Norman Armour slated to direct Margaret Atwood opera Pauline in 2014

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      It's an opera of firsts: when City Opera stages the work Pauline next year, it will mark author Margaret Atwood's first foray into the art form, and, as announced today, it will also see director Norman Armour's debut at the helm of such a production.

      We can also assume it will be the first opera at the new York Theatre on Commercial Drive when Pauline premieres there in May 2014. (The 371-seat facility, a renovated heritage theatre that's going to be overseen by the Cultch, is slated to open this fall.)

      Atwood's new libretto happens to be set in Vancouver, in the West End in 1913 during the final week of poet Pauline Johnson’s life. The music is by Tobin Stokes, whose operatic credits include Rattenbury, Fallujah, and The Vinedressers.

      Armour heads up the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and has directed hit theatre productions here like Rumble Productions and Theatre Conspiracy's 2009 rendition of Blackbird.



      Charles Barber

      Feb 27, 2013 at 1:08pm

      Thank you for this piece. PAULINE is a terrific story, poignant and funny and real. Atwood has done a brilliant job, and Stokes is hard at work writing a lyric and colourful score.

      Singers reading this might want to know that we are auditioning on 22 and 23 March for this project, and for our new opera series at the Kay Meek Theatre. Details information available at

      May of 2014 will see an important event in the performing arts. Thank you for covering Norman's appointment -- he is a huge part of the project.

      Charles Barber

      Andrea Percy

      Mar 1, 2013 at 7:41pm

      I would love to see this opera. Atwood and Johnson - what an exciting combination! Hoping it comes to Toronto....