Shane Koyczan

Vancouver Opera has commissioned internationally-recognized Canadian spoken word poet and performer Shane Koyczan to create the libretto for a new opera whose theme – bullying – is a central issue in our community, in communities across the country, and around the world. 
Aimed at audiences of all ages, and drawing upon Mr. Koyczan’s own experiences with bullying (both as a victim and as a perpetrator), the 80-minute opera will be based on Stickboy, Mr. Koyczan’s acclaimed 2008 novel in verse.

Stickboy premieres in October 2014 at the Vancouver Playhouse. After its world premiere, an adapted version will be developed for touring to schools and community venues in Metro Vancouver and beyond as part of the Vancouver Opera In Schools program.
“I first approached Shane about this project in December and was so pleased when he enthusiastically agreed to work with us,” comments James Wright, General Director of Vancouver Opera. “Capturing the raw emotion and creativity of Stickboy will be an exciting challenge. I’m looking forward to the creative process and eager to see this work translated to the stage, with the emotional power that contemporary opera will bring to this moving story.”
“I have been looking for a project to challenge me in the way this one has already from the outset,” says Mr. Koyczan. “Vancouver Opera has shown a tremendous amount of faith in my ability and I plan to deliver a passionate and honest story. I am deeply honoured to collaborate with these talented artists.”

This will be Vancouver Opera’s second commission for Mr. Koyczan. At the initiative of Manjy and David Sidoo, Mr. Koyczan wrote and performed a poem at the company’s gala fundraiser, Overture, in 2012.
Libretto and music workshops for Stickboy will begin in mid-September. Follow @vancouveropera on Twitter or Vancouver Opera on Facebook for the latest news and behind-the-scenes content on the creation of Stickboy. Leslie Dala, Vancouver Opera’s Associate Conductor and Chorus Director will be the musical dramaturge; award-winning stage director Rachel Peake will be the stage dramaturge.

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