Rose Ellen Nichols in Pauline

City Opera Vancouver presents the world premiere of Pauline, a chamber opera about Canadian writer-actress Pauline Johnson, with libretto by acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood and music by Tobin Stokes.

Pauline Memorial Dedication, Stanley Park 1922
[Pauline memorial dedication, Stanley Park; 1922]
Pauline Johnson (1861-1913) traveled through North America and Great Britain giving readings of her own work during a time when independence for women was rare and remarkable. The child of a Mohawk chief and a Quaker Englishwoman, Pauline was driven toward paradoxical goals of loyalty to both her cultures and to her own ambition. Pauline takes place in March 1913’s Vancouver, at a time when Johnson is in the final stage of breast cancer, viewing her life through a morphine-enhanced fog. Torn by dual identity as both Mohawk and white, she confronts her past as her doctor tries to control her pain and her sister tries to control the story that will be told.

Tobin Stokes Margaret Atwood
[Tobin Stokes photo courtesy of City Opera Vancouver; Margaret Atwood photo by Michelle Doherty]

May 23rd’s opening performance at the York Theatre will be celebrated with a gala attended by Ms. Atwood and Mr. Stokes. There will be four additional presentations of the opera over the following eight days.
Pauline is Margaret Atwood’s first opera and is directed by Norman Armour.

Pauline banner
“Demand for tickets has already been strong, with requests coming in from all across North America,” said Nora Kelly, President of City Opera Vancouver. “We expect Pauline will sell out. The Canadian Press has cited it as ‘one of the five buzz-worthy theatre productions for Canadians to see in 2014.’ ”
Pauline stars dramatic mezzo Rose-Ellen Nichols as Pauline Johnson, Sarah Vardy as Eva Johnson, and Ken Lavigne as the tenor. The cast also includes John Minágro, Edward Moran, Diane Speirs, Eleonora Higginson, and Cathleen Gingrich.


Dates: May 23, 27, 29, 31, 8 pm; May 25, 2 pm; World Premiere, May 23, 8 pm
Venue: York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive at East Georgia, Vancouver
Opening Night Gala tickets: $100, includes $60 ticket to Pauline and an invitation to a reception with special guests Ms. Atwood, Mr. Stokes, and cast
Performance only tickets: $60, $40, $22 (students); available online, via phoning 604.251.1363, or in person at the Cultch Box Office, 1895 Venables Street


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