Canadian Opera Stars Set to Offer Cornucopia of Inspiring Performances across the Okanagan
Opera Kelowna announces its magnificent 2019 Season, featuring an exciting collaboration with Mission Hill Family Estate Winery to present performances amidst the vineyards; a Christmas Classic; alfresco community concerts, and more. The spectacular season will take place from June– November 2019, providing audiences with the opportunity to enjoy performances of treasured arias from well- known operas in venues and public spaces throughout the Okanagan.
“This season, we look forward to celebrating the joy of opera and sharing our passion for this art form with Okanagan residents,” says Alexandra Babbel, Artistic Director of Opera Kelowna. “Whether it is in the park, a concert hall, a church, or a glorious vineyard, the 2019 season aims to captivate long time opera lovers by revisiting beloved arias from some of the greatest operas of all time — and welcome new audiences by sharing this beautiful music in the Okanagan’s most spectacular settings.”
Opera Kelowna will begin the season with the Midsummer Mozart Gala at Mission Hill Family Estate. Audiences will be treated to a Sparkling Brut and Canapé Reception, followed by a four-course, wine-paired dinner in the Chagall Room and the Loggia prepared by Mission Hill’s Executive Chef Patrick Gayler using only the freshest local ingredients. Throughout the night, Opera Kelowna artists will perform stunning Mozart arias from Die Zauberflöte, La Nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, and more. All guests will have the opportunity to win a custom piece of jewellery valued at $7500 created by Opera Kelowna’s exclusive gala sponsor J.K. Schmidt Jewellers.
During the August long weekend, Opera Kelowna will return to Mission Hill Family Estate Winery to present the highlight event of the season: Opera in the Vines. Guests are invited to attend a fabulous pre-concert reception on the beautiful grounds of Mission Hill Family Estate and delight in food and wine pairings at the many chef-attended stations throughout the winery.
After the reception, patrons will make their way to the spectacular outdoor amphitheatre to bask in an evening of rapturous performances by some of Canadian opera’s most heralded singers including soprano Marie-Josée Lord, heldentenor Steeve Michaud, baritone Aaron Durand, and mezzo soprano Stephanie Tritchew. The star vocalists, accompanied by the Opera Kelowna Chorus and a 17-piece orchestra led under the baton of esteemed conductor Bernard McDonald, will serenade the audience with some of the world’s most beautiful arias from acclaimed operas such as La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Carmen, The Pearl Fishers, La traviata, and more.
Audiences are invited to take in Opera Kelowna’s annual community concerts throughout the Okanagan, including Opera Under the Stars at the central courtyard of UBC’s Okanagan campus. Residents of all ages are welcome to enjoy this open-air performance by Opera Kelowna’s world-class vocalists in a relaxed and casual environment. In addition, members of the community can discover the next generation of opera stars at Opera at the Proms and Opera in the Park. Both concerts will feature engaging performances by emerging talent enrolled in Opera Kelowna’s Summer Intensive Opera Training program, and the Opera Kelowna Chorus.
The Christmas season will be merry and bright with Opera Kelowna’s season-closing presentation of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. The company’s festive offerings have become a holiday tradition for
Kelowna residents, and this work in particular serves as the perfect first introduction to opera. Families will be touched by this magical 45-minute production as Amahl, a poor, crippled shepherd boy, learns about the miracle of Christmas when three wise men arrive at his door. The moving opera will be conducted by Maestro Leslie Dala and will feature his son Andreas Dala starring in the title role. Special day-time performances will be offered for school-aged children to foster an appreciation for opera.
The season will see the return of many luminary Opera Kelowna stars, including heldentenor Michaud and baritone Durand. Okanagan audiences will be familiar with Michaud for his brilliant performance as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen last summer and Durand who also starred in Carmen, as well as Vancouver Opera’s Stickboy.
