Mussorgsky Songs and Dances of Death
Feb
3
4:00 PM16:00

Mussorgsky Songs and Dances of Death

Join me and pianist Natalia Skomorokhova for this beautiful, rarely-performed cycle of four songs with poetry by Arseny Arkad'yevich Golenischev-Kutuzov. The poems depict death acting in various scenes of life: a child, a maiden, a drunk, and as a general in the battlefield and the cycle is considered to be a masterpiece of Russian art song.  While the topic could be considered morbid, the beauty of the music and poetry are cathartic.

The recital is part of Natalia's Doctor of Musical Arts degree. Also on the program is Brahms Piano quartet No.3, Op.60 in C-minor. Other artists involved are:
Ori Solomon- violin
Daniel Dennis- cello
Katie McBean-viola

Hyperion records has a wonderful commentary by Leonid Gakkel about The Songs and Dances of Death  on their website that I thought I'd include:

In 1875, Mussorgsky started writing the song cycle Songs and dances of death; the composer was thirty-six years old, with six years of life remaining, and ‘She’—for this was how the composer referred to death in his letters—filled his thoughts. This theme had already appeared in Night on Bare Mountain, but in the 1870s it found new form in the idea for a long work for voice and piano based on the poems of Arseny Golenishchev-Kutuzov, with whom Mussorgsky had close artistic and personal ties. The critic Vladimir Stasov helped with the broader plan of the cycle: it was suggested to have twelve pieces showing the deaths of people of various ages and social classes, but this was whittled down to four, which together make up the greatest death poem in the Russian vocal music tradition, and not only in it alone.

‘The bumbling fool of death mows relentlessly, without stopping to think whether her accursed visit is really needed,’ Mussorgsky wrote in one of his letters, without a hint of humility. Quite the reverse, he peruses death unflinchingly, and that is what makes the Songs and dances of death cycle so penetrating and so closely connected to Russian literature (in particular Dostoevsky), where a deathly veracity is also to be found.

Songs and dances of death opens with “Lullaby”: a mother is trying to comfort her sick child, Death comes to help her, singing the soothing refrain of ‘Bayushki, bayu, bayu’. She grins tenderly and nothing is as deeply perturbing as the gentle singing of Death the Consoler. “Serenade”, the second song, is performed on behalf of Death the Beau: here everything is a mask, a deception, and only the last commanding cry of ‘You are mine!’ is true.

In “Trepak” the music and poetry move from the four walls of the home to a desolate snowswept landscape: in the forest a drunken peasant is freezing. Death twirls him in a folk dance, the trepak, which is replaced by the sweet vision of a warm summer, as happens in the final moments of those freezing to death. It is over, and only the muffled piano is left repeating the trepak rhythm.

Two years later, Mussorgsky added the final and longest piece to the cycle: “The Field Marshal”. The author inserted the horrifying direction: Vivo—alla Guerra(Lively—in a martial spirit). Th ere follows the image of a battle, then a stupor takes hold: the living are lying with the dead, and finally Field-Marshal-Death rides in on a skeleton horse. Here, Mussorgsky uses the anthem of the Polish insurgents at the time, Z dymem pożarów. This is tragic beyond belief: it is as though we are seeing Poland as it became during the Second World War, dotted with Nazi extermination camps. In a letter to Golenishtchev-Kutuzov, the composer wrote of “The Field Marshal”: ‘It is death, coldly, passionately in love with death, and delighting in death.’ And he concluded: ‘Yes, it is after war!’ Death is the victor—in the fates of individuals and the fates of warring peoples alike, and no matter what dialogue it engages in with those it encounters.

