Vancouver Opera Festival to feature massive video installation, concerts by Ute Lemper and Tanya Tagaq

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      Vancouver Opera has just released new details about its first festival next spring and they include a massive video installation by Paul Wong and some bold names in set design.

      Among the happenings that will bring the entire Queen Elizabeth Theatre site alive from April 28 to May 13, 2017, will be the new commission from Wong in the event's massive Festival Tent. Called Five Octave Range, the site-specific installation is to incorporate images from 50 years of Vancouver Opera productions. Wong won this year’s Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts.

      Paul Wong with his video installation Solstice (2014).

      The tent will also be the site of a concert by German vocal stylist and Kurt Weill specialist Ute Lemper on May 4 and 5, and a show by Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq on May 12 in collaboration with Music on Main.

      Vancouver Opera has also announced a massive choral event that brings together pro and amateur choirs in one of the largest massed opera choruses in the city’s history on May 3. Jonathan Darlington conducts this coproduction with the Vancouver Bach Choir.

      Tickets for Ute Lemper, Tanya Tagaq, and Total Choral Immersion are currently available only to VO season subscribers and will go on sale to the public November 14.

      Erhard Rom's design for Nixon in China was striking; now he's envisioning two new productions at the opera fest.
      Tim Matheson photo


      Amid the names attached to the main-stage shows are tenor Clifton Forbis in the title role of Otello by Giuseppe Verdi and bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch starring in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. Erhard Rom, the visionary behind VO’s stunning 2010 production of Nixon in China, designs sets for both.

      For Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at the Vancouver Playhouse, the VO has brought on set designer Drew Facey, who created the dark, striking world of 2014’s Stickboy, and contemporary costumes by Canadian fashion designer Sid Neigum.

      In another copresentation, this time  with DOXA Documentary Film Festival, VO will screen an  opera-themed documentary on May 8 in the Vancouver Playhouse.

      And there is myriad programming for families and young artists. Among the offerings are Opera Tales, a mix of storytelling and opera songs featuring members of VO’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program on May 2. Young opera artists put their voices to the Artistry of Youth on May 13. And a young composers' workshop and master classes for young artists take place several times throughout the fest.

      There's an array of other talks, workshops, classes, and other offerings, as well as a Happy Hour every day in the tent from 4 to 7 p.m, with socializing, light refreshments and intriguing programming: talks, panel discussions, performances.

      For more details and full schedules, go here.