Opera company takes on Faust

Vancouver Island Opera seeking talent for upcoming show. Recital series in the works

VIO will follow up L’Eliser d’Amore (above) with Gounod’s Faust.

The artistic director of the Vancouver Island Opera (VIO) is keeping herself busy these days.

The VIO’s recital series schedule is confirmed with the first event of this year just around the corner but Tatiana Vasilieva is also planning her next big opera production. Faust is a grand opera by Charles Gounod and Vasilieva said she will be holding auditions for the production at the end of February.

In the meantime, she is looking forward to presenting a recital at the McMillan Arts Centre Gallery (MAC) on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. Soprano Margo Le Vae will delight with arias as well as musical theatre songs.  Vasilieva said it will be a real treat for music lovers.

“It is the first recital of this year and I am looking forward to it. Margo is wonderful. She performed in the last opera as Giannetta and she was very good,” admitted Vasilieva.

L’Eliser d’Amore, or The Elixir of Love, met with rave reviews when it was presented at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre on Nov. 5 and 6 last year.  Vasilieva said for 2012 she is presenting a French opera that will be just as grand as the Italian L’Eliser d’Amore.  She said she will have a full professional orchestra and she will be looking for some great singers.

She said although the death of her beloved husband last year has taken quite a toll on her, she wants to continue leading the VIO and bring high quality performances to the area.

“I don’t want to slow down. The opera is what keeps me going. This is what I want to do and this is what my husband wanted me to do and it makes me feel good,” she agreed.

She said it is her goal to bring only the best performers to the stage and while many of her star performers have come from Vancouver, that doesn’t mean she won’t consider local talent in her productions, but she admitted she has high standards when she is seeking her cast.

“There are many things to take into consideration during an audition.  It is not just the voice … but dramatic ability and how they fit into the whole ensemble. It is not so simple … there are a lot of factors, and I want a world class level.”

Vasilieva said she works hard to provide the community with world class music and hopes people will come out and support the upcoming recital series, which starts February 19 with Soprano Margo Le Vae accompanied by pianist Nicolai Maloff.

All Recitals are held at the MAC (formerly the Oceanside Arts Council Gallery) located at 133 McMillan Street, Parksville. Tickets are available at the door.


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