Vancouver opera company unites diverse international cast in Puccini’s comic masterpiece

Accessible opera company showcases international cast in Puccini’s comic masterpiece
Opera Mariposa unites diverse young artists in Vancouver for Gianni Schicchi

This November, an acclaimed Vancouver opera comapny is launching their eighth season with one of the funniest operas in the repertoire. On November 15, 16, 22 and 23, Opera Mariposa will present Puccini’s one-act comedy Gianni Schicchi at St. Faith’s Anglican Church, alongside a staged performance of Italian opera scenes. The production features a cast of rising stars from across three continents, directed by Vancouver Opera’s Jeanine Fynn and conducted by acclaimed music director John Arsenault.

The plot of Gianni Schicchi revolves around a greedy family who schemes to inherit a fortune by enlisting the help of the roguish title character. The opera is Giacomo Puccini’s only comedy and contains some of his best-loved music, including the famous aria “O mio babbino caro”. Mariposa artistic director Jacqueline Ko says the work was an obvious choice for Mariposa, given the company’s focus on accessibility.

Gianni Schicchi is a favourite of many opera aficionados,” says Ko, “but it’s also the perfect introduction to the genre. It’s accessible in the most obvious sense of the word – it’s just an incredibly fun show, full of hoaxes, hijinks and plot twists. We’re presenting it with English subtitles, and offering accessibility rates for students, seniors and those with disabilities. Basically, this show demonstrates what Mariposa’s all about – that opera isn’t just for some select group of people, it’s for everybody.”

Mariposa co-founder and Schicchi assistant director Robin Hahn agrees. “Gianni Schicchi has a universal appeal, and it’s been an audience favourite since its debut a hundred years ago. What makes Mariposa’s production unique is the diverse international cast we’ve brought together, and the fact that we’re pairing Schicchi with highlights from other great operas like La traviata, The Marriage of Figaro and Rigoletto. This will let our artists really showcase their versatility, while giving audiences the chance to enjoy more of opera’s greatest hits.”

Gianni Schicchi features an ensemble cast led by acclaimed local baritone Richard Petroski as Schicchi; Opéra de Québec tenor Jonathan Gagné as Rinuccio; and multi-award-winning young Armenian-Canadian soprano Sevan Kochkarian as Lauretta. Joining them are award-winners from NATS Washington and the Metropolitan Opera Competition, and artists and alumni from Vancouver Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera on the Avalon, English Theatre Berlin, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and more.

Puccini’s GIANNI SCHICCHI – November 15, 16, 22 & 23, 2019 @ 7:30 pm
St. Faith’s Anglican Church, 7284 Cypress St. Vancouver
$28 general | $24 students, seniors, disability | $18 each for groups of 5+
Available at the door, at, or from Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006

About Opera Mariposa: Opera Mariposa is a Vancouver-based company that “stands at the forefront of Vancouver’s opera scene” (The Vancouver Project). They are dedicated to creating meaningful and accessible opportunities for exceptional emerging performers from around the globe. Founded and run entirely by individuals with disabilities or chronic illnesses, they also work to increase diversity and disability representation in the arts, and have raised over $80,000 to date for a variety of charities and healthcare programs. Learn more at

Media release provided by Stephanie Ko, Opera Mariposa.

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