drewadridge/) https://andrewadridge.com/andrew-adridge/Co founder of Opera Inreach (https://www.operainreach.com/home) Catherine Daniel (https://www.catherinedaniel.com/bio) Queen Hezumuryango https://www.instagram.com/queenhezumuryango/ Monika Mazanka (https://www.monikam.com) Khadija Mbowe (https://www.instagram.com/khadija.mbowe/) https://www.khadijambowe.com Katie McCullough (https://www.instagram.com/katiem.soprano/) https://lnk.bio/katiem.soprano Ineza Mugisha (https://www.instagram.com/ineza_m/) Chantale Nurse (http://www.chantalenurse.com) https://www.instagram.com/chantalenurse/ Charlotte Siegal (https://charliesiegelsings.wixsite.com/charlottesiegel) Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charliesiegelsop/ Suzanne Taffot (https://www.instagram.com/taffot_soprano/) http://www.suzytaffot.com Korin Thomas Smith (https://www.instagram.com/kthomassmith/)
28:57
February 24, 2022
Inside: CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA IN CONCERT
Inside: CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA IN CONCERT
Inside: CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA IN CONCERT Join Vancouver Opera’s Ashley Daniel Foot and discover the passionate opera that is Mascagni’s CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA  and explore the hot and glorious masterwork of everyday Sicilian life with Vancouver Opera Conductor Emeritus Jonathan Darlington and hear his thoughts on staging an opera in concert, his life during COVID, and his unique perspective on how opera needs to meet the moment and ask itself tough questions. Vancouver Opera presents CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA IN CONCERT  - Feb 12 and 13, 2022 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. For tickets and information visit VancouverOpera.ca AUDIO CREDITS Produced by Ashley Daniel Foot Director of Marketing and Communications: Sarah Hitner
14:59
February 01, 2022
Inside: ORFEO ED EURIDICE
Inside: ORFEO ED EURIDICE
Join Vancouver Opera’s Ashley Daniel Foot and discover the magical world of Gluck’s ORFEO ED EURIDICE and find out what makes the opera so unique as we talk with the stars and creative team of Vancouver Opera’s debut production of this dazzling work. Maestro Leslie Dala speaks with sopranos Krisztina Szabó and Mireille Asselin and mezzo soprano Mireille Lebel. We also check in with opera scholar Leah Giselle Field for a little history on the opera and hear briefly from director Idan Cohen about the unique way he has blended opera and dance into this new production. We also get details on the rest of Vancouver Opera’s 2021-2022 season with General Director Tom Wright. Vancouver Opera presents ORFEO ED EURIDICE - December 4 and 5, 2021 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. For tickets and information visit VancouverOpera.ca AUDIO CREDITS Produced by Ashley Daniel Foot Recorded and mixed by Randall Jason Fox FOR VANCOUVER OPERA Director of Marketing and Communications: Sarah Hitner
18:20
November 30, 2021
Episode 30 | Season Finale: Magic in the Music with Order of Canada, Order of BC member and Vancouver Recital Society founder and Artistic Director Leila Getz
Episode 30 | Season Finale: Magic in the Music with Order of Canada, Order of BC member and Vancouver Recital Society founder and Artistic Director Leila Getz
"Success is what music does to the human spirit. If audiences come out of a concert feeling better than when they went in, that's success." – Leila Getz.   In the season finale of Vancouver Opera Offstage, Les talks with Leila Getz, C.M., O.B.C., D.F.A., founder and Artistic Director of the Vancouver Recital Society. Leila has presented Canadian and Vancouver debut performances of some of the world’s most brilliant and respected young musicians over the past 40 years, building a diverse and loyal audience for the recital concert form that had once been labeled out-of-vogue. She is a member of the Order of Canada, the order of British Columbia, and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada's musical landscape. Check out our episode at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage.
