Monday, September 13, 2010

Lillian Alling Community Events

Engage your mind and your imagination in preparation for the world premiere of Lillian Alling, by composer John Estacio and librettist John Murrell. Explore music, film and BC history through VO’s Lillian Alling Community Events series, organized by Vancouver Opera in collaboration with various partners.

Wednesday, September 22, 10:00am – 11:00am
Saturday, October 2, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Lillian’s Vancouver: The Chung Collection Tour
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC
1961 Main Mall

See a vivid picture of Vancouver as it would have looked to Lillian Alling. Explore the reality of immigrants, especially Chinese, as they arrived and worked here in the early part of the 20th century, with a special guided tour of The Chung Collection by UBC Library Archivist Sarah Romkey. Two tours will be held: Wednesday, September 22, 10:00am – 11:00am and Saturday, October 2, 2:00pm – 3:00pm.

Free admission – reservations are required for each tour. Visit for details.

Presented in partnership with UBC Library Vault. The Chung Collection is the generous gift of Dr. Wallace Chung and Dr. Madeline Chung, longtime patrons of Vancouver Opera.

Thursday, September 23
Film Screening: Sweet Land
Vancity Theatre, Vancouver International Film Centre
1181 Seymour Street

Director: Ali Selim // USA 2005 // 110 mins
Cast: Elizabeth Reaser, Patrick Heusinger, Alan Cumming, Alex Kingston, John Heard, Ned Beatty, Tim Guinee, Lois Smith

Sweet Land is a poignant and lyrical celebration of land, love, and the immigrant experience, as recollected in a man’s memory of his grandmother’s stories. Inge arrives in Minnesota in 1920 to marry a young Norwegian farmer named Olaf, but the community is suspicious of this German stranger, and the marriage is forbidden. Alone and adrift, Inge goes to live with Olaf’s friend and neighbor Frandsen and his wife Brownie, where she learns the English language, American ways, and a hard-won independence.

Similar in scope but equally as personal, Vancouver Opera’s world-première production of Lillian Alling, by composer John Estacio and librettist John Murrell, is a sweeping story embracing the immigrant experience of the 1920s, the history of British Columbia and the journey of a courageous and driven woman who walked from New York City across North America and along BC’s Telegraph Trail. BC historian and author Jean Barman will introduce the film and offer parallels to consider between these two stories.

Visit or for details and to book your tickets in advance.

Friday, September 24
Open Chorus Rehearsal
Holy Rosary Hall, 650 Richards Street
7:00pm – 9:00pm

In celebration of Culture Days, a limited number of guests will be admitted to an open rehearsal of the VO Chorus as they prepare for the world premiere of Lillian Alling. Space is extremely limited: admission is first-come, first-served.

Free admission – reservations required. Call 604-683-0222 to make your reservation. Space is limited.

Sunday, September 26
The Word on the Street
Library Square, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch
1:00pm – 1:30pm
Free admission

Where is Lillian? Popping up on the main stage at The Word on the Street, that’s where! Hear excerpts from Lillian Alling. Visit or for more information.

Monday, September 27
Composition Forum with John Estacio
Barnett Hall, UBC
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Free admission

John Estacio, UBC alumnus and internationally acclaimed composer of Lillian Alling, talks about the creation of this new work and the art and craft of composing. Presented in partnership with the UBC School of Music. Visit for more information.

Thursday, September 30
Opera Speaks @ VPL: Creating Lillian: Inside the Creative Process of Lillian Alling
Alice Mackay Room, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch
7:00pm – 9:00pm

Free admission

Discover how a large-scale opera is created from scratch. Composer John Estacio, librettist John Murrell, director Kelly Robinson and members of the production team for Vancouver Opera's new commissioned opera Lillian Alling will share their three year process of writing and producing this dramatic opera that depicts Lillian's epic journey, on foot, across North America in the 1920s.

Cast members will perform excerpts from the opera. This will be a rare opportunity to get inside the creative process with an extraordinary team of opera artists.

Sunday, October 3, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Saturday, October 9, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Lillian’s world – A Historical Stanley Park Walking Tour
Meet at the Stanley Park Pavilion

Stand where Lillian Alling might have stood when she fell in love with telegraph linesman Scotty Macdonald. Enter Lillian’s world through this historical walking tour of Stanley Park led by historical interpreter Jolene Cumming. Featuring evocative stories and enticing anecdotes, this 2 hour walking tour will focus on the experience of women and will offer rare archival photos of Stanley Park, Vancouver and The Telegraph Trail in the early 1900s. Two tours will be held: Sunday, October,1:00pm – 3:00pm and Saturday, October 9, 10:00am - 12:00pm, rain or shine. Wear comfortable shoes.

Free admission – limited space. Reservations required. Visit for details.

Meet at the Stanley Park Pavilion
Accessible by the #19 bus. Pay parking available.

Wednesday, October 6
Opera Speaks @ VPL: Alone in a New Land: The Immigrant Experience in Canada
Alice Mackay Room, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Free admission

The title character in Lillian Alling arrives in North America through Ellis Island, in New York, in 1927. Central to her story - a single-minded quest that takes her across the continent by foot and boxcar - is her experience as an immigrant. Alien, ostracized, exposed to danger and taking immense risk, her immigrant experience is a deeply moving undercurrent throughout the opera.

Canada's character has been built with the emotional and spiritual fibre of immigrants such as Lillian. Join a panel of experts and historians as they portray the stories of individuals and families, from many lands, who have arrived on our shores. Panelists include Nick Noorani, prominent social entrepreneur, immigrant advocate and author of the best-selling book Arrival Survival Canada.