Sneak preview of new Pauline Johnson opera offered in Stanley Park

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A much-anticipated new opera about poet, writer, and performer Pauline Johnson won't debut till next year, but there's a chance to get a sneak peek—or listen—at how the years-long project is progressing this weekend.

As part of Stanley Park's 125th anniversary celebrations, City Opera, which commissioned the work called Pauline, is staging a concert performance of two of its arias at Lost Lagoon—a setting that could not be more fitting, because its name comes from a poem by Johnson.

On Saturday and Sunday (August 25 and 26) at 1:15 and 4:15 p.m., mezzo Rose-Ellen Nichols and pianist David Boothroyd perform the new compositions by Tobin Stokes, with lyrics by Margaret Atwood. Mohawk poet Janet Rogers will talk about the significance of Johnson herself. 

Pauline is set to premiere at East Vancouver’s York Theatre in May 2014. It focuses on the final days of the Canadian artist, who passed away in Vancouver in 1913.

The opera is being directed by theatre director Norman Armour in his first foray into the genre.

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