37:58
August 04, 2021
Episode 29 | The Power of Heroes with Canadian Sports Icon and Opera Fan Valerie Jerome
Episode 29 | The Power of Heroes with Canadian Sports Icon and Opera Fan Valerie Jerome
In this very important episode, Les turns the stage around to talk with an illustrious audience member. Our guest is Canadian track and field icon, granddaughter of Canada's first Black Olympian, sister of Canadian track legend Harry Jerome, educator and teacher, social justice and environmental advocate, patron of the Arts, and long-time opera fan Valerie Jerome. Valerie talks about her experiences with racism growing up on the North Shore in the 50s and 60s, the similarities between athletes and musicians, and the power of having inspirational heros of colour in opera and in the arts. Valerie and Les also discuss the important work still to be done as people of Canada in changing preconceptions and challenging prejudices about people of colour.Check out our episode at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage.Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
45:10
July 08, 2021
Episode 28 | Musical Excellence with Early Music Vancouver's Suzie LeBlanc, C.M.
Episode 28 | Musical Excellence with Early Music Vancouver's Suzie LeBlanc, C.M.
In this episode, meet the brand-new Artistic and Executive Director of Early Music Vancouver! Suzie LeBlanc, C.M., is a prolific Canadian soprano and recipient of the Order of Canada in 2015, with four honourary doctorates for her work. A performer and scholar in Baroque repertoire, she is also accomplished in classical and modern repertoire and improvisation. Her 2011 album, I am in need of music, won an ECMA for Best Classical Recording, and her original work has lent voice to her Acadian heritage.Check out our episode at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage.#VOffstage is also available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Buzzsprout - subscribe to the feed today!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
29:16
June 02, 2021
Episode 27 | Behind the Camera Lens on the Digital Season with Mike Southworth
Episode 27 | Behind the Camera Lens on the Digital Season with Mike Southworth
Meet Mike Southworth, who was responsible for the camerawork and videography behind Vancouver Opera's 2020–2021 Digital Season, on #VOffstage with Les Dala. Listen Now! www.vancouveropera.ca/offstageSubscribe to the season now: digital.vancouveropera.ca #VOGoesDigitalIn this episode, Les takes us on a glimpse behind the camera lens to get a perspective of what it takes to bring opera from the stage to the screen. Our guest is Mike Southworth, president of Collide Entertainment, who is responsible for the camerawork, videography, and video editing behind Vancouver Opera's 2020-2021 Digital Season productions. In addition to his work on VO's season, he is also highly in demand for his talents as an editor, sound designer, composer, sound recordist, camera operator, and director.Don't forget to buy your digital tickets to Vancouver Opera's Digital Season at digital.vancouveropera.ca !#VOffstage is also available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Buzzsprout - subscribe to the feed today!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
31:35
May 05, 2021
Episode 26 | Up Close and Personal about Carmen with stage director Brenna Corner
Episode 26 | Up Close and Personal about Carmen with stage director Brenna Corner
In our official Preview Podcast for Vancouver Opera's new production of Carmen: Up Close and Personal and the 26th episode of Vancouver Opera Offstage, meet Brenna Corner, director and mastermind behind this brand-new digital opera. Brenna has worked as a director, actor, singer, choreographer, and fight director across Canada, the United States, and Europe. An alumnus of Vancouver Opera's Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program, she most recently directed VO productions of Hansel and Gretel and L'Elisir d'amore.  Tickets and subscriptions are now available for Carmen: Up Close and Personal, premiering May 1st at digital.vancouveropera.ca.Check out our episode now at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage.Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
35:20
April 07, 2021
Episode 25 | The Music Shop Pre-Show, with Composer & Librettist Richard Wargo
Episode 25 | The Music Shop Pre-Show, with Composer & Librettist Richard Wargo
