Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why Is Lucia Mad?

Wanna know why Lucia is mad? To find out, scan this QR code.

~ Ling Chan

The Philly Trio

Didja know that not only did Lucia di Lammermoor's Michael Fabiano, Eglise Gutiérrez and Burak Bilgili train at the esteemed Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, but the trio also live in Philadelphia?

And yes, when they're all in town at the same time, they do hang out.

Find out more about Lucia di Lammermoor.

Don't miss out! Get your tickets now!
Single tickets starting at $29 (plus handling fee). Call our ticketing centre at 604.683.0222 or purchase online here.

BONUS: To get your free Lucia di Lammermoor poster with your tickets, give our box office PROMO CODE 2956 when you call in or enter PROMO CODE 2956 on the login page on our website.

~ Ling Chan

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shadow Of The Ninja

Our Opera Ninja army is growing!

A stealthy welcome to the newest addition to our clan: Opera Ninja Tris Hussey. Like a ghostly apparition at midnight, one can never sure if they've seen our newest shadow. Ninjas are known to possess invisibility and shape-shifting abilities, you know.

It'll be one clan watching two others on Thursday, December 2. Join Opera Ninja Tris as he reports on all the intrigues between the Ashtons and the Ravenwoods at the Lucia di Lammermoor dress rehearsal.

Whether employing tactics such as Tanuki-gakure (camouflaging oneself up in the trees) or Ukigusa-gakure (camouflaging oneself under water with duckweed), Opera Ninja Tris will get you closer to all the action.

Follow along Thursday night's dress rehearsal at our Twitter: @Operaninja or along the right side-bar of this blog.

The action begins at 7pm.

Sponsored by:

~ Ling Chan

Lucia Fan Night & Backstage Tour

Lucia Fan Night is Tuesday, December 7!

If you're coming to Lucia di Lammermoor on December 7, come a wee bit earlier and get a backstage tour. The tour will be led by our artistic team who will give you some behind the scenes insights to what you'll be watching on stage.

When: Tuesday, December 7, 630pm
Where: Meet at the far east side of the lobby

Please RSVP by December 6 to lchan@vancouveropera.ca for your exclusive look backstage.

Twitter/Facebook Fan Night sponsored by The Georgia Straight:

~ Ling Chan

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lucia Here, Lucia There, Lucia Everywhere

Soprano Eglise Gutiérrez looks like she was born to sing the role of Lucia di Lammermoor. Ms Gutiérrez has sung Lucia for Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Connecticut Opera, Teatros Bellas Artes in Mexico, Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland, Florida Grand Opera, Deutsche Opera Berlin and now she's performing her signature role at Vancouver Opera.

Lucia is in her blood. Really! Ms Gutierrez recently gave birth to a baby girl whom she's named Lucia.

For a preview of Lucia's famous "mad scene", press play on the video:

Don't miss out! Get your tickets now! Single tickets starting at $29 (plus handling fee). Call our ticketing centre at 604.683.0222 or purchase online here.

BONUS: To get your free Lucia di Lammermoor poster with your tickets, give our box office PROMO CODE 2956 when you call in or enter PROMO CODE 2956 on the login page on our website.

~ Ling Chan

Lucia di Lammermoor: The Manga

Two feuding families. A love that could never be and an emotionally fragile girl who is forced into a marriage that ends in tragedy.

Here's Lucia di Lammermoor as seen through the eyes of manga artist Lily Dai and editor Roy Husada.

To supersize, double click on the images.

~ Ling Chan

It's A Mad World

Well if THIS isn't a fitting song for Lucia di Lammermoor! You know the song I mean.

You may have grown up listening to the original Tears for Fears version. Or you may have heard the stripped down cover version by Gary Jules in the movie, Donnie Darko, which was also later used in the movie trailer for The Crazies.

We're talking Mad World to go along with Lucia's psyche. Speaking about the song's meaning, Tears for Fears' Curt Smith is quoted as saying, "It's very much a voyeur's song. It's looking out at a mad world from the eyes of a teenager."

