Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Vancouver Opera Houses

The theatre sphere is an indispensable part of any city’s life, reports vancouver-future. After all, culture is the “tuning fork” of every society and the key to its prosperity.

As a city, Vancouver has a fairly diverse population. People from all over the world live there, meaning that every nation has contributed something unique to Vancouver’s culture.

However, Vancouver has succeeded in maintaining its authenticity. This can be easily discerned in the city’s theatrical life in particular.

In order our reader could be convinced of this, our article, with links to,,, is dedicated to Vancouver’s opera houses.

An unusual approach

It should first be noted that the opera genre in Vancouver has slightly different representation in the theatre community as we are used to perceiving it. The fact is that there is no single opera house in this city that is actually responsible for the relevant repertoire.

Yes, there’s Vancouver Opera and Vancouver City Opera. At first glance, it might seem like they are actually the same thing. However, this view is highly misleading. Why? We will tell you about it in our material.

The theatre with the largest ensemble

Vancouver Opera is considered to be one of British Columbia’s largest arts-related organisations. And its ensemble is the largest in all of western Canada.

Predominantly the performances take place at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, as well as at various Vancouver theatres.

It’ fair to mention that Vancouver Opera is endowed with one of Canada’s professional opera orchestras (the second is in Toronto). 

Despite numerous regular seasons, the first festival season was held in 2017. In addition to its core activities, the Vancouver Opera conducts many school tours, educational programs, and community events.

Building and premieres

The first Vancouver Opera House was opened by William Morton in 1958. Irving Gutman was the theatre’s artistic director until 1984.

Throughout its history, the theatre has presented the following world premieres: Thе Architеct (McIntyrе аnd Cоne), Nаomi’s Rоad (Luengеn аnd Hоdges), Jаck Pinе (Hillе), Lilliаn Аlling (Estаcio аnd Murrеll) та Stіoіn аnd Murrеll).

In addition, Vancouver Opera has a direct link to the making of the Canadian premiere of the film Nixon, as well as Chai Tana Dana: Mirror of the Soul.

Richard Boninge held the position of conductor until 1982. Thus he headed the Vancouver Opera Orchestra for a rather long time.

A theatre with an ancient structure

Vancouver City Opera was founded only in 2006. It is a chamber opera company.

Alexander Pantages built the theatre building in 1907. At that time it was the oldest vaudeville theatre in Western Canada. The building was later officially designated as a historic building.

But in 2011, Vancouver City Council did not approve the restoration initiative. Well, then it was demolished altogether. So the theatre has to use other stages in the city for concert events.

The staff

The City Opera Vancouver is run by a joint non-profit board of directors. At the head of this organisation is Janet Leigh.

Also the theatre’s staff includes a conductor, an artistic director, a general director, concertmasters, consultants and managers.

Need for finding premises

The City Opera holds many events in the form of concerts and recitals. But since the old theatre building has been demolished, the management has to negotiate with local institutions to provide the ensemble with a stage for a certain date.

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