This very special 25th episode of Vancouver Opera Offstage is also the official Pre-Show talk for Vancouver Opera's The Music Shop, which premieres online Saturday, March 13. We're delighted to welcome Richard Wargo, composer of The Music Shop to talk about his creative inspirations for the opera and to share some tips for aspiring composers. Richard joins us from his home in Scranton, Pennsylvania.Check out our episode at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage, and don't forget to subscribe to Vancouver Opera's Digital Season to see The Music Shop at digital.vancouveropera.ca !Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
42:18
March 02, 2021
Episode 24 | Bringing it home with prolific Canadian Stage Director Michael Cavanagh, Artistic Director of the Royal Swedish Opera
Episode 24 | Bringing it home with prolific Canadian Stage Director Michael Cavanagh, Artistic Director of the Royal Swedish Opera
In this episode, Les chats with prolific Canadian Stage Director Michael Cavanagh. No stranger to Vancouver Opera audiences, Michael has staged numerous productions over the years including–most recently–Otello, Madama Butterfly, and Nixon in China. We're thrilled that Michael has recently been appointed as Artistic Director of the Royal Swedish Opera. Les talks with Michael about his journey, his deep connection with VO, and the honour of being appointed to lead a major European opera company with hundreds of years of history.Check out our episode's special features including Michael's Spotify Playlist and Les' Pick of the Week at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
49:02
February 03, 2021
Episode 23 | A Storied Career with Canadian baritone Brett Polegato
Episode 23 | A Storied Career with Canadian baritone Brett Polegato
In our first episode of 2021, host Les Dala is joined by celebrated Canadian baritone Brett Polegato. Brett has sung on the most important stages of the world and is also a three-time Grammy Award recipient. VO Audiences will remember him last as Belcore in 2018's L'Elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love). Brett tells us about some of his favourite roles over the year and talks about the special importance of art, literature, and poetry in the current times.Check out our episode, special features like Brett's listening playlist, Les' pick of the week featuring composer John Estacio, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage.Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
37:24
January 13, 2021
Episode 22 |  A Holiday Treat for our Listeners!
Episode 22 | A Holiday Treat for our Listeners!
In this special seasonal episode, our last podcast of 2020, Vancouver Opera Offstage has a holiday treat for our listeners: Les shares over 40 minutes of music recorded specifically for this podcast! Inspired by Menotti retracing his childhood memories of Christmas in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Les performs some solo piano music by Hungarian composers Franz Liszt, Béla Bartók, and Ernő Dohnányi, inspired by Christmas carols. Les also explores some of the history behind each composer and their work, with a guest appearance by Vancouver Opera Offstage co-producer and editor Vincent Wong, Senior Marketing and Sales Manager at Vancouver Opera.Check out our episode at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage, and don't forget to subscribe to Vancouver Opera's Digital Season to see Amahl and the Night Visitors at digital.vancouveropera.ca !This episode has clickable Music Selections: (available under "CHAPTER MARKERS" - tap the icon in the player with the three lines)Selection 1 (09:18): Franz Liszt, "In dulci jubilo: Die Hirten an der Krippe" (In dulci jubilo: The Shepherds at the Manger)Selection 2 (12:26): Franz Liszt, "Adeste fideles: Gleichsam als Marsch der heiligen drei Könige" (Adeste Fideles: March of the Three Holy Kings)Selection 3 (16:17): Franz Liszt, "Glockenspiel" (Carillon)Selection 4 (18:48): Franz Liszt, "Schlummerlied" (Slumber Song)Selection 5 (22:27): Franz Liszt, "Altes provençalisches Weihnachtslied" (Old Provençal Christmas Song)Selection 6 (24:12): Franz Liszt, "Abendglocken" (Evening Bells)Selection 7 (28:46): Franz Liszt, "Ehemals" (variously trans. as In Days Gone By, Old Times, Long Ago, Formerly) Selection 8 (38:44): Béla Bartók, "Romanian Christmas Carols"Selection 9 (55:39): Ernő Dohnányi, "Pastorale" (based on the carol "The Angel came down from heaven")Music recorded at Monarch Studios on December 5, 2020.Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
01:05:17
December 16, 2020
Episode 21 | Special Guests from Vancouver Opera's Amahl and the Night Visitors
Episode 21 | Special Guests from Vancouver Opera's Amahl and the Night Visitors
