Monday, January 31, 2011

La Clemenza di Tito: The Manga

An unrequited love that leads to a path of destruction and the merciful ruler who pardons those involved.

Here's La Clemenza di Tito as seen through the eyes of manga artist Rafaella Ryon and editor Roy Husada.

To supersize, double click on the images.

~ Ling Chan

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Mozart

On January 27, 1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born. He was a celebrated child prodigy and in the course of his lifetime, composed over 600 works. Although Mozart died in 1791, he remains one of classical music's most popular composers.

Authors and playwrights were inspired to write books about him. Movies were made based on his life. Musical artists paid homage to him. Who hasn't been influenced by Mozart?

Vancouver Opera is celebrating Mozart's birthday by offering a special QR code promotion for Mozart's magnificent last opera, La Clemenza di Tito.

Our street posters with the QR code are now posted around town. Or you can just scan the QR code below for the wicked deal:

You may need to download a reader for your Smartphone, so click to get your free app from Neo or Mobio.

This rarely performed opera will be a treat for all Mozart and opera lovers. Come celebrate his life with Vancouver Opera. Happy birthday Mozart!

~ Ling Chan

Monday, January 24, 2011

La Clemenza di Tito: Cast Interviews

Video by Bombshelter Productions & Mike McKinley

The opera is really a masterpiece. It's an unsung masterpiece. - Chas Rader-Shieber

It's all about power. It's all about relationships that we have with other people, in regards to authority and how we use that. - Jonathan Darlington

I think he's written something quite spectacular. For the music alone, it's worth seeing. - Krisztina Szabo

It's a typical Mozart ensemble opera in that everybody has their moment to reveal themselves, their inner selves and in the relationships with others. Wendy Nielsen

I think most stage directors are attracted to Mozart because the source materials, just the work on paper, is so full and it demands to be put on a stage. It calls out to be recreated and recreated and recreated. - Chas Rader-Shieber

You should come and see La Clemenza di Tito because it is an amazing experience. For those of you who've never experienced it, it's something you'll only get perhaps once or twice in your lifetime. - Jonathan Darlington

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.

~ Ling Chan

Friday, January 21, 2011

You Look Marvelous!

You've gone ahead and taken the plunge. You purchased a ticket to your very first opera and now you're wondering, "What should I wear?"

Let us help you out with some suggestions. Opera needn't be all ballgowns and tux and tails. (although those outfits are certainly welcomed as well!)

A VO staffer put together this video montage using our Fashion at the Opera photos to show you just how easy it is to put together an opera-worthy look. And oh, there are many looks!

Thanks again to all the beautiful people in the photos. You make us look good!

~ Ling Chan

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Death By Opera: The Answers

Death by opera! For those of you who took our Tuesday Trivia quiz, here are the answers to how the following composers met their untimely end.

1. Robert Schumann - Died from mercury poisoning as a complication of syphilis treatment

2. Jean-Baptiste Lully - Died when he smashed his foot with a pole while keeping rhythm and it got infected.

3. Charles-Valentin Alkan - Died when a bookcase fell on him

4. Alban Berg - Died from complications from an insect bite

5. Peter Tchaikovsky - Died from cholera after drinking unboiled water.

6. Henry Purcell - Died after getting sick in the cold after being locked out by his wife

7. Maurice Ravel - Died from complications after being whacked in the head while in a taxi

8. Ernest Chausson - Died by riding his bicycle into a wall

Thanks for taking our quiz! Oh, and a gentle reminder to please be careful out there.

~ Ling Chan

Monday, January 17, 2011

BOV: Hansel & Gretel: An Opera Fantasy

I don't know about you, but the story of Hansel and Gretel kinda freaked me out when I was a child. First you're taken into the woods and then abandoned by your parents. Next you encounter a witch hellbent on making you her supper.

Course, as with most children's fairytales, it end up well. The witch meets her fate by getting shoved into the oven and the children are reunited with their father (who was against the whole abandonment plan in the first place)

On that note, here's a 1954 stop motion animated short based on Engelbert Humperdinck's opera Hänsel und Gretel. The special effects were created by Ray Harryhausen and the part of the witch was sung by English-Canadian singer and comedienne Anna Russell.

~ Ling Chan

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

To Bare Or Not To Bare

That is the question...

Yesterday, after reading an Epoch Times article on nudity on opera stages, we posed a very interesting question to our online friends: Would you be offended to see nudity/excessive skin in an opera?

Here's what you told us about this skin-tastic subject:

From Twitter:

@MeganMichael - Personally, no. One would have to argue that the body is the foundation for art...audiences might be inclined to disagree :)

@ArtsGroupSales - Not really. When @pittsburghopera did Dead Man Walking there was such a row over the nudity but it wasn't anything graphic

@DameEmma - Oh HELL no. The naked-er the better ; )

@arieltenor - When you see the productions you wonder what the hell did you watched. Did the director actually read the libretto?

@leboyfriend - Surely,entirely a matter of being appropriate/employing good taste. Thus, Cherubino as a no-pants role gets a big thumbs-up..While, Dido being naked during her lament...okay, not a good counter example. I'll try to get back to you with one.

@reneestephen - People are so uptight. OMG think of the children! You know what: 5k yr of casual nudity vs ~1000 of prudery. We survived. In other words, the author needs to untwisted his or her knickers :)

@_SanDiegoOpera - With the current crop of singers performing today, nudity would give opera a healthy jolt of "oh hell yes".

@kbpmv - No, Erwartung and Salome are both fab

@stellavg - I would be offended NOT to see nudity in opera. ;-)

@forgetful_man - I'd suggest those offended by nudes avoid museums as well.

@AFewShortNotes - I've seen it done really well -- Tannhäuser in Paris -- and really... not well. Won't name any names for that one.

From Facebook:

Roger Leroux - Salome had nudity on stage, and so did Rigoletto (I believe) a couple of years ago. And the near burlesque scene from the male lead in The Italian Girl from Algiers was brilliantly funny. It's no big deal.

Michael Colbruno - It's fine if it fits the story, like Billy Budd or Rape of Lucretia, but it baffles me when topless gypsies appear in Il Trovatore.

Garrett Rodman - No problemo - Lady Macbeth of Mtensk at the COC had oral sex simulated.

Wow! When it comes to the subject of the flesh, it seems like everyone wanted to weigh in! Our social media channels lit up like a Christmas tree.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer our poll!

~ Ling Chan

A Cartoon Explanation

So wondering what the heck La Clemenza di Tito is all about?

A staffer made this videoclip using Xtranormal to help explain the plot of Mozart's magnificent last opera.

Press play and not only will you them talk about an attempt on Titus' life but you'll also get to hear these 2 adorable hello kitty-type characters say "crazy" and "seriously" alot.

For La Clemenza di Tito tickets, call our ticketing centre at 604.683.0222 or purchase online here. Single tickets starting at $29 (plus handling fee).

~ Ling Chan

Monday, January 10, 2011

Student Discounts?

Thanks for your question!

Get O.U.T. (Get Opera Under Thirty) is our discount program to allow those aged 18 to 29 to buy great seats for just $25. Designed for a younger audience but not exclusive to students, Get O.U.T. is the first ticket program of its kind for a major arts organization in Vancouver.

Keep an eye out on the blog for our Get O.U.T. tickets to La Clemenza di Tito.

Ask me anything

~ Ling Chan