In 1962, Shostakovich orchestrated this cycle. The score contains much that is remarkable: the strings in “Lullaby”, the flute and harp in “Trepak”, the percussion in “Field Marshal”. But most important of all is that in 1969 Songs and dances of death was reborn in Shostakovich’s Fourteenth Symphony (he said that Mussorgsky should have included more pieces in the cycle). In Symphony No 14 there are eleven movements and their principal theme is death. It served as a moral cleansing for the Russian people, who had overcome the hardships of the past. These works—Mussorgsky’s song cycle and Shostakovich’s Symphony that followed in its footsteps—have come to hold great importance for Russians today, for we Russians require new eff orts to preserve our country’s humanistic traditions.

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Fauré Requiem with the International Symphony
Mar
23
to Mar 24

Fauré Requiem with the International Symphony

  • Temple Baptist Church, Sarnia (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

“In Paradisum”

Douglas Bianchi, conductor
Sonja Gustafson, soprano
Chad Louwerse, bass-baritone
International Symphony Singers

Orchestra, Symphony Singers, and outstanding guest vocalists: soprano Sonja Gustafson and baritone Chad Louwerse, will offer inspiring and uplifting works… reflective of this Sacred Season.  The comfort and consolation of the supremely sublime Fauré Requiem pairs beautifully with the energy of Maestro Bianchi’s newly-penned, Sonnets.

Overture to Egmont – BEETHOVEN
Requiem – FAURÉ
Three Elizabethan Sonnets for voice and orchestra – BIANCHI
Overture, Scherzo and Finale – SCHUMANN …and more…

March 23, 2018 at 7:30pm, Hillside Wesleyan Church, Clyde Twsp.
March 24, 2018 at 7:30pm, Temple Baptist Church, Sarnia

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Gift of the Magi
Dec
8
to Dec 9

Gift of the Magi

  • First-St Andrew's United Church (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

"Music at First-St. Andrew's" has lined up a magical December event for you which will run Friday, Dec. 8 and Sat. Dec. 9. Your evening will begin at 6:30pm with a dinner, catered by Sebastian's, and continues at 8:00pm with the musical presentation, "The Gift of the Magi."

There will also be a matinee performance on Sat., Dec. 9 at 3pm.

A one-act opera by David Conte based on the well known O. Henry short story, this production features: Sonja Gustafson, Soprano; Francesca Ranalli, Mezzo-soprano; Todd Wieczorek, Baritone and Chad Louwerse, Bass Baritone with pianist Terry Head. The production is directed by George Jolink.

Tickets: $45, matinee: $20

A cash bar will be available at all performances.

Want to attend but can't make it for the dinner? Tickets for the opera only are available from the church office. Call the church office at 519-679-8182 to make your reservation. Tickets for the performance only will also be available at the door.

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Amahl and the Night Visitors
Nov
17
to Nov 19

Amahl and the Night Visitors

  • Elmwood Avenue Presbyterian Church (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Together with the Village Opera Company of London, Elmwood Avenue Presbyterian Church is presenting the Christmas Opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Giann-Carlo Menotti. It will be performed on FridayNovember 17th  and Sunday November 19th starting at 7:30 pm at Elmwood Avenue Presbyterian Church at 111 Elmwood Avnenue E. The opera lasts about 50 minutes, and tells the story of a young crippled boy named Amahl who, with his Mother, interacts with the Three Kings on their way to find the Christ Child. It is a very touching story with beautiful music. We know you will enjoy this wonderful work, and hope you can join us. 

Will Cramp & Denver Milner- Amahl
Katy Clark - Mother
Paul Grambo - Melchior
Chris Fischer - Caspar
Chad Louwerse - Balthazar

Tickets cost $25.00 for adults and $10.00 for students and children

Tickets are available after our worship services every Sunday; from the church office; from Tuckey’s Home Hardware; and from Attic Books

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London Opera Guild Gala Concert
Apr
29
7:00 PM19:00

London Opera Guild Gala Concert

Ever wonder if you might be interested in opera? Well, this is just the kind of relaxed concert to go to in order to get acquainted.

I'll be singing some beautiful and fun music with my friends Jen Cyr (soprano), Jade Vaughan (mezzo-soprano), Colin Bell (tenor), and Parker Clements (baritone) in a concert of operatic favourites. We'll all sing an aria or two that we really like, of course, but we're also going to highlight Mozart's Don Giovanni and Gounod's Faust.

