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Opera in the BAG

Complete Puccini work staging at Brackendale Gallery

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What: Suor Angelica

Where: Brackendale Art Gallery

When: Sunday, April 24, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $10

The Brackendale Art Gallery adds a new feather to its musical cap this weekend by hosting a performance of Suor Angelica – a complete one-act Puccini opera.

The B.A.G., as it’s affectionately known, has hosted renowned opera singers in the past, performing selections from completed works. But according to B.A.G. owner and opera fan Thor Froslev this weekend’s production of Suor Angelica will be the first complete opera in the venue, which began operating in 1973.

Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica) is part of Giacomo Puccini’s trilogy of one-act operas that includes Il Tabarro and the well-known Gianni Schicchi .

Composed in the early 20 th Century, Suor Angelica tells the tragic story of a young woman named Angelica abandoned by her aristocratic family to a mountain convent after bearing an illegitimate child.

Angelica receives no word from her relatives for seven years, until her aunt arrives unannounced, bearing a document for Angelica to sign to sever ties with her inheritance, and leading her to question what has become of her son.

The opera will be performed at the Brackendale Art Gallery by a 14-voice, all-female cast accompanied by piano and percussion. The principals are all accomplished operatic talents from the Lower Mainland and Squamish with the lead role of Angelica sung by Soula Parassidis, also part of the cast in the upcoming Vancouver Opera Association’s production of Verdi’s Masked Ball . Tamara Croft will sing the role of the princess and Bonnie Dodd, a Vancouver-based veteran opera soloist, will sing the part of Mother Superior.

Suor Angelica was adapted for a chamber venue by Vancouver-based conductor Frank Klassen and debuted at an International Women’s Day fundraiser for Vancouver’s Magdalene Recovery Society. The Brackendale date will mark the third time Klassen’s adapted opera has been performed.

The event includes costumes, lighting and innovative stage design by the conductor’s wife Riad Klassen that will make use of the layout of the Brackendale venue to turn it into the cloister setting.

While opera in North America has become associated with large-scale auditorium and concert hall venues, Frank Klassen said traditional European operas were often staged in smaller, more intimate hall venues.

It doesn’t get much more intimate than the B.A.G.

Tickets for Suor Angelica are $10, available from the gallery and at Mostly Books in Squamish. The performance begins at 8 p.m.

For more information about events at the Brackendale Art Gallery go to www.brackendaleartgallery.com.

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