Young(ish) and hip sing Vancouver Opera’s praises

By Kristi Alexandra

If there’s one thing that Vancouver Opera has shown us in the last year, it’s that the opera isn’t just patronized by royals, the elite, and your rich great-grandmother anymore. VO’s rebrand alone is enough to make us, ahem, older millennials salivate. With lavish sets and multimedia installations showing that this classic art form can be innovative, young people are going to the opera again. And really, it comes as no surprise.

Kicking off VO’s 2017-2018 season is Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot – the Persian legend of an icy princess who dodges romance with calculated cruelty. She’ll only agree to marry if her suitors can correctly answer three riddles (which feels like the historical version of “I don’t need no man”), otherwise she’ll leave a trail of beheaded would-be lovers in her wake.

The opera is set in ancient Beijing (Peking) to stunning scenes in lush golds, rich reds, and ever-present circular ornamentation. Dark corners and big, bright moons add to its sense of grandeur along with the opera’s very own 64-piece orchestra, 52-person chorus, and several more performers.

Soprano Amber Wagner makes her role debut as Turandot. The singer has been hailed as having a “powerful, gleaming and richly expressive voice… ideal for the music” by the New York Times.

Turandot is an age-old tale of opening oneself to love, which looks to be innovated beautifully by Vancouver Opera’s aptitude for young culture. And to that end, a rather hefty student discount will be given out on the Vancouver Opera’s Facebook page on the opening day – so keep you eyes peeled.

Vancouver Opera presents Turandot at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, showing October 13, 15, 19, and 21. Find tickets here.

Kristi Alexandra is an unabashed wino and wannabe musician. Her talents include drinking an entire bottle of cabernet sauvignon, singing in the bathtub, and falling asleep.