A VO staffer put together this "Mad World" video with still photos from Opera de Montréal's 2009 production of Lucia di Lammermoor starring Eglise Gutiérrez.

To prep you for next week's opening of Lucia di Lammermoor, press play and get a sense of Lucia's doom and gloom.

~ Ling Chan

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ask A Conductor Day

Maestros are fascinating, mysterious and a force to be reckoned with. These master musicians stand above his orchestra and help everyone keep a steady beat. They set the tempo, the mood and are there to cue orchestra sections of when to start playing. To be a maestro, you have to have an amazing ear and incredible artistic expression.

And yet, so little is known about these enigmatic conductors and their world.

Well, that curtain is about to be lifted.

Join us on December 8 for Ask A Conductor Day on Twitter:

On December 8, 2010, conductors around the world will come together to engage fans, first-timers and complete strangers. It is an opportunity for orchestras and conductors to share their love and passion, 140 characters at a time.

The concept is simple: conductors make some time available to answer questions on December 8; Twitter followers ask their burning questions, and the conductors answer.

The brilliant project is organized by Lacey Huszcza, Director of Operations and Promotions at Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Marc Van Bree, consultant and blogger at Dutch Perspective. Inspired by the Ask A Curator Twitter event, Ask A Conductor day is the perfect way for audiences to connect with maestros and their orchestras and learn how music truly comes together.

Photo credit: Christoph Müller-Girod

VO's Music Director and Maestro Jonathan Darlington will be available for all your questions December 8 between 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm (Pacific Standard Time).

Just tweet him a question at @j_darlington and he'll respond. You can also follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #askaconductor.

For a list of other participating conductors, click here.

Join VO on December 8 for this fun event! Put on some opera or classical music to set the mood and get tweeting!

~ Ling Chan

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Greg Steffensen: VO's Renaissance Man

Gregg Steffensen is a multi-talented, multi-faceted kinda guy. Not only is he VO's Assistant Technical Director but he's also a musician, an audio technician, a carpenter and mixed media artist.

When not building props in our prop shop, he's participating in exhibitions such as The Drift: Art on Main Street.

Gregg's most recent project features acrylic and photo transfers onto small blocks

When he doesn't have a paintbrush in hand, he's wielding a pair of drumsticks.

Greg has played drums and percussion for shoe-gazing/dreampop band Hinterland. The band were featured on MuchMusic and CBC TV and also won recognition from Georgia Straight Music Awards for best local album, best vocalist and most underrated band.

Drawn Ship, his current band with with vocalist Lynn Heinemann, is described as "two person rock music from the back of the classroom." The band's next gig will be November 26 at the Art Bank Gallery.

Where does he find the time? Not only does Gregg work, paints and drums, he's also completing the Fine Arts Certificate program at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. With endless amounts of energy and creativity, Gregg is truly a renaissance man.

~ Ling Chan

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Amiel Gladstone Takes On Lucia's Mad Scene

Photo credit: Fabrice Glover

Stage Director Amiel Gladstone is well-known in the Canadian theatre community, having directed a great many productions for companies such as Belfry Theatre, Theatre Replacement, Electric Company and the Arts Club.

Amiel took on the role as Assistant Director for VO's Eugene Onegin (2008) and returns as the Stage Director for Lucia di Lammermoor. He's also directed the Vancouver Opera In Schools touring production of Jack Pine and is the recipient of a Vancouver Opera Foundation Award, a Vancouver Opera Guild Emerging Artist Award, and two Jessie Awards.

Press play to listen to Amiel, who was a panelist at Opera Speaks, talk about how he set up the famous "mad scene" in VO's production of Lucia di Lammermoor.

~ Ling Chan

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lucia Gets QR Coded

Our behind-the-scenes QR codes are back for Lucia di Lammermoor!

Street posters, as well as, bus shelter posters are now up and in your neighbourhoods.

Here's where you can find the bus shelter posters:

* King Edward Avenue and Laurel Street
* Main Street and 16th Avenue
* Broadway and Larch Street
* Cambie Street and 61st Avenue
* Commercial Street and Adanac Street
* East 49th Avenue and Knight Street
* Fraser Street and East 23rd Avenue
* Nanaimo Street and East Hastings Street
* SW Marine Drive and Granville Street
* West Boulevard and 51st Street

Just look for the QR code on the lower right hand side of the poster. Scan the code with your smartphone and get some very interesting facts about the stars of Lucia di Lammermoor.

All to get you that much more excited come opening night!

~ Ling Chan

Western Canada Winners of the Met Auditions

Left to right: David Gibbons, Michael Nyby, Alicia Woynarski, Sylvia Szadovszki, Xiao Dong Zhang and Michael MacKinnon.

Big thanks to everyone who came out for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Western Canada District Auditions on November 14 at the Vancouver Academy of Music. Thanks to Dawne Dye, former member of the VO Chorus, and the Vancouver Opera Guild for hosting and organizing the event.

Thirty five singers came out and sang their hearts out for judges Richard Gaddes, former director of the Sante Fe Opera Company, Cynthia Munzer, an internationally known mezzo-soprano from Los Angeles and a professor at USCThornton School of Music and Christine Bullin, former director of San Francisco Opera Center and present director of San Francisco's Chantecleer.

It was a toughie, what with so many talented singers!

The 5 winners of the competition are David Gibbons (who won the Encouragement Award), Michael Nyby, Alicia Woynarski, Sylvia Szadovszki, Xiao Dong Zhang and Michael MacKinnon. The winners will share the $4500 prize money which was provided by the Vancouver Opera Guild. The quintet will go onto the Northwest Finals which takes place in Seattle on January 16.

One step closer to landing a coveted spot with the Met! Good luck to everyone in January!

~ Ling Chan

Lucia di Lammermoor: Cast Interviews

Video by Bombshelter Productions & Mike McKinley

The story of Lucia is about a young girl who is very romantic and in love with the wrong person, someone who is feuding with her family. Through various machinations, she descends into madness and the whole thing ends in a very romantic and tragic way. - Amiel Gladstone

It's a story that anybody would relate to because everybody remembers probably what it was like to be 16 and in love. - Gregory Dahl

This piece is unique in that you can't always see the direction that the music's going in. Sure, there's choruses, there's cavatinas, there's cabalettas but there's not always an order to the madness, which is different than some of the other operas that Donizetti's composed. - Michael Fabiano

It's one of the beautiful Italian operas, so you'll get all the spectacles in terms of the beautiful sets, the lighting and full chorus. Also, the cast that's been assembled is just some of the world-class talents so that the singing, matched with Donizetti's music, is stunning. - Amiel Gladstone

Don't miss out! Get your tickets now!

Single tickets starting at $29 (plus handling fee). Call our ticketing centre at 604.683.0222 or purchase online here.

BONUS: To get your free Lucia di Lammermoor poster with your tickets, give our box office PROMO CODE 2956 when you call in or enter PROMO CODE 2956 on the login page on our website.

~ Ling Chan

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

VO used QR codes to promote Lillian, It is amazing!!!! *Was it a special Marketing campaign? *Why did you decided to use QR code?* Did the company mea

Thanks for the question!

We'll be using QR codes for all our operas this season. Prior to the show, we'll have one QR code that followers can scan to get a behind-the-scenes look at the production. This code can be found on our outdoor posters and bus shelter posters.

Down at the theatre, you can find 4 QR codes on a poster in the lobby, with each QR code featuring something different. These 4 QR codes can also be found in our house program, so you can scan them at home and after the performance ends.

With smartphones on the rise, we thought implementing QR codes might be a fun way to enhance our patron's experiences of the opera.

