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Bravo! The History of Opera in BC Launches in Victoria

Posted: October 15, 2009

Pacific Opera Victoria and author Rosemary Cunningham are launching her book, Bravo! The History of Opera in British Columbia at Bolen Books (111-1644 Hillside Avenue) on Tuesday, October 27 at 7pm. Rosemary and members of Pacific Opera Victoria, will present to answer questions. Books will be for sale and Rosemary will be available for signings. For more information please contact: (250) 595-4232.

The lights dim and a hush falls on the audience. A few last bow strokes on violin strings are heard as the symphony settles into the pit. The curtain rises on an ornate backdrop, and talented singers stride out on stage in their lavish costumes, continuing a tradition that has existed in British Columbia for well over a hundred years. A tradition in Victoria that has produced world-class opera stars such as Timothy Vernon and Richard Margison, and hosted international talents such as Jerome Hines. The first full-length opera performance in Victoria took place in 1877, and ever since fans of this historic and ever evolving art form have kept its spirit alive in our provincial capital.

This first-ever history of opera in BC celebrates the 30th anniversary of Pacific Opera Victoria beginning in 2010 in the province with the largest per capita opera audience in the country. It also marks Vancouver Opera's 50th anniversary and the recent upsurge in the popularity of the venerable art form, with new opera groups and simul-cast venues proliferating across this province. Illustrated with more than 100 exquisite photographs and rare archival images, Bravo! traces the history of opera in the province from its colourful origins in touring companies, to the determined efforts of BC's opera pioneers, culminating with in-depth reporting on recent developments at Pacific Opera Victoria and Vancouver Opera. Become immersed in BC’s opera culture with behind-the-scenes accounts of contemporary productions, full listings of Pacific Opera Victoria, Vancouver Opera and Modern Baroque Opera productions and detailed information on BC opera singers, composers and opera training in this province.

Rosemary Cunningham is a loyal fan of Pacific Opera Victoria and has held season's tickets to Vancouver Opera for many years. Following retirement from her career as a librarian, she began a second career as a writer and has published several historical articles. Bravo! is her first published book. She lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada.