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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Alternate Visions opera excerpts at Opera America a success

I attended, with librettist Genni Gunn and director Pauline Vaillancourt, the performance of an excerpt from our opera Alternate Visions on Friday night May 10 as part of the Opera America / conference "Opera Out of Bounds". The performance by the Vancouver Opera Young Artist Ensemble was great! Singing and acting were just perfect. They conveyed the characters, and the humour and pathos of the scene with great conviction and wonderful voices. Congratulations to all! We were very happy to hear the work in this conference context and to discover how well the piece works, even with just piano and singers. We haven't heard the work since the first performance in 2007. What a joy to find the material just as fresh six years later!

We can't help but observe that the stories chosen by the majority of creative teams are historical: few deal with contemporary situations and topics. Most operas also choose a love story at the core of the plot. We're no different in that respect. Ours is a love story, like many opera plots, but there's a difference between being entirely engaged in the situation of a story, such as happens when the context is contemporary, and feeling more like a spectator to a historical situation where the love component is the main thing that touches the audience. In the latter, the audience feels like they are being educated by the history and then they may be pulled in by the love story; in the former, the entire situation rings true and the audience is pulled in by every aspect of the production, ideally.

For more information about the Opera America Conference, visit their site.