Vancouver Opera to Host Panel Talk on Relaxed Performances

La Cenerentola.  | Image: Vancouver Opera.

La Cenerentola. | Image: Vancouver Opera.

On May 2, Vancouver Opera is presenting the first ever relaxed performance of an opera in Canada. If you’re not familiar with the idea of relaxed performance, Canadian Stage provides the following definition:

“Relaxed Performances are designed to welcome audience members who will benefit from a more relaxed sensory experience and casual environment, including (but not limited to) patrons with an Autism Spectrum condition, a sensory processing disorder, or a learning disability. There is a more relaxed approach to noise and movement within the theatre space; some minor production changes may be made to reduce the intensity of light, sound and other startling effects.”

In order to share lessons learned from this process, the Opera is hosting a panel discussion called Opera Speaks: Relaxed Performances – Where to begin?

The discussion will begin with an detailed explanation of the purpose behind relaxed performances. Panelists will then share their personal and organizational experiences with planning and staging a relaxed performance. Together, they will speak to the entire process from the initial idea, to community partnerships, and the practical considerations for performers and audiences.

The free talk will take place 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 2, at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Panelists include:

  • Hallie Mitchell – manager of training, Canucks Autism Network

  • Kevan Ellis – director of education, Arts Club Theatre

  • Ava Forsyth – director of operations, Bard On The Beach

This session is immediately preceded by a relaxed performance of Rossini’s La Cenerentola at 12:30 p.m., with tickets starting at $19.

RSVP for the panel event, the relaxed performance, or both, here.

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