About Us

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Our Mission

East Van Opera is dedicated exclusively to the creation of new music. Why East Van? Because we believe in staying true to our roots, and embracing the qualities of our community: diversity, hard work and acceptance. We whole heartedly support elevating women in the arts. It is our dream to encourage young performers to step out of their comfort zone and join us in our mission to be strong and creative forces in the world of music.


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Our Project

 Our inaugural production is "Alma", by composer Allison Cociani. It is a new opera consisting of five singers, three dancers and a chamber orchestra of twelve players and it is scheduled for performance in June 2017 at the Metro Theatre in Vancouver. Alma is a story about the struggle between a young girl with special powers and a group of people who wish to profit from these abilities. It is the classic struggle. She is abducted by Griselda and her three cohorts, Kelsh, Tesh and Vidar. Alma of course must find a way to escape her captors. Upon learning that the group of evil doers had not only kidnapped her, but in fact murdered her grandmother, Alma understands she is completely alone and must rely on her own wits to save herself. Ultimately "Alma" is a story about the road to personal understanding, and the end result of that path~ forgiveness. 

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Our Promise

We are thrilled to bring this production to the stage. Not only do we have an excellent cast and talented chamber orchestra, we also have the addition of ballet dancers. Our dancers are the "animals" in the story. In this post-apocalyptic world, where everything is strange and different, the animals help weave the plot together towards a climax in a wild and wonderful burlesque scene. You won't want to miss the melange of these three art forms; opera, ballet and burlesque. We can't wait to entertain you!

The Music

Cameron Killick ~ Baritone

 "What drew me most strongly to Alma was the modern re-visiting of the classic fairy tale. It has been said that fairy tales never truly lose relevance because they exist outside of time. Because the worlds of elves, goblins, or indeed young girls with the power to control minds, don’t truly exist, they could just as easily have happened yesterday as hundreds of years ago. By framing an opera through this lens, it allows an examination of characters that are detached from the vicissitudes of the modern the world. While Alma doesn’t truly exist, her story of being taken from her home into a cold and frightening world is something everyone can relate to. Fairy tales create a space that allows us to feel for the struggle of people without the clamour of modern politics and culture. Allison Cociani’s score is very well suited to this purpose. While the music always maintains a modern, complex and ethereal quality, many sections are equally reminiscent of the basso-continuo style of the high baroque. The great baroque masters such as Monteverdi, Gluck and Handel wrote some of the greatest examples of fantasy opera and Alma’s score very cleverly pays homage to those operas from which it descends."

Cameron Killick ~ Baritone

 "What drew me most strongly to Alma was the modern re-visiting of the classic fairy tale. It has been said that fairy tales never truly lose relevance because they exist outside of time. Because the worlds of elves, goblins, or indeed young girls with the power to control minds, don’t truly exist, they could just as easily have happened yesterday as hundreds of years ago. By framing an opera through this lens, it allows an examination of characters that are detached from the vicissitudes of the modern the world. While Alma doesn’t truly exist, her story of being taken from her home into a cold and frightening world is something everyone can relate to. Fairy tales create a space that allows us to feel for the struggle of people without the clamour of modern politics and culture. Allison Cociani’s score is very well suited to this purpose. While the music always maintains a modern, complex and ethereal quality, many sections are equally reminiscent of the basso-continuo style of the high baroque. The great baroque masters such as Monteverdi, Gluck and Handel wrote some of the greatest examples of fantasy opera and Alma’s score very cleverly pays homage to those operas from which it descends."

Ian Dives ~ Musical Director

"What impressed me first about Alma was the music. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before: totally contemporary but also melodic and evocative, like a new Mozart. Then I fell in love with the opera's timeless story, which is about a young woman who must use her wits and inner resources to save herself. But when we cast the opera and were able to see the artists breathe life into what Allison had written - to me, that's when I truly realized how magical this work is, and how exciting it is to bring audiences something completely new."

Ian Dives ~ Musical Director

"What impressed me first about Alma was the music. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before: totally contemporary but also melodic and evocative, like a new Mozart. Then I fell in love with the opera's timeless story, which is about a young woman who must use her wits and inner resources to save herself. But when we cast the opera and were able to see the artists breathe life into what Allison had written - to me, that's when I truly realized how magical this work is, and how exciting it is to bring audiences something completely new."

Allison Cociani ~ Composer

"I write organically. I have of course an idea of where I am beginning and even sometimes of where I wish to end, but everything else is a mystery. I don't like to hold back or second guess. If the music wishes to do a thing, to change directions, I simply allow it to do so. I trust in the melody, the flow, like an endless torrent ~ this is the place that the music comes from. It is my belief that you must enjoy what you create and so I do just that. 

"Alma" emerged from a few notes. The first were the most difficult, but then she grew and grew and became a whole being, with arms and legs, and an infinite attitude. Like a child, she requires endless attention. I have never been more happy to tend to her needs. 

The message is forgiveness. I think that is something we all need to address in the world we all inhabit. It is my hope that the music and the text can express this sincere emotion. It is my hope that we can all find inspiration with Alma."

Allison Cociani ~ Composer

"I write organically. I have of course an idea of where I am beginning and even sometimes of where I wish to end, but everything else is a mystery. I don't like to hold back or second guess. If the music wishes to do a thing, to change directions, I simply allow it to do so. I trust in the melody, the flow, like an endless torrent ~ this is the place that the music comes from. It is my belief that you must enjoy what you create and so I do just that. 

"Alma" emerged from a few notes. The first were the most difficult, but then she grew and grew and became a whole being, with arms and legs, and an infinite attitude. Like a child, she requires endless attention. I have never been more happy to tend to her needs. 

The message is forgiveness. I think that is something we all need to address in the world we all inhabit. It is my hope that the music and the text can express this sincere emotion. It is my hope that we can all find inspiration with Alma."

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Video

Listen to "Alma", act one scene one ~ "The Murder of Mist"

Information & Tickets

https://tickets.metrotheatre.com

Contact Us

eastvanopera@gmail.com

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