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Women elevated in the arts in Minoru Chapel series opener

Lorraine Graves   Oct-02-2017

Scenes from the opera Alma will delight both lovers of high voices and lovers of villains with deeper voices.

Photo courtesy City of Richmond


Once again this year, the historic Minoru Chapel hosts opera. The season opens with excerpts from Alma, a contemporary opera written by Allison Cociani.

Presented by East Van Opera, a new company dedicated to elevating women in the arts and showcasing the creation of new music, Alma ticks all the boxes; a strong female lead and a strong female antagonist singing excerpts from an opera premiered just this past June.

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Alma’s story billed by the company as a tale about the road to self-realization, personal sacrifice and forgiveness. Mezzo soprano Melissa Ratcliff is Griselda, an evil old woman. Lyric coloratura, Allison Cociani, is the young woman with magical powers, Alma. Accompanied by pianist Nina Horvath, this modern opera toys with preconceptions as it is melodic rather than atonal, offering pleasing sounds to all who attend.

The second concert in the series presented by City Opera Vancouver on Wednesday, Nov. 1 offers highlights from the company’s past and upcoming productions under the direction of David Boothroyd.

The following month sees the final concert in the series. Wednesday Dec. 6 offers all comers and opportunity to sing along with the seasonal music presented by City Opera Vancouver. Enthusiasm is all you need to bring. Sheet music is provided at the door and all invited to sing along with the pros.

According to a recent City of Vancouver press release, “The Minoru Chapel Opera Series takes place on the first Wednesdays of October, November and December. All events will be held at Minoru Chapel, located at 6540 Gilbert Road (beside the Gateway Theatre) at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Seating is limited and tickets can be purchased at the door or, as recommended, in advance by calling 604-276-4300. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for students and seniors.”


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