In this episode, Les takes us on a behind the scenes glimpse into the creation of Vancouver Opera's next digital opera: Amahl and the Night Visitors. This new take on a delightful holiday classic has its digital premiere on Saturday December 12th, featuring an exciting BC cast alongside members of the Vancouver Opera Chorus. This podcast's guests include Stage Director Sarah Jane Pelzer, Andreas Dala (Amahl), and Stephanie Tritchew (Mother), alongside Les (Music Director).Check out our special features for the episode, including Les's Spotify Pick of the Week and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage, and don't forget to subscribe to Vancouver Opera's Digital Season to see Amahl and the Night Visitors at digital.vancouveropera.ca !Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
29:20
December 02, 2020
Episode 20 | Adventures in Stage Management: Behind the Scenes with Theresa Tsang & Marijka Asbeek Brusse
Episode 20 | Adventures in Stage Management: Behind the Scenes with Theresa Tsang & Marijka Asbeek Brusse
In this, our 20th episode, Les chats with two of Vancouver Opera's fabulous stage managers, Marijka Asbeek Brusse and Theresa Tsang. We'll go on a virtual tour of what goes on in opera in the rehearsal hall and from backstage of a major opera company. Theresa and Marijka will share experiences and challenges from their unique perspective and give us a unique glimpse of what some of their favourite productions look like from behind the curtains.Check out our special features for the episode, including guest Spotify playlists, Les's Spotify Pick of the Week and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
46:21
November 18, 2020
Episode 19 | Highlights of two decades with former VO General Director Jim Wright
Episode 19 | Highlights of two decades with former VO General Director Jim Wright
In this episode, Les speaks with Jim (James) Wright, former General Director of Vancouver Opera who led the company from 1999-2016. As the longest-serving General Director in the company's history,  Vancouver Opera presented a wide range of repertoire during his tenure including the world premieres of Lillian Alling, Stickboy, and the Canadian premiere of Nixon in China. Jim also oversaw the creation of our community engagement program Opera Speaks and the appointment of Jonathan Darlington as Music Director. Join us as Jim shares some of his personal highlights during his tenure.Check out our special features for the episode, including Jim's Spotify playlist, Les's Spotify Pick of the Week and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
46:46
November 04, 2020
Episode 18 | An inspirational journey with mezzo-soprano and star of La Voix humaine, Mirelle Lebel
Episode 18 | An inspirational journey with mezzo-soprano and star of La Voix humaine, Mirelle Lebel
In this episode, Les chats with Canadian mezzo-soprano Mireille Lebel, who will be starring in Vancouver Opera's Digital Season Opening Production, La Voix humaine. Last appearing as Siébel in Vancouver Opera's 2019 production of Faust, Mireille grew up in Vancouver and was a member of the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal before making critically successful debuts with opera companies and orchestras in Europe and North America. Check out our special features for the episode, including Mireille's Spotify playlist, Les's Spotify Pick of the Week and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Don't forget to subscribe to our fabulous digital season to see Mireille and be ready for La Voix humaine  when it premieres October 24th at digital.vancouveropera.ca/la-voix-humaine !Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
30:50
October 21, 2020
Episode 17 | Singing with the Greats with Tenor and UBC Voice and Opera Professor J. Patrick Raftery
Episode 17 | Singing with the Greats with Tenor and UBC Voice and Opera Professor J. Patrick Raftery
In this episode, Les chats with J. Patrick Raftery, who is professor of voice and opera at UBC and who has had an illustrious singing career as both a tenor and a baritone. Recipient of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation Prize, Patrick has appeared on the world's greatest stages including the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala and the Paris Opera to name a few. He has shared the stage with some of the greatest operatic legends including Luciano Pavarotti and Mirella Freni.Check out our special features for the episode, including Patrick's Spotify playlist, Les's Spotify Pick of the Week and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
47:21
October 07, 2020
Episode 16 | Introductions from the 2020-2021 Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists!
Episode 16 | Introductions from the 2020-2021 Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists!
