Vancouver Opera

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Vancouver Opera is the second largest performing arts organization in British Columbia and the largest opera company in western Canada. Its mainstage performances take place in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and other venues in Vancouver, with other performances in venues through British Columbia. Vancouver Opera has one of only two professional opera orchestras in Canada (the other being Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company). Vancouver Opera currently mounts four mainstage productions a year, as well as a school touring and education program and various community events.


Vancouver Opera was founded in 1958 and presented its first production in 1960. From its inception until 1974, and for two seasons from 1982 to 1984, the company was headed by Artistic Director Irving Guttman. Conductor Richard Bonynge served as Artistic Director from 1974 to 1982, and he was the founding Music Director of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra in the moment of its creation in 1977 (prior to 1977, opera productions were played by and orchestra made up of members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra[1]). In 1984, Brian McMaster began a five-year tenure. He was followed by Guus Mostart for three seasons (1989-90, 1990-91 and 1991-92), and by Robert Hallam, who in 1991 was appointed to the new position of General Director.

The company's current General Director, James W. Wright, assumed the position in 1999. Formerly the head of Opera Carolina, Wright's career includes senior positions with Anchorage Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Vancouver Opera's current Music Director is Jonathan Darlington.


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