Opera Kelowna’s complete 2019 Season includes the following events and concerts throughout the Okanagan:
Opera at the Proms A Partnership with the Vernon Proms July 27 at 7pm | Trinity United Church A free concert featuring the incredible emerging talent of Opera Kelowna’s Summer Intensive Opera Training program and the Opera Kelowna Chorus.
Opera in the Park A Partnership with Festivals Kelowna July 30 at 6pm | Guisichan Park Enjoy an open-air, free event featuring the promising young artists enrolled in Opera Kelowna’s Summer Intensive Training Program along with members of the Opera Kelowna Chorus. Repertoire will include well-known art songs and opera favourites in solo, duet, trio, ensemble, and chorus form including Juliet’s aria from Gounud’s Romeo and Juliet, Libiamo from Verdi’s La traviata, and more.
Opera Under the Stars A Partnership with UBC Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies July 31 at 8:30pm | Central Courtyard at UBC’s Okanagan Campus This free open-air public concert in the courtyard of the UBCO campus offers performances by Opera Kelowna’s world-class vocalists in a relaxed and casual environment. For the fourth year in a row, audiences of all ages are invited to bring their own blankets and chairs, enjoy refreshments available for purchase, and be enthralled by the joy and beauty of classical singing.
Opera in the Vines In collaboration with Mission Hill Family Estate August 2 | Mission Hill Family Estate Food and Wine Reception at 6pm | Concert at 7:30pm Enjoy a world-class performance of famous arias and more set on the beautiful grounds of Mission Hill Family Estate. Guests are invited to attend a magnificent pre-concert reception and delight in delectable food and wine pairings at the many chef-attended stations throughout the winery. Then, they will make their way to the amphitheatre to bask in the captivating performance featuring Opera Kelowna’s world-class vocalists, the Opera Kelowna Chorus, and a 17-piece orchestra led under the baton of esteemed music director Bernard McDonald. The exquisite evening will include beautiful arias from La bohème, Madame Butterfly, Carmen, The Pearl Fishers, La traviata, and more.
Amahl and the Night Visitors November 14 & November 15 at 7pm | Rotary Centre for the Arts Gian Carlo Menotti’s 45-minute opera captures the essential spirit of Christmas in this unique retelling of the compassionate story of the Three Kings, who stop for shelter at the home of Amahl, a poor, crippled shepherd boy who lives with his widowed mother. The miracle of Christmas culminates in the boy’s healing and universal joy, and is a wonderful first opera for families to enjoy together. This touching production will be conducted by Maestro Leslie Dala with his son Andreas Dala starring in the title role.
For tickets and further Information about Opera Kelowna’s 2019 Season, visit: operakelowna.com
About Opera Kelowna (operakelowna.com): The Opera Kelowna Society is a registered non-profit professional opera company and training centre for promising operatic artists. Opera Kelowna creates high calibre opera that is accessible to both opera lovers and future enthusiasts. The company is dedicated to equipping, educating, enlightening, enriching, and entertaining diverse audiences through a rich array of operatic performing arts and programming of the most compelling vocal works, both past and present.
About Mission Hill Family Estate (missionhillwinery.com): Mission Hill Family Estate, located in the heart of British Columbia’s pristine Okanagan Valley, offers visitors an exceptional experience in a setting of unparalleled natural beauty and extraordinary architecture. Established in 1981 by Proprietor Anthony von Mandl, O.C., O.B.C., the family-owned winery is known for its exemplary vineyard estates and award-winning wines. Heralded as “the gold standard of wineries” by Condé Nast Traveler, the winery offers cultural programs including the annual summer concert series, culinary programs, and international art exhibitions.
Opera Kelowna acknowledges the generous support of its funders and supporters:
The Central Okanagan Foundation is a community foundation providing an ongoing contribution to the quality of life in our community through building endowments, grant making and community leadership. We bring donors and charities together to provide for the needs of the community today, tomorrow and forever.
We also acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.
Media release and image provided by Sarah Ghosh, Murray Paterson Marketing Group.