Asia’s Golden Girl stars in opera

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November 21, 2017 (Vancouver, BC)  –  Two Vancouver opera companies, Opera Mariposa and Heroic Opera, are joining forces to make a magical production of the Verdi masterpiece Un ballo in maschera. The internationally star-studded cast promises to captivate their audience in the most famous masked ball directed by Vancouver Opera’s Adam Da Ros and veteran music director Richard Epp.

After making special appearances the past couple of years in Vancouver, German-Filipino soprano Gerphil Flores, the 2015 Asia’s Got Talent second runner-up and David Foster Golden Buzzer winner who has been dubbed “Asia’s golden girl”, joins the incredible Un ballo in maschera cast on November 25, Saturday, 7:30pm at the Marpole United Church.

ABOUT Un ballo in maschera

Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) is a secret love triangle and a political conspiracy collide one fateful night at a masquerade. The opera has a controversial history, having originally been blocked by censors for depicting the assassination of a monarch. Verdi was forced to change the setting, the characters, and even the title in order to bring the opera to the stage. Now, over 150 years after Ballo’s 1859 premiere, Mariposa and Heroic are restoring the original plot and bringing Verdi’s masked ball to life with a stellar international cast.

Gerphil Flores. Photo by Kathryn Nickford

“In so many ways, Un ballo in maschera is the ultimate opera,” says Mariposa artistic director Jacqueline Ko. “It has passion, intrigue, sorcery and spectacle – it’s a great piece of drama as well as a musical masterpiece. It also requires exceptional voices to do justice to Verdi’s lush score, which is why we’re so delighted to be working with Heroic Opera for this production.”

Heroic founder Sarah Templeton was thrilled to team up with Mariposa on a large-scale Verdi opera. “Canada has some fantastic big, dramatic voices, but there just aren’t enough role opportunities for them here – which is where Heroic Opera comes in.” At a time when opera companies everywhere are grappling with limited resources and an evolving audience base, smaller companies in particular face challenges in staging larger works. “I’m so excited that together, our companies will be able to bring this big, beautiful opera to Vancouver audiences – and showcase an incredible array of talent on the way.”

Un ballo in maschera stars Vancouver Opera tenor Mark Pepe as King Gustavo; baritones Andy Greenwood and William Liu double-cast as his friend Renato; and award-winning sopranos Templeton and Heidi Muendel as Amelia, the woman both men love. Other notable artists include mezzo-soprano Elena Razlog, recently returned from an encore concert series in Russia; local soprano Kallie Clayton, just seen in Vancouver Opera’s Turandot; and German-Filipino soprano Gerphil Flores, the 2015 Asia’s Got Talent second runner-up and David Foster Golden Buzzer winner who has been dubbed “Asia’s golden girl”.

Verdi’s UN BALLO IN MASCHERA

$28 general | $24 students & seniors | $18 groups of 4+

Available at the door, at operamariposa.com or heroicopera.com, or from Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006

Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 7:30 pm | Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 2:30 pm

Canadian Memorial United Church, 1806 W. 15th and Burrard, Vancouver

Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

Marpole United Church, 1296 W. 67th Ave. Vancouver

The show in brief: In Verdi’s operatic thriller Un ballo in maschera, romance, sorcery and conspiracy collide one fateful night at a masquerade. Don’t miss this riveting tale of passion and intrigue, featuring two casts of acclaimed and award-winning artists from around the globe.

About Opera Mariposa: Opera Mariposa is an artist-led company that “stands at the forefront of Vancouver’s opera scene” (The Vancouver Project). They showcase exceptional young and emerging performers in a diverse program of concerts, original shows, and fully staged opera and musical theatre productions; they are also well-known for their annual benefit shows, which have raised over $50,000 to date for a variety of charities. Learn more at operamariposa.com

About Heroic Opera: Heroic Opera launched in February 2017 as a new opera company dedicated to producing the works of Wagner, Verdi, and Richard Strauss. Their aim is to enrich Vancouver’s arts scene with more great operas for big, dramatic voices; their first opera was a summer concert production of Wagner’s Die Walküre, which had not been seen in its entirety by Vancouver audiences for over 40 years. Learn more at heroicopera.com

NOTE: All information provided by Stephanie Ko (Mariposa communications director)

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