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Opera Kelowna returns to a full season of performances after two years of singing from the sidewalk

Full season for Opera

Cindy White

It’s been a long wait to get back on the stage.

Opera Kelowna announced a return to a full season of performances for 2022, after two years of pandemic restrictions that forced it to shift to sidewalk serenades.

“It’s been tough, I’m not going to lie, for singers to stay motivated,” said artistic director Rosemary Thomson.

“We were able to do some coachings with them, where we would just (be) rehearsing material for the sake of rehearsing material and singing together. To try and keep it fresh and keep the hope that we would be able to come back to love music one day. And here we are!”

Sidewalk serenades will continue, but the full slate of shows also includes The Parks Alive! concert at Guisachan Gardens on August 4, Opera Under the Stars (OPUS) at UBC Okanagan on August 10, and the Mainstage Opera performance of Beatrice et Benedict at Kelowna Community Theatre on August 18, 20 and 21.

“That’s when opera is right at its full. We’ve got full costumes and set and orchestra and, of course, the amazing singers. It’s the big, full story-telling,” explains Thomson.

Thomson adds that the opera was written in French, but is based on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. While the singing is in French, the spoken part of the performance is in English.

“It’s really lovely and fun. We keep thinking, people have really struggled over the last two years to get married, because of everything in the way. There’s a couple in here that’s sort of struggling to find their way to marriage too. So we thought it would be appropriate to do this show in this year.”

The season wraps with Singing the ‘97 Recital Series from September 15-24 in Lake Country, Kelowna, Naramata, Penticton and Oliver.

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