Pacific Opera Victoria’s next production, Flight, is based on the true story of a refugee who lived in an airport for 18 years. (Photo courtesy Pacific Opera Victoria)

Next Pacific Opera production tells a refugee’s airport tale

Flight is spicy and complex, with a scintillating score by Jonathan Dove

Pacific Opera Victoria has built a loyal audience for its annual three-opera seasons of much-loved classics and exciting contemporary productions.

This season’s 20th-century offering from POV is Jonathan Dove’s timely, darkly comedic and moving modern opera, Flight, which makes its Canadian premiere at the Royal Theatre with four performances between Feb. 20 to March 1.

British composer Dove collaborated with theatre-inspired librettist April de Angelis to create Flight from a true story of Iranian refugee Karimi Nasseri, 18 years stranded in a Paris airport. The opera premiered in 1999. Steven Spielberg partly based his film, The Terminal with Tom Hanks, on the same story. Dove has also written “Airport Scenes,” an orchestral suite inspired by his opera. It premiered in 2006.

READ ALSO: Meet Arthur Heart, Oak Bay Avenue’s resident stickman

POV artistic director Timothy Vernon chose the Canadian team of director Morris Panych and set director Ken McDonald to stage Dove’s playful, sometimes risqueé story of travellers and airport workers grounded overnight by a violent storm, and their contact with a refugee stuck in the airport. Panych and McDonald teamed up in 2016 for Pacific Opera’s acclaimed production of The Barber of Seville.

“I chose Morris to direct Flight because he has such a good grasp of contemporary theatre,” Vernon says. “It’s a great story, a very touching story. There’s lots of sex in it, and there is also a deeper, more sinister undertow regarding the plight of the refugee.”

Flight will appeal to a broad demographic, he adds, but especially a younger audience.

“It’s a modern musical idiom with lots of tricky rhythms, but it’s not atonal – it’s a very popular contemporary opera. Seattle is going to stage Flight next year, but this is the Canadian premiere. I’m very proud of that.”

Sung in English with English surtitles of the libretto above the stage at the Royal, Flight will be performed by a 10-member cast in three acts, with two 15-minute intermissions. Local musician and educator Robert Holliston provides astute introductions to the opera with his pre-performance talks, one hour before each show.

Flight is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20, Saturday, Feb. 22 and Friday, Feb. 28, all at 8 p.m.; and a Sunday matinee takes off March 1 at 2:30 p.m. Visit pacificopera.ca or rmts.bc.ca for tickets or more information, or call the box office at 250-386-6121.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca

Live music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Woman comes home to ‘entirely different’ Victoria after cruise ship, military base quarantine

Melanie Sibbitt booked herself a last-minute vacation on a cruise ship hit by COVID-19

COVID-19: Victoria moves homeless into 35 hotel rooms across the city

Mayor pleads with residents to stay inside during pandemic

Victoria brewery uses 3D-printer to make face shields for health care workers

Phillips Brewing is teaming up with engineers to create single-use medical equipment

Wheelchair user asks people to leave space on sidewalks to socially distance

Wendy Cox says many people are not stepping off the sidewalk to allow her space

Victoria street nurse thanks public for outpouring of donations

Businesses and individuals donated gloves, masks, sanitizers and more to frontline workers

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read