Residents Claire Weir and Libby Roth love opera. So when United’s partnership with Calgary Opera brought in six of the opera’s best new artists, they were thrilled.
“I’m just new at Fish Creek,” said Libby. “When I came into the theatre I didn’t expect it to be a live performance. They were actually here performing! Unbelievable!”
United partners with about a dozen arts and cultural groups within the city to give residents in both Fish Creek and Garrison Green communities the best in musical, art and contemporary lectures. Often, residents will go out to performances, but many times the performers come to the communities for residents who might not be able to go out as often.
Performer Scott Rumble from Woodstock, Ontario is one of the emerging artists performing today. “The Emerging Artists program is a bridge between student and professional. We get small roles in the bigger, mainstage productions, but we also get to perform in smaller, more intimate settings like this one, which really connects us to the audience.”
The artists were chosen from across Canada through a series of auditions, said Mel Kirby, the manager of the Emerging Artists program, who also supported the singers on piano. “Auditions were held in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, and I have to say this year we have an amazing group. Their maturity level – not just their ages, but their abilities, their performance backgrounds – is really great. We look forward to working with them in their own production of Beatrice and Benedict by French composer Hector Berlioz in March, which is based on the Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing.
“I attended opera when I lived in Hawaii for 20 years,” said resident Claire Weir. “This is fabulous. We’re so lucky! What really impressed me was how they could slip into the character they were portraying so easily. We were right there. They were so close to us!”
Libby and her husband travelled extensively and attended opera in Europe and had season’s tickets to Calgary Opera for 25 years. “The singers really gave us the story in their voices, and you could hear the feeling,” said Libby.
“I’ve only been here a few months, but this was the best concert I’ve been to. It was awesome.”
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Photos and video by Sherana Productions
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To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.
Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.