In this very special video and audio episode, Les is proud to feature a series of introductions from the talented participants of our 2020–2021 Yulanda M Faris Young Artists Program. We’ll be meeting Toronto-based stage director Dana Fradkin, Vancouver-based baritone Luka Kawabata, Toronto soprano Jonelle Sills, tenor Ian Cleary who hails from Chatham, Ontario, Vancouver-based pianist Amy Seulky Lee, and mezzo-soprano Amanda Weatherall, originally from Cranbrook, BC.The Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists program was created to offer a bridge between formal academic educational programs and the professional world in a supportive and encouraging environment. It provides artists–singers, pianists and stage directors–with the opportunity to train with industry leaders through master classes, one on one coachings and performance opportunities as part of a residency program. Be sure to catch these wonderful artists in action by subscribing to our 2020–2021 Digital season, where they will star in The Music Shop and La Tragédie de Carmen.We'd love to hear from you if you have any feedback or suggestions for upcoming guests. You can reach us via email at online@vancouveropera.ca, and don't forget to check out this episode's special features, including Spotify playlists from each of our Young Artists on our website at We'd love to hear from you if you have any feedback or suggestions for upcoming guests. You can reach us via email at online@vancouveropera.ca, and don't forget to check out this episode's special features, including Spotify playlists from each of our Young Artists on our website and the video version of this episode at vancouveropera.ca/offstage.Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
31:52
September 23, 2020
Episode 15 | Transforming adversity to creative inspiration with The Kettle Society and the Can You Hear Me? Project's Lesley Sutherland, Jerry LaFaery, and Coreen Douglas
Episode 15 | Transforming adversity to creative inspiration with The Kettle Society and the Can You Hear Me? Project's Lesley Sutherland, Jerry LaFaery, and Coreen Douglas
In this episode, Vancouver Opera's Director of Learning and Engagement, Colleen Maybin brings you an uplifting story about music, connection, and community. The Can You Hear Me? Project is an unique choral video from Vancouver Opera and longtime community partner, The Kettle Society, conceived as a way to shine a light on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the members of The Kettle Choir and Writers Guild. Run out of The Kettle on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver, these two unique programs provide Kettle members with weekly singing rehearsals, one-on-one songwriting lessons, and writing workshops by lead teaching artists from Vancouver Opera. When the Phase One lockdown was announced in mid-March, the weekly rehearsals and writing sessions were cancelled for the foreseeable future. The sudden lack of access to the programs and services used by Kettle members was devastating, replacing a routine of connecting with others and creating with isolation and uncertainty. The Can You Hear Me? Project emerged out of a desire to find a way of bringing singing and connection back into their lives. The result is a new song written by and for the singers of the choir, transforming adversity into creative inspiration. Guests speaking on behalf of the project are Composer and Music Director Lesley Sutherland, actor and singer Jerry LaFaery from The Kettle Choir, and Project Producer Coreen Douglas from The Kettle Society.Check out our special features for the episode, including Colleen, Jerry, Coreen, and Lesley's Spotify playlist, Les's Spotify Pick of the Week and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
32:27
September 09, 2020
Episode 14 | Sharing the love of performance with Hungarian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó
Episode 14 | Sharing the love of performance with Hungarian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó
In this episode, Les chats with we're speaking with Hungarian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó from her home in Toronto. Highly sought after in North America and Europe on both opera stages and concert halls, Krisztina has an impressive repertoire ranging from Bach to Claude Vivier as well as several world premieres, including George Benjamin's opera Lessons in Love and Violence which was nominated for a Grammy award. She last appeared at Vancouver Opera as Donna Elvira in the 2014 production of Don Giovanni. We are thrilled to welcome Krisztina to Vancouver, who has recently been appointed Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at the UBC School of Music.Check out our special features for the episode, including Krisztina's Spotify playlist, Les's Spotify Pick of the Week and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
