Vancouver Singers Raise Voices and Funds for Chronic Neuro-Immune Disease Awareness Week

Multi-award-winning young performers from Vancouver’s Opera Mariposa
perform hit Broadway songs from Wicked, Spamalot, Sweeney Todd and more
in support of the National ME/FM Action Network

This May, the critically acclaimed
performers of Opera Mariposa are bringing audiences a night of musical
theatre showstoppers in support of chronic neuro-immune disease
awareness. On Saturday, May 16th, sopranos Jacqueline Ko and Robin
Eder-Warren, baritenor Kyle Preston Oliver and pianist Chris Feige will
present Tour de Force, a Broadway benefit show at Marpole United Church.
The performance will honour the International Awareness Week for Myalgic
Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM)
and related illnesses, and a portion of every ticket sale will go to the
National ME/FM Action Network.

Opera Mariposa’s artistic director Jacqueline Ko has suffered from
ME/CFS since the age of six, and she is determined to use her passion
for music to raise awareness. ME/CFS affects more than
twenty-eight million people worldwide, Ko says, and studies
report that it can be as debilitating as lupus or late-stage AIDS.
Despite this, many cases go undiagnosed, and patients struggle with not
only the devastating symptoms, but a lack of medical support and
community understanding.

Despite the challenges of her illness, Ko has managed to become a
celebrated singer and show producer. At age 20 she teamed up with
Eder-Warren to found Opera Mariposa, an acclaimed Vancouver company for
emerging artists, and now the young women are determined to use their
success to help others. With Tour de Force, Opera Mariposa will present
their biggest Broadway show ever, featuring hit songs from Wicked,
Gypsy, Spamalot, Sweeney Todd and more. "We’re pulling out all the
stops for this show," says Eder-Warren, and we’ll be
performing some of the boldest, most scene-stealing music we know, from
the heart-wrenching to the hilarious. We have showstoppers from
Sondheim, Bernstein and Lloyd Webber, as well as tributes to some of the
great Broadway performers we love. It’s going to be a wild night of
wonderful music for a fabulous cause.

The evening will include a prize raffle and reception, and the
charitable proceeds will go towards educating more medical professionals
in how to diagnose and treat ME/CFS and FM. Tour de Force will be
Mariposa’s third benefit and awareness show; in 2013, their gala concert
The Singer raised $10,000 for the newly opened Complex Chronic Diseases
Program at BC Women’s Hospital, while their 2014 revue show The
Butterfly raised over $13,000 for the cause.

Tour de Force – Saturday, May 16th, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Marpole United Church, 1296 West 67th Avenue, Vancouver
$22 General | $18 Students/Seniors/Disability Benefit | $15 Groups of
4+
Tickets at the door, at operamariposa.com or from Brown Paper Tickets
at 1-800-838-3006.

About Opera Mariposa: Opera Mariposa is a critically acclaimed
Vancouver company run by young artists, for young artists. Now in their
third season, they are dedicated to creating a stage for emerging
talent, showcasing North America’s most promising performers in a
diverse program of gala concerts, original shows and fully staged opera
productions. The Vancouver Project recently declared that "Opera
Mariposa stands at the forefront of Vancouver’s opera scene," and
Mariposa’s productions have been hailed as "a stroke of
genius" (The Voice) for their ability to engage both dedicated
music lovers and new audiences. Learn more at operamariposa.com

About the National ME/FM Action Network: The National ME/FM Action
Network is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to advancing the
recognition and understanding of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through support, advocacy, education
and research. Some of their accomplishments include spearheading the
development of the Consensus Documents, known as the Canadian Consensus
Criteria, and providing information to patients, health professionals
and educators. The network celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013.
Learn more at www.mefmaction.com

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