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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thank you to the Farises

As the Vancouver Opera performance season has wound down, I’ve had a bit more time to reflect on the past several months’ VO activities and on some of the exciting things that have happened – and that are ahead for us. This is also a time when I and my VO colleagues are becoming more and more excited about our move to new digs. As I was walking through the new opera centre this morning, I paused to think about the many activities that will be taking place there, and my mind settled on our new Young Artist Program.
I am so grateful to Moh and Yulanda Faris and their family for their generous gift that will enable us to initiate a first-rate training program for young professional opera artists: singers, directors and accompanists.
Their generosity, announced during our run of La Traviata in April, is just really beginning to “hit home” with me, as I imagine these young professionals gathering in our new facility, using the sound-isolated coaching studio, rehearsing in the main rehearsal hall, using the music library… and interacting with the rest of the company on a daily basis as they learn the ins and outs of a professional opera career in Canada.

It is difficult, in this fast-paced time when we are bombarded with unsettling news from around the world on a constant basis, to find the “space” to acknowledge and celebrate the good news stories generated by the kindness and generosity of our fellow citizens. The Faris’s belief in young people and in the future, and their desire to help make bright futures possible, is inspiring to me, and I know to so many others.
As the opera’s calendar settles a bit this month, and as we find a bit more time to reflect on our work, our role in the community, and on our responsibility to the future, it is fitting to again recognize and thank Moh and Yulanda and their family for their extraordinary gift not just to Vancouver Opera but to the Canadian opera field for years to come.
- James Wright, VO's General Director

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