Travel Blog

13 Mar

Free birthday cake! (and, oh yeah, opera)

Vancouver Bach Choir

Photo courtesy Vancouver Bach Choir/Karen T

In a city with very few public spaces, the Robson Street steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby Street) have become a meeting-point for everyone from zombie walkers to folks with a political axe to grind.

But on March 20, at lunchtime, the steps will resound with the sound of opera as Vancouver Bach Choir celebrates the 200th birthday of of composers Verdi and Vagner – with birthday cake!

The Choir will perform a free concert of works from famous operas like La Traviata, Il Trovatore and Rigoletto for passersby… while wearing birthday hats and handing out cake. But that appearance is just a promotional stunt for the Vancouver Bach Choir’s Orpheum Theatre (884 Granville St.) concert March 23.

Though they never met, Verdi and Vagner were born in the same year, 1813, and that’s enough for the Choir to hold this special concert.

The Italian Giuseppe Verdi created melodic, emotional operas about humans, such as La Traviata and Aida. German Richard Wagner created intellectual, musically complex works about gods and heroes, such as Lohengrin and The Ring Cycle.

Verdi and Vagner

To celebrate the music of these two opera giants, the Vancouver Bach Choir will be joined by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the UBC Opera Ensemble. The combined groups will perform choruses, scenes, and arias from operas including La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Lohengrin, Tannhauser, and Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, among others.

Tickets for the Verdi/Vagner Bicentennial concert are $25-$59. For tickets, visit or call 604-696-4290.

Vancouver Bach Choir website.


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