Marpole/Oakridge Community Centre Seniors Luncheon & Concert February 3, 2022

Soprano Sodam Lee and pianist Roger Parton performed a selection of opera arias and one Korean art song for the seniors luncheon group at the community centre. Sodam sang from a distance and from behind plexiglass. She gave a description of each piece and after the concert stayed to answer questions from the group about opera singing and how she got into this profession.

Soprano Sodam Lee singing for the seniors at Marpole/Oakridge Community Centre.

Community Opera Chorus Rehearsals

Throughout COVID the Community Opera Chorus has been rehearsing online via Zoom, outside the fieldhouse at Oak Park, and inside the church and hall of St. Augustines Anglican Church in Marpole. They have also been attending online singing lessons and masterclasses as well as storytelling sessions. To help the singers through this isolating time, music director Roger Parton has been recording each vocal line for them to listen and practice to at home and artistic director Trudy Chalmers has been helping by recording the pronunciation of the words. We sang rain or shine, shaded by the big walnut trees next to the fieldhouse.

“It has been a wonderful and fruitful year for Katie and I to participate in the Community Chorus by Opera Opulenza in the Fieldhouse. This is perhaps the best course we ever taken since our retirement. We have learned not only how to sing, but also the technique of breathing and how to relax. We must thank you and Roger for your dedications and professionalism in your teaching. You took such patience and care to teach and coach us the beginners. Your excellent teaching deserved a 5 star ovation.” K. Cheung

“It is almost a year since attending the Community Opera Chorus program. I would like to express my deep appreciations in the following comments.

  • this program offers good opportunity to meet people of like minds
  • with the hard work by both of you, I learn a lot about music & able to have better appreciation for opera
  • it is very enjoyable and is a class I try not to miss
    The additional activities organized are all well done. I & friends love the Salon Social arrangements and enjoy all parts of it – performers are great and good selection of fine refreshments. Learn a lot about opera & lives of people in this field.
    I brought friends to the Rigoletto Read-through which was a fun evening. After the hard work by all, the chorus group shine. Of course, all the singers did wonderfully.
    All summarized, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from you. Thank you for all your hard work and organization of all events & activities.
    Best Regards,”
    Agnes & Tom

Seniors Christmas Lunch & Concert at Kits Neighbourhood House December 21, 2021

As COVID restrictions eased once again, Kitsilano Neighbourhood House invited us to sing at their seniors Christmas lunch. Soprano Catherine Thornsley, mezzo-soprano Alyssa Samson and pianist Roger Parton sang a selection of Christmas carols, opera arias and duets. Alyssa also sang a Filipino carol similar to silent night: Payapang Daigdig (Peaceful World).

Members of the seniors lunch program remarked how much they enjoyed the show and the beautiful voices. One said how the songs brought back memories and really touched her and her friend since they were both widows and have been feeling lonely throughout the COVID isolation.

Popup Concerts from 2021

Opera in the Parks Popup Tour – August 28

Soprano Catherine Thornsley, tenor Dae Hyun Justin Cho, and accompanist Roger Parton performed short popup mini concerts at Oak Park, the Arbutus Greenway at 57th Ave, and Memorial West Park.

Marpole Neighbourhood House BBQ – August 27

Popup concert at Marpole Neighbourhood House BBQ and reopening after eased COVID restrictions.

Please join us at the Marpole Neighbourhood House BBQ with soprano Julie Duerichen and mezzo-soprano Alyssa Nicole Samson, with accompaniment by Roger Parton. 

Free admission

Friday, August 27th 

Time: BBQ and activities from 3pm-6pm, Opera Opulenza at 4:30pm

8585 Hudson Street at W 70th Ave, Vancouver

Student Popup Recital – August 21

Tenor Wassym Zaz sang his first opera recital in Vancouver outside the fieldhouse at Oak Park.

Wassym Zaz, tenor

Free admission

Saturday, August 21st

Time: 12:30pm (weather permitting)

Oak Park – 7575 Fremlin St, Vancouver

Popup mini concert with soprano Shadan Saul – July 3, 2021 at Oak Park

Christmas in Song! December 18, 2021

Everyone was so excited to be singing indoors again after such a long time due to COVID-19 restrictions. We prepared a concert of Christmas favourites, opera and oratorio arias, and the Opulenza Community Opera chorus sang a Christmas piece by Franz Liszt. We sang to a small audience in St. Augustines Anglican Church. The weeks prior to the concert our Community Opera chorus collected clothing for St. Augustine’s popup thrift shop and canned food for their Christmas food delivery.

A concert of seasonal favourites!

Soprano Catherine Thornsley, soprano Tamar Simon, tenor Justin Cho, tenor Mark Pepe, bass-baritone Andrew Greenwood, pianist Roger Parton, and the Opulenza Community Opera Chorus

Free admission

Saturday, December 18

7pm-8:30pm

Please email to reserve a seat: operaopulenza@gmail.com

St Augustine’s Anglican Church – 8680 Hudson St in Marpole

Masks & vaccine passports required 

Opera Gala in Oak Park! September 25, 2021

We had an amazing turnout for the Opera Gala in Oak Park and it turned out to be a very warm day as well! Seniors from Tapestry at Westbrook Village made a special trip out to hear soprano Catherine Thornsley. The concert was mostly comprised of duets and ensembles with a few solos. Our Community Opera Chorus sang an excerpt from the opera “Carmen” with soloist Alyssa Nicole Samson as Carmen and an excerpt from the opera “Macbeth” with soloists Wassym Zaz and Dae Hyun Justin Cho.

A fantastic turnout! Passersby even stopped to catch some of the show. We had tents set up to shade everyone from the hot sun. Free soft drinks and prepackaged cookies were available.

Sopranos Catherine Thornsley, Elaina Moreau and Julie Duerichen, mezzo-sopranos Alyssa Samson and Taryn Plater, tenors Justin Cho and Wassym Zaz, bass-baritone Andrew Greenwood, and the Opulenza Community Opera Chorus, with accompaniment by Roger Parton. A wonderful concert of opera duets, ensembles, and solos!

Free admission

Sunday, September 25th

3pm-4:30pm (weather permitting)

Please email to reserve a seat: operaopulenza@gmail.com or bring your own chair or blanket

Oak Park – 7575 Fremlin St, Vancouver

Health guidelines will be in effect with physically distanced seating. This concert will take place outside in the park.

Breathe, Move, Sing Workshop – August 11, 2021

Opulenza’s Artistic Director, Trudy, leads workshop in breathing, movement, and singing for seniors for the Kitsilano Neighbourhood House.

Breathe, Move, Sing for Seniors

With the help of Opera Opulenza’s Artistic Director, Trudy, learn how to reconnect with your body and breath through this hour-long experience. Stop by Connaught Park for a lesson in stretching, relaxation, energy work, and vocal exploration (speaking, humming, and singing). No experience necessary! Whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced learner, come join Kits House in comfortable clothing and prepare to experiment with your voice!
Wednesday, August 11
1pm-2pm
Connaught Park -2390 W 10th Ave, Vancouver (outside in the park)
Kitsilano Neighbourhood House
No reservations needed (drop-in)
Free!

Summer Concert Series 2021

Art Songs – August 21, 2021

Today we heard songs from around the world! Soprano Katie McCullough sang a collection of Brazilian and Mexican art songs, soprano Elaina Moreau sang art songs from Germany, Finland, Norway, and France, while tenor Dae Hyun Justin Cho sand art songs from Korea, Italy, France, and Germany.

Please join us for a selection of beautiful art songs from around the world sung by tenor Dae Hyun Justin Cho, soprano Elaina Moreau, soprano Katie McCullough and accompaniment by Roger Parton. Seating is limited and you must register by emailing operaopulenza@gmail.com.

Free admission

Saturday, August 21st 

3pm-4:30pm (weather permitting)

Please email to reserve a seat: operaopulenza@gmail.com

Oak Park – 7575 Fremlin St, Vancouver

DVBIA Perch Concert Series at Lot 19 – August 20, 2021

Rain or shine we were going to sing today! Just in case, we covered the microphones and speakers with plastic. The clouds gave us 45 minutes to sing before they let loose a summer downpour! Soprano Katie McCullough and pianist Roger Parton kept performing as we covered them and the keyboard with plastic and umbrellas! The audience cheered them on through the torrential rain!

Summer Perch concert at Lot 19 with soprano Katie McCullough, soprano Madison Craig, bass-baritone Andrew Greenwood.

Free admission, no reservation necessary

Friday, August 20

12pm-1:30pm 

Lot 19 – 855 W Hastings St, Vancouver

Outdoor seating is available

DVBIA Perch Concert Series at Lot 19 – Friday, July 30th, 2021

Free outdoor concerts for those passing through Lot 19 in downtown Vancouver thanks to the DVBIA’s Summer Perch program.

Lot 19 – Audience – Matthew Kim & Taryn Plater singing

A mostly Mozart concert sung by soprano Julie Duerichen, mezzo Alyssa Nicole Samson, mezzo Taryn Plater, baritone Matthew Kim, accompaniment by Roger Parton.

Free admission, no reservation necessary

Friday, July 30th 

12pm-1:30pm 

Lot 19 – 855 W Hastings St, Vancouver

Outdoor seating is available

Salon Social Concert & Chat with soprano Madison Craig – Sunday, July 25, 2021

Everyone takes shelter from the hot sun during our salon social with recent UBC music grad, soprano, Madison Craig. Salon Socials are small intimate concerts followed by a chat and Q&A with our guest singers and instrumentalists.

Soprano Madison Craig will be the next guest singer at the Fieldhouse  with accompaniment by pianist Roger Parton.

Southern Alberta-born soprano, Madison Craig, holds a Master of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Lethbridge. Her versatile voice has allowed her to perform in operatic works from baroque to contemporary. Most recently she appeared as Anna Sørenson in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning opera, Silent Night. Past highlights include her performance as Elvira in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri with the European Music Academy, Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and Soprano Soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana. In addition to her concert and operatic work, Madison has also been the recipient of multiple awards, including third place at the Federation of Canadian Music Festival’s National Music Festival in 2017 and an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2016.

Free admission

Please email to reserve a seat: operaopulenza@gmail.com

Sunday, July 25 (weather permitting)

3:00pm-4:00pm

Oak Park – outside

Health guidelines will be in effect with physically distanced seating. This concert and talk will take place outside in the park and unfortunately, food will not be provided. 

DVBIA Perch Concert Series at Lot 19 – Friday, July 23, 2021

Summer lunchtime concert for those taking a break and passing through Lot 19.

A selection of opera favourites sung by soprano Shadan Saul Guerrero, mezzo Alyssa Nicole Samson, soprano Julie Duerichen, and baritone Matthew Kim with accompaniment by Roger Parton.

Free admission, no reservation necessary

Friday, July 23rd 

12pm-1:30pm 

Lot 19 – 855 W Hastings St, Vancouver

Outdoor seating available 

Surprise Summer Season Concert Opener!

It was one of the hottest days of the year! Luckily, we had some umbrellas in the fieldhouse!

A selection of concert favourites sung by tenor Dae Hyun Justin Cho, soprano Julie Duerichen, mezzo-soprano Taryn Plater, with accompaniment by Roger Parton. Seating is limited and you must register by emailing operaopulenza@gmail.com.

Free admission

Saturday, July 17th 

3pm-4:30pm (weather permitting)

Please email to reserve a seat: operaopulenza@gmail.com

Oak Park – 7575 Fremlin St, Vancouver

Health guidelines will be in effect with physically distanced seating. This concert will take place outside in the park and unfortunately, food will not be provided. 

Seasons of Love with soprano Katie McCullough online concert and Salon Social Sunday, May 30th via Zoom

A fun day setting up a mini film set in Armoury Studios to record the next Salon Social concert with students Tamas McGillivray, Maxime Labreque, Hwa Pyung Lim, Lauren Olson, Daniel Yu, Darien Scott from Emily Carr University’s film program. Soprano Katie McCullough and pianist Roger Parton performed a selection of opera arias. We also submitted the video to the VSO’s Day of Music online event. Watch the “Seasons of Love” video here: https://dayofmusic.ca/video/seasons-of-love/

Photo by Diamond’s Edge Photography

Opera Opulenza presents “Seasons of Love” with soprano Katie McCullough and pianist Roger Parton, a concert celebrating love in all its joys and struggles for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Day of Music. From Musetta’s coquettish waltz in “La Bohème” to Pamina’s heartrending lament in “The Magic Flute”, these jewels of the repertoire remind us that nothing lasts forever, and the heart changes like the seasons.

As a follow-up to the online concert, we are hosting our next Salon Social chat with Katie McCullough scheduled for May 30th via Zoom.

What is a Salon Social? It’s an intimate concert of opera arias and/or art songs with time for tea, snacks, and a chat with our guest artist. It’s a chance to hear and meet professional or upcoming opera singers and musicians up close, and to also meet other community members. Normally, we hold these concerts in the Oak Park Fieldhouse, but in observance of the COVID-19 guidelines, we’ll be posting the chat online.

In partnership with the Faculty of Culture + Community and supported by the Audain Faculty of Art at Emily Carr University.

Salon Social – chat with Katie

Free, online 

Sunday, May 30th at 2:30pm via Zoom

To register and receive the Zoom link for the chat email: operaopulenza@gmail.com

Watch Season of Love concert here!

Artists:

Canadian soprano Katie McCullough, has always been passionate about connecting with others through music. Her love for music led her to complete a Master’s Degree in Opera Performance at the University of British Columbia. She is honoured to have been the Winner of the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions-Western Canada and People’s Choice Award. https://www.katiemcculloughsoprano.com/

Roger Parton is a composer, arranger, and pianist. A student of Theo Goldberg and Wolfgang Bottenberg, Roger has been Opera Opulenza’s music director since the company’s beginnings, in 2014, and is glad to appear with Katie McCullough for this year’s “Day of Music”.

Concert program:

“Je veux vivre” from Roméo et Juliette by Gounod

“Quando m’en vo” from La Bohème by Puccini

“Chi il bel sogno di Doretta” from La Rondine by Puccini

“Ach, ich fühl’s” from Die Zauberflöte by Mozart

“Ah, Love, but a day!” from 3 Browning Songs, op.44, no. 2 by Amy Beach

Opera Opulenza:

Katie McCullough, Soprano, Program Curator

Roger Parton, Pianist

Trudy Chalmers, Artistic Director, Producer

Armoury Studios:

Paul Silveira, Engineer

Spencer Bleasdale, 2nd Engineer

Ricardo Germain, Assistant Engineer

Film Crew (students and alumni of Emily Carr University):

Tamas McGillivray, Director of Photography, Editor

Maxime Labreque, Gaffer

Hwa Pyung Lim, Camera Operator

Lauren Olson, Camera Operator

Daniel Yu, Grip

Darien Scott, Dolly Grip