31:32
August 26, 2020
Episode 13 | Keeping pace with internationally respected conductor and former VO Music Director David Agler
Episode 13 | Keeping pace with internationally respected conductor and former VO Music Director David Agler
In this episode, Les catches up with internationally respected conductor David Agler. David was Music Director of Vancouver Opera from 1992 to 1999 and recently stepped down after a 16-year tenure as Artistic Director of the prestigious Wexford Festival. David has held leadership positions in opera companies throughout the world and guest conducted across Canada, the US and Europe. David joins us from his home in Vancouver.Check out our special features for the episode, including an interview with David by Radio-Canada's Sylvia L’Écuyer and Les's Spotify Pick of the Week at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
27:58
August 12, 2020
Episode 12 | Imagining the future for opera with soprano and multidisciplinary performer Teiya Kasahara & tenor Asitha Tennekoon, co-founders of Amplified Opera
Episode 12 | Imagining the future for opera with soprano and multidisciplinary performer Teiya Kasahara & tenor Asitha Tennekoon, co-founders of Amplified Opera
In this episode, Les chats with Teiya Kasahara & Asitha Tennekoon, co-founders of Amplified Opera. Teiya 笠原貞野 (they/them) is a queer, gender non-binary, multi-disciplinary performer/creator, and first-generation Nikkei-Canadian settler of Japanese and German roots. Teiya comes from a background of over a decade of singing both traditional and contemporary operatic roles across North America and Europe. VO audiences last saw them as the Queen of the Night in our 2013 BC First Nations inspired production of The Magic Flute. Sri Lankan tenor Asitha Tennekoon was winner of the 2016/17 Dora Award for Best Male Performance in Opera for his depiction of Paul in Tapestry Opera's Rocking Horse Winner and was last seen at Vancouver Opera in The Overcoat as The Manager. Asitha is also the creator of the blog Wandelprobe, in which he provides a platform for meaningful discourse on the state of opera.Check out our special features for the episode, including Teiya & Asitha's Spotify playlists, Les's Pick of the Week and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
44:12
July 29, 2020
Episode 11 | Shaping the voices of tomorrow with UBC Opera's legendary Nancy Hermiston
Episode 11 | Shaping the voices of tomorrow with UBC Opera's legendary Nancy Hermiston
In this episode, Les chats with Nancy Hermiston, Director of the University of British Columbia Opera Ensemble, and Chair of the UBC School of Music's Voice and Opera Divisions. Nancy's prestigious career has taken her across the globe. She is the inspiration and mentor to many local artists including our recent guests Rachel Fenlon and Simone Osborne, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada for her achievements as an opera singer, stage director and educator.Check out our special features for the episode, including Nancy's Spotify playlist, a couple of Nancy's favourite historical YouTube videos, Les's Pick of the Week: a full streaming video recording of UBC Opera's The Passenger, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
51:33
July 15, 2020
Episode 10 | Canadian Visions with Tapestry Opera's Michael Hidetoshi Mori and First Nations mezzo-soprano Marion Newman of Amplified Opera
Episode 10 | Canadian Visions with Tapestry Opera's Michael Hidetoshi Mori and First Nations mezzo-soprano Marion Newman of Amplified Opera
In this very special July 1st episode, Les is joined by co-host Colleen Maybin, Vancouver Opera's Director of Learning and Engagement. With international focus turning a critical eye on systemic racial injustice, this Canada Day will be a day of reflection for many. Guests Michael Hidetoshi Mori and Marion Newman join us for a discussion about cultural representation in opera and the directions that the art form can take to better reflect the experiences of Canada's cultural mosaic. Michael is the general director of Tapestry Opera, which in May of 2019 produced the world-premiere of Shanawdithit, a landmark Canadian-Indigenous opera by Dean Burry and Yvette Nolan. Starring in the title role of Shanawdithit, was Marion Newman, who is a Canadian mezzo-soprano of Kwagiulth and Stó:lo First Nations, English, Irish, and Scottish roots, and a co-founder of Amplified Opera. Marion also sang in Vancouver Opera's 2013 First Nations inspired production of The Magic Flute.Check out our special features for the episode, including Marion and Michael's Spotify playlists, Les and Colleen's Spotify selection of the week, clips from Shanadiwthit, Missing, and The Magic Flute, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
46:23
July 01, 2020
Episode 9 | Coaches in Conversation: Demystifying the role of the répétiteur with Kinza Tyrrell and Tina Chang
