Friday, January 15, 2010

Chemistry At VO

How much fun is it to be in Caroline Hay's shoes? VO's Special Event Coordinator gets to plan all our fab fundraising events. She's done everything from wrangling up Salvatore Ferragamo and Roberto Cavalli purses for the PURSEsuasion auction and luncheon, to working with the top bakeries in Vancouver to come up with custom cakes for our Golden Anniversary Gala.

Most of the time, the magic is unveiled for us at the events. But not this time.

For the upcoming Passion & Potions event at Lumiere on January 25, Caroline and the Director of Production, Terry Harper, got up to all kinds of alchemistic shenanigans.

The VO staff room was converted to a chemistry lab on Tuesday afternoon, which piqued the interest of some of the science geeks working at the opera (myself included). Although there weren't any bunsen burners, test tubes or erlenmeyer flasks, there were dry ice, food colouring and tongs involved.

Did I mention a cauldron, as well?

Caroline was on a mission to conjure up some magic potions for the upcoming event and make sure the glass containing these "potions" wouldn't shatter. Safety first, people.

A 45L cauldron was filled up with warm water. Terry then carefully dropped a 10lb block of dry ice into the cauldron. The result was a really awesome fog that lasted for a couple of hours. I think it's fair to say that some of us stood around, entranced.

Small pellets of dry ice were dropped into the beakers and apothecary jars. The effect was fun even if the fog lasted only 5 minutes.

oops on the angle

This little science experiment proved successful because, not only did it work, but we didn't blow up our staff room in the process. We're all ready to rock Passion and Potions.

Vancouver Opera...not just a place for music.

~ Ling Chan

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