The Province of BC announced today (February 28) that it will provide a grant of $500,000 in support of Stickboy, Vancouver Opera's new commissioned opera about bullying.
The opera, by composer Neil Weisensel and internationally celebrated BC spoken-word artist Shane Koyczan, is set to make its world premiere October 23, 2014 at the Vancouver Playhouse.
In making the announcement, Premier Christy Clark said, “Bullying is never okay. It’s not a rite of passage. We’re working every day to find ways to end it for good, and that starts with getting people to share their experiences and ideas – and no one has expressed the lasting pain it causes quite as beautifully as Shane Koyczan.”
Vancouver Opera general director James W. Wright was delighted by, and grateful for, the Province's support. "Bullying is an issue of profound importance in our lives and in our communities," Wright said. "The creation of this new opera is very dear to our hearts, and is at the heart of our mission to connect broadly and deeply with British Columbians through the power and beauty of opera."
The 80-minute opera, based on Koyczan's acclaimed 2008 novel in verse, is aimed at audiences of all ages and draws upon Koyczan's own experiences with bullying, both as a victim and as a perpetrator.
Beginning in the spring of 2015, Stickboy will tour to selected venues in BC. As part of the Vancouver Opera in Schools program, an adapted version designed for younger audiences will be developed for touring to BC schools.
Stickboy, with 12 performances, will be part of Vancouver Opera's 2014-2015 subscription season. Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning July 1, 2014.
For more about Vancouver Opera, visit http://www.vancouveropera.ca/.