West Coast Opera Studio – New Opera Company
Opens In Support of Underfunded Young Singers
A new Lower Mainland opera company is celebrating their grand opening with a double-bill of shows designed to help young singers achieve their dreams. At 7:30 pm on Friday, July 29th and Saturday, July 30th, the West Coast Opera Studio will present two beloved short operas: Pergolesi’s La serva padrona and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, featuring casts of talented students and graduates of those smaller, underfunded opera schools that couldn’t give them the same opportunity.
Founder Robin Eder-Warren says that West Coast Opera’s decision to stage an opera starring performers who hadn’t had the chance to sing many full roles came when she saw other small companies in Vancouver begin to disappear. “To pursue future careers in the art form, singers need to have resumes full of experience in a wide array of operas,” she says, “and with the closure of several small companies in the past few years, and the lack of funding from many schools, for many the only opportunities to perform come from what we call ‘pay-to-sing’ companies – and some singers, though they’re really fantastic vocalists, simply can’t afford that. That’s where West Coast Opera comes in.”
For this production, WCOS is teaming up with Opera Mariposa, the acclaimed local opera company that has been showcasing emerging young artists since 2011. “Mariposa was created by young artists, for young artists, and we’re thrilled to help give these singers the opportunities they desperately need for their future careers,” explains Artistic Director Jacqueline Ko, who is lending her voice to the tragic Dido and Aeneas as the Sorceress. “Without experience like this, pursuing professional opera can be next to impossible, even for singers as amazing as those we get to work with this summer. Everyone needs the chance to shine, no matter where they come from.”
The co-production is being funded by a campaign on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, with a fundraising goal of $2500. Eder-Warren hopes that the city will come together to support the arts. “Any contribution, big or small, makes a difference to this project,” she says. “We hope the community will stand with us against the idea that opera is a dying art, and join us for the performances.”
La serva padrona and Dido and Aeneas (by G. B. Pergolesi and H. Purcell)
7:30 pm on Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30, 2016
Metro Theatre, 1370 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC
Tickets $20 ($18 students and seniors), metrotheatre.com, at the door or at (604) 266-7191
About West Coast Opera Studio
WCOS is a brand new opera company dedicated to showcasing local performers by creating opportunities for them to sing full roles. Entirely funded by arts lovers and the community, the project strives to help underfunded young singers as they prepare for full careers.