Thanks to the London Opera Guild for providing the opportunity to perform. Tickets will be available at the door.

Please come and enjoy!

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Doctoral Recital #2
Apr
28
8:00 PM20:00

Doctoral Recital #2

Journeys
This second recital is about the journey of our lives. And, in honour of the 150th anniversary of Canada's confederation, it piggybacks this metaphorical journey on that of explorers and settlers coming to North America from England and France for the first time.

I explore questions like these in this recital: What made them leave their homes for the unknown and for adventure? What challenges did they face? What did they see when they reached their destination and what happened at the end of their travels? Was a new journey awaiting them at the end of the first? And, in the same way, I ask these same questions about our lives and our time.

Also worth mentioning is that most of the music for this concert was written by Canadian composers, something I thought appropriate given the occasion.

Here's the program:

Sea Fever                                                               
Hidden Treasure                                 
Sea Fever                                                           
Toll the Bell                            
Sea Dirge                                        

Three Salt Water Ballads                
Port of Many Ships                                                                                       
Trade Winds
Mother Carey

🍁Three Traditional French-Canadian Songs
La plainte des coureurs-des-bois
Rossignol du vert bocage                                                                                    
Le navire de Bayonne

🍁Selections from South of North              
Wilderness on Centre Island                                                                          
Grace
Northern River Falls
Congregation at the Shoreline

🍁Two French Songs For Baritone
Violon de villanelle                                                                                         
Soir d’hiver

🍁A Clear Midnight                                                           
🍁Saturday and Sunday                                               
Sure on this Shining Night       

Admission is free.  I hope you can come!                               

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Doctoral Recital #1
Apr
7
8:00 PM20:00

Doctoral Recital #1

Bach Ich habe genug  - I Have Enough BVW 82
Violin I - Anita Louwerse
Violin II - Nick Carlucci
Viola - Jeff Komar
Cello - Patrick Theriault
Oboe - Joel Heinbuch
Harpsichord - Melanie Cancade

Brahms Vier ernste Gesänge - Four Serious Songs Op. 121
Piano - Melanie Cancade

P.D.Q. Bach Four Next-To-Last Songs S. Ω-1
Piano - Melanie Cancade

 

The repertoire of this recital is music that I've always wanted to sing. I've never had the opportunity to sing them and, admittedly, didn't really feel ready to do so until now. They are each challenging in their own way and I'm delighted to present them to you. 

The Bach is one of two cantatas Bach wrote for the bass voice. It illustrates Simeon's reaction to seeing the baby Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem. It's full of hope, longing, and joy. I'm delighted to present this cantata to you with the help of a small string ensemble and harpsichord. Hearing Bach with a small chamber "orchestra" like this is a real pleasure and amplifies the impact of Bach's beautiful writing.

The Brahms cycle of four songs is based on the books of Ecclesiastes, Second Corinthians, and the extra-biblical book of Ecclesiasticus. The first two songs consider the state of humankind and reflect on the injustice we inflict on one another. The third compares the bitterness and boon of death. The last song changes tone as though Brahms were providing his own answer to these three problems: if we don't have love, we're nothing and have nothing.

The PDQ Bach songs are just plain funny and are a loving, though hilarious, parody of the German art music genre. I heard these on a recording some time ago and wrote to the composer asking to purchase the music, which wasn't available at the time. I'm so happy he agreed and am really excited to share them with you.

This is a free concert and I hope many of you can come!

 

 

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The Jack Richardson London Classical and Jazz Music Awards
Apr
2
8:00 PM20:00

The Jack Richardson London Classical and Jazz Music Awards

I'm performing a saucy song with the fabulous Mark Payne at the J.R.L.M.A. Classical and Jazz Music Awards on April 2 (click the link to check it out)! It's going to be a great evening of music that will also feature Sonja Gustavson, the London Jazz Orchestra, Kings College Chamber Choir, the Rebelheart Collective, and others.

