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THE SCOOP | City Opera Vancouver Presses Pause On ‘Chinatown’ Until 2022

By Michael Vincent on May 18, 2021

Vancouver's Chinatown (Photo: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)
Vancouver’s Chinatown (Photo: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)

City Opera Vancouver has announced the world premiere of Chinatown will be postponed until the 2022 season.

Chinatown is a chamber opera by Alice Ping Yee Ho with a libretto by Madeleine Thien. The chamber opera has been in development for the past four years.

City Opera president Ethel Whitty stated that the delay is due to the ongoing health restrictions from COVID-19 by the BC provincial government.

“In order to mount this show, install sets and props and costumes, rehearse in ensemble for a month, sell tickets, build the lobby museum displays, prepare the orchestra, manage the Finding Chinatown July and August workshops in Maple Ridge, Richmond, and Vancouver, and organize the Opening Night community dinner and Memorial March, we need a clear 120 days.”

Founded in 2006, City Opera Vancouver has focused on presenting some of Canada’s most notable new operas.

  • FALLUJAH (2012)
  • PAULINE (2014)
  • THE LOST OPERAS OF MOZART (2016)
  • MISSING (2017)

Chinatown is City Opera’s fifth commission in nine years. It will run September 13-17, 2022 at the 668-seat Vancouver Playhouse.

All Digital, All The Time

After live events were banned March 2020, Vancouver’s arts organizations have been hoping that vaccine rollouts might mean they can open by Fall 2021. Until then, they have been proactive with interesting streamed events online.

  • The City Opera Vancouver presented The Human Voice and Perruqueries. Both productions are currently streaming online on the company’s YouTube channel.
  • Vancouver Opera just premiere a new abridged digital version of Bizet’s Carmen. You can see it here.
  • The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will cap off the season this month with GRAMMY Award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey.
  • Music on Main just presented a free five-day festival with music and talks through May 18. You can catch it streaming on YouTube for now.

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Michael Vincent
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