Vancouver Opera Festival tip sheet: Rachel Fenlon, The River of Light, and more

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      Aside from its two full productions, Faust and La Cenerentola, the Vancouver Opera Festival has a roster of concerts, talks, and other odes to the art form. Themed Fairytales and Fables, the celebrations run from next Saturday (April 27) to May 5. Here are a few of the highlights:


      The River Of Light

      May 3 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

      The Vancouver Bach Choir joins VO for this outsized oratorio by one of Canada’s top composers. The inspiration promises an otherworldly experience: Brian Current explores transcendence as it’s described in Hinduism, Christianity, and elsewhere, drawing from Dante’s Paradiso, and its glowing core of heaven.


      Party on the Plaza

      April 28 at at šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn [the former QET Plaza]

      Free community stage performances, workshops, and more as the plaza comes alive from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


      VOX Singing Competition

      April 26 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

      The night before the fest, don’t miss the vocal fireworks of eight contestants showing their stuff in front of a live audience and expert judges headed by VO conductor emeritus Jonathan Darlington.


      Faust Screening

      May 1 at the Fox Cabaret

      Chris Gestrin provides improvised piano accompaniment to the devilishly good 1926 film. Bonus: Berlin-based soprano and pianist Rachel Fenlon’s one-woman Liederabend is included with admission; her trip through everyone from George Crumb to John Cage happens at 9 p.m., after the 6:30 screening.