Britten Festival 2013 Pacific Opera Victoria

The entire community comes together for the Britten Festival,  in joyous celebration of the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten’s birth. Join Pacific Opera Victoria and collaborators, Belfry Theatre, Victoria Conservatory of Music and Victoria Children’s Choir, for three events that include opera, music ensembles, choirs, and theatre.

The celebration begins with Albert Herring and continues with Noye’s Fludde and Let’s Make an Opera/The Little Sweep; these productions, true to the composer’s intent, involve youth, community, and professional artists in a collaborative creation of opera beyond the opera house.

“Britten designed his works for community collaboration”, explains Timothy Vernon, POV’s Artistic Director. “He challenged us to infiltrate all aspects of a community – the youth and novice artists, singers, actors and musicians, believing that the creation of art is communal.”

Pacific Opera Victoria’s collaboration with the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the Victoria Children’s Choir (Noye’s Fludde) and The Belfry Theatre (Let’s Make an Opera, Little Sweep) involves over 200 children and youth as well as professional and amateur actors and musicians. International, national and regional opera singers and designers are involved in all three productions, with community participation guided by the opera company’s production team.

Benjamin Britten (b.1913 – d.1976) is an iconic English composer whose work encompasses several classical styles and genres. His operas are firmly entrenched in international repertoire and are performed more frequently than those of any other 20th Century composer.


Pacific Opera Victoria is delighted to present its first co-production with Vancouver Opera, Britten’s whimsical satire, ALBERT HERRING.

The English village of  Loxford is facing a crisis. Not a single girl in town is virtuous enough to be May Queen! When Albert Herring, the bashful greengrocer with the squeaky-clean reputation, is proposed as King of the May, everyone is relieved and delighted; except Albert.

With an intoxicating brew of daft village characters and a sweet, confused hero, ALBERT HERRING is reminiscent of both Downton Abbey and Fawlty Towers, exploring the dark and the comedic aspects of the plot and characters. Always drawn to stories that revolve around characters in isolation or threatening situations, Britten deftly skewers small-town pomposity and slyly illuminates the charms and trials of life in a goldfish bowl.

ALBERT HERRING Feb 7 – 17 (in English with English surtitles)
Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street
Tickets $37.50 – $130.00 limited student rush tickets $15 45 minutes prior to performance
Royal and McPherson  Box Office 250 386 6121 or online

If you’re a fan of Wes Anderson, and have seen Moonrise Kingdom, you will be familiar with Noye’s Fludde. Here’s your chance to see it performed live.


Pacific Opera Victoria and the Victoria Conservatory of Music present NOYE’S FLUDDE, February 14 and 16, 2013 at the Church of St. John the Divine in Victoria.

With NOYE’S FLUDDE, Benjamin Britten creates an exciting new genre of community opera that brings professional singers and musicians together with amateurs and children to retell the ancient story of Noah and theArk.

More than 200 children and youth are involved in the creation of NOYE’S FLUDDE. With guidance from Pacific Opera Victoria’s production team, set designs were created by visual arts students atVictoriaHigh School, and masks were designed and created by students atGlenlyonNorfolkSchool. The cast and orchestra feature members of the Victoria Children’s Choir, the First Metropolitan United Church Bell Choir, students of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and members of the Victoria Symphony.

NOYE’S FLUDDE is a rambunctious opera filled with moments of comedy, terror, stirring beauty, and reverence. Above all, it is a joyous, operatic adventure in making music as a community.

NOYES FLUDDE, Feb 14 and 16th, 7pm
Church of St John the Divine, 1611 Quadra Street
Tickets $30/$15 (student). Children 5 and under Free
available at Pacific Opera Victoria box office 250 385 0222 or online 
Victoria Conservatory of Music, in person

And for the first time, a partnership between Pacific Opera Victoria and The Belfry Theatre


Act One of the programme is a play. LET’S MAKE AN OPERA portrays an adventure in collaboration, as kids and grownups create an opera they will perform together. They learn to write words that sing. They hold auditions, wrangle sets and costumes, and survive the chaos and panic of the dress rehearsal.

Act Two, THE LITTLE SWEEP, is the actual opera. It is the tale of a young sweep who gets stuck up a chimney and is rescued by plucky children who plot to keep him safe from his brutal master.

Belfry Theatre, 1291 Gladstone Avenue

Tickets $30/$15 available at the Belfry Theatre box office at 250-385-6815 or


About @lacouvee

Community Builder. Catalyst. Speaker. Writer. Arts Advocate.

Passionate about bridging online and offline communities to effect positive change.

I truly believe that one person can make a difference and that we all have our own lives to live, creatively, while respecting the unique nature of others.


  1. […] and collaborations such as the Cage Festival (for the 100th anniversary of Cage’s birth), the Britten Festival (another centenary) and A Chinatown Celebration (celebrating Victoria’s historic Chinatown), […]

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