The Lillian Alling opera was the first time we've used QR codes, but the feedback we received have been very positive. As QR codes are fairly new to North Americans, we're looking forward to seeing QR codes really take off. (I see more and more retailers making use of QR codes)

We hope to be highlighting different QR code exclusives with every opera. Stay tuned!

Ask me anything

~ Ling Chan

Lucia On Your Wall

Artwork by Leonard Dente

We're offering a little Lucia di Lammermoor keepsake to go with your night at the opera. The posters, which measure 19" x 28", are the one you'll be seeing around town.

Hang it up in your house or at your office, they look great anywhere. The posters also make a great stocking stuffer for the opera-lover in your life. (Christmas is ONLY 5 weeks away!)

So how does one get a poster?

Option 1.

Call the good folks at our ticketing centre and give them PROMO CODE 2956 when you purchase your Lucia tickets.

Option 2.

Purchase your tickets online and enter PROMO CODE 2956 The promo box can be found under the username and password box on the login page. (click on the image to view)

Get your tickets and posters now!

Single tickets starting at $29 (plus handling fee). Call our ticketing centre at 604.683.0222 or purchase online here.

~ Ling Chan

Monday, November 15, 2010

Q & A With Lucia's Michael, Gregory & Burak

When did Michael, Gregory and Burak start singing, and why or when they knew singing was ‘it’ for them?

Greg, what have you done to prepare for this first performance as Enrico? Is it any different than your normal routine?

That's just a sample of the questions that are coming in for the sit-down with Lucia di Lammermoor's Michael Fabiano, Gregory Dahl and Burak Bilgili.

Get your questions in to the fellas by Friday, November 19. We'll be recording Michael, Gregory and Burak's answers by video and posting it right here on our blog and our Youtube channel the following week.

~ Ling Chan

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Setting The Tragedy

Ancient clan hatred.

Madness and murder.

Devastating consequences.

All set amongst the brooding lowlands of Scotland, a country known for its castles, lochs, moors, remote glens and the wild North Sea. What a perfect setting for all the deception and tragedy found in Lucia di Lammermoor.

Here's your first look at our Lucia di Lammermoor set, rented from San Francisco Opera and designed by Gerard Howland:

A dark set for Lucia's dark side. Can't hardly wait.

Photo credit: Ken Friedman

~ Ling Chan

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

What do you get when you put tenor Michael Fabiano, baritone Gregory Dahl and bass-baritone Burak Bilgili together in one room?

Your opportunity to ask the Lucia di Lammermoor singers anything you want!

VO is crowd-sourcing for your questions! Got a burning question to ask one of the singers? Or perhaps a question directed to two of them? Or how about a question that the whole group can answer? Go ahead and ask!

We'll be recording Michael, Gregory and Burak's answers by video and posting it right here on our blog and our Youtube channel.

Please submit your questions to lchan@vancouveropera.ca by Friday, November 19.

The fellas are looking forward to your questions!

~ Ling Chan

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kim Collier Awarded Siminovitch Prize

Congratulations to Kim Collier for winning the prestigious Elinore and Lou Siminovitch Prize! The annual $100,000 prize recognizes the very best in Canadian theatre.

Kim is the co-founder of the Electric Company Theatre and has directed for Studio 58, Western Canada Theatre, Chemainus Theatre Festival, Runaway Moon, Vancouver Moving Theatre, Bard on the Beach, The Arts Club and Vancouver Opera.

Kim was the assistant director for Vancouver Opera's production of Fidelio (2008) and Carmen (2009).

Congratulations also to Anita Rochon, who was recognized by Kim Collier and shares in the award prize. Anita was the assistant director on Vancouver Opera In Schools (VOIS) production of Naomi's Road.

We couldn't think of more deserving artists. Congratulations Kim and Anita from everyone at Vancouver Opera!

To read more from the Vancouver Sun, click here.

~ Ling Chan