The Vancouver Concert Opera Society treats audiences to purely musical renditions of beloved works warbled by preeminent opera singers. One of Giuseppe Verdi's most popular pieces, Rigoletto introduces listeners to the tragic story of a womanizing duke, his titular jester, and the jester's beautiful daughter. With classic songs of love, betrayal, and sacrifice, the opera's dark plot tugs on heartstrings and ties them into trick knots. Notable singers include internationally recognized, Vancouver-based tenor Frédérik Robert and Toronto-hailing baritone Keith O'Brien. Jesse Award–winning actor Bernard Cuffling interjects with English narration, preventing mystification in non-Italian speakers and comforting Italians who feel as though they are missing out on the traditional opera experience of language-barrier confusion.
Opera Pro Cantanti, Canada's inaugural repertory opera company, stages original productions of classics by renowned composers such as Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi. This season, guests may choose from three performances of Verdi's La Traviata (September 11, October 10, and October 17), a musical tragedy about a courtesan who trades her happiness for love and a star quarterback for her fantasy-football team. The company will also present Verdi's Rigoletto, the tale of a cursed court jester, on September 25 before regifting it during the holiday season. On October 2, 9, 16, 30, and 31, the opera will tackle I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Bellini's retelling of Romeo and Juliet, with powerful arias and brawny libretti. Cambrian Hall's small, intimate theatre helps visitors connect with the singers on an emotional level without having to velcro themselves to the stage. Audiences can check the online schedule for additional productions later in the season.
David Gray's soothing folk-rock sounds and heartfelt lyrics have serenaded fans for nearly 20 years, earning the artist accolades and chart-topping hits in the United States and U.K. Gravelly voiced Gray mixes poetic introspection with ethereal guitar melodies to create songs that plumb soulful depths like existential octopuses. On his successful Lost and Found tour, Gray will supercharge his signature acoustics with live-performance electricity, performing a bevy of songs including numbers from his recent album Foundling. Groupon-holding spectators will sate aural appetites from level 3 seats—located in the outer banks of the orchestra and loge levels and in parts of the balcony—of the historical Orpheum Theater, with quadruple tier seating that provides ample views of every note as they flutter away from the stage and into the embrace of a nearby eardrums.
Named 2008's Best Latin Band by Miami New Times, three-time Grammy-nominated group Tiempo Libre fuses Cuba's myriad musical strands into a modern, ear-tickling mélange. Classically trained in conservatories on their native island, the septet plays timba music, which draws on Latin jazz, Afro-Caribbean beats, and son, Cuba's distinctive version of salsa. Supporting their recent album My Secret Radio, the group's infectious beats inspire audiences to get up and dance and the World Health Organization to declare general quarantines around affected venues. Chan Centre for the Performing Arts houses the group's music in its acoustically friendly Chan Shun Concert Hall with concrete walls built to dampen reverb and errant sonic interference. Over the stage, a 37-tonne canopy constructed of steel and cork can be raised or lowered to adjust the auditorium's acoustic character or to clothesline any belligerent concert-going giants in attendance.
Signature service: Dance studio
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: Revolution Dance Wear
Pro Tip: Call ahead for class availability.