Episode 9 | Coaches in Conversation: Demystifying the role of the répétiteur with Kinza Tyrrell and Tina Chang
In this very special "Coaches in Conversation" episode, available in both video and audio, Les is joined by members of the wonderful music staff at Vancouver Opera: Kinza Tyrrell, Principle Répétiteur and Associate Chorus Director and Tina Chang, Pianist and Répétiteur. Les, Kinza, and Tina discuss the role of the répétiteur in opera and de-mystify this rather exotic-sounding title. This episode is available on Vancouver Opera’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube) as well as from your usual subscriptions in audio.Check out our special features for the episode, including Kinza & Tina's Spotify playlist, Les' Spotify selection of the week, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
49:24
June 24, 2020
Episode 8 | From the Countertenor to Executive Director: Matthew White of Early Music Vancouver
Episode 8 | From the Countertenor to Executive Director: Matthew White of Early Music Vancouver
In this episode, Les catches up with Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of Early Music Vancouver. Matthew has served at the helm of Early Music Vancouver for eight years, and previously was Executive Director of Pacific MusicWorks in Seattle. Prior to that, he had already gained international acclaim as one of Canada’s leading countertenors and as the founding director of the Quebec-based ensemble Les Voix Baroques. Matthew gives us a peek into his exciting plans this summer for Early Music Vancouver, a deep dive about his journey from in-demand performer to arts administrator, and some thoughts on collaborations and early music performance in the world of today.Keep an eye out on Vancouver Opera's social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube) next week for a very special video episode of Vancouver Opera Offstage with Les Dala: Coaches in Conversation with special guests Kinza Tyrrell and Tina Chang! The episode will also be available from your usual subscriptions in audio.Check out our special features for the episode, including Matthew's Spotify playlist, Les' Spotify selection of the week, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
37:05
June 17, 2020
Episode 7 | Breaking barriers in the digital world with Vancouver Island's own Rachel Fenlon
Episode 7 | Breaking barriers in the digital world with Vancouver Island's own Rachel Fenlon
In this episode, originally recorded on May 8th, 2020, Les speaks with soprano and pianist Rachel Fenlon. Raised in Victoria, BC and currently based in Berlin, Rachel began her professional career at Vancouver Opera as part of the inaugural year of the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program. Her roles with VO have included Pamina in The Magic Flute, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and most recently, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro, 2017). Rachel's show, Fenlon & Fenlon, in which she is featured in the dual role as singer and pianist, has been presented across Canada and Europe. Rachel joins us from Berlin, Germany where she is currently based, and shares her perspectives on challenging expectations as a singer and pianist, the different feelings between live and streaming performance, as well as keeping a busy digital performing schedule during a pandemic. Rachel also discusses hosting her new show Classical (R)evolution on the Idagio LIVE streaming classical music platform.Check out our special features for the episode, including Rachel's Spotify playlist, Les' Spotify selection of the week, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage!Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
28:33
June 10, 2020
Episode 6 | In the spotlight with Vancouver-born lyric soprano Simone Osborne
Episode 6 | In the spotlight with Vancouver-born lyric soprano Simone Osborne
In this episode, Les speaks with Vancouver-born lyric soprano Simone Osborne. Simone was one of the youngest-ever winners of the Met Competition in New York at age 21, and most recently headlined Vancouver Opera's 2019 production of Faust in the role of Marguerite. Simone is currently based in Frankfurt, Germany and shares some delightful stories of inspiring mentorship, finding balance as a busy soprano, and her formative experiences.Check out our special features for the episode, including Simone's Spotify playlist, Les' Spotify selection of the week, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage !Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
50:33
June 03, 2020
Episode 5 | Perspectives on performance with Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch
Episode 5 | Perspectives on performance with Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch
In this episode, Les speaks with Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch, who most recently starred as Joseph De Rocher in Vancouver Opera's 2017 production of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking. Daniel has been involved in the creation of several world premiere operas, including Brokeback Mountain, The Fly, JFK, and Marnie, among others. In addition to his accomplished career in opera, Daniel has also appeared on Broadway in the role of Schaunard in Baz Luhrmann's 2002 Broadway musical adaption of La bohème. Dan shares fascinating and humorous stories of performing around the globe as well as his perspectives on performance in a socially-distanced digital landscape.Check out our special features for the episode, including Daniel's Spotify playlist, Les' YouTube selection of the week, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage !Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
38:53
May 27, 2020
Episode 4 | Sharing stories from legendary Canadian mezzo-soprano Judith Forst
Episode 4 | Sharing stories from legendary Canadian mezzo-soprano Judith Forst
In this episode Les takes a stroll down memory lane with legendary Canadian mezzo-soprano Judith Forst. Judi has an association with Vancouver Opera dating back to the 1960s, when she was a member of the first training program for young singers. Since that time she has had a prestigious international career with appearances at some of the most important opera houses of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and San Francisco Opera. Judi most recently appeared with Vancouver Opera as Mrs. DeRocher in 2017's Dead Man Walking. We are treated to Judi's stories of performing with Opera greats such as Joan Sutherland, hear about her beginnings in British Columbia, and discover Judi's love for new composition.Check out our special features for the episode, including Judi's Spotify playlist, Les' Spotify selections of the week, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage !Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
34:27
May 20, 2020
Episode 3 | A Chat with Canadian Stage Director Rachel Peake | On her process and vision as a director from theatre to opera
Episode 3 | A Chat with Canadian Stage Director Rachel Peake | On her process and vision as a director from theatre to opera
In this podcast, Les speaks with Stage Director Rachel Peake, who last directed La Cenerentola for Vancouver Opera in 2019 and is the Associate Artistic Director of the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta. Rachel was also director of 2014's Stickboy and will return to direct Vancouver Opera's 60th Anniversary Season production of George Bizet's masterpiece Carmen. Rachel gives us a fascinating look into her process as a director in both theatre and opera.Check out our special features for the episode, including Rachel's Spotify playlist, Les' listening recommendation of the week, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage !Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
28:57
May 13, 2020
Episode 2 | Catching up with Jonathan Darlington, Music Director Emeritus of Vancouver Opera
Episode 2 | Catching up with Jonathan Darlington, Music Director Emeritus of Vancouver Opera
In this podcast, Les chats with Vancouver Opera Music Director Emeritus Jonathan Darlington. We explore Jonathan's musical journey and how he got involved in the world of opera, and Maestro Darlington also shares his thoughts on Mozart, Verdi and Strauss, composers whose operas have figured prominently in his tenure at Vancouver Opera. Plus, we get a peek at what Jonathan is doing to keep busy during this quarantine period.Check out our special features for the episode, including Jonathan's Spotify playlist, Les' listening recommendation of the week, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage !Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
31:18
May 06, 2020
Episode 1 | An Interview with Tom Wright, General Director of Vancouver Opera
Episode 1 | An Interview with Tom Wright, General Director of Vancouver Opera
In our first podcast, Les chats with Tom Wright, Vancouver Opera’s newly appointed general director. Tom previously held the position of director of artistic planning at VO for 13 seasons. Les and Tom discuss leadership during a pandemic and his vision for the future of Vancouver Opera.Check out our special features for the episode, including Tom's Spotify playlist, Les' listening recommendation of the week, and more at www.vancouveropera.ca/offstage !Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
40:24
April 29, 2020
Episode 0 | Welcome to Vancouver Opera Offstage!
Episode 0 | Welcome to Vancouver Opera Offstage!
A series preview of the Vancouver Opera Offstage podcast with Les Dala; an introduction from Episode 1.Support the show (http://tickets.vancouveropera.ca/dev/contribute.aspx)
01:40
April 27, 2020