I'm also honoured to announce that I've been nominated for one of the awards along with my friends Ted Baerg, Marjorie Maltais, and Margie Bernal. I'm in great company! I'd encourage you to come and enjoy a great night of music and a celebration of London's classical and jazz music culture.

Tickets are FREE but must be reserved on Eventbrite here. Hope to see you there!

 

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Verdi's Requiem
Apr
27
8:00 PM20:00

Verdi's Requiem

I'm thrilled to join l'Orchestre Symphonique de Laval and the Choeur de Laval for this choral masterpiece by Verdi. Conducted by acclaimed Canadian conductor Alain Trudel, the Verdi Requiem is a tour de force filled with powerful choruses and moving solos and ensembles. I'm honoured to join some wonderful Canadian soloists for this concert: tenor John Mac Master, soprano Chantale Nurse, and mezzo-soprano Renée Lapointe.  It's going to be a special evening and if you're around Montréal, please come up to Laval and join us!

Tickets are available here.

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Verdi's Falstaff
Jan
29
7:00 PM19:00

Verdi's Falstaff

I have the pleasure of playing Sir John himself in UWOpera's production of Verdi's hilarious comedy Falstaff. This opera, sometimes called the most successful adaptation of a Shakespeare play to opera, premiered on February 9, 1893 and is based on the bard's Merry Wives of Windsor, and scenes from Henry IV parts one and two. It is the last opera Verdi wrote and has elements of all his other operatic works rolled into one.  You'll hear musical references to Otello, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, and others - all with Verdi's tongue placed firmly in his cheek.

There will be six performances:
January 29, 30 at 8pm and 31 at 2pm.
February 5, 6 at 8pm and 7 at 2pm.

Tickets are available through the Grand Theatre website.

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Silent Night
May
23
7:30 PM19:30

Silent Night

Chad returns to L'Opera de Montréal to sing the role of the British General in Kevin Puts' opera Silent Night.  A deeply moving story, inspired by the film Joyeux Noël, this stirring plea for peace premiered in 2011, went on to win audience acclaim, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music.

Salle Wilfred Pelletier

In English, French, and German with Subtitles

Tickets available through the Montréal Opera website.

More information about the opera available at its official site.

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Silent Night
May
21
7:30 PM19:30

Silent Night

Chad returns to L'Opera de Montréal to sing the role of the British General in Kevin Puts' opera Silent Night.  A deeply moving story, inspired by the film Joyeux Noël, this stirring plea for peace premiered in 2011, went on to win audience acclaim, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music.

Salle Wilfred Pelletier

In English, French, and German with Subtitles

Tickets available through the Montréal Opera website.

More information about the opera available at its official site.

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Silent Night
May
19
7:30 PM19:30

Silent Night

Chad returns to L'Opera de Montréal to sing the role of the British General in Kevin Puts' opera Silent Night.  A deeply moving story, inspired by the film Joyeux Noël, this stirring plea for peace premiered in 2011, went on to win audience acclaim, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music.

Salle Wilfred Pelletier

In English, French, and German with Subtitles

Tickets available through the Montréal Opera website.

More information about the opera available at its official site.

 

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Silent Night
May
16
7:30 PM19:30

Silent Night

Chad returns to L'Opera de Montréal to sing the role of the British General in Kevin Puts' opera Silent Night.  A deeply moving story, inspired by the film Joyeux Noël, this stirring plea for peace premiered in 2011, went on to win audience acclaim, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music.

Salle Wilfred Pelletier

In English, French, and German with Subtitles

Tickets available through the Montréal Opera website.

More information about the opera available at its official site.

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Spring Concert At Chalmers: A Night of Opera and Sacred Music
Apr
18
7:00 PM19:00

Spring Concert At Chalmers: A Night of Opera and Sacred Music

I have the pleasure of singing a concert of operatic and sacred favourites at this Spring concert at Chalmers Presbyterian Church.  My friends Margie Bernal (Soprano), Ryan Fitzgerald (Tenor), Marjorie Maltais (Mezzo-Soprano), and Stéphane Mayer (Piano) will be joining me to perform some of the best-loved selections from the operatic and sacred music repertoire.

Excerpts from La Bohème, La Cenerentola, Le nozze di Figaro, and Rigoletto are just some of the operatic excerpts and the sacred selections will include African American spirituals, favourite spiritual songs from the Christian tradition, and excerpts from classical works such as the Mozart Requiem.

Tickets are $12 per person and $30 per family and are available at the church office or at the door the night of the concert.

Part of the proceeds of this concert will be in support of Presbyterian World Service & Development, an international organization dedicated to justicepoverty reduction, and support in times of disaster. 

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Master's Degree Recital
Mar
30
8:00 PM20:00

Master's Degree Recital

This is it!

The last recital of my Master's degree! I promise it will be a lot of fun. 

This is a night with a big Spanish influence with music by Ibert, Ravel, Buchardo, Ginastera, and a tango as part of a cycle by Canadian Composer Jeff Smallman.  There's other music as well, of course, including some setting of Heine's famous poem Du bist wie eine Blume, or You're Lovely Like A Flower, which may not actually be about a flower at all. You'll have to come hear it to find out.

Please be my guest and join me!  

Admission is free.  

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La Bohème | UWOpera
Feb
8
2:00 PM14:00

La Bohème | UWOpera

This tragic love story is one of the most performed operas in the repertoire and is filled with powerful, beautiful music and real, down-to-earth characters. People say that one should be able to follow what's happening in an opera by what's happening in the music and how it makes you feel. Well, this is one opera where that's really true.  On top of that, UWOpera will have surtitles in English as usual. Chad will sing the role of the fiery painter Marcello.  Find out more about La Bohème here.

The performances will be at the Paul Davenport Theatre at Western University.  Chad's performance dates are Saturday, January 31, and Friday, February 6 at 8pm as well as Sunday, February 8 at 2pm.  

As our show is double-cast, you can see another fine cast perform on January 30 and February 7 at 8pm as well as a matinee on February 1 at 2pm.

Tickets available online through the Grand Theatre Website.

Sung in Italian with English Surtitles

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La Bohème | UWOpera
Feb
6
8:00 PM20:00

La Bohème | UWOpera

This tragic love story is one of the most performed operas in the repertoire and is filled with powerful, beautiful music and real, down-to-earth characters. People say that one should be able to follow what's happening in an opera by what's happening in the music and how it makes you feel. Well, this is one opera where that's really true.  On top of that, UWOpera will have surtitles in English as usual. Chad will sing the role of the fiery painter Marcello.  Find out more about La Bohème here.

The performances will be at the Paul Davenport Theatre at Western University.  Chad's performance dates are Saturday, January 31, and Friday, February 6 at 8pm as well as Sunday, February 8 at 2pm.  

As our show is double-cast, you can see another fine cast perform on January 30 and February 7 at 8pm as well as a matinee on February 1 at 2pm.

Tickets available online through the Grand Theatre Website.

Sung in Italian with English Surtitles

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La Bohème | UWOpera
Jan
31
8:00 PM20:00

La Bohème | UWOpera

This tragic love story is one of the most performed operas in the repertoire and is filled with powerful, beautiful music and real, down-to-earth characters. People say that one should be able to follow what's happening in an opera by what's happening in the music and how it makes you feel. Well, this is one opera where that's really true.  On top of that, UWOpera will have surtitles in English as usual. Chad will sing the role of the fiery painter Marcello.  Find out more about La Bohème here.

The performances will be at the Paul Davenport Theatre at Western University.  Chad's performance dates are Saturday, January 31, and Friday, February 6 at 8pm as well as Sunday, February 8 at 2pm.  

As our show is double-cast, you can see another fine cast perform on January 30 and February 7 at 8pm as well as a matinee on February 1 at 2pm.

Tickets available online through the Grand Theatre Website.

Sung in Italian with English Surtitles

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Jan
11
2:30 PM14:30

Songs of Love, Loss, and Laughter

This is a recital of wonderful songs by Ibert, Rubinstein, Schumann, and a wonderful new song cycle by Canadian composer Jeff Smallman called Epitaphs.  The music ranges in emotion and affect from beautifully meditative to just plain ridiculously funny. I have the pleasure of performing with the fabulous Betty Suderman, a very sensitive collaborative pianist with whom I've performed on CBC Radio 2.

This recital is for Trinity Western University's Faculty + Friends Recital Series.  Being my undergraduate alma mater, it's a real pleasure to return and share these songs with TWU faculty and students as well as the Langley community.  Please come and enjoy!

Tickets are available at Eventbrite or cash at the door.

Students/Seniors $10
Adults $15
Families (2 adults and children) $30

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L'Heure Espagnole
Nov
21
8:00 PM20:00

L'Heure Espagnole

Chad plays the pompous banker Don Iñigo Gomez in this hilarious comic opera about a clockmaker and his amorous wife.  Apparently, I'm snuck offstage in a large clock...

This is paired with the lovely l'Enfant et les Sortilèges, both by Maurice Ravel.

Paul Davenport Theatre at Western University November 21 and 22 at 8pm.
Tickets available online through the Grand Theatre Website
Sung in French with English Surtitles

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London Opera Guild Scholarship Winner's Concert
Nov
2
2:00 PM14:00

London Opera Guild Scholarship Winner's Concert

Come join me and my friends Amanda Bartella, Lisa Mulgrew, Bethany Routlegde, Scott Rumble and pianist Marie-Michelle Raby for a concert of opera's best and greatest hits and this scholarship winner's concert.  Hear excerpts from Carmen, La Bohème, The Magic Flute and other operas.  

Admission is by donation and proceeds go to support the London Opera Guild scholarship fund.

The concert is at 2pm at the Centre Space for the Arts at Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church.

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Adjudicating and Performing at the International Choral Kathaumixw Festival
Jul
1
to Jul 5

Adjudicating and Performing at the International Choral Kathaumixw Festival

I've had the pleasure and privilege of performing and adjudicating at the Kathaumixw Festival twice already, the first time in 2010 and then again in 2012.  I'm thrilled to be going back to adjudicate the solo vocal competition and to perform with the choirs and orchestra! Imagine choirs from all over the world coming together to sing, to compete, and to learn about Canada and one another.  It's an amazing experience hosted in Powell River, BC. If you happen to be on the sunshine coast, don't miss this week of fabulous music! http://www.kathaumixw.org

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Don Carlo | Vancouver Opera
May
11
2:00 PM14:00

Don Carlo | Vancouver Opera

Chad returns to Vancouver Opera in the role of The Friar in Verdi's Don Carlo. The Friar, coincidentally, bears a striking resemblance to King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre

In Italian with English Subtitles

This production will be the Milan version: 4 acts without the Fontainebleau scene

Tickets available through the Vancouver Opera website.

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Don Carlo | Vancouver Opera
May
10
7:30 PM19:30

Don Carlo | Vancouver Opera

Chad returns to Vancouver Opera in the role of The Friar in Verdi's Don Carlo. The Friar, coincidentally, bears a striking resemblance to King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre

In Italian with English Subtitles

This production will be the Milan version: 4 acts without the Fontainebleau scene

Tickets available through the Vancouver Opera website.

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Don Carlo | Vancouver Opera
May
8
7:30 PM19:30

Don Carlo | Vancouver Opera

Chad returns to Vancouver Opera in the role of The Friar in Verdi's Don Carlo. The Friar, coincidentally, bears a striking resemblance to King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre

In Italian with English Subtitles

This production will be the Milan version: 4 acts without the Fontainebleau scene

Tickets available through the Vancouver Opera website.

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