Vancouver Island Opera looking for chorus members

Singers must register before rehearsals start in Craig Bay on Sat, Aug. 29; this year's production is Bellini's Norma

The Vancouver Island Opera wants singers.

The Parksville-based company is currently looking for people to join the chorus for its upcoming production of Norma by Vincenzo Bellini.

“Gives you a chance to try out your chops,” said Sydney Preston, who is herself a member of the chorus. “You meet some really interesting and diverse people.”

Rehearsals will start on August 29 and will run on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Craig Bay Community Centre. There will also be informal rehearsals on Wednesdays at the home of the show’s artistic director for those who can make it.

There are no limits on how many can join the group, with the company’s founder Tatianna Vasilieva saying she is looking for “as many as possible” to sing.

Preston also said that chorus members don’t need professional singing experience. “There are a lot of amateurs involved,” said Preston. “They’re so enthusiastic.”

While Norma is in Italian, Preston said there are singers in the group who can help their peers navigate the language. This was what happened for last year’s opera production, Rigoletto, which was also in Italian.

“There’s lots of help,” she said. “It’s fun.”

Norma tells the story of a love triangle, said Vasilieva. Norma, a Druid priestess in Roman-occupied Gaul, is secretly in a relationship with the Roman proconsul Pollione, who has fallen in love with the priestess Adalgisa.

Vasilieva said she chose this opera because it is easily accessible to all audiences, including those who don’t speak Italian.

“It’s pure melody,” she said, adding that she thinks Norma’s aria is “the most beautiful aria in the whole operatic repertoire.”

The full production of Norma, which will include an orchestra and up-and-coming professional soloists in the title roles, will show on Oct. 24-25 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

Singers must register with the Vancouver Island Opera before rehearsals start in August in order to be a member of the chorus. Registration costs $85.

For more information or to register, contact Vasilieva at 250-586-6095.

 

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