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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why WSS?

If West Side Story was your 5th production, I'd be thrilled. But why are you reducing Vancouver's meager opera offerings to three? I thought you were in good financial shape?

There are several reasons why we've chosen to produce West Side Story. Demographics are shifting; audience preferences are ever-changing; it is our responsibility to be attuned to these changes and respond to them in thoughtful ways. We think about – and encourage – the continued “blurring of the line” between opera and music theatre.

We are certainly not alone in producing works outside the traditional operatic canon. A glance at recent, current and future seasons show that the opera companies of Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Fort Worth, Edmonton, Washington DC, St. Louis, Denver, Calgary, Atlanta, Columbus and other cities are producing works such as Sweeney Todd, Porgy and Bess, Camelot, West Side Story, Oklahoma, The Mikado, etc.

The response from our subscribers to West Side Story has been overwhelmingly positive, and we hear every day from people who are excited about the opportunity to see WSS in a full-scale treatment with large orchestra, operatic voices in the two leading roles, and “triple-threat” performers chosen from Canada’s finest actor/singer/dancers.